On January 6 I asked myself, "Will this be remembered as the day that the United States officially became a third world country?" You know, because the godawful health care system and constant mass shootings (before the pandemic interrupted them) weren't enough. Living through history is so much fun, isn't it? It's made me think more about the thought experiment I started last week, of what I would say to my hypothetical future kids, or more precisely, what I wouldn't have to say.
I'm glad I won't have to tell them that when a narcissist running for president said he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the United States and bragged about molesting women, I voted for him.
I'm glad I won't have to tell them that when the narcissist won anyway, I spent four years bending over backwards to kiss his butt and defend every indefensible thing he said or did.
I'm glad I won't have to tell them that when he started making crap up about voter fraud and attempting over and over again to subvert legitimate election results and stay in power, I believed him.
I'm glad I won't have to tell them that when the country protested like never before against police officers murdering black people, I defended the police officers and blamed the black people.
I'm glad I won't have to tell them that when a once-in-a-century pandemic hit, I pretended it was the flu and refused to be inconvenienced by it in any way because the only person who mattered to me was me.
I don't have much stamina left to continue being frustrated by the mindless worship of Trump that I see everywhere and which will, unfortunately, continue long after he's been put in his place. And yet it continues to blow my mind anew as if I'm discovering for the first time just how brainwashed ostensibly good people can be. How can they be so very, very blind? Are they living in an entirely different reality than mine? I just recently figured out the perfect analogy to explain how I feel. It's like in "Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!" when the crew puts a bucket on a coat rack and calls it Bucky the Robot and consistently talks about him like he's an actual robot, except for Pamela Mae Snap, who is consistently frustrated by her inability to make them understand that he's just a bucket on a coat rack.
Then I thought a little more and remembered that the analogy is even more appropriate than I first realized.
In Trump's case, though, I would say no, we really haven't. Compared to him, Nixon is practically Jesus.
This riot was an obvious direct result of his incendiary rhetoric for the last five years, his attempts to overturn democracy for the last two months, and of course his goading and lying to the rioters immediately before they rioted. It was provided by entitled white people who were perfectly happy to condemn riots for racial justice, ignore peaceful protests for racial justice, and whine about a black football player kneeling for racial justice, but who melted down like toddlers because a majority of voters rejected everything their god stands for. I never condone riots, but I can tell the difference between ones that stem from legitimate pain (the ones last year) and ones that don't (this one). And I don't believe for a moment the conspiracy theories that left-wingers infiltrated the crowd and tried to keep Trump in office to make Trump supporters look bad. It's laughable that Trump supporters think they need outside help to make themselves look bad.
It's old news now and I don't have much else to say about it. I just think it's funny how police officers "fear for their lives" whenever a black person exists, but when an army of white domestic terrorists attempts an unprecedented coup of the United States government, suddenly they remember how to do things besides violence. And by "funny" I mean "sickening". This is a case where the police would have actually been justified in mowing everyone down like rabbits. This is a case where the police had an actual urgent need to defend themselves. Because they didn't, one of them died and more than fifty were injured. It's a statistical certainty that several of those deserved to be injured, but I'm sure not all of them did. Okay, but it's great that they remained committed to non-lethal force and arresting each of the surviving rioters peacefully over the next few weeks. Arresting so many white people is a good step toward correcting the massive racial disparity in American prisons.
I recently compared the voter fraud allegations to creationist "science" as explained by this cartoon that offended me when I was a creationist because it's true:
The analogy is a good one not just because conspiracy theorists seek evidence for what they already believe, however, but also because they set up the voter fraud hypothesis so it can't be falsified even when such evidence fails to materialize. If the overwhelming majority of biologists reject creationism, that's not an indication that creationism is nonsense, it's proof of a widespread conspiracy. If every judge throws out Trump's lawsuits for lack of evidence, that's not an indication that his lawsuits are nonsense, it's proof of a widespread conspiracy. The same people who constantly deride the government for being unable to do anything right sure have a supernatural level of faith in its abilities all of a sudden. And of course, in both situations, people behave irrationally and reject reality because they feel like their core religious values are being threatened. The only difference is which god they worship.
Thursday will mark a year since I came this close to killing myself, and to be perfectly honest, this week was the first time I felt grateful that I didn't. I've had some happiness since then, of course, but at no point did I think "Gee, I'm so glad I stayed alive so I could experience this damn pandemic and month after month of excruciating isolation even by my standards. This was so worth it." Watching Trump self-destruct like the Hindenburg in his final days of power is the first experience in that time that's brought me pure, unadulterated joy. It's the first experience in that time that was worth staying alive for. Okay, so my joy is schadenfreude, but if getting excited about his comeuppance after he's actively made millions of people's lives worse for four years makes me a bad person, sue me.
If Trump can somehow avoid all the criminal charges facing him as soon as he leaves office - and why not, when he's never faced any consequences for his actions before - his future is still bright. He is, after all, a rabidly xenophobic pathological liar with an anger management problem. I'm sure any police department in the country would be thrilled to have him.
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.