American Unreality

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

“This is not the America I know!” This statement has been repeated as if a mantra by those in shock by the Trump presidency. It is probably steeped in truth because those who utter it have largely been spared from the worst of empire–the flagrant nature of the beast is in full view now, in convenient body part sized bags.

Delusion and denial is something Empire is built upon, the notion that Americans built the nation through grit and democracy, not predominantly the labor of slaves paired with the dumb luck of stumbling upon a bountiful Eden-like continent–arriving with germs that wiped away the competition. It’s not difficult to see how the fantastical thinking began, who wouldn’t think that this was meant to be? Well, other than probably about 80% of the beast of burden-class population– the ones there to do the heavy lifting, birthing, cleaning, warring……sadly that group could have become self-aware, but the nature of power is to convince those who don’t have it that they don’t have it for a reason–the narrative can come from religious dogma (the poor will benefit in the afterlife, women have less inherent worth, it’s fine to have slaves) or more modern pop-psych nonsense in the form of items like the prosperity gospel and magical thinking–if you don’t have what you need in life, it’s due to your inherent lack of positive thinking or good old American moxie. Just join the gig economy for your 5th job and you’ll be set by the time you are 432 years old. Then pit those groups against each other so you can enjoy your spoils in peace.

It’s difficult to know how to instill an appreciation for reality in those who have never had a taste for it. Trump supporters consider him a “strongman” but like all strongmen of the past, he keeps his personal tiny hands clean and his bone spurs shiny–all the while scraping and bowing to the authoritarians he so admires. Others do the dirty work for them. In a monsterous fashion, his supporters snort and guffaw at the notion of violence towards journalists, no notion of “too soon” with that crowd! All the while giving cover to hellish behavior world-wide.

Brave? Strong? Oft-repeated, Maya Angelou’s “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

I rest my case.

Trump supporters also ridicule someone like Dr. Ford who had to sit in front of a group of terrifying old bastards, discussing something that traumatized her for years, but she’s not brave–not like our Commander in Chief (who seems frightened not to shit on a gold toilet). And Kavanaugh was a hero to the Trump crowds, but most of those Trump supporters would absolutely hate a privileged frat boy who assaulted their sister or friend in a local manner. Absurdly, though, he becomes one of them in the non-linear, non-fact based world they reside in. They ignore supporting facts that he’s a dismal human being who should never decide things of importance. I guess they don’t think it’s odd that he had 200 K of credit card debt paid off by a magical fairy either. That’s not suspicious at all. He also thinks you shouldn’t have OSHA style protections if you have an entertainment job at a marine park with killer whales. I’m not kidding–look it up. He’s obviously in the pocket of Big Whale as well.

But not to forget about the Democrat’s delusions…… largely based on a notion that somehow when they are in charge that the world will be righted, never mind that other times in history when they have been in charge along with having the executive branch, no decisive changes were implemented (looking at you Obama in your first two years). Wouldn’t that have been a wonderful time to implement a living wage, universal healthcare….?  I guess maybe they didn’t want all that, that they are there to give the illusion of choice, but only within confines that still serve the corporations. The care from the Democrats is palliative at best, never curative. We’ve been given a “choice” of palatable discourse from the Democrats, a framework of what is acceptable to consider and talk about (no ponies, or commitment to zero carbon emissions of course, and no changes that will derail massive poverty or ultimate climate annihilation). Sure, the Democrats don’t seem to be interested in installing a Christian Sharia situation, and that’s lovely……looking at you Kavanaugh and your nonsense that contraceptives are abortion-inducing drugs. That’s just silly, but I guess groping and assaulting women doesn’t make you an Ob-Gyn. You end up a jack of all rapes instead of an expert. That said, full disclosure–I did vote for the Democrats on my mail in ballot, and I sent in 40 extra votes to be sure (just kidding Fox news….there’s voter fraud everywhere boogyman). It might give us a few more minutes before the full fascists take over to regroup. But who knows?

So I propose a third party, a reality based movement–my platform: weak feeble men can’t be figure-head strongmen any longer, especially if they are frightened of birds. And you aren’t poor because you don’t drive an Uber along with having 2 other jobs, it’s because your insulin costs $780. The hurricanes aren’t severe because of a lot of gayness, it’s climate change with a near-term threat of positive feedback loops that will leave Venus looking like a nice summer vacation spot compared to Earth. And guys don’t get into fistfights with 15 other turban clad villains unless it’s a “Raiders if the Lost Ark” remake–although as I recall Indiana Jones had a gun against the whip (or was it bone saw) guy?

I believe this party will come to pass and successfully right this sinking ship. And I’m just enough if a true American to believe this delusion.

Kathleen Wallace writes out of the US Midwest. Her writing is collected on her Substack page.