As annoying as the sound of Trumpanistas Autho Trump is, it’s understandable. One expects bullshit to flow from a Trumpanista.
It’s the sound of cynicism flowing from friends and loved ones that bothers me far more. That’s the sound of Trumpian lies landing where the Trumpanistas couldn’t.
The first thing your textbook authoritarian comes for (so the textbooks say) is The Truth. They murder The Truth so that no one really knows what is or isn’t without Big Brother weighing in. Haven’t we ALWAYS been at war with Eurasia?
But getting to that place where Truth is entirely at the authoritarian’s disposal takes time. There are other stops before full-on fascism flowers. Before authoritarians can have their way, they have to convince enough people that there’s no choice. We might as well do what the authoritarian wants since they’re going to do it anyway. It isn’t necessarily so — that the authoritarian will do it anyway.
Knock an authoritarian down a few pegs — most are such sissies they won’t get back up. They’ll crawl away bawling their little bitch eyes out. They’re schoolyard bullies in need of an ass-kicking. But their goal is to convince you that resistance is futile. All hope is lost.
We probably got here faster than we might have thanks to “Both Sides Do It” journalism convincing us that whatever nastiness the Republicans were up to? The Democrats were up to something just as devious. What can the average person do to fight off corruption when “both sides do it”? Consequently, Americans got jaded when getting jaded wasn’t called for.
Gerrymandering and massive Republican voter suppression has piled on. Where gerrymandering happens, the majority electorate votes one way but gets the opposite result because their “majority” has been split up into bite-sized district pieces any knuckle-scraping GOP candidate could win. Consequently the electorate feels removed from what they tried to elect. They sense corruption in the system. They see it. And decide the system can’t help them.
But, outside “the system”, what options are there to address your valid grievances? None, it turns out. A bad result is guaranteed no matter what. Why bother getting involved?
From the cynic’s point of view, that’s checkmate.
The worst part is when you point out to these people — and we’re all in this together, we all agree — that what happened in 2016 was outright theft. The Will of the American People was literally STOLEN from the American people by an active Russian intelligence campaign allied with pretty much all of the Republican Party. This was a willful theft of an election’s outcome. For a reason — to, above all, hijack the judiciary. It’s not a coincidence that even as Trump’s regime teeters, Mitch McConnell is still cramming radical right wing lifetime judges (not a one of them qualified to judge a pie-eating contest) into the system and down the majority’s throat. Rather than respond, “Gosh, how do we assuage the crime victim’s obvious wounds and begin the process of righting a wrong?”, we get “We couldn’t possibly overturn what happened — how would we do that? Those people would be so angry!”
What about “these people” — US? What about We The People — whose election outcome was STOLEN from us. Worse, not only didn’t we get the choice the majority voted for, we got its diametric opposite shoved at us. Why, I’d like to know, are we so worried about how the car thief will get around once we take our car back from him?
Screw him! He’s a thief. Of course he’ll be angry — he got caught and was forced to return what was never his to begin with.
But, see? Even people who feel wronged here — who WERE wronged — have convinced themselves that the wrong done to them can never be put right.
Why do they think that?
I’ll tell ya — it’s the exact message these criminals WANTED us to get: the crime perpetrated upon us can never be undone. They will always get away with it because they’ll threaten violence otherwise.
The rapist will get away with rape.
That’s where cynicism takes you. The correct answer is “No”.
Resisting cynicism is hard. Damned hard. Because the message coming at you is so pervasive: “resistance is futile… give up!”
Remind the class everyone — what’s the correct answer again? “NO”.
Not even “No, thank you”. Just a curt “NO.”