It’s time to address the gigantic elephant in the room: How much damage to our American democracy can we tolerate by Trump and his insane posse, which are the following: loyal partisan shit-for-brains minions who gladly and willfully violate both the Constitution and legislated laws to protect the outlandish behavior of their psychopathic leader with his blithe venality and arrogant disregard for the rule of law; science-and-reason-and-logic-denying right-wing Jesus-freaks who wish to turn the USA into their private theocracy where their creepy religious dogma becomes federal law; hyper-malevolent rednecks and xenophobes and racists who want America to be white and Christian regardless of what non-white, non-Christians want; Fox News limp-wristed-quasi-fascist dork commentators (especially Hannity and Tucker “Why do we give a damn what this smug, douchie, tubby asshole says?” Carlson); idiotic elderly “get off my lawn” grouches who blame their shit lives and miserable disposition on everyone but themselves; and, mostly, the creepy oligarchic assholes financing it all who merely want all power rested in their control at the expense of the remaining 300 million citizens of the USA? Oh, how much damage this gaggle of virulently power-grubbing swine have done in the last three years. Too much.
Yes, America, we’re in a real pickle. Due to our uniquely weird Constitution, with its insane “two voting US Senators for each state even if that state has about 50 booger-eating idiots living in it while California by itself has 40 million people, is the fifth largest economy in the world (greater than the UK’s, which has 26 million more people than Cali!), and yet is represented by the same number of US Senators as these booger-eating DakotaWyomingTuckyDelaVermontTana states, where there are virtually no people and hardly any economy worth noting, and the equally appalling Electoral College where, as we saw in 2016, the winner by more than 3 million national votes lost to a far less popular candidate. Trump bragged about his “HUGE” victory, but, really, he took his sister to the prom and probably paid her to do so. Whooopee, Donald.
Some democracy we have in the USA. It’s a rigged democracy and we all know it. Trump and his foolish gang of thieves and liars and power-hungry creepies have just exploited it through clever gerrymandering and denying voting rights to millions of black and brown folk. Meanwhile the true majority must sit back and get royally corn-holed by this power-mad and insane minority-rule cabal of horrible ideas, grubby-greedy-sleazy wealth hoarding while tens of millions of citizens fall into poverty and ill health (our life expectancy in the USA since 1997 has declined while the rest of the “civilized” world experienced increases), and complete indifference to the fact our planet’s climate is heading to an Armageddon-like awfulness, sooner rather than later.
For the rapacious and power-nutty far-right and its oligarch overlords, it’s all about four simple things:
1. Tax cuts for the ultra-rich at the expense of everyone else. A simple wealth grab, period. A class war in which the upper 1/2 of 1% is kicking the crap out of the remaining 99.5%. You know, these super-wealthy “winners,” they need more yachts and vacation homes and private jets and Bentleys and caviar. They worked so hard to get where they are while the rest of us sat on our fat asses watching TV and popping Oxy. That’s what they think of we the lesser beings with no wealth. Bloomberg more or less said this in his first debate with the other Democratic candidates in Las Vegas. Oh, how hard he, and he alone, worked to make himself so fabulously rich. All those secretaries and IT techs and janitors who worked for Bloomberg, what a bunch of lazy bastards! They so deserve their meager wages compared to his bloated and obscene wealth thousands of times greater than their meager earnings. He did it all HIMSELF! Get it, losers? You deserve to be shit poor while he deserves to possess more wealth than a hundred million Americans combined. Tough titty. He and his ilk have rigged the game in their favor. Share their wealth? Screw YOU, commies. We’re merely their servants.
2. Criminalizing a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices to appease the Jesus freaks who apparently care more about this than the income inequality that makes a vast majority of these twits as poor and screwed as everyone else. Their willingness to self-destruct in order to maintain their religious “purity” is astonishly short-sighted and pathetic.
3. Cutting all government regulation even though most of it works fabulously at protecting the citizenry. Deregulation benefits the rich owner class and resigns the remaining 300 million citizens to living with a filthy air and water and food supply and zero protection from the dangers of unbridled industry, and also offers them mostly slavery-like employment prospects, and moreover forces diminishing political and economic power upon their futures.
