I was raised in a town made famous for fighting Nazis in court, so we wouldn’t have to fight them in the streets. I went away to college, returned to a cable TV internship and then moved away to a small suburban town where the residents were supposed to bow down to every idea and opinion of the guys who inherited third generation family businesses that they hadn’t yet run into the ground or sold out. It was there that I started my first newspaper, which ultimately suffered from the common lack of advertising support from local business. But we scored the biggest business in town, the local hospital, with a regular four-color full page ad and managed well enough outside the town’s borders to meet about four years of deadlines and help sustain an informed electorate while maintaining a solid commitment to strict journalistic ethics.
A spring thaw sometime between projects led to a protest vigil in the gravel parking lot outside a gun show at the County Fairgrounds near the end of a nice bike ride on the local mixed-use trail system. Gunhuggers outnumbered the vigilant but that figured, considering it was very much their turf. They reminded me of another religious cult I used to encounter back on the old college campus, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. I am not a spiritual person but the Hare Krishnas were at least into some kind of enlightenment, such as it is. They were actually kind of fun to hang out with, in limited doses, eating homemade vegetarian food in their trailer and chanting. But this cult of armed religious gunhuggers is driven by a weird persistent demand that everyone around them be consumed with a pseudo-patriotic terror of their fellow Americans in order to feel good about their dangerous fetish. All the socio-political divisions in our valuable political discourse — guns, abortion, race, immigration, anthropogenic climate change — reveal one consistent overarching grievance. The thing that the Right Wingnuts are really frustrated about is that no one is as afraid of them as they are of everything else.
So, eventually, I’ve come around to the narrative that it’s not the guns after all. Obviously, there is something uniquely evil about America and being American. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. And then, as the chilly air thawed all around the placards, banners, hats and bumper stickers, it hit me. Willfully, proudly, arrogantly we are Earth’s metastasizing cancer cell. OOH-RAH!
Globalists are the enemies of the flat earth cult. Remember that migrant caravan from Central America back in 2018 that George Soros paid to invade the United States so MS-13 could kill us all when the Democrats flipped Congress? Religious Liberty; All Lives Matter; Let’s get back to how Christians are brutally oppressed because some lady can still get an abortion two states away.
As Republican lawmakers take policy debate to ever increasingly apocalyptic extremes, they demonize Democratic legislative priorities as casually as they breathe. Speaking about the For The People Act, which Democrats hope to secure voting rights while Republican dominated statehouses work to make it harder for people to vote, Utah Senator Mike Lee said “This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself.”
Every winter, conservative pundits and Republican leadership frames the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in terms of Judeo-Christian Values vs. The Liberal Oppression of Saying “Merry Christmas.” Meanwhile, there will always be a Jewish presence in the former Palestine Mandate but Jewish national self-determination in Israel is failing. Israel’s course is now being determined by European pan-nationalists and white American Christian fundamentalists and there is precious little about it that is Jewish at all. We live in a time when Jewish leadership identifies Linda Sