If Trump isn’t careful they’re not going to be able to put him on the dollar bill until his fourth term in office.
When American gun lovers and gun violence fanboys fall back on the argument that they need the Second Amendment and their guns to protect against governmental tyranny, please keep in mind that they just told you that they need their guns in case they need to kill police officers. That is the practicality of what they are envisioning. There is no other way to interpret the argument.
To take this one step farther: this person therefore has a scenario in their head where cop killing is completely acceptable. Perhaps there is a secret signal that certain bloggers have arranged. “When I post an upside down American flag, that means I think it’s okay for ya’ll to start killing pigs.”
Of course, there are plenty of criminal and antisocial people out there who advocate cop killing. I’m just a little surprised how cool mainstream society is with folks explicitly saying they are preparing to kill police when those people are:
B: Also hitting Republican or Trumpist talking points.
And C: Framing the conversation in nebulous terms of constitutional rights and freedoms.
It seems to go over everybody’s fucking heads. They’ve heard the arguments so many times, have had those arrangements of words droned into their ears by supposedly patriotic people for so long, that it doesn’t really have any meaning anymore. The arguments are couched in the language of America’s foundation myths. A fight against tyranny! Taxation without representation! Therefore, I need my stockpile of military grade killing machines for when the government comes to take my freedoms!
It sounds so much more reasonable than someone saying they are planning on killing any police that try to arrest them for whatever reason.
But have a black rapper allude to something in art and people lose their shit. This is nothing new, of course. Clapton sings “I Shot the Sheriff,” and white folks sing in chorus; Ice Tea connects those dots in a more direct fashion and he gets a congressional committee shoved up his ass.
All I’m saying here is that when you hear the gun rights people going on about tyranny and all that, you should try to clear your head from the fog of foundational propaganda and realize what it is they are actually talking about. Just because they are white and wearing an American flag does not mean they are any less dangerous than other groups that like to talk about killing police. It’s just that their gang colors are red, white, and blue.
This morning, in her truncated press scolding, Sarah Huckabee Sanders read the following statement:
“I can assure the American people that, fake news to the contrary, there are no velociraptors roaming free within the halls of the White House or the Capitol.
“I might add, that even if there were such dinosaurs roaming free and consuming members of government at their leisure, this in no way should be regarded as anything but a failure of the Democrats.”
Following this, the White House Press Secretary exited the briefing room with more than her usual haste and could be overheard muttering something about how, “it’s always the wrong ones that done get et.”
Sometimes I have to take a moment to sit back and marvel at just how committed American conservatives are to being awful. Their thorough attention to detail in this regard is incredible. They don’t miss a beat!
It’s not just them selfishly doing everything they can to make the world a worse place, to despoil everything they come into contact with; it’s that they take so much obvious pleasure in doing so. For these people, it seems, their greatest source of joy is causing pain.
However, this is nothing new. We can look all the way back to Rome to see their type at work. Roman patricians at the Coliseum, watching people tortured to death by the dozen, then going home to rape their slaves. Pillars of their community, these people. Fine, upstanding Romans all, who spoke of family, duty, and religion.
We might look back at those Romans, at what they did and what they regarded as entertainment, and ask ourselves: how could they have done that? Who were those people?
Well, they weren’t so different from some of ours. They just didn’t bother hiding who they were. They made a show of it. Took pride in it. Used their cruelties as a stark warning to all who would stand against their might.
Our rulers are a little less honest about it. Our cruelties are done behind closed doors. The bloodletting takes place out of sight, with the output packaged neatly in cellophane for thoughtless consumption. Our slavery institutions are systematized in more subtle ways: through corporate capitalism and the criminal justice system.
Our patricians speak of family, duty, and religion, too. They speak of their faith in Jesus as their friend; taking license from him to do what they want. Ignoring his words that make it clear they and their works are the antithesis of what he preached. That their kind of people were the ones who put him to death.
That their plebeian followers would have been in the crowd cheering the Christians martyred.
No, nothing new, these people. Just different symbols. Different spectacles for the plebs.
At its heart, the world is the same as it ever was.
We are the same as we ever were.
Pick a side. Doesn’t matter which; it is about as relevant as the name on a concert t-shirt. The important thing is that you have a brand to engage your tribalism with.
Now that you know what side you’re on, it’s time to go hunting! Get out there and scour the web for the stupidest, most ignorant, ill-adjusted, mentally unstable people you can find from the opposing side. Expose these troglodytes to the cleansing light of public condemnation and mass cyber bullying. If you’re not lucky enough to find one of these people yourself, then just pile on with the rest of your tribe.
