Uggghh. The words are not coming fast enough. I need to write on something else for a minute, because this section of the novel is frustrating me.
I’ve had this article saved in my reading list for months now as possible blog fodder, an article about Stephen Miller, the fucking nightmare child born of hatred and male pattern baldness who is one of Trump’s top advisors. His uncle wrote this article for Politico that outlines their collective family history as migrant Jews from what is now Belarus who ultimately avoided the Holocaust—only seven people from their village survived it.
I’m not sure why I saved this article, why I wanted to write about it. It seems almost irrelevant to me today. Trump himself is famously of immigrant ancestry. His wife’s family used the same chain migration process he demonizes to become American citizens. Hypocrisy is literally of no concern to this administration. In fact, it’s practically encouraged. Like a street gang who wants you to kick a guy’s ass before you can join, to be a true Trump acolyte you have to prove your mettle by demonstrating your commitment to bias. This is not a secret. This administration does not care about fairness or justice, and they are none too concerned with appearing to care, either.
I’ve all but given up on changing anyone’s mind. It seems we’re beyond appearances. We are not concerned with integrity. Integrity does not win games, or elections. People support this president, not despite his overt, amoral rapacity, but because of it. Gluttony is sexy. Charity is for pussies. Empathy is for fairy tales and fables, Aesop and Grimm. This is the real world, and the real world is ending, so it’s grab what you can and fuck the rest.
Maybe I was interested in this because it’s another example of how liberals are missing the point. There is no conservative out there who would read such an article and have their eyes opened, like oh my gawd! Really? Stephen Miller wouldn’t exist if his own policies had been implemented back in 1907? Well I certainly can’t support him now! No. They do not care about Stephen Miller or his policies, because his policies do not affect them in any immediate or tangible way. In fact, I would wager most conservatives do not know who Stephen Miller is. The required emotional leap between my own suffering and the suffering of others does not exist. And I don’t think that’s a conservative problem, I think it’s a human problem, or at the very least an American problem, a modern, smartphone, NFL, American problem.
There was also a recent article published in the (apparently) liberal Washington Post (owned by the richest man in the world) by a group of Yale researchers who said they converted conservatives to liberals by making them feel less afraid before asking them politically charged questions. Which, congratulations. You could’ve set up the study in the opposite fashion, changing liberals to conservatives by reminding them how many people die from the common influenza virus every year before questioning them about the immigrant caravan. It’s not a question of whether or not fear dictates how willing people are to share their good fortune with others. That question was adequately answered by John Locke and Thomas Hobbes hundreds of years ago. The real question is how afraid people want to be.
Well that doesn’t make a lick of sense, you might say. Who chooses to be afraid? Again, not the right question. We’re choosing not to achowledge our fears, our stresses, our difficulties. If we don’t admit them, we can’t address them. And once again, this is not just conservatives, this is an American thing. Another recent article in the (apparently) liberal New York Times claims loneliness is the root cause for people clinging to extreme political ideologies in this country. Because we’re a transitive country now, we don’t have a home base anymore, a sense of community based on location, so we join virtual communities, we represent ourselves with avatars which can hide all the uncomfortable things about ourselves that we don’t like to share, including our anxieties and fears. So we don’t share them. And they don’t get dealt with, never aired and never exterminated, and so like any common pest, they multiply in the dark.
I’m not trying to say the only way to return to sanity is to go back in time to a place where we talk to our neighbors again, or live in the same towns our entire lives. I’m saying we need to find the bravery to talk about the things that scare us, even if we don’t have to, to choose bravery, to name our demons and accept the embarrassment that might come with it but in the process allow people with more experience to inform us, so we don’t have to be so afraid.
Hobbes. That might be a good name for a boy. Middle name, anyway. We’re having a boy, did I mention? It’s a boy. There’s a lil pecker in my wife’s belly. And some balls. Boys are gross.