Monday, November 14, 2016

Cranky Bear Weighs In

[Editor's Note: My rather impolitic friend Cranky Bear has not been heard from on this site in awhile. The election result has prompted him to come out of hibernation, and send me this missive from his compound.]

Hey gang, it's the Crankster here with a bottle of porter beer in my hand and a rage in my heart. I've long told y'all that this country is a headin' down the track to disaster, but shit, I didn't expect it to go down like this.

For years now whenever I've wanted to point out the wrong turn American society has taken since the Reagan Era, I've always trotted out Donald Trump as the ultimate example of what our corrupted, materialistic values have begot. The fact that a man so vulgar, crass, and immoral could be lionized and admired for over three decades was proof that we were living in a sick society. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the man so reflective the garbage values of late capitalism would end up getting elected president. He is a mirror of what America has become.

And so the hand-wringing and chest beating has begun, and you know what, I want it to end. The blame game is a luxury that we can't afford. In any case, he won the election through voter suppression and the electoral college, essentially through undemocratic means. THAT should be the focus, we can leave the internal fighting until some point where our heads aren't all on the goddamned chopping block.

What we have to do is fight, and to fight long hard and potentially to give what Abraham Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion." I don't mean to alarm y'all, but we are looking authoritarian rule right in the face. Trump is a man with zero understanding of the checks and balances of the government, and more importantly DOES NOT CARE. Like a typical CEO he values loyalty and obedience above all, and thinks political dissenters can merely fired like so many malcontented employees. His first statements on Twitter after getting elected were to attack the New York Times and to attack the protestors in the street. One of his flacks threatened Harry Reid with legal action for daring to criticize him, and his minions have tried to delegitimize the protests against him. Like a typical authoritarian ruler he has surrounded himself with family members and die hards, no matter how incompetent or clueless.  Most importantly, he is prepared to make a man beloved by literal Nazis, Steve Bannon, his closest advisor.

All the while the Quislings and Petains in the Republican establishment have bowed down to the strong man. Trump insulted McCain's bravery as a Vietnam POW, then came crawling back. Trump read out Lindsay Graham's private phone number so that he could be harassed, and he came crawling back, too. This is the typical strongman tactic of humiliating a man in public in order to politically "own" him going forward. That's why Trump belittled Christie and joked about his weight after he joined the Trump train. In the fight to come there will be very, very few on the other side of the aisle willing to turn on Trump, no matter what he does. If this election has taught me anything, it's that their hate for their perceived enemies matters more than any principle they have. When people start disappearing in the dead of night they will secretly be ecstatic. So many people in power who are supposed to be on our side will be shocked, but too chickenshit to fight with the vigor that is needed to win.

Neither will the media be any help in the coming struggle. With Fox and Breitbart, Trump will have two state media outlets, one ruling cable and one ruling the internet. Another thing this election has taught us is that facts and evidence are inconsequential, so Trump will use these outlets to unleash a tidal wave of horseshit, obfuscations and lies that will show up in your reactionary uncle's Facebook wall unless you haven't mercifully unfollowed him by that point. The remaining media will face a choice: access or no access. Those choosing access will try hard not to offend the Great Leader. Those not choosing access will be banned and lose the ability to have much of a public voice. They will be harassed and sued. In any case their voice will be drowned out by the shadow state media. As in Putin's Russia, only those already critical of Trump will take the time to find the media critical of him. There will be no need for official censorship.

We only have ourselves, folks. So stop fucking around! Back in the election, were you knocking and doors and organizing? No! You were refreshing 538's home page and biting your nails. STOP THAT SHIT NOW! Get out into the streets! You have time to binge watch a new season of the newest HBO tits and violence prestige show? Guess what, you have time to get your Congresscritter on the horn and give them a piece of your goddamned mind. If you can afford that daily latte you sure as shit can afford to give Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and many other fighting organizations some of your dough.

And we may lose, but we cannot, must not go down without a fight. When your are old and gray and the young ones ask what you did to stop the march of Fascism, what the hell are you going to tell them? We've spent years asking ourselves what we would do if an authoritarian regime would come to this country, well know's your time to see if you really meant what you said when it was only theoretical. The other side knows there's a war on. It's high fucking time that you acted like it, too.

Stop backbiting. Stop grandstanding. Stop snarking. Stop hemming and hawing, for fuck's sake.




Cranky Bear out.

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