On May 30th, dictionary.com’s word of the day was keysmash, defined as “a random string of letters and symbols typed out on a keyboard or touchscreen, used to signal intense emotion in written communication.”


This entire piece could be nothing but keysmashes.

Politics is big, ugly business.

In Montana, Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a House seat, assaulted Guardian political reporter Ben Jacobs, grabbing him by the neck, throwing him to the ground, pummeling him, and breaking his glasses. When I read about the incident, I knew the outcome. Knew this viciousness, standardized by Donald Trump at rallies, anywhere he’s defied or challenged, would secure victory for Gianforte.


Jacobs had asked a question about the Republican health-care plan. For this, he was clobbered.

It’s not just the Wild West; it’s the Wild North, South, and East. From the mountains to the prairies to the rising sea levels poisoned by chemicals, mean is meaner—hostility laced with methamphetamines.

Of course, Trump loved the aggression. After the election, he gave a shout-out from Sicily, “Great win in Montana.”

Voters oozed admiration for Gianforte. Diane Willard blamed Jacobs. Bruce McGee said Gianforte had “his undying support” and suggested that “the scandal might even have an upside. It certainly propelled him into the national spotlight.”


In Texas, Republican Matt Rinaldi lost his shit when he saw demonstrators at the Capitol protesting Texas SB4, the state’s new anti-sanctuary law. Democratic Reps. Ramon Romero Jr. and Cesar Blanco were discussing the demonstration when they were interrupted by Rinaldi who called the protesters a disgrace and then said, “Fuck them, I called ICE.” As they argued on the House floor, Rinaldi threatened to put a bullet in Representative Poncho Nevárez’s head.

Most likely, Rinaldi now has an adoring fan club and a life-long career in politics. Jeez, he sounds like U.S. presidential material.


In Georgia, the race pits Republican Karen Handel against Democrat Jon Ossoff. A calculated brawl could be a path to triumphant glory. Behavior that appeals to the basest of instincts will be rewarded. Civility is boring and oh, so yesterday.


I received an email that I sped through and then deleted. Something about the South Carolina rivalry, where right-wing Ralph Norman is running against Archie Parnell. Another opportunity for landing a blow, a black eye, drawing blood. I remember the words head-to-head. The gist: send money. More money is needed to prevent the ascendancy of the Republican. So………. prevent it—the sure and fast way: with a rough and tumble. All Parnell has to do to break a leg is to break a leg. Norman’s.

Body slams, head smashes, and while an opponent is down, he/she receives one hell of a kick to the keister. Keister smash.

There’s something terribly wrong, something vile, something rotten. The personification of nauseating odor. A culture steeping in violence.


More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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