Generally, I do not write about politics, but my often deeply personal writing is always deeply political, if by “political” one means rooted in larger forces, both seen and unseen. That is to say I am incapable of separating who I am, what I believe, and what I have lived from the historical, social, economic, and cultural influences that have shaped me.
As a young girl and then as a grown woman, I suffered considerable emotional, sexual, and physical abuse — perpetrated, also, by a few doctors. Yet, while it is true that I have been badly wounded by these abuses, my deepest scars come from the violence my soul has had to endure. Those who are violent, even (or perhaps especially) if it is emotional violence they inflict, are incapable of seeing the humanity that animates their victims, and they lack the capacity for self-awareness and self-honesty that would enable them to do so. How else could they justify the pain they cause?
I grew up in an extended family of arrogant, self-deluded, cruel misogynists; even the women hated women (or, more precisely, they hated themselves). So when I listen to Donald Trump speak hatefully and cruelly about women — and speak grandiosely and with high regard about himself — I have to admit that I feel right at home. Although he is as much a victim of history and culture as my family is and was, he nevertheless is a bankrupt and soulless human being who, if elected president, God forbid, would have me waxing nostalgic about those very dark Reagan and Bush years. And, while I am as left of left as they come, last night I was giddy to learn of Ted Cruz’s victory in Iowa because perhaps it means that Trump will soon be down for the count — though Cruz is only slightly less reprehensible than his rival.