4. Lastly, merely destroying anyone politically to the left of Heinrich Himmler and usurping all their purchase of governance. Listen to the mouthpieces of this madcap ideology. They don’t just hate anyone to the left of them, they want to crush them, eradicate them, and burn up even the mere memory they ever existed. Me, Social-Democrat and leftie that I am, just want to tax the super rich more and equitably distribute income more fairly, and maybe live in peace with even the biggest assholes out there if they will back off encroaching on my ability to live and speak and not worship some silly deity freely. That hardly makes me a menace. Yet in their eyes I am not just a fellow citizen who disagrees with these psychopaths, I am their enemy and must be first silenced, then marginalized, and then eradicated. I served my country with honor as a soldier, only to find myself considered unpatriotic and a traitor merely because I disagree with their twisted ideology and its power-rapacious fascism and eliminationalist intent towards its opposition. I, on the other hand, disagree with these morons ideologically, and vociferously so, but I do not wish them dead, nor even a smidgen of ill health upon their being. I just don’t like them and think they are raging assholes. But they are asshole Americans for whom I would have, as a US Army soldier for over seven years, gladly fought to the death with our foreign enemies to protect their right to be wrong and stupid and boorish and fanatically creepy. Notice the difference? (Complete transparency: If Tucker Carlson were lying on the ground engulfed in flames, I wouldn’t even pee on him to save him. Just saying. Even a magnanimous Liberal has limits to his or her compassion.)
That about sums up where we’re at in the USA in 2020. We still have tens of millions of amazing people who work hard, live right, and care about the future of fellow citizens and the planet’s health. Even the categories above that I mercilessly mock contain plenty of truly good folk who either have lost their gaddamn minds or are just wandering in an intellectual wilderness poisoned by their myopia and inability to accept science and facts contrary to their narrow worldview. They may be lost, but essentially most are good people too, patriotic, caring, lawful, mostly neighborly; however they hold acrimonious and often repugnant views, adamantly so, that are based on bullshit and not reality. It’s sad to witness this madness in such normally decent people.
The real zombie apocalypse we face isn’t that a virus has taken over the brains of people; it’s a zombie hoard fueled by the idiotic, deliberately divisive, and utterly specious sophistry and propaganda pumped into their naive brains by the lords of oligarchy and their sinister minions who do their evil work. These vile minions and mouthpieces pump up the hate and malevolence and spite in these sadly misguided, under-informed, and poorly-educated people with a overwhelming deluge of ugly and divisive sophistry and propaganda in order to divide the middle and working classes and keep them at each other’s throats, distracted by this unnecessary in-fighting, and meanwhile out the back door all the wealth of this nation gets put into the clutches of very small group. It’s a brilliant and successful tactic as we’ve witnessed.
The USA is at its heart populated with fine people. However, not enough people are angry enough, and care enough, to truly take back our government, economy, and environment from the destruction caused by this oligarchic coup d’état we’ve witnessed the last 30 years that is finally coming to fruition and turning our democratic republic into a totalitarian state run by the oligarchs, where our citizens have become subjects and serfs to this powerful oligarchic cabal, and meanwhile, sadly, most citizens are oblivious to this transfer of power from the people to the few ultra-rich assholes pulling the strings of our sham democracy.
One thing we must all understand is that Trump is merely the useful idiot propped to the top by the oligarchs because, even to their utter amazement, he’s wildly popular with the “base” peasantry the oligarchs need to vote for their seizure of political power. Trump himself is an egomaniacal fool and blathering buffoon by all accounts and is mostly just the front man for this junta. Trump also provides a tremendously loud voice that echoes the insane irrationality and abject malevolence of his followers, all their weird beliefs and goofy conspiracy theories and boogieman enemies list, and all their disgust with everyone who is not like them and ergo “un-American.” He is the vulgar hammer-wielding champion who expresses even the ugliest thoughts they themselves have been afraid to express openly, and to their delight Trump vows to crush their enemies with this hammer in his hand.
Moreover, no matter how corrupt, incompetent, and morally depraved Trump has been in the past, no matter how disgusting and venal his words and actions are now, his followers oddly forgive him in a way they’d never have forgiven any other public figure. Trump is not only impervious to the purity test to which most politicians and public figures are subjected by the mob, his followers have largely given him a get out of jail free pass. The man has bragged about sexually assaulting women, viciously mocked the handicapped, called Mexicans rapists and murderers, coddled and supported violent fascists at the Charlottesville rally in 2017, and numerous other acts of abject moral depravity, and yet he hasn’t suffered politically with his base, all because he’s as stupid and angry and ugly as they all are, and they adore him for this. King Donald of Redneck Jesusland.
