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Farm Journal Entry

November 3, 2020

I’m having a hard time not getting distracted by troublesome thoughts. We’ve got a Supreme Court ready to go with plans to help Trump suppress voting and heavily armed paramilitaries awaiting a call to use violence to keep him in office. Meanwhile, the general public is being schooled in techniques to resist a coup.

My nightmare scenario is that Trump, who knows he has potentially absurd and nearly unchecked powers as President, declares some phony national emergency after the election to nullify the results, declaring something like widespread fraud. This brings out huge crowds and the nation comes to a standstill. With these thoughts in mind I told my family a couple of days ago it is probably a good time to stock up on supplies again, a line of thought that seems to be trending.

So what are we going to see when crowds of ordinary people amass in the streets? I do worry about the police, which the FBI has indicated have been infiltrated by White Nationalists. Will they open fire on largely peaceful protests even when they are orders of magnitude larger than what we saw this summer? Perhaps not, but the police have tended to allow armed extremists to carry out acts of violence instead, such as what happened in Kenosha. Will we see groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers shoot into crowds or run people over with heavy vehicles? It is no longer hard to imagine that, in fact for me it is hard not to imagine that so I’m having trouble sleeping and concentrating even with a huge Biden win very likely. The narrative on the far right is of dehumanization so that by now anyone seen protesting against Trump will be identified as a foreign enemy, not a fellow American citizen. Gun sales are surging and people are preparing to defend themselves against the “other side.”

My whole family sat down last night and voted. Oregon is a great place to be a voter. Ballots are mailed to you well ahead of the election. We had all the time we wanted to go over any item and research and talk it over. The process is secure and we can trace what happens to our ballots after we either mail them back or place them into any one of 32 drop boxes spread across our county of 90,000. I can’t fathom how frustrating and infuriating it would be to live where elected officials were actively trying to suppress voting. It takes a special kind of power hungry self-righteous asshole, one who knows they can’t win by playing fair, to do that.

While I’m voting for Democrats because they are the only practical force to slow the slide to full throttle fascism, there is no political party that represents my point of view as an ecologist. The most important issues are sidelined and misconstrued. For example, in the Crazy Town Podcast, created with my friends Asher and Rob, we have gone over Delusion to the Left and Denial to the Right, skewered the case for globalization that the political establishment has favored for decades, worried about the inability for the political left to talk about issues like population that end up driving people into the arms of the far right, ridiculed big environmental organizations for not understanding energy systems and censoring critics, promoted the never mentioned tactic of fair share rationing of essential goods and services to maintain social stability while dealing with overshoot, and imagined a politics of contraction where none of the political philosophies of the past few hundred years of expansionism are viable.

Amid my mental turmoil it was good to get away to the coast for a few days with my family this week. We hiked coastal bluffs and forests, explored beaches, and enjoyed each other in a relaxed setting, away from household and work duties. The white noise of the waves, the stunning beauty of nature, and the irrepressible throng of life soothed and lifted my spirits. We are a single species on a planet with complex life, and perhaps the only place in the universe with consciousness. Somehow, life evolved the capacity to love, which I sure hope is the dominant force on Earth over the coming weeks and years. That’s certainly the feeling that washes through me much of the time, even amidst the anxieties of the moment. I’m in love with the whole, awesome, gorgeous world.

My wife, Kristin, watching the sunset from Cape Perpetua, 800 ft asl overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


Photo by Sebastien Gabriel on Unsplash