Saturday, January 14, 2023

Politics Is Hell, And To Hell With Politics

There was a time when this blog was full of politics. I went so far as to gather the more readable posts about politics between 2008 and 2018 and self-publish them on Amazon. I received an e-mail the other day from a nice couple living in the Northwest. We've been best friends for about fifty years now. The wife was kind enough to mention that it's been four years since Political Rants went on sale, so she started re-reading it. She enjoys it. She figured, “a lot has happened in the last four years. You should write a Part II!”

That was a very nice thing for her to say, but I just wouldn't have the stomach for it. It's been day after day of whatever crazy shit Trump said yesterday, backed up by a quick update on all current investigations, impeachments, and law suits. “Indictments are sure to follow before spring.” We all read that every day, but I'll believe it when I see it. Even if they did indict the man for something, and even if they did get a conviction, the appeals process would go on forever and a day. If any of the appeals made it to the Supreme Court...well, as an officer of the court, it would be undignified if I were to put into words my true feelings about our current Supreme Court.

This blog started in 2008. It was a time when the degradation of American politics was already well under way, but it was possible to think that we still had a toe-hold on traditional politics. The 2000 election was a wake-up call, and W.'s eight years were a nightmare of lazy-minded warmongering. Crashing the economy of the entire world was a nice cherry on the W. cake, and losing all of that money to greed and foolishness seemed to get people's attention. They decided to vote for something very different than the usual greedy, lying white devils who had come before. They elected Barack Hussein Obama!

I was intrigued.

Was there a chance that things could improve? Was there a slim possibility that our government could return to the days of calm deliberation, cooperation, and compromise? (Such as they were, but better than they are now.) President Obama's honeymoon lasted about twenty minutes. I didn't really think that things would improve, but the prospect was wonderful there for a minute. Instead, the Republicans declared immediately they they would never offer anything but direct opposition to whatever President Obama proposed. They would dedicate the next four years to one thing and one thing only: making Obama a one-term president. That this was in direct violation of the Constitutional oath that they had all taken. As it turned out, the Constitution held no power over them. As for the American people, whom poll after poll show to be a reasonable and relatively progressive people, a substantial number, approaching fifty percent I'd say, reacted with an intense burst of racist hysteria.

Obama won his second term, so we were treated to eight years of political chaos and racist mischief making. The so-called “social media,” Facebook and Twitter, were just getting off the ground then, and they cheerfully got fat cannibalizing American culture and turning people into rabid animals.

For me, Brexit was the canary in the coal mine for judging people's slipping grasp of reality. When the cousins voted to leave the European Union, that was the sign that even formerly reasonable people had lost the ability to separate fantasy from reality. That was the moment when I said to myself, alone in a hotel room watching the news on TV, “Trump will be nominated and elected.”

By now we've had four years of Trump bulling his way through all of the china shops, plus two years of him saying that “the election was stolen.” He has not, in all of that time, said one true thing, or done one thing that helped working families. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving...for comedians.

Trump was like a volcano of negative energy, and, like a volcano, he has marked his passing with a dense plume. That presents as the large and growing pack of idiots that has infected the government in all branches and at every level. Many are actual textbook idiots who have mastered only the shouted, rambling speeches that make no sense and add up to nothing. Others are intelligent, well educated people for whom only money, power, and self-interest matter. The whole crew are as devious as they are ambitious.

The great lesson of Donald John Trump has been that none of our laws, norms, or traditions can stand in the way of a politician who ignores them in favor of shouting lies into microphones. Many dangerous people now have their eyes on the prize that Trump proved can be had by any bully who pushes hard enough. There are four or five men now, and a couple of women as well, who are positioning themselves to seize power beyond merely the presidency. Becoming the Pope/ Emperor of a newly christened theocracy appeals to a few of them. Others would settle for a title like, “The Leader.”

Write about politics? Politics is dead, and roasting in hell as we speak. It's not politics anymore. It's a circus run by the sideshow freaks and the clowns.

The worst part is that these dangerous lunatics seem to be beyond the law. There have been so many laws broken in plain sight, but ignored; so many indictments that go nowhere; two obviously meritorious impeachments voted down by party hacks in the then Republican Senate; so many convictions that stall on “released pending appeal.” Does anyone believe that any of the victims of our mania for mass-incarceration think that any of that “beyond the law” stuff is funny? I'll help you: they do not.

Did George Santos get sworn in yet? It appears that he has. Is he getting in trouble yet? He's already got the resume item, so maybe he doesn't care. He'll be a reliable vote, so they'll probably keep him. After all, the Republicans run the joint now. The laws, the rules, the norms, and the traditions, these things mean nothing to them. Have they abolished the Ethics Committee yet? If not yet, soon.

There is currently no calculus available that can reach all eight corners of our reality cube. Which is unfortunate, because the world's corruption has extended itself into all eight corners of that space. And it's killing us.

The Future

Comedians are having a field day. The jokes write themselves. I guess that it only makes sense to laugh about the doom, because no one in authority seems to care. Under the circumstances, the doom is all we've got to look forward to.

Many of you do, anyway! Not me. But my granddaughters will be among those unfortunate generations sacrificed to the doom. When 2050 rolls around, they'll be in their thirties. I don't like to think about it.

Let the record show, by the way, that when all of the birds have come home to roost, and all that's left is a full-house of catastrophes, you will not be able to blame it on the Baby-Boomers. Although I'm sure that you will. Maybe we are responsible, who knows?

We all had a meeting, you know, when we were six years old. We were already running the world. All of us white six year olds had a meeting. We decided to stick with the old standbys. The things that worked! Fossil fuels; war; asbestos; racism; big lawns; lots of beef. Plus a lot more of that new stuff, plastic. We probably looked silly, smoking big cigars and drinking scotch, bunch of six year olds, but remember, we were not ordinary six year olds. We were Baby-Boomers, damn it! You think it was easy planning the total destruction of the world? That was some meeting. There were strippers and hookers there, but none of us knew why.

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