–for Albert Camus
We think that maybe the political rancor converging upon election day may have lessened in these harrowing days of near quarantine and isolation. No, the politics, while perhaps less widespread, have devolved into psychotic, not-even partisanship, smaller hordes of people assigned new sorts of blame on each other, each more ridiculous than the other, slinging out hash that rings purely of temper tantrum.
This is not an attack on Bernie Bros, nor, even, despite an ongoing feud pocketed here throughout Recording Editorial History, not even an assault on the occasional subhumans who for one reason or another are passionately humbled before the alter of Trump. No, we can remove the specific titular party and witness more of the extremists and the cynically sarcastic slugging it out, convinced that ever word they state is absolutely devastating. The offense these people take seems more organic, outside of the issue in play, just the simple outrage of one so convinced they are in the right that they don’t even bother to consider what the other person has to say.
Here, take a look:
The Drunk, No Longer Passionate, Merely Exhausted
- So sad every time.
- ME TOO!!!
Does Liking This Mean I’m Naughty?
- I can’t help it! And i use the F word a lot too!
Me (responding to the original moving image)
- That makes you a fool. One must hear different sides–whether fundamentalist, serious, or outright stupid, in order to understand the world.
I’m Gonna Logically Explain My Position, and Offer Some Home-Spun Knowledge to Lead the Way
- Under most circumstances I would agree with you, but after two years of lie after lie coming from this administration anyone but a fool would understand that there is no legitimate “other side” to listen to. As my grandmother would say, “these people would try the patience of a saint”.
Me (Always Working, An Experienced Interviewer, Judicious in My Biases)
- You are making too broad of a generalization, expecting every single one of them to be irrational loons. That is how you get the fence-sitters to join the cult.
- Except the truth is the truth
Me (Ending For the Night, a Finish Comment)
- And while this may be true, that does not mean that people believe the actual version of the truth. The fact that they are wrong never enters into their perception. You’re the one that’s wrong, to them. You want something from them through your lies. Sound familiar? It is the terrifying world we presently live within.
All of this pettiness . . .
I believe this is too simple a response. Yes, sure, Trump wants his billions, but he has evolved beyond such notions. I realize that the scientific term implying evolution might seem false, but the evolution of which I speak, for this self-proclaimed master builder, is his newfound desire to undertake actual Empire Building. Yes, Putin was useful when he was needed, but fuck him too, now. What’s he gonna do? I’m gonna nuke him if he gets out of line . . .
Remember when Trump wondered, when first running for President, why the US had decreased it’s nuclear stockpile. He said that under him the industry would rise again. It was a successful business proposition, at least economically, and since that is all the man cares about, he took it as a win. So we built up our arsenal to a level under which the late-Cold War panic years of the 1980s would wither to dust. I first I thought that Trump was just a salesman, some giddy, hopping clown giving an offer you can’t refuse, seeing the greatest sale ever in a few nuclear cores, sold to the highest bidder, no matter who they were. But no, no, I believe that must be wrong. (I once wrote a piece, twice republished, called “Donald Trump is an Arms Dealer.” It promoted this theory.) Now I think that Trump is playing more than just Monopoly. He has found a new game, a traditional American (and European) game: World Conquest, eliminating the buzzing flies of a disgruntled population in order to restore a corporate-styled order. This fear is far more dire than even the most virulent plague, to the survivors, struggling with the sorrow of so much horrendous death, yet now facing the powerful monsters looking to take advantage of our desiccation.
I wish things were just so base and greedy–cartoonish, Snidely Whiplash twirling his curved mustache, chortling whatever sound Hans Conreid devised to portray maniacal laughter–but they are not. They are very serious. This threat is very serious. Now, expecting Trump’s career of utter failure, no doubt his game will end in disaster, and not the kind that wipes out half of the earth. He’ll just fuck up, lose interest, then move on to banging whatever other broad is looking his way. We will be left to pick up the pieces. With this violent partisan ire, it feels like the dawn of the French Revolution.
©2020 Lance Polin