The United States of Junior High (#156)

13939564_570238006492153_633300365514635819_nOnce upon a time, there was a Junior High School in Washington, D.C. It was a public school. Each student was assigned a home room. Each home room elected a Class President.

The Class President did nothing. Until May.

In May, the school threw a carnival-themed fundraiser. The Class President was responsible for getting a game from the slightly insane (and thoroughly terrifying) Glee Club Teacher. She had a closet that clearly had storage space in another dimension. The closet was the size of an average cloakroom (maybe 3′ x 15′) yet contained enough space for a hundred carnival games and props for multiple musicals. There were undoubtedly a dozen trans dimensional rats, nesting in tricorn hats. With the inevitable D.C. roaches.

After extracting a game from the vermin, the Class President was supposed to buy prizes and recruit volunteers to run the carnival game.

I ran for President in seventh grade. I lost to a pretty blonde boy that September. May came. The Terrifying Glee Club Teacher announced that every home room had collected their carnival game except one.

Mine, of course. I told Pretty President that he needed to get a game. He shrugged and did nothing.

So I got the game, braving the Terrifying Teacher and the Trans Dimensional Rodents and Roaches. I got the prizes, and I organized the volunteers. During the carnival, one of my classmates said, “Hey! Why didn’t we elect you President?”

I smiled and said, “Remember that next year.”

Next year, my class elected a more popular girl Class President.

Popular President was too busy passing notes to visit the Trans Dimensional closet when May arrived. Once again, I got the game, the prizes, and the volunteers. As we set up the clowns and baseballs, a classmate said, “Didn’t you do this last year? Why don’t we elect you class President?”

I said, “Because you’re idiots.”

They said, “Yeah,” and asked, “What were we thinking?”

I don’t know if they would have finally elected me in ninth grade.

Because I was fed up and I moved to Canada.

Nah, just kidding. I did move to another school, but it wasn’t in Canada. (In retrospect, Canada seems like a better choice than Virginia, though, Dad.)

So listen up, White Americans That Voted For Trump (which is unfortunately most of you). In case you missed all the subtleties of this post — and because I’m in need of an angry rant — let me be clear:

You are a bunch of willfully ignorant fucking middle schoolers. Blinded by hair, money, or other, even less relevant qualities, you were too stupid to pick the right person for the President, even though you benefitted from the excellent work she did on your behalf FOR YEARS.

Grow up. Please. The rest of us are stuck in the same school with you.  And we’d really prefer that the building not explode because you clueless fucks didn’t bother paying attention in Science Class.

See you for high school midterms in two years.

I hope you’ve matured by then.

Published by

Autumn Ashbough

WF writing about the humorous perils of life with Chinese-American significant other.

37 thoughts on “The United States of Junior High (#156)”

  1. They’re not stupid, they’re just desperate. Fed up with the political elite ignoring white working class voters. This is EXACTLY what happened with Brexit. It’s also exactly why the polls said we would stay in the EU on polling day too, like with the US election projecting a comfortable Clinton win.

    1. No, sorry, I disagree. They are stupid. Or at least ours are. White people refused to do their homework and look at the numbers. Hard numbers show that unemployment is down, the economy is better, more of them have health care. The country is in much better shape now than under Bush. Yet the Republican party has convinced them to vote against their own economic self interests, time and time again, in the name of religion or the phobia of your choice. But instead of doing the actual research and giving it some hard thought, they took the easy route, listened to a two-bit hustler spin lies about greatness without a plan, looked at Facebook “news” and voted against themselves yet again. And it’s not just working class. White, college educated males were right there with them.

      1. Eh, while I agree with you here, there is the larger issue that should be mentioned. While both candidates were unpopular and lacked crossover appeal, the reality is that DT was able to mobile his base of support simply by mentioning HC.

        Furthermore, DT is the populist version of BO, whereas HC is the ultimate Washington/corporate insider. Automatically handicapped.

        But it is true that people’s votes are e based on popularity. Nerdy, political wonks don’t win elections unless they are also perceived as being cool.

        1. HRC was cool for a while. While she was working and holding her blackberry and traveling all over the world.

          I don’t want cool people. I want smart people. People smarter than me, people wonkier than me. People I can respect.

