I am in a state of rage. I have watched as the Republican party and its leader turn this nation into someplace I no longer recognize. America was never perfect but we were working toward a better future. President Obama left us poised to capitalize on the work he did, but we failed him and now we are looking at not only the undoing of all that he did but the destruction of many years of historic steps forward. A Republican party with no soul has power, and we are paying a grave price for our lack of attention and our smug superiority.

Americans have lived as if our democracy was assured. Now we know that not true.

We used to stand for law and order, yet now Republican Senators defend the president’s daily lies. They are standing up for embattled Attorney General Sessions, knowing that he lied to the Senate Intelligence committee about his meeting with Russians.

We used to care about the environment, even the GOP were defenders of the land, air, and water. No longer as they look to rape our nations park by allowing corporations to develop the land, have rolled back regulations that protect our water and have supported our lack of participation in the most important global climate agreement of our time.

Now, patriotism only requires one to wave a flag or wear one.

Standing up against a foreign nation who influenced our election and attempted to hack into our election systems is now “fake news” to be taken lightly and ignore. Lying is no big deal and the truth is subjective.

Today we watched as every single Republican Senator with the exception of two, voted to move forward into a debate to repeal Obamacare. Those that had stood against the tide crumpled. Heller, Portman, Johnson, Capito all capitulated to the politcal pressure. The possibility of the repeal of Obamacare and millions and millions of Americans losing their health insurance has exponentially grown. The GOP has made clear it will gut Medicaid and those with pre-existing conditions will not be able to afford their healthcare. Several have blamed people for being sick. Nothing about this is good for America.

Senator John McCain confirmed our worse fears as he voted to move forward. His speech was a testament to his hypocrisy and that of the GOP. His days as a hero and maverick are long gone. The days of the GOP being the party of “patriots” is too a distant memory.

But the worst I had to deal with today is when my husband and I had to talk about our daughters trip to the Museum of the City of New York. Unbeknownst to him, there was a Black Lives Matter exhibit.

In it was a large photo of a young Black girl with a sign that said, “I Hope I Don’t Get Killed For Being Black Today.”

My daughters are Black. That they had to see that and had to be told why that sign is real and why young Black girls and boys aren’t as safe as their white friends is not a conversation any parent should have to have. Black parents have to have that conversation. I am not Black, my husband is and I can only imagine his rage as I barely can contain mine.

Being Black in the United States of America means that you don’t get to live in the same world as white people enjoy. Being a woman means that you have to answer to other people for your reproductive choices. Being a Black woman means that you must endure not only the rage of being a Black person in this white privileged society but also that of being a woman in a nation now run by the GOP who care not for your safety, don’t believe you when you are raped and thinks that too often women are making it all up.

I rage for my daughters and husband.

I rage for so many Americans who will not have health insurance.

For all those that have been “othered” by the GOP – Muslim Americans, immigrants, undocumented workers who have come here looking for a better way of life, they too deserve our compassion, the sentiments embodied by the Statue of Liberty, and for them, I rage.

For those that love who they choose, for whom heterosexual imposed norms are meaningless; for those that choose to live the gender of their being I rage. Already facing laws that attempt to discriminate against them, this too will get worse as the GOP prosecute their agenda.

Today I find my power in my anger. Tomorrow I will return to love, but not today.

-Jan Harrison


  1. Jan, all I can say to this powerful rant of yours is that I share your rage. I am fighting in every way I can for all we have lost in these short six months. Surely right will prevail if we cultivate the fields. Surely.

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