About matscheck

Matthew C. Scheck is an automation engineer, freelance writer, and former US Army Medic. Mr. Scheck resides in Philadelphia and travels extensively for work and pleasure.

A Hillbilly Elegy on Civil War

I have no idea who is Ohio State Senator George Lang. I don’t live in his district or state. I wouldn’t vote for this lunatic if I had a gun to my head. But he actually said this today at a rally featuring Hillbilly Elegy Trump VP Dude JD Vance. Just listen to this lunacy.

A week ago the entire right wing howled about political violence by “loonie lefties” when a crazy kid armed with an AR-15 rifle shot at Trump, and yet to date the FBI has not been able to provide a shred of evidence that this kid held any radicalized political views from either the right or left. The right wing oh so wanted the kid to be Lee Harvey Che Mao Pol Pot Antifa McStalin. Turns out he was just a creepy loner with easy access to a dangerous assault rifle. Thank goodness he was, like Don Knots, the shakiest gun in the west.

But this nutty putz, George Lang, stood up at a public forum, a rally featuring Trump’s running mate JD Vance, and made this bold declaration. Just watch.

This is an elected official in the State of Ohio babbling this insanity.

You decide which side is hellbent on political violence. Just remember January 20, 2021, but with guns next time. A civil war led by Schmitty and his Bikers for Trump, whoever the hell that is, and a whole lot more violent and deluded morons like this creep. What shall we call it, the Douchebag Rebellion?

Alea Eacta Est (The Die Is Cast)

Kamala Harris for President. I would have voted for Joe Biden. I have never voted Republican for any public office since I was eligible to vote in 1981. In 1980 I worked on the Birch Bayh campaign for US Senator for Indiana, but he lost to Dan Quayle. Undaunted by that depressing loss, I’ve stuck to my Party since then. I voted for Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, Clinton, Biden. And now Harris. Win or lose, I stand by the Democratic Party.

Meet the Trumplican Party

The recent Republican National Convention revealed that the Republican Party as we’ve known it for so many years is totally kaput, set ablaze in 2016 and finally burned to the ground in 2024. It no longer exists. In its ashes its followers have become a cult of personality for Donald Trump, some fanatically, even religiously so. Many claim he’s been anointed by god. Which god, I do not know, since there are so many versions of this invisible, non-existent being in the USA, especially of the Christian variety. Take your pick.

I present to everyone the Trumplican Party.

Trumplicans claim to be iconoclastic “populists,” tearing down the old order to “save America from the tyranny of loonie left,” you know, their straw men of abortion-loving, trans-hugging, open-border-allowing, anti-capitalist, BLM/CRT, communist/socialist, America-hating enemies who also happen to be their fellow citizens who have the audacity to disagree with their insane and myopic fanaticism, the lowly vermin who must be defeated and eradicated. My, my, we’ve heard that before, right?

What they sounded like during their convention is that they are, in fact, fanatics for authoritarian rule based on a fairly creepy white theocratic ideology, where cruelty, hatred, and spite seem to be the greatest motivating factors. If you’re not one of them, the USA is not for you. Compromise is for losers, plurality is for traitors.

Every thoughtful, enlightened, and rational American should read this brilliant New Yorker pieceĀ on the Project 2025 insanity, how it came into being, who is behind it, how it was funded, and what this insane manifesto created by right-wing zealots and Christian fanatics wishes to unload upon our country the day Trump is sworn in on January 20, 2025. It’s the closest thing to fascism a political ideology has ever expressed in the USA, at least one that has an actual chance of being implemented.

Trump is as pliable as a jellyfish, a masterful con man, so he’s playing along because his immense ego loves the god-like, king-like adulation of these whacked-out dingbats and religious fanatics. He’s never given a shit about policies or governing. He barely grasps with any depth most intellectual disciplines and is basically an overgrown child. He just wants to be king.

So let’s dispense with calling this the Republican Party any more. It’s officially the Trumplican Party. It’s vicious, ruthless, stupid, and destructive to its very core. His fanatical followers can now use the assassination attempt on Trump as justification for whatever political violence they unleash from now on, even if the kid who shot at Trump wasn’t particularly radicalized for either side as has been revealed. No bother: To them every liberal in America wished this to happen, so they’re all guilty of pulling that trigger. Trump’s assassination attempt in Butler, PA is a combination of Kristallnacht and Fort Sumter for the Trumplican Party.