        2. This is a great point, about the disdain for the Washington “insider.” Bernie made that same point. After getting an email from my supposedly progressive white brother-in-law about how he was scared for his daughters but also “excited” about how Trump was a finger in the eye of “ossified political elites,” well, it really brought home the “outsider” outrage that Trump channeled in even supposedly educated white males. I guess white privilege means you never have to worry that your rights will be infringed upon by a dictator. (See Germany, 1935, for how that really works out, though.)

          1. Ever heard of Allan lichtman and his “13 keys” to predicting presidential elections? He correctly predicted presidential elections since 1984–including DT. Worth a look at. Much better than crappy pols.

            My heart sank when HC won the D nomination.

            I winced when she chose TK as her running mate.

            Her DNC acceptance speech was uninspiring.

            I think people will now realize that yes, the white vote counts.

            Jobs count. The culture war continues.

            HC cannot run again.

            1. Well, yeah, but she still won the popular vote, and if the Scalia hadn’t gutted the Voting Rights Act and local governments hadn’t passed voter ID laws, she would have taken Wisconsin and NC, at the very least.

        1. Oh, plenty of room to bitch about the press as well. Have at it. She still won the popular vote, and had there not been systematic disenfranchisement of minorities in FL, KY, NC, WI and other places, she would have had the electoral vote as well. And it’s definitely much nicer to think of the votes for Trump as votes against economic policy or disgust with business as usual in Washington. But white privilege is having the luxury not to worry about the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic rhetoric.

          Until they’ve run out of those easy targets and come for you, too.

          Already Trump’s Twitter feed is echoing Putin in 2000, insisting that the college/ high school students protesting his election are “professional protesters.”

  2. Great post. I know you had a hard time writing it, but I’m glad you did.

    Loved your comparison of the hard worker vs the popular, yet ineffectual, class leader. The popular people were always class president at my school too. Isn’t politics fun? Just like grade school. :/

    Have you spoken to your father about the upcoming presidency? He had a lot of experience inside the beltway. Curious to hear his thoughts.

    1. I will let you know what Dad’s take is. He was more pessimistic than I was — I guess he knows white males better than I do. Or, DAD, if you are reading the comments, you could tell us yourself!

      1. Well these things:

        SCOTUS
        ACA repealed, or more likely, unfounded
        Planned Parenthood
        Roe v Wade
        Title IX
        Tax Breaks/cuts, etc

        And I haven’t gotten to security issues, foreign policy

        I wouldn’t be surprised if we get dragged into another conflict. Perhaps we could hope for a military coup.

        1. Most of us are not going to support a corrupt politicians that can’t handle classified information, disrespects us personally (ask mil and le people on her detail), erode our 2A rights, accept foreign money, and have left us to die in Libya and other places.

          FYI, I didn’t vote for either of the mainstream candidates and can’t stand Trump.

          Respectfully,
          Most Combat Arms Personnel

          1. Thank you for commenting, aassdf!
            First, thank you for your service. On today of all days, our nation owes you nothing but gratitude and respect. I hope our VA improves and our thanks and respect are communicated to you in a more tangible way. As it should be. Our Veterans deserve better.

            Now, about HRC. No argument about the server. HRC definitely could and should have handled her emails much better. So, too, should have the Republican administration before her, with their 22 million missing emails. I would argue that while the Clinton Foundation did indeed accept foreign donations, there was never any pay-to-play violations. As for our forces being left to die, Congress cut back much of the funding for consulate protections; HRC was cleared and as much as the Republicans have hated her for years, the fact that she has never been found guilty speaks more to me than the aspersions cast by men who’ve made a cottage industry out of hating Hillary.

            HRC, like most gun owners and democrats, supports the Second Amendment while believing regulations (especially on assault weapons) and background checks. President Obama never came for anyone’s guns, but the gun lobby and gun manufacturers certainly raked in the cash. Ironically, gun sales are already dropping precipitously, which I find grimly amusing.

            I have never heard any stories of poor treatment of the military by HRC, but am willing to listen. All I saw was Trump comparing his own sacrifices to that of Gold Star families…while being unable to remember which foot had such defects that he was unable to serve his country.

            I am glad you did not vote for him, even if your non-vote for Hillary helped make an orange pustule on the butt of humanity our President-elect.

            FYI, if you look at the popular vote, you will see that more of the country did vote for Hillary than did not.

