Cowardice

At this point it feels like I’m making my days needlessly complicated, but I spent most of today in the kitchen again. I’ve been using this old candy book my Mom picked up at some book sale to make a variety of candies and confections, today was the day I finally tried to make nougat. Going in, my knowledge of nougat was limited to the delicious center of Three Musketeers bars, but apparently the recipe I followed was for a different type of candy; weird note, but in researching whether I just fucked up or what I made was right I read about Three Musketeers and apparently the name derives from there being three little nougat bars in one package, vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate nougat. I’m honestly still not sure I didn’t screw something up, but the candy I made today is pretty delicious despite the fact that I had a pan of sugar boil over and spent about an hour scraping burnt and melted sugar off my stovetop and from under the burners. Dipping out by constantly busying myself with inane candy making or dipping out into a novel or a good detective show on Netflix makes me feel like I’m coward, that I just can’t handle the world and I’m choosing to deliberately ignore problems despite knowing that won’t make them go away. The chaos of the world definitely inspires anxiety in me and I’m generally the type of person who prefers to escape the world when I can, so on some level I know I am coward and the question really is whether or not it’s a problem. I don’t feel like my cowardice is particularly problematic relative the rest of the cowards out there.

Luckily we have pillars of cowardice to allay my anxieties that I’m alone or somehow worse than other people. I’m speaking, of course, of Paul Ryan. He apparently refuses to even criticize Trump for saying that he would’ve won the popular vote if not for millions of people voting illegally. I find Paul Ryan to be a particularly irritating apparition of an immoral agenda, but it’s important that he won’t push back on something so clearly wrong as claiming millions of people voting illegally cost Trump the election. Hell, I don’t think Trump really saved those Carrier jobs in the long run, but Ryan should be mad as hell about that if he has any real ideological commitment and he hasn’t said a peep about that either. It’s one thing for people like me, liberals and leftists, to criticize Trump and call him a rapist, racist, xenophobic, fraudulent, neo-fascist, but Trump and his base of support find it easy to ignore us; we’ve been the enemy for a long time. It’s people like Paul Ryan, people that are ostensibly on Trump’s side, that will be the difference between Trump rounding up Muslims and Mexicans and putting them in camps if he decides that’s something he actually wants to do and him being stopped. Opposition to something like that has to have power and the left in this country doesn’t have a ton of power, both politically in this moment and rhetorically with Trump and his base. The reality that all we have on the Right are cowards is just as frightening as the awful political agenda they’re being cowards to protect.

I starting writing this post as a sort of light-hearted jest at Paul Ryan for not standing up to Trump over a claim I think ultimately won’t matter, but honestly fuck him. He decided a long time ago that whatever awful shit Trump may end up doing to minorities and the violence and bigotry he’s already enabled is worth putting up with so that he can cut government assistance to the poor, disabled, and elderly in order to cut taxes for the wealthy donors that adore him so much. That seems like the definition of bigotry, being willing to profit from bigotry. If you’re willing to profit from bigotry, and Paul Ryan clearly is willing to, then you’re a bigot just like he is. Paul Ryan’s political agenda is going to succeed on the back of Trump’s bigotry and for him that’s worth not criticizing Trump for, so he’s a bigot. The idea that because he doesn’t say things that are ‘the definition of racist statements’ he’s not just as problematic and profiting just as much as Trump from Trump’s racists is ridiculous. Paul Ryan is the kind of coward that is so problematic that I feel just a little bit better about being a coward myself; I just tell myself ‘at least I’m not a Paul Ryan coward’ and feel a little bit better as I go on with my day.

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