It’s Time To Lose Your Shit
Since the election, I’ve been trying to write something funny or sarcastic. Something to entertain people. Something to escape to for a few minutes, to stop thinking about politics. But I can’t. Because right now, today, real time, I am watching our country slide into an abyss so dark and so evil, it’s hard to even fathom. I’m not usually the hysterical one. I’m usually the one telling other people to relax, that things are not so bad, that they’re just imaging worst case scenarios, to take it easy, ride it out, see how things play out. Not this time. It is time to freak out. You should be losing your shit. This has to stop. You have to do something.
What’s Really Going On
The point of critical thinking, staying informed, and trying to sort things out for yourself is to cut through the noise and figure out what’s really going on. Since the election, I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on about how we got where we are, who is calling the shots and what they are really trying to do. I think I understand.
Donald Trump is not a complicated man. He’s a narcissist. Not a narcissist like your colleague who is so annoying and talks about herself all the time. A medically diagnosable narcissist whose central trait is the need to receive praise. Each individual piece of information encountered by Trump passes through a singular filter – does this information come from someone who likes me or who doesn’t. That’s all. Trump doesn’t believe anything. He doesn’t know anything. He’s not trying to do anything. He’s a talented game show host and circus huckster who has successfully licensed his name to sell mail order steaks and scam university classes. And he’s a puppet. Anyone who can promise Trump continuous, ever-increasing attention and adulation, who can push the one button that his stunted brain responds to, can make him say or do absolutely anything. Trump is an easily manipulated marionette. So who is the puppet master?
Steve Bannon is who. Unlike Trump, Bannon does have beliefs. He does know a lot. And he is trying to do something. Bannon knows media. He knows how to manipulate hoards of people by appealing to their basest, worst human instincts. He has a master plan. His master plan is off the charts insane, and he is making it happen. THIS VIDEO is the single most horrifying and revealing thing I have seen since the election. Please watch it. It’s 2.5 minutes long. Ignore the melodramatic music and the kitschy pictures, and just listen to what Bannon is saying: We are at the “fourth great crisis in American history.” “There is a rot at the center of the Judeo-Christian west.” There is an “expansionist Islam, and the Judeo-Christian west is on the retreat.” “We’re only at the top of the first inning in taking our country back.” The man pulling the strings behind the curtain believes in a war of worlds – us versus Islam.
Reality Doesn’t Matter
23% of the world population is Islamic. The number of people who have pulled off jihadist attacks against the west is in the dozens. Those jihadists are deranged, poor and brainwashed. No different from the deranged, poor, brainwashed Judeo-Christians who pull off the same kinds of attacks citing verses from the Bible, the Constitution or whatever manifesto resonated with them. It’s blatantly obvious to anyone who thinks seriously for ten minutes about the reality of national security that there is no possible more potent way to assure terrorist attacks than painting 2.2 billion people as terrorists. The saddest irony of the election is that, in the name of national security, we have elected someone whose very swearing-in has made the world immeasurably more dangerous.
Fascism means finding a scapegoat and restricting freedoms in the name of security. There is going to be a terrorist attack. We are encouraging terrorist attacks. And when one inevitably takes place, it is clear what’s going to happen. Steve Bannon, whispering in the President’s ear, is going to use it as an excuse to lock down, kick out and round up Muslims. All Muslims. We look back in shame to the times in our history when our suspicion and ignorance won out over our humanity, when we rounded up, discriminated against and shut out one immigrant group or another. We can’t imagine ever doing that again to Jews, Italians, Irish, Japanese. And yet here we are. This is where we’re going. Right now.
YOU Have to Do Something
We cannot let this country be overrun by a tyrant. It is happening right now. This is far beyond a partisan issue. Republicans who thought they could look beyond Trump’s campaign words because “that’s just talk” and “he doesn’t really mean any of that” were wrong. He’s doing it. If you’re ignorant and insular and have been fed bad information all your life, I’m sorry. You got bamboozled. You think a war against Islam is going to keep you safe and bring back jobs, but it’s not. And for those of you who are capable of reading, who have the means to understand humanity as it exists outside of your zip code, but just don’t give a shit, and really don’t care about what we’re about to do to Muslims here and around the world, I don’t know what to say. You’re disgusting, and history will expose your indifference as unconscionable. And for the rest of you, please, read your history, ignore the noise and understand what is happening right here, right now, right in front of your eyes. Make a stink in whatever way works for you. But don’t just sit there. We’re better than this, and we have to make it stop.