            Most Respectfully, With Admiration and Thanks,

            Autumn

      2. From what I’ve seen over the years a majority of white males either resent or dislike, if not both, strong women, but usually won’t admit it, even to themselves. Those feelings are both stronger and more cleverly hidden in politics.

  3. I found the acceptance speech surprisingly amiable. Let’s see how this goes! You can move to China, where you won’t need to worry about this elections and democracy thing 😛

    1. Ugh. Actually, there’s a huge move in California to leave the United States right now. I don’t think it’s the right move, because we’re dooming the rest of the U.S. to be permanently red, but I can’t blame my fellow Californians.

  4. Exactly how I feel. It was like a train wreck happening 🙁 But as Marta said, the victory speech wasn’t all that bashing. Stupid is a very dangerous thing. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. So, poker face.

  5. And of course don’t forget the hatred element. This election result has given closet racists the confidence to be more open and bold with their racism. Asians on Facebook have already reported several encounters, including a lone woman being told “they’re going to send all chinks home” at a gas station before she sped away, and latino kids crying as the white kids sang “build the wall”.

  6. Great middle school story! As you said, we have too many willfully ignorant middle school voters. Last night on Colbert, Neil deGrasse Tyson said we need to make America smart again. Well, the “again” may not have been accurate. I wish people would use their heads. They seem to get a feeling and then make up a justification for their feeling.

    The current justification that has been annoying me is this complaint about the “elites.” People seem to be using it for everything they can think of. My brother-in-law criticized an article based on statistics as spouting the view of the elites, and he is as elite as anyone I know. Unlike Donald, he didn’t go undergrad to Wharton. He got his MBA there. All this talk about the elites sounds like a teenager saying he doesn’t like the popular clique or the good students or the top athletes. Just because.

  7. Just like the protests, these signs of “defiance” are irrelevant when it comes to minorities put in genuine, life threatening situations.

  8. The reality is that the Congress is republican. That also tells a story. Why don’t democrats get their act together to change this? I propose gerrymandering-based relocation. Democrats from strong blue states should consider moving to swing states, help register minoroties and protect their right to vote. Also send those college bound kids who were under 18 this year to colleges in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania. And help educate people without sounding too “smart” about it. Because people like to feel included and equal.
    For now, let’s try to compensate for the impact that the following 4 years may have on the rights that we care about: for instance we can donate for free birth control to those who can’t afford it.
    HIllary was my ideal candidate – republican enough in economic matters, democratic on civil issues. E-mail server – I don’t care, it’s most likely that it was better protected than using a government server. Foundation – what’s the problem with receiving money from foreign countries? The foundation did support a lot of causes in foreign countries, so why use only American money? We want NATO members to pay their share, but we don’t want foreign rich to pay their share in charity? Especially when it was so well organized? Lybia – it’s a tragedy! How many thousands of innocent people died under all previous administrations? Elitism / political insiders – the vast majority of previous presidents were educated at Ivy League universities, but she was the first in her family, not like GW Bush who attended Yale where his father went, was the son of a president and vice- president etc. Canada’s prime minister is the son of a prime minister. They are in the circles, they know best how to do it. Nothing wrong with that if they are capable.
    It’s a shame that she lost, but democrats should learn from it. She should have had the “smarts” also, not only be smart. She should have shed a tear or two on Oprah’s couch when her husband’s infidelities were revealed, to show that she is human. Obama has won a lot of supporters by making fun of himself. Or being honest about certain things. Instead of saying “but I didn’t inhale” he said “that was the point.” She should have known better about the email server. “Convenience” is not a compelling argument. She should have known better about the Foundation. Because unlike me, many cared.

    My hope is that Trump will not destroy the progress made in civil liberties. He doesn’t care about abortion, he is not against same-sex marriage (despite all he has said during the campaign), and I hope he will surprise everyone with a veto if it gets that far. As for the economy, nobody can tell for sure which recipe is best, renowned scholars can’t agree, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

    1. Hello, Maple, and thank you for the comment(s). You make a lot of excellent points. I would just argue that while Trump was once a democrat, Pence will likely be running the show, and he does care — very deeply — about outlawing abortion and the LGBTQI community. Add white supremacist Steve Bannon as chief strategist and, sadly, I think your/ our hope for at least the status quo in civil liberties is unlikely. And don’t even get me started on the Supreme Court.

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