Trump’s asshole populism is like the WWF in the late 90s when it went all “Attitude Era” with beer-swilling Stone Cold Steve Austin flipping the man the bird and exposing his ass to the adoring crowd, and The Rock being all “look at me, I’m a ragingly and cartoonishly egocentric asshole and you love me for it,” which catapulted the WWF into such popular heights that its CEO, Vince McMahon, became a billionaire nearly overnight after crushing his rival the WCW, owned by Ted Turner. Common folk with ugly thoughts love it when some asshole, unbridled and not giving a shit, expresses the deeply-hidden darkness in their damaged souls that they’d be terrified to openly express. They absolutely love it when someone steps to the microphone and lets it all hang out. The more vulgar and insulting, the better! Suck it!
Trump figured out this WWF-like asshole populism (he’d been on the show numerous times in the past, as a matter of fact) in his 2016 campaign and exploited it like no other public figure would have ever dared to try, let alone someone running for President of the USA. Dignity and humility? Screw it. Fair play? That’s for pussies! Taking the high road? LOSERS only! The more assholish he became, the more offensive and shocking his personal attacks against his opponent, the more this behavior made Trump hugely popular with the drooling and angry and stupid masses. Even a flaming racist redneck asshole like George Wallace didn’t have this kind of audacity, and he was a lulu of a divisive asshole in his day, wildly popular with his racist Southern brethren and reviled by most enlightened and thoughtful American citizens.
We have seen this kind of bloviating asshole of a fake populist before in history. In fact, the similarities are ridiculously apparent. Both were idiotic creeps and phony nationalists. Both appealed to the abject ugliness of the common folk. Both laughably claimed that he, and only he, could “save” the nation. Both were cartoonishly demonstrative in their expressions of self-love. Donald Trump, meet Benito Mussolini, your spirit animal.
Let’s compare some of their utterings:
Nationalism über alles:
Benito:”All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
Trump: “America First!”
Excessive self love:
Benito: “This is the epitaph I want on my tomb: ‘Here lies one of the most intelligent animals who ever appeared on the face of the Earth.'”
Trump: “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!” “People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.” “”I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.”
Benito: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”
Trump (Quoting Benito in a 2016 Tweet): “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.” [Trump is more of an orangutan than a lion, but, oh well, to-may-to, to-mah-to.]
Strike a pose, psychic soul brothers:
Moreover, why do you think the Jesus freaks love Trump despite the fact he’s the most damaged, sinful, and deplorably immoral contradiction to every tenet of their supposed “Christian” faith? Because he’ll help do their bidding, of course. The man hasn’t touched the Bible his entire life and has about as much spiritual faith as I do (which is none at all), and, let’s be honest, how many abortions do you think he’s financed and covered up with generous non-disclosure agreements during his lifestyle which, according to his shamelessly self-promoted boast, made him the premiere New Yawk high-society cocksman of the 70s and 80s? Pay no mind to the vast amount of lies the man tells on a daily basis. Or how he’s cheated nearly every business and romantic relationship he’s ever had. Despite knowing his well-documented failings as a moral being, the Jesus freaks love Trump more than any public figure I can ever recall.
The Jesus freaks seem to have made Trump infallible to religious criticism like Catholics treat the Pope. Trump is a pig, the Jesus freaks all agree, but he’s their pig. Maybe, the way the Jesus freaks argue about Trump, and I posit existentially, Jesus would have embraced the Roman Emperor Caligula, the wildly nutty autocrat who murdered his sister who he’d impregnated, forced the wives of many prominent Senators and citizens into prostitution during his public orgies to which he made everyone attend, and slaughtered thousands of Roman citizens mercilessly for dubious and often insanely whimsical reasons. But, you know, render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, sayeth good ole Jesus. Render unto Trump what is Trump’s as long as he criminalizes a woman’s right to her reproductive system and promotes to the Supreme Court justices who will gladly allow the Jesus freaks to enact legislation marginalizing LGTBQ citizens in their states and locales. Trump is more Baby Huey than Caligula, but they are both examples of inherited wealth and power producing unstable and destructive progeny.
Hey, if Trump grabs a pussy or two or a hundred against the will of the pussy’s owner, dumps two trophy wives in the trash and marries an even more vapid and creepy and inarticulate one for his third, bankrupts nearly every company and capitalist venture he ever ran, lies with every breath he takes, whatever, dude, he’s just Donald being Donald. Obama exemplified every virtuous and clean-living tenet of Christianity like few other Presidents. The right-wing maniacs tried for eight years to dredge up even a molecule of dirt on Obama’s past and could find none. They even resorted to making up phony shit about his birthplace, academic performance, and make-believe friendships with left-wing radicals, all to no avail. And here’s Trump, the most perfect example of an out-of-control moral degenerate if ever there was one, and he’s given a complete pass. It’s only in a zombie-dominated world that this total douchebag of a man man is revered.
