Studio Glibly @NoTotally Shaun Lau. He/him residing on unceded Tongva land. Sep. 24, 2018 3 min read

"Why are they still trying to push Kavanaugh through?" I mean, at least part of it is that the GOP, as a party, is addicted to the pain of anyone below their line of demarcation between "human" and "subhuman."

Like, I think I've given too many people the benefit of the doubt for too long; I've spent a lot of time and energy believing that there are misunderstandings at play, and that eventually we can convince them of our humanity. I don't think that's the case.

Here's a thing: the dialogue- such as it is- from that side can be broken down into two broad categories: defining people as subhuman, and rejoicing in those people's pain.

For example, the most popular term they use for people they see or wants to see as political foes, the ableist portmanteau "libtard," is, I'd argue, so popular because it communicates the demarcation so tidily.

The history of humankind's relationship with mentally disabled folks is, in a chronological sense, the history of humankind's obsession with eugenics: it's only relatively recently that mentally disabled people have been institutionally recognized as people with a right to exist.

That history of dehumanizing or subhumanizing people at a scientifically-backed level is an important part of the history of all marginalized folks: people of color, white women, queer and trans people have all been medically violated by the majority under the same rubric.

This small slice of linguistic and categorical history represents an infinitesimal percentage of the many that seek solely to distinguish between human and subhuman; many of them have been efficientized into single words: f*g, ch*nk.

All of it provides an easy way to target someone whose delicious pain they can feast upon. That's the first part. The second part is creating an inciting incident to generate our public pain.

Those are, to put it mildly, fucking everywhere, because violence against marginalized people is not only normalized, but an outcome inherent to the vast majority of our systems. It's no accident that policing is anti-Black.

It's no accident that our immigration systems and border enforcement generate images of brown families being torn apart. Not an accident that our drones turn people of color internationally into NPCs.

We've got a pile of systems- that's what countries are- primed to generate pain, and for a lot of people, the only way they know how deal with that is to embrace it. The GOP, as a party, enriches its leaders and donors by turning half of the country into succubi.

The other side doesn't come out spotless, either. As bloodlust and the need to consume has become the default mode of motivation in US politics, it's clear that Democrats- mindfully or not- can't help but pile on.

That happens every time a candidate tries to distance themselves from BLM, or every time someone left-of-center makes a homophobic or ableist remark under the guise of "fighting back."

There isn't a middle ground in a system that feeds on pain, blood, and bodies. The GOP may currently own the more mature framework for harvesting human pain, but just because someone's on "the other team" doesn't mean we're not all headed in that direction.

Anyway, Kavanaugh needs to be rejected. And if he is, the Democratic Party are going to be the ones getting it done. That's important. But given the urges and incentives across the board, I continue to lack any optimism about, well, anything.


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