I have a hard time understanding the Trumpian Right. I know that isn’t exactly a revelation. I’m sure most of my fellow Democrats would wholeheartedly agree. I say this though to underscore a problem: we’ve lost the ability to talk to each other, and if we continue down this path the inevitable and dramatic collision of these two parallel visions will ultimately result in disaster.
We’ve been cleaved in two as a country, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I watched a video today of several women railing at a Palm Beach County commissioners meeting about the injustice of being forced to wear a mask in public. One woman invoked everything from Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates to 5G and military scanning and the devil as reasons why mandatory mask laws were unconstitutional.
I rolled my eyes as I had done before after seeing dozens of other hysterical videos like it over the years. The thing is though that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous videos have cropped up of people refusing to wear masks inside stores and restaurants and when forced to do so, exploding with anger and vehement at what I would say is a simple request. Two people got so agitated they fired a gun into a McDonalds after being refused service due to not wearing a mask. One man shot a Family Store security guard after being told repeatedly to don a mask.
It’s not just mask mandates that have people riled up, but almost every other aspect of society that has been cast in different light depending on who you ask. On one side you have people chasing after the ghost of Antifa, on the other you have white supremacists posing as Antifa to rile authorities. One side sees police dealing with violent, unruly protesters while the other sees peaceful protesters dealing with violent, unruly police officers. It seems the Trumpian way has seeped into every corner of our national debate creating a set of facts for one group and an entirely different set for Trump’s base.
Democrats (myself included) tend to chalk up the hysterical antics of Trump’s. most fervent supporters to mental health or low intelligence or both, but with the breadth, rapidity, and pervasiveness of these instances over the past four years, it’s hard to believe that the most hardline Trump supporters are all just a gaggle of idiots. Something else exists there. Something sinister and unamerican.
I want to make it clear that I don’t say all of this to both sides the issue. I firmly believe truth lies squarely in the non-Trump camp. That being said, these parallel realities exist, and they seem to be careening towards each other in a way that has me worried for what might happen next.
Trump is already hard at work priming that “dispute the election” pump. claiming that this election in November will be the most corrupt election in history. The Republican National Committee is already pouring millions of dollars into hiring a small army of poll watchers charged with challenging voters whose registration they believe is questionable. If that doesn’t raise flags, then I don’t know what will.
The only answer I can think of is constant vigilance and a blowout election. Not only Trump, but the Republicans as well need to be decimated at the polls, a large enough margin that makes them seriously rethink their antics over the past few decades.