Like I said, a madness has infected so many normally sane minds. I must point out, however, that while most Jesus freaks may have been sane in the past, nearly all were hardly logical or governed their thinking with reason and scientific fact. Reality passed over them years ago and it failed to penetrate their simple minds. But still, these people have sunk to a new low in their adoration of this scumbag. Now most are just blindly or myopically nutty-cuckoo fanatical and cannot start terrorizing the non-believers and faggots and dykes and trannies fast enough with theocratic laws that massively violate the Constitution, but course Trump’s SCOTUS will let them run wild. The Handmaiden’s Tale is but a lame warning of the kind of religious tyranny that religious fanatics truly desire.
The white working class in the Midwest is another sad, sorrowful story. The skyrocketing number of opiate overdoses in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri, among other states in the region, coupled with a huge increase in suicides and ill health and early deaths caused by obesity and smoking and alcohol abuse, all of which has led to a slowly declining life expectancy in these states that has dragged down the national average, points to a massive increase in the existential angst and mental breakdown of these citizens.
Declining incomes and job prospects, and a general decline in living standards, has led to rapidly increasing divorce, illegitimacy, and substance abuse rates among the white working-class denizens of the Midwest since 1997. The numbers are unbearably depressing to look at since I hail from Indiana, one of the hardest hit states by all this opiate addiction madness and all the other social pathologies causing so much self-destruction among its denizens. It has tragically affected my own family back in Indiana, so I understand it from first-hand experience. Time and time again families have been torn apart by this horrible crisis of people abusing themselves to such extremes.
Back in the 60s and 70s when opiate addiction was mainly concentrated in black ghettos in large cities, white Midwesterners couldn’t have given a damn about saving all those poor souls. Now it’s hit them much harder than it ever afflicted the ghettos. Only now it’s a crisis to these people as their own kids are getting sucked into addiction and self-destructive insanity.
The economic and social decline in the Midwest began 30 years ago as its cities turned into the “Rust Belt” as manufacturing, which has provided so many good union jobs for the people, declined as companies moved production to countries where labor was much cheaper and totalitarian governments relaxed environmental and labor protection. Meanwhile these jobs lost were not replaced with comparable transitions, so the people suffered. Most of the young, talented kids left the Midwest to go where the colleges and high-paying jobs were located, so after 30 years anyone “left behind” in these economically-depressed areas lived with diminished job prospects and little hope of social elevation, so why not turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to ease the pain?
When Oxycontin flooded the Midwest in the 00s, and later cheap heroin from the Mexican cartels, a vicious cycle began that has been devastating the Midwest ever since. The finical crisis of 2008, which laid waste to the Midwest (as it did everywhere in the world), where things were already shitty in most rural areas and especially in Rust Belt cities like Toledo, Flint, Dayton, Rockford, Fort Wayne, et al., was like adding gasoline to a fire and accelerated this crisis into tragic proportions. Once people are hooked on dope, it’s an endless nightmare to get off the shit. And more and more people got hooked. And more and more people have died from overdoses.
I can paint a good picture of the crisis, courtesy of the Center for Disease Control. Have a look. It’s frightening. As you can see, the Midwest is the epicenter of this crisis. The good news is there has been a mild decline in a few of these states since 2017, but not enough to say any progress has been made to reverse it. Indiana, my home state, had 1731 OD deaths in 2017 and 1701 in 2019. Ohio: 5337 and 4197. Kentucky: 1574 and 1386. Wisconsin: 1157 and 1188. Michigan: 2632 and 2727. Missouri: 1412 and 1505. Illinois: 1482 and 2900. West Virginia: 1047 and 958. Tennessee: 1816 and 1918. Minnesota: 688 and 679. Pennsylvania: 5795 and 5070. in 2019 in these 10 states, 40,696 people died from overdoses. Add to this total all the suicides not due to drugs, early deaths caused by obesity-related pathologies like diabetes and heart disease, and deaths caused by alcohol abuse, and you have a gigantic pile of dead self-destructed human beings in these “fly-over” states.
So who have white Midwesterners turned to save them? You guessed it, the worst possible person to truly address all the problems these people faced: Donald Trump.
