I’m not at all sure why so many people are surprised at what happened yesterday in Washington, DC.
From the first moment I heard that awful man speak, telling the world he was running for president, I knew exactly what he was. It was like a terrifying flashback to my time with Captain Bligh, trapped in that abusive relationship, unable to break away because of all the obstacles he put in my path. The daily rants, the commands that I humiliate myself to stay in his good graces, the constant gaslighting, the lies, beating my dog, the Food Rules, and on and on.
I felt sick, but I had faith that Americans would be able to see through his lies – surely no one could say he would be good for this country, right? Surely people would do the Right Thing, even if they didn’t particularly care for Hillary Clinton, wouldn’t they? Surely history has taught us what happens when people like him get a taste of power – those lessons hadn’t been forgotten, had they?
And then he won the election and his followers, including those who worked at my office, rejoiced, knowing he would punish “those people” and confirm their particular brand of insanity. Of course, they don’t call it that, but the rest of the modern, civilized world does, and they laughed at our stupidity.
Until the madness began, and their mirth turned to trepidation.
But surely the American people would regain their senses, wouldn’t they?
People of color began to be murdered in numbers that could not be denied. The orange child declared there were “good people on both sides” and his followers rejoiced.
People began to protest and the orange child declared democrat mayors and governors were a yuge problem and encouraged his followers to “stand by,” fueling the terrible, desperate desire in some people to be a “hero” and “rescue” others from the tyranny that has never existed against white christians. Yeah, I said it – there is no war on christianity and hasn’t been since ancient times.
These are facts, but the orange child did not find them useful, so he incited his base to even more despicable acts, emboldening them with his propaganda, using his considerable clout to whip them into a frenzy he was counting on to keep him in office. Sadly, it was all based on lies and half-truths and conspiracy theories the (ignorant, uneducated, indoctrinated) American public lapped up as fast as they could.
Then, one Autumn day, 2019, a new threat hit our shores and the orange child told his cult of followers it was nothing to worry about and to carry on giving money to the very rich while debasing themselves in every way to prove their loyalty to him.
Now, 361,000+ Americans have died as a direct result of his mismanagement of this crisis and the unwavering belief of his followers that “it will magically disappear on November 3, no matter who wins,” and other such lies. I think we can all agree it hasn’t just disappeared and we are now in a crisis the likes of which the world has never seen, and, for America at least, it’s the fault of one man.
Having lost the election, both the popular vote AND the electoral collage, the orange child then started a round of lawsuits, every one of which was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. His base railed against the imaginary injustice the orange child kept on about, further inflaming them, convincing them their world was ending if they didn’t do something to “save democracy.”
In spite of all evidence to the contrary, his base continued to believe his lies, including some very powerful people in our government who decided to stage a stunt on the House floor during the (purely ceremonial) reading of the electoral votes yesterday.
The orange child went outside to speak with his fans, encouraging them to “stop the steal,” and lamenting once again his loss to Joe Biden.
And then the idiots started rioting, breaking into the Capitol building and causing chaos. For the most part they were not wearing masks and many had traveled from all across the country to see and participate in this spectacle – now they’ll go home (if not to jail) to further spread COVID and keep this country at a standstill even longer.
When a person in power encourages people to “stand by” or “take action” but gives no specific orders, he can count on *someone* taking up his sword to do something stupid – it’s called stochastic terrorism, and the orange child has been using it to cause chaos for four years.
Yesterday I tuned in to see if Mike Pence would do his duty or buck the constitution to prove his loyalty to the orange child. I was encouraged by his speech at the beginning, but then the smug repugs started in with their objections and the riot was on.
I needed to pick up a few things from the grocery store, so I reluctantly headed out at “lunch” time. When I returned, my neighbor, Marty, dashed out her front door, looking almost gleeful.
“Did you see what’s happening in DC?” she asked.
“Of course,” I replied, “it’s shameful what that awful man is doing to this country! He’s a sore loser and people are dying because of it.”
I’m afraid I was not in a very charitable mood and was not about to listen to more of her bullshit about “good people.”
I have never stated out loud what my political views are when talking with Marty. I have tried to gently redirect her more Out There propaganda statements or point out where her “facts” don’t agree with reality, or to remind her she’s a hypocrite about certain hard-core beliefs, but I’ve never been nasty or said we can’t be friends even though we’re on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
I am a good loser – I don’t deal in rumors and I don’t blindly accept lies, but I also admit that our democratic process worked as it was designed to work, and acceptance is the only way forward. I ignored all the “fuck your feelings” and laughter directed towards those who did not go along with the orange child’s agenda, secure in the belief he would be voted out this time around. I did not antagonize anyone who does not share my political views. I’ve tried really hard to be a good citizen and trust in the system. I did not post political rants on this here blog or try to convince anyone their views were not supported by reality.
And then. She told me she “votes with her heart.” She went on to say she votes for the person she feels will do the best job, no matter what their party affiliation. She voted for that man. Twice. I’ve had to swallow my disgust for four long years, and it has become too much.
She saw the look of thunder on my face and took another tack, complaining about how unfair it was that the moment he took office the investigations began.
I pointed out that Hillary Clinton has been investigated for the past 40 years because people just can’t believe a woman could have the brains to reach for the White House unless she’s a baby-eating lizard alien pedophile, yet no charges have ever been made, no indictments, no jail time, nothing at all.
“Well, she should have been arrested for those pant suits!” Marty declared.
And I lost my mind.
“You wouldn’t be saying that if she was a man,” I snarled. “Your guy looks like a baboon in a suit, but you have nothing to say about that, or about all the laws he’s broken, or all the people who are now dead because he fucked up the management of this COVID crisis, or all the 3000+ lawsuits against him, or tax evasion, or inciting people to riot because he’s a sore loser! He needs to man up, admit he lost, and let the sane people get back to the business we voted them in to do. What’s happening today is shameful and the entire world is laughing at us.”
Pretty sure I went on for a bit before I got myself back under control, but I don’t remember what I said in my haste to get the bottled up anger out before I exploded all over our shared driveway. Her look of shock brought me back to reality.
She started backpedaling, more shit about “good people on both sides” and such, but I shut her down.
“There is only one man to blame for everything happening today. Over 360,000 have died, 3000+ die every day in this country. People are going to be hurt and die today. There is no one to blame but the asshole sore loser sitting secure in his office watching the mayhem and laughing. You will not convince me otherwise. I have to get back to work.”
And I went back inside to stew all day about the fact that my neighbor is a hateful person. Judging from her expression yesterday, she is perfectly happy to see chaos in our nation’s capitol if it’s in the name of “stopping the steal” but she roundly condemned BLM protests.
She’s a hypocrite.
She’s a hater.
She’s my neighbor.
She’s your neighbor, too.