I thought I would feel better this morning but I really don’t. It is a strange grief, a profound sorrow but yet a bubbling rage. Insure Tennessee received its official death for the year yesterday. It came before a House subcommittee yesterday with everyone knowing it would not be passed and was withdrawn by is sponsor without a vote when he realized it would not pass. He made a great campaign speech about it and was filled with fight but all I could think of was how sadly fitting it was that it lost without a vote.
I spent a good part of the day talking with people about what they felt. I heard a lot of rage but a few people said it was a good day politically….. a lot of people came out, there was a lot of media coverage, and we didn’t lose a vote on purely partisan lines. This, they said, will make things better next year. Maybe good political days and good days are not the same thing. I don’t know.
The rage part of me says I didn’t care about winning the fight as much as I cared about making the fight and this just wasnt it. The rage part of me says I am sick and tired of being told to wait my turn but next year I might actually get a turn. I can’t help but think of everyone I have met who can’t wait. The rage part of me says I am sick to death of a legislature who wants me to go away and yet insists that I respect its dignity and decorum. The rage part of me says that I don’t really care how much courage it takes for a legislator to be courageous when so many people are trying to find the courage to face a death they didnt cause or suffering they don’t deserve. The rage part of me is sick of people who want me to understand where they are coming from who have no idea what one day is like for me.
It is really strange because I never really thought the last day would be this hard. I never really had much hope but somehow this is worst than last year when I did have hope. Maybe part of the pain…… I don’t know. It just feels worse.
Maybe I just kept hoping for a fight that was somehow defined away and I keep wondering when we are done with Trump and this season of insanity how many people will be back to fight again.
I think in Tennessee it was really pretty simple. No one wanted to be left standing out front by themselves. Legislators were not going to expose themselves without backing of their leadership. The leaders were told by the governor they were on their own he was sitting this one out. And in our Republican land the scariest thing of all was that they would have to face Republican voters and explain why they cared about 280,000 poor people.
I hope in a few days I can come back and read this and wonder how I could write something so silly and out of balance. But part of me wonders if in our effort to fight a political battle we can’t win we have lost a little of a moral crusade we could. I don’t know if that even makes sense.
I don’t have any answers. I know at the end you are supposed to have an answer or a plan or something and I don’t have any of that. I don’t feel good. Honestly I am not okay today.
I am going to see Linda today. Tomorrow will be another day and another one will follow and maybe time makes a difference. I heard that one legislator got up yesterday on another matter and said that we should do away with the minimum wage to be kind to poor people and I knew he was neither poor or kind and that yesterday was a bad day to be a Tennessean.
I really hope tomorrow will be better.