Trump came along in 2016 and somehow convinced this disaffected mass of white working-class people in the Midwest that he was their champion, that he would hear their grievances and do right by them. Oh, did they latch onto this man as their hero! Pay no mind that he offered zero evidence of how he would help them, he just blamed it all on that dirty, non-American-born Muslim President Obama and Trump’s opponent, “Crooked Hillary,” and of course all the murdering and raping Mexicans pouring over the border to take their jobs in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. That was his campaign to woo these people: simple, angry, blithely untrue, and pandering to the lowest depths of existential depravity within them all. Solutions? Sure, he told them, he has the best solutions, though he not once articulated exactly what they were. And how they cheered him at his rallies! Donald the crusading hero. The man of the people! He who had never pumped gas for his cars in his entire life. He wasn’t a man of the people, and, as we know now in 2020, he hasn’t been a man for the people either.
Since 2017 Trump’s actually done nothing to change the plight of the working classes (thank Obama, Trump, you’re riding his wave, dude). Despite all his babbling and phony promises, white people in the Midwest are still shooting up and sniffing dope and drowning themselves to death with booze and shitty, diabetes-inducing food, all with a mindless madness that increases every day. Their incomes have not gone up, they still work shitty jobs like slaves, and their lives are really no better, and in fact worsening, than when Obama was President. But Trump has their vote because he gives them that “Attitude” they love so much. He is the voice of their spite, anger, hatred, and malevolence.
Let’s examine what Trump and his minions have actually done. Or not done, as sometimes doing nothing is a great strategy to make government shrink and become more hated by the people.
Firstly, Trump has done everything he can to debase, destroy, and eradicate our regulatory government agencies. He placed in charge of these regulatory agencies the leaders and CEOs who worked in the industries these agencies regulate. It’s like putting a wolf in charge of protecting the sheep. What the hell would any self-respecting wolf do with such power except gobble up all the sheep? Moreover, Trump has defunded and humiliated our State Department into total irrelevance at a time when diplomacy matters more than any time since before World Word II or the Cold War. His “America” First policy isn’t about benefitting America, it’s about enriching the oligarchy and taking power away from the citizenry, especially the citizenry opposed to his policy of trashing what’s left of our Federal bureaucracy. With no one to mind the sheep pen but the wolves, how will the sheep do anything except bow to the will of these new masters?
Funny too, how the Republican Party whined relentlessly about the national debt under Obama, even as the debt fell over the last four years of his administration, only to become remarkably silent about this very same national debt rising dramatically after Trump’s tax cuts to the super wealthy. The national debt is now greater than it ever was under Obama, even in the dark years after the finical crisis of 2008. What do the Republicans have to say about the huge national debt under Trump? Curiously, not a goddamn peep. Mitch McConnell, who couldn’t stop bitching about the debt under Obama, now has his lips sewn shut about it, apparently. And where’s the goddamn Tea Party, which sprang into existence (with copious financing by Charles Koch and other oligarchs) by their extreme hatred of excessive government spending and ballooning national debt? Oh, where, oh where, are thee, Tea Party patriots, when the national debt is more bloated than Trump in golf attire after a big burger-laden lunch at Mar-a-Lago? Silence. The slimy hypocrisy of all these unctuous creeps is astonishing. But let’s at least be honest: the Tea Party, and Republican opposition to the national debt, was never actually about the national debt, no-sir-ee; it was about destroying the agenda and legacy of the black guy in the White House. But I digress.
Next up for Trump if he wins in 2020: Grandma’s (and YOUR) Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Cut, cut, cut, bitches, and tough shit if you have to eat cat food in your elderly years, and forget about that hip replacement surgery, Gramps! Your entitlements are getting cut to make Sheldon Adelson even richer. Or Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Or Charles Koch. Or Betsy DeVoss. And, of course, Jared & Ivanka. Ergo, if Trump wins in 2020, wave goodbye to your entitlements that you actually paid for and deserve. Mine too. I’m about 10 years away from collecting my Social Security. I give it a 50/50 chance of being there in full in 2030.
And that’s where we are, America, whether you accept these facts or not. I assure you everything I said above is factual. I may not express these facts with sugarcoated niceties or deliver my message with respectful care and restraint to not injure the feelings of the idiots who don’t accept these facts; my apologies. I cannot help you if you’re too stupid or myopically fanatical to see the folly of your self-destruction in voting for someone who seeks to make us all into serfs and subjects to the power of a few oligarchs who are about to start running things with unbridled majesty and lawless abandon. Trump and his Republican enablers in the Senate and Supreme Court have proven that the man in power, and his groveling, loyal, and insane minions, can do whatever the hell they want. The Constitution is their toilet paper. And you are the idiots who blindly follow this path to totalitarian rule by the few.
You have been warned.