Despite the pandemic, My Friend Jon gets out quite a bit. Rides his bike all over the county. He recently posted on Facebook a photo he took of this house blanketed by big TRUMP WON banners. Life-size cut-outs of Trump on the front lawn, and a two-dimensional Trump and Melania at the front door, greeting visitors.
I’ve stumbled across similar conservative urban trail markers. Here’s a house all dressed up in DON’T BLAME ME I VOTED FOR TRUMP banners. It’s just a two-minute drive from where we live:
Here’s another one, just one street over from our house. TRUMP 2024 it says. With images of handguns, brandished in a threatening manner. In the spirit of holiday décor, it recently added “TRUMP” spelled out in white Christmas lights in the front window. I walk the dog, Abilene, past it a couple of times a week:
Who lives in these homes? Are they crazy? Are garish exhibits of personal political statements a Republican thing? I don’t recall Democrats draping their homes with HILLARY WON banners after the 2016 election. And Clinton did win the popular vote, so at least there would have been some truth to that one.
What’s happening inside these homes? They’re debating Critical Race Theory. They don’t know what it is, except… something, something, murmur, mumble… something about Black people.
No one who lives in these houses seems able to cite any specific evidence proving that THE ELECTION WAS STOLEN. All they know – and this really is all they know – is the vote didn’t tally up to what they were hoping for. They don’t know exactly what happened, except… some, some, murmur, mumble… something about the libtards.
Something grand-sounding like these words, which I conveniently created just for this essay, might be chiseled on the granite base of a forgotten statue covered in pigeon shit in your town square:
If we trust each man, woman and dog to be the curator of their own truths, then the rules of society will inevitably crumble.
We’re seeing the cracks widen now…
Domestic terrorists can attack the United States Capitol in an attempt to reverse the results of the November election and overthrow the government. And be hailed by conservatives as HEROES.
A 17-year-old kid can drive to another state, with an illegally obtained AR-15, shoot three people – killing two of them – and earn the praise of conservatives. And earn a trip to visit Trump at Mar-a-Lago.
Without offering any evidence, Republican Lauren Boebert can accuse her fellow congressional representative, Democrat Ilhan Omar, of being a Muslim terrorist.
Maybe this is a matter of you can’t see the morning until you’ve stayed up fretting all night. Sometimes, society’s norms do hold up.
Because Unite the Right organizers have been found liable for millions in damages after a white-power rally in Charlottesville, Va. Because the conservative conspiracy entertainment theorist Alex Jones has been found guilty of defaming the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Because Trump White House political strategist Steve Bannon has been charged with criminal contempt for ignoring a subpoena from a congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. And because the manufacturers of voting machines are suing right-wing media groups for claiming, without offering any evidence, that the companies were involved in election corruption that put Joe Biden in the White House.
Can you imagine how extensive this network of corruption would have to be in order to subvert, state by state, a national election? And no one – NO ONE – has stepped forward with any evidence?
Perhaps it’s a matter of personal perspective. Through which lens do you choose to view the world? What has caused more hospitalizations and deaths, COVID or donuts? Either answer is correct, depending on the time frame you choose.
There can be many variables, but ultimately only one truth. In 2020, in the final thrashing year of the Trump presidency, the Department of Homeland Security finally acknowledged that violent white supremacy is “the most persistent and lethal threat in the homeland.”
Not Muslim congresswomen. They’re not even on the Lethal Threats to the Homeland chart.
We’ve seen these TRUMP WON banners before.
Centuries ago, mathematicians and astronomers such as Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus and Johannes Kepler were calculating how our universe worked. Yet they were cautious about being too loud about presenting their evidence that we live in a heliocentric solar system. The progress of European civilization was hindered by too many Flat Earthers, and by a Catholic church that insisted the Earth was the center of the universe, and by believers that the hand of God was behind the death of every sparrow. The advance of humanity was stunted under threat of prison and torture. True, a smattering of cultures ranging from the Chinese to the Maya seemed to have a better grasp of cosmology. But let’s not award too much credit to a culture that, as a religious offering, would cut the beating hearts from the chests of enemies captured in battle, or even the hearts of their neighbors.
Humanity is only one rung up from the Black Widow spider, notorious for eating its mate.
Acceptance of facts and truth is critical to society moving forward. But when rejected, facts and truth are equally valuable as tools that reveal prejudice or lack of education. Displays of ignorance is a Geiger counter, its escalating chatter betraying the danger at hand.
Awareness of their willful ignorance warned us of who would be waving those TRUMP flags on the steps of the Capitol building on January 6.
When truth and science isn’t allowed in, witchcraft and superstition fill in the void. Human nature has always been open to delusion. Over the centuries, nothing has changed.
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