Sunday, October 7, 2018

There Will Be A Wave

Will there be a Blue Wave? There was a lot of loose talk not too long ago that there would somehow be an overwhelming Democrat vote in the imminent mid-term elections. Will there be a Red Wave? All of that Democratic/liberal prognostication led the Republicans to claim, in their typical gainsaying style, that no, there would be no Blue Wave, there would instead be a Red Wave. When the Republicans make predictions about elections, you have to wonder if maybe they know something. They do seem to have good connections.  

I’m not expecting any wave myself. No, I’m afraid that I’m expecting more of the same thing that has ruined us so far. I’m expecting people to stay home like they usually do. I’m expecting the voters to be the same people that most often come out and vote, which unfortunately is the Republicans and their white evangelical allies. If more Democrats than usual do vote, and more Millennials do vote, there will probably be a sufficient number of more Republicans to offset them. We’ll be right back where we started from, but with a lot more gloating.

Was it old Abe Lincoln who said that “you can’t fool (somebody) all of the time?” We’ve learned by now that evidently the Republicans have discovered how to fool all of the Republicans and lots of the Rubes all of the time. We were hoping there for a while that Republican voters were all getting too old and would presently begin to die at a rate that would change the demographics, but this whole “bully” thing, with a side of “hatred,” is bringing a lot of younger people into the Republican party. Mostly younger white people who are thrilled to see somebody other than them being hated and bullied.

There’s going to be a wave alright. A wave of chest-thumping and gloating on Facebook after another weak showing by the Democrats. Suck it, Democ-RATS! I can hardly wait.

All of this Kavanaugh business (Brett “Bart the Boof” Kavanaugh), all of this making fun of women, the handicapped, separated immigrant families, dead victims of police violence, and sexual assault victims, all of these Federal Agencies being ruined by neglect and mismanagement at the hands of unqualified and/or malicious Trump appointees, all of these multi-millionaire Republican congressmen running the affairs of government like they were all the Duke of Earl or something, all of the phony trade wars and tragic real wars, all of the tax cuts only for people with way more than they can spend already, none of this seems to bother the already converted Trump fans.

Republicans in general are only too happy to use Trump as cover for their naked power grab while they laugh behind his back. They remind me of the between-the-wars German industrialists who believed that they could profit from Hitler’s policies while they laughed at him behind his back. It’s easy to underestimate guys who act as wacky as Trump and Hitler. Maybe it'll work out better this time. Trump is no Hitler. 

Most Republican voters are not invited to the party, of course. They’ll be hurt as badly as anybody by these ridiculous policies. (i.e., stupid tax cuts and exploding deficits, inter alia.) Their lives and futures are threatened along with everybody else’s. Their children’s lives, health, and happiness are also being placed in doubt. The Trump-Cheerleaders do not seem to know or care that they are holding one of their hands in a raging fire while they use the other hand to throw more plywood chips on the blaze. They’re too busy having fun on Facebook, mocking opponents of Trump, fans of Obama, Democrats in general, “Libtards,” and anyone who voted for Hillary. Still repeating the old chants of “lock her up,” and blaming everything on Obama, shouting, “Bengazi!” and claiming that every economic indicator proves that Trump has saved the entire nation from Obama’s terrible mistakes. Still repeating word for word what they have been told to say, glassy eyed and ecstatic. Best economy in hundreds of years! Lowest black unemployment since the abolition of slavery! A real bunch of crap if ever there was one. What a sad bunch of Rubes. If they ever discover the truth, it’ll be too late. They’ll never admit it, anyway.  

The Trump fans at these rallies remind me of the crowds of fans at a professional wrestling show, or, even worse, a roller derby show. While the shows are in progress, anyway. Those crowds are fascinating. Many of them know each other; there are a lot of regulars. While people are being seated, and the house lights are up, they have normal conversations and look, for all the world, like regular people. Then the lights go down, and the announcer starts to speak, and, as though by the flick of a switch, the fans become wild eyed and begin screaming. The show begins and mass hysteria seizes them. They surrender to it, and maybe it is cathartic. I’m sure that this is a subject worthy of study. The fans of wrestling and roller derby turn back into normal people as soon as the lights go up. They file out engaged in the same civil conversation that they engaged in before the show. Do the Trump fans behave the same way? Or do they continue to live in a white-power dream world where they can lord it over minorities and abuse immigrants at will. The number of videos on YouTube in which otherwise typical Americans scream abuse at other American citizens in public for transgressions like speaking a foreign language or insufficiently respecting the white lady may indicate that the Trump fans carry their mania around with them 24/7. That’s an unpleasant thought.

If anyone is listening who needs the hear the message, please do go out and vote in the mid-terms next month. Most Americans by far hold values and political ideas that are quite antithetical to these Republican Fascist Bandits. If most Americans actually voted, the Republicans would not stand a chance, even with the Gerrymandering and the voter suppression and the rest of the shenanigans. I wish that Americans would vote, but we got into all this trouble in the first place because they don’t, and I’m afraid that we’ll see another low turnout this time as well.

I know what it would take for the Democrats to turn this around, and if I do, so do a lot of people. That’s my operating principle in life: if I can figure it out, lots of people have figured it out already. If I know what it would take, so do all of the Democratic Party leaders. But I don’t see the massive programs devoted to getting people registered, getting people whatever kind of picture ID is required by the voter suppression laws in their states. I don’t see the thousands of buses being readied to drive people the long distance to a polling place in the many states where most of the polling places in majority black areas, or other minority areas, or just Democratic areas have been closed. I haven’t seen any Democrat leaders making frequent, persuasive speeches in which they offer attractive, achievable alternatives to the neo-Nazism that the Republicans are selling so easily. I hear only feint calls to get out the vote, with no specifics, and I see only quiet mention of policies that might gently move the political football in the other direction, usually contained in new slogans that are too silly to remember or care about.

So no, I’m not expecting any Blue Wave this November. The best that we to the left of center can hope for is a slight change in the numbers massed against us. Just enough to turn the present near-gridlock into total gridlock. Above all of that will stand the Great and Powerful Trump, wielding executive powers that will soon be increasing thanks to the presence of The Boofster on the Supreme Court.

None of this should come as any surprise. We always hear about “the arc of human history.” Picture an arc, if you would. An arc starts out pretty low, right down there in the dirt. Our human arc reached up and achieved some impressive heights. No doubt, there was a lot to be proud of there for a while, even in the midst of all of the war, corruption, and general mayhem. All arcs, however, reach an apogee and turn back towards the mud. That’s where we are now in the arc of human history. The rockets are still firing, but we are aimed directly at the ground. It was a poor choice of metaphor from the get-go, don’t you agree?

There will be a wave, but it will be a wave of nausea. Between the Boofmeister, Trump, and the mid-terms, my advice is to go out and buy yourself a nice, new bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

But hey! Don’t let my pessimism harsh your mellow! There’s a new dawn just over the horizon! A new day is coming! Yeah! That’s the ticket! Be the dream, people! Go ahead and vote!  

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