This is fun, isn’t it? Oh, they make you so angry, don’t they? Such a delicious mix of moral outrage and strident self-expression. It’s important work you’re doing: digging the rot out of society, one shitty person at a time.
The goodness doesn’t end here, though. See, what you can do now is take these shitty people and use them and their words to condemn the thinking and philosophy of the other side. Make that person your opposing faction’s mascot. They can be your brush to paint your enemy entire with.
Do not allow the enemy a chance to confuse your conviction with thoughts and arguments; nuance and context. The underpinnings of their philosophies are meaningless. The deep thinkers who spent decades crafting their notions are dust in the wind of your righteous fury.
No, finding the most debased, slack-jawed cretin that claims adherence to their philosophy is all that you need to extinguish its credibility forever. For you have destroyed them! You have exposed and crushed them!
Isn’t victory sweet?
Now, you may occasionally feel a pinch. Sometimes you may look about at your words and those who fight on your side, and realize that you share more in common with those enemies you fixate on and attack than with the philosophers who formed the arguments you regurgitate.
You may come to suspect that those who spend all their time fixating upon, baiting, and fighting with the lowest cretins from the other side are in fact the cretins of their own. That in playing a game, we share more in common with our opponent than the philosopher that crafted the pieces we play with.
This is nothing, though. A passing spasm. Don’t reflect too deeply on it, lest you realize you have been playing checkers on a chess set with the village idiot as opponent.
Push these thoughts aside and carry on, brothers and sisters. Carry on.
The important thing is that you’ve won so many games!
The Roman Empire didn’t come to an end because of military failures. It crumbled from within, eaten away by a rot of societal cancer.
So it went for most empires.
Having the strongest military in the world at the expense of the education, health, and well-being of the people is no formula for longevity.
So, class, why is it that the United States turned to fascism when it did?
Well, as funny and pathetic as it might sound, all it took for America to accept overt white supremacy and fascism was a relatively small drop in white people’s standard of living coinciding with racism no longer being considered humorous or acceptable in mainstream culture.
However, what followed in the years to come is in no way funny, and is the reason that America’s first flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, is now considered a symbol of hate.
Being a citizen of a client nation of the American empire has always required a certain level of cognitive dissonance and culpability. How do we balance what is marvelous about America with what is evil?
It’s like America is throwing a fantastic barbecue party. There are clowns and a bouncy castle for the kids. There’s so much junk food! There’s live music! Booze! Drugs! Hookers! It is off the fucking chain!
Those of us who can get into the party are just so excited to be invited. We want to be there so much, we ignore that the land America is throwing the party on was stolen from people America murdered. That the food and drugs are paid for with blood money. That the hookers are sex-slaves.
Easy to turn a blind eye, though, because the party is just so much fun.
However, everything is going on around a big shed right in the middle of the yard. We’re all there enjoying ourselves, pointedly ignoring that shed. It’s not talked about. We don’t even look at it. It’s like it doesn’t even exist.
That’s Uncle Sam’s shed, by the way. America’s patriarch. The man who does the dirty work providing all the fun we’re having. That shed is Uncle Sam’s torture chamber, where he liquefies his victims once he’s done working on them.
The shed has always been there. It has always been in use.
But we all party on, doing our best to ignore it.
Now the party’s winding down, though. The sun’s coming up and we desperately need some real food, a long shower, and a deep sleep. Where’s my ride, anyway? The only people left here are the hardcore burnouts doing blow around the fire pit, listening to one of the hookers get sodomized in the bushes nearby.
How do I get home from here?
Oh, there’s Uncle Sam himself now. He’s wandered out of his shed, and he hasn’t bothered to change out of his “work clothes.”
That is a really nice, red white and blue leather apron, though. I wonder what kind of hide it’s made out of?
Always remember that conservatives, wherever they be, are actually pro-crime. Crime is their whole business model. Stock market scams; white-collar larceny; tax and liability avoidance; corporate regulation circumvention; corruption; sexual assault; police brutality: they love all this shit!
Just so long as it is their kind of people doing the dirt. The White Patriarch does what he wants. Society exists to facilitate him. Whatever he does is not regarded as “real crime” by his system; by the conservatives and neo-liberals he buys to grease its wheels.
It is poor people and their crimes that conservatives hate. Do keep this in mind when they go on about being tough on crime: they are talking about crushing the poor. The rich have always paid one group of the poor to brutalize and suppress the rest. This is the mechanism of the state.
The police do exist “to serve and protect.” Without a doubt. You just have to keep in mind that it aint you they are serving. They exist to protect those they do serve from the likes of you.
But do tell us more, oh corporate shills, how taxation for social welfare programs and education is the real class warfare.
You know, if the United States could refrain from going full-on, white supremacist fascist, that would be really awesome. Thanks.