Are you getting Anne Helen Petersen’s new independent newsletter? It’s consistently great, especially last week’s on anticipatory grief, worry about the election, and the privilege of worry about politics because you’re safe otherwise:

For white, liberal, middle-class people whose jobs are secure — and for whom the COVID recession is effectively over — a lot of that grief centers on the president, on politics, on fears that the election will be contested, that we’ll fall into constitutional crisis, that QAnon and Proud Boy militias will fill the streets.

This is a real and existential fear, and I don’t wish to diminish it. It haunts the corners of my mind. Sometimes I realize my stomach has turned on itself — as I did just one minute into the debate this week — and it’s just that now familiar psychological cocktail of dread, fear, and sadness. That’s grief! It’s just that it’s for society! …

It’s a privilege, albeit a twisted one, to be able to grieve on such a philosophical level. I’m able to do so in part because I’m not currently bereft by personal loss. My family is isolated and lonely but able to remain physically safe and economically stable. I’m effectively floating through my year but also have the wherewithal to figure out how to change my address on my voting registration. I feel pretty consistently untethered but have not lost members of my close community and extended family to COVID. I am so angry at how dysfunctional every corner of our government has proven itself but I am not warding off eviction.

It should not be a privilege to feel physically safe and economically stable; it should be the norm. It should not be a privilege to have a modicum of security about your ability to vote in a democracy; it should be the norm. It should not be a privilege to live in a place where the government does all that it can to contain a deadly virus, and it should not be a privilege to be able to avoid eviction. All that shit we now call “privilege” should just be the baseline of existence in countries as supposedly developed and rich as ours.


Emphasis mine, but god. Why isn’t it like this?  “I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people.”