We the People suck. The deadly contagion of right-wing conservatism in the US will no longer be restrained, however tenuously and imperfectly. It has been unleashed to destroy the earth like flesh-eating bacteria. It will start, as it always does, with more death and harm to the bodies of the most marginalized among us, and eventually work its way to harming the very people who enable it—which is to say, harming almost everyone.
Except for the tiny fraction of people who benefit from conservative policies, they are and always will be unmitigated failures: economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, you name it. But to the conservative mind conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed. Ergo, we always need a bigger dose of it.
That “logic” stems directly from a notable flaw in the right-wing psyche: they can never be wrong. About anything. Ever. Oh sure, on rare occasions, they might be publicly shamed into doing the right thing. But as with all narcissists, unless and until a grave, entirely predictable and preventable human tragedy befalls a conservative directly—personal bankruptcy due to medical bills, say, or one’s own child sickened from a reckless corporation’s poison or pollution—they will not lift a finger to help. Instead, they will pile on the misery and hunt desperately for all manner of “fault” in an attempt to hold victims of circumstance responsible for their own plight.
Not them, though. The thin-skinned, ill-willed, empathy-deficient monsters in their mirrors can never be at fault for their own problems, much less the struggles of others; the party of “personal responsibility” takes none.
It is nearly impossible to break through the opaque haze of wrong-headed conservative certitude. Not with reason, not with evidence, not with appeals to basic decency or common humanity. I’m-more-deserving-than-you-and-I-can-never-be-wrong is the animating force of a conservative’s personality. The unevidenced, unwavering belief in their own superiority over all Others. The characteristic detachment from facts and reality. Hell, the polar ice sheets could melt en mass today and flood the entire planet, and conservatives will still insist global warming is a hoax—or worse, their shitty god’s will. Women’s bodies are piling up across the red states, and conservatives are still going after Planned Parenthood.
Well here’s a dose of reality: A petty buffoon who invents his own self-serving reality and cannot responsibly handle a Twitter account will now have our nuclear launch codes, access to mass surveillance data, and perhaps worst of all, an emboldened following of people who proudly embody the worst impulses of humanity. They will never change, and they will never stop. There is a vicious cycle at work here that only creates more and more of them.
Finally, I am utterly disgusted at the “surprise” and “shock” media narrative. (I’m looking at you, Paul Krugman.) Nothing is surprising about any of this. If you paid even minimal attention during the Bush/Cheney debacle, you know that racism, misogyny, unbridled greed, religious bigotry and a citizenry primed with fearmongering and degraded by permanent war carried the day for eight long years. We are not seeing anything new; we’re still living with it and still paying for it. White fragility, toxic masculinity, puerile and corrupt corporate media, the most heavily propagandized population on Earth and the pestilential scourge that is conservatism have again fused to deliver us a government that no one, not even conservatives, deserves. Today, those forces delivered a blow not just to the country but to the entire planet, one from which we may never recover. My privilege will insulate me from some of the worst effects, but I am racked with deep sadness, rage, pain and heartbreaking despair for my friends, family and fellow humans here and around the world who will unfairly bear the brunt of this. But not surprised.
Oh, and one more thing.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
If you voted for Trump, or you live in a swing state and voted for a third party candidate or declined to vote entirely, you can go fuck yourself.
You are now and always will be dead to me.
I’ll have more to say on the Democrats’ part in this catastrophe in another post, another day. (SPOILER ALERT: The blight of conservatism figures prominently in that analysis as well.) In the meantime I’m going to snuggle my kitty, do my laundry, make dinner, reach out to loved ones, and maybe get through today. And then the day after that. And the day after that.
Everything is going to be unimaginably worse and is never going to get any better. ―Kurt Vonnegut