It hurts. A lot. I keep trying to think through the gordian knot that is latter-day American politics. I keep groping for scissors. Maybe to cut the knot, maybe because holding something tangible would be reassuring. It wouldn’t have to be scissors. A hunk of pigiron, perhaps a piece of a collapsed, neglected bridge or perhaps the cornerstone of the Washington Monument after Donald John Trump’s thugs topple it in a second wave, the door left open by most Senate Republicans, more interested in power than duty.
But they aren’t alone. There’s the majority of House Republicans. And plenty of the state ones. And their base of electors, who prop them up. And their donors, who call the shots. And they’re all doing the same tired drama they’ve been doing for a dozen years in its latest incarnation. Since the Tea Party. And that was just an off-Broadway tour of the 1990s Gingrichite cult of madness, which was itself a badly done remake of the 1980s Reaganite B-movie based on a 1960s Goldwater pulp novel.
But the modern telling always comes back to Obama. Were they really so disgusted to have a Black president?! He did a decent job, not that they could know. Their media couldn’t ever say that.
They’ve gotten worse. Their voters don’t seem to mind. But there has to be some limit. There is no natural infinity in politics. When the oceans rise, the wells dry up, the wet-bulb bursts, and everyone scatters into new demographic fractals, perhaps. Or sooner? What could be that sooner, to avoid those dead forests, to skip a mass extinction? Bang. Bang. Bang.
It hurts because you end up chasing your tail, catching it, interrogating it. Are you following me, tail? Who sent you? It hurts because it all comes back to their media, which is built on selling them little capsules of dried dog piss that will give them superpowers. That’s the entire empire of modern Republicanism: you’re up all night with insomnia, buy a new pillow.
But not all Republicans. Some good ones exist—in terms of not wanting to see America go to pot. But most of that cream still doesn’t believe in taxation or in any real progress. They aren’t willing to stand up for voting. They aren’t able to say why we shouldn’t ban gerrymandering, but they won’t vote to ban it.
The Republican media feeds lies to the voters, after midnight. It gets them wet. And it keeps them in the dark. If the lies were true, their actions would make sense enough. If people you know believe orange things are hot, and someone tosses you a tangerine, you drop it and blow on your hands. That’s the level. But cracking it?
American propaganda. Poisoning the minds of our brothers and sisters. Making them believe all kinds of crackpot things. Bang bang. Bang.
What do Republicans believe? I’d have to write at least four lists:
- What the voters believe.
- What the Republican media believes.
- What the politicians believe.
- What the donors believe.
The voters believe, as I’ve said before, in some single-issues such as guns or abortion. But many also believe in the sort of posturing and freewheeling feelgood lying that their politicians employ (they’re job creators for fact checkers, after all). They like to be pandered to, to be told they’re downtrodden, but they also like to see the vulnerable beaten up by their leaders.
The Republican media believes in making money by delivering a gullible audience to advertisers. They believe in helping to make that audience more gullible by bending or fabricating narratives to mislead. (The media in general does this, more or less, but few do it as cynically or radically as Republican media does.) They don’t really care about the politics, but see that as their way to an audience.
The Republican politicians are about like the media, with the caveat that many have one or more dear policy preferences (like the single-issue voters) or buy some version of what amounts to a philosophy (and, again, most politicians are on the spectrum, but while most are green, maybe blue, Republicans are ultraviolet (and sometimes ultraviolent)). Some of their policy preferences are about power rather than principle. They care about judges for the sake of power. It’s unclear if they would bother to run a serious presidential candidate but for the president nominating judges.
Finally, the donors. Like voters, some have a pet issue, except they all have a pet issue: keeping Uncle Sam’s greasy hands off their precious. So some have two, whether the second is guns or cigars or punishing groups they dislike.
Bang, bang bang bang bang bang bang. Hurts! the noggin, it does. Why do I have to think about all these people who won’t think for themselves?! Cruel and unusual punishment, without due process of law! I’m duty-bound as a citizen to care, but I didn’t sign up for these kinds of problems. Teach did not say this would be on the test.
What kind of world are they living in?! A constructed world, made to sell cheap scams to them, made to push their buttons to keep them coming back. A world where they believe the lies are true, where Donald John Trump can outgolf Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-Sung put together (I’m not clear if Kim Jong-un golfs).
They don’t care if the lie is false. They care more about the pretend result: them in power. They don’t realize it won’t happen, that Donald John Trump and other devils won’t share their power. They want to be the chosen ones. They love that about Donald John Trump: that he always wants to be the big shit, even as he does it poorly and to no useful end. They love it, the idea of being on top of the world, of eating all the cake, of being able to break things, to throw them aside.
I think that (bang bang) is part of why it’s so hard (bang) to understand who we’re really dealing (bang bang bang) with here. They want to be able to wave a magic wand, to make people bow before them. That’s so foreign to most peoples’ ideas of a good life. It’s the GOD complex. Straight out of the power-pervert’s Bible, where the whole point isn’t about making humanity function, it’s about God’s power over man.
Are we really held hostage by the poor mental health of our fellow citizens, so insecure in the blessings of liberty that they will continue to elect and support these villains to derail any real coherence in our national destiny?! Are they bouncing between pixelation and hangover, under the addict’s spell of confusion, paranoia, and self-debasement, in their junkie’s quest for final and unadulterated power? Heh. Could be.