HEROES IN THEIR OWN MINDS
Okay, I have been quiet as a mouse in the last few months. I have been meeting other commitments that take precedent over the blog. BUT I have now HAD it. Michael Flynn’s call for martial law was a “bridge too far.”
There is some horribly nasty stuff going on now. The Republican party has descended to depths even I thought were impossible. Everyone outside of the United States knows that the Orange Stain lost the election―bigly. All 77 million Americans who voted for Biden know it. Any Republican with half a brain knows it.
What is so horrifying is that even those Rs who are elected officials and are blessed with a relatively fully functioning (though evil) brain know it. They just find it expedient to deny it or fail to recognize it. In this list of evildoers, I include my fav senators: Ted Cruz (TX), Tom Cotton (AK), Lindsey Graham (SC).
These assholes and their Republican buddies are members of what has become known in some circles as the “post-policy Republican Party.” They, like the senate majority leader Moscow Mitch McConnell (KY), don’t really have any policy principles; they just want to take power and keep it in their grubby little hands.
For just on example, Republicans bitch mercilessly about Democrats creating budget deficits, then when they have power–they blow the deficit up with tax breaks for their major donors. For those who think the Rs have any real principles, please read Stuart Stevens “It Was All A Lie.” He is a former R campaign consultant who seems to have belatedly realized that all the issues that he hammered Ds on in his campaigns was just “eyewash.” Or, you might try Steve Benen’s “The Impostors,” which lays out the lack of a policy agenda in the modern Republican party issue by issue.
Since some non-trivial portion of the Republican base is deeply committed to Trumpism, some of these politicians figure the best way to get ahead for the presidential race in 2024 is to support this perversion of democratic principles. Others want to protect themselves from a primary battle with a pissed-off Trumpeteer. So, for somewhat different reasons, both groups give full-throated support to whatever bullshit the Orange Stain is marketing. That’s despicable. But they are elected Republican members of Congress, so it is probably in their DNA.
I have given up on expecting Rs to be anything other than despicable. But I did hold out some hope that they maintained some commitment to democratic values and processes, like maybe elections. As it turns out, I shouldn’t have been so optimistic. In reality, these boobs, in their sunken and hardened little hearts, know all this smoke without a fire about a rigged election is just bullshit. But they are not going to stand up and say that. They will hem and haw and say things like the Orange Stain has every right to pursue all avenues to assure they the election was fair, even when they themselves have no real doubts that it was fair. Ted Cruz will offer to take a criminally silly case to the Supreme Court so TX can invalidate election results in other states. Seventeen of 26 Republican Attorneys General have signed on to that suit. Seriously?
What is scary is that all of these jackasses are giving license to some other folks to do some really scary stuff. They are encouraging people to deny the validity of the election and punish those responsible for “rigging” the election. That punishment has so far turned out to be death threats and armed protestors standing outside an official’s house screaming at her and her kids. Earlier, in a tangentially related story, we even had a militia group planning to abduct, put on trial, and execute the governor of Michigan.
Let’s do a little math. The USA is a nation with something like 326 million firearms in civilian hands. Trump, God help us, got about 71 million votes. Roughly 70% of those voters think the election was rigged. That means maybe 53 million people don’t trust the nation’s choice. Latest data indicates that 32% of Americans own firearms. That gives us at least 17 million Americans who are discontent, don’t trust the electoral process, and are armed. Not to worry, those weapons, like most firearms, are most likely to be used on friends, family, or neighbors.
But let’s say that just one-tenth of one percent (being conservative here) of the armed and disaffected Trump voters are as crazy as a sack of frogs. That means we, at a minimum, are likely to have 17,000 bozos who listen to folks like Alex Jones and cosey up on the couch in the evening and rock out to far-right internet groups, QANON garbage, or Newsmax while they clean their AR-15s and feed raw meat to their pit bulls.
Oh, pshaw, I’m just being alarmist. I hope so. But I can’t help but believe that a number of those 17k live in a dream-like world chocked full of fantasies where they thwart, with violence, the dire threats to this nation and their personal freedom.
Remember the North Carolinian who shot up a DC pizza place because he learned on the internet that a cabal of Democrats and celebs were holding children, for transport or for lunch, in the basement cells below that pizzeria. He took his AR-15, drove up to DC, and fired a few rounds into the ceiling of the place. So, don’t be fooled into thinking that there aren’t a bunch of armed, impressionable, and somewhat crazy folks out there.
Pizzeria guy was just being a hero in his own life story. That is exactly what members of groups like The Oath Keepers (many of whom are ex-military or law enforcement), The Three Percenters, and other right-wing militias are doing. They have constructed a worldview that allows them to step away from their lives filled with bills that are hard to pay, ungrateful teens, and all those people who are undeservedly getting things to which these men are entitled but not receiving. This alternative reality is one where they are far-sighted realist and heroes poised to risk all as they stand up for core American values. Yes, they are “heroes in their own minds.” We shouldn’t be surprised. That is exactly how members of the KKK, the Knights of the Golden Circle, and the American Bund felt in days gone by.
The Republican election official in Georgia who said “people are going to die” if the president and others continue with their lies and claims of victimhood is “boots on the ground” in this fight to maintain democracy. He has seen what Trump supporters in Georgia have done and probably knows what they are capable of. Given our national history, which could easily be called blood soaked, and the foul wind now blowing across the nation, we should probably take him quite seriously.