Welcome to the new political era in America. There is no turning back now. We’re truly divided into irreversible factions and it’s not going to end well.

Dying by the Sword

What I’ve witnessed the last couple days after the assassination attempt on Trump is a torrent of “partisan differences are destroying the country” and very few, if at all, discussions about the proliferation of dangerous military-grade weapons in the hands of lunatics and how destructive this has been to Americans. The FBI hasn’t uncovered any evidence that the shooter was particularly radicalized politically, if at all, in fact they haven’t been able to determine just which side he favored.

What we do know is a creepy kid somehow got past a massive security perimeter and shot at a former and maybe future President of the USA. Even Trump, with immense security surrounding him, was vulnerable to a lunatic with a gun. Of course, many Americans who’ve been victims of mass shootings already knew this, but weren’t protected by a legion of armed cops and snipers on rooftops. Need I list all these horrible incidents just in the last decade? But all we see are the usual blatherings, political bickering and finger-pointing, trying to assign blame to the other side or “the press,” without any factual basis, instead just flinging unfounded accusations and wild conspiracy theories.

Firstly, let me state this: I love free speech. People have the right to express themselves openly and with great gusto, regardless if I agree with what they’re expressing or not. Truths, lies, tinfoil-hat conspiracy theories, insults, vulgarities, wild accusations, whatever. Free speech is beautiful. You don’t like it, don’t read or listen to it, but you damn sure better not try to suppress it with laws. Of course there are the yelling “fire” in a theater exceptions, or physical or terroristic threats; obviously there are limits already laid down by law. But free speech itself at its essence? Too many outstanding Americans have sworn to defend our Constitution and died or were severely wounded in that defense. Honor them and our Constitution. Protect free speech at all costs. I think people openly expressing their political differences, and loudly so, even acrimoniously, obnoxiously– maybe especially this–and no matter how repugnant to others, is a sign of a healthy democracy.

Secondly, I’m not advocating gun control or banning guns. It’s a little too late for that, America. I’m just saying, we live by the sword, we die by it too. Even our highest citizens, like our Presidents, serving and former, are vulnerable to our country’s appalling gun violence. What hope do common people have?

I also live in Spain. Know how many mass shootings there have been? Just guess. The answer is 4, with 9 fatalities and 9 wounded, since 2000, the highest number of victims killed is 4, in Olot in 2010 amid a financial dispute, while one of these in 2015 was by a psychotic kid under 14 with a crossbow at his school. In the USA since 2000, 151 mass shootings, with 1153 dead, 1639 wounded (the worst: 58 dead, 546 wounded in Las Vegas in 2017). That’s just mass shootings of 4 or more victims, killed or wounded. More than 300,000 were killed by non-suicide gun violence altogether. That doesn’t sound like a healthy, or particularly free, country to me. I love America. I lament the violence by guns.

I live in two cities: In Valencia, guess how many gun murders there have been the last decade? In Philly, 3,339 souls have been murdered by guns to be exact in the last decade, in a city with a population of 1.57 million,, compared to about 10,000 in the entire EU (447 million people) in the same period, and pay mind to the fact many of these happened in EU countries in the former Yugoslavia like Albania and Montenegro, with poor enforcement and high crime rates. Spain, France, Germany, UK, Scandinavia…not so many. From 2015-2023, 144,223 Americans were the killed by gun violence, which excludes suicides. That’s out of 330+ million Americans. So in Philly from 2015-2024, 2.3% of all gun murders in the USA happened here. CRAZY.

Are Europeans less free without guns, America? Ask them. Ask my friends in Valencia if they have to worry about getting shot at night while walking its streets. I do in Philly, every goddamn night. Or if I’m at a mall, church, school, public square, music festival, political rally, wherever, anywhere in America, red state, blue state, city, rural areas, it happens in all these places. I can show you the stats.

It’s like a creepy Shirley Jackson story, the “randomly get shot by a creep with an assault rifle” lottery. Former President Trump and three bystanders at his rally in Butler, PA, were the latest victims. I personally admire Trump for standing up and pumping his fist amid the hail of bullets he just survived. I ask him, if elected, what will you do about this rampant gun violence you too faced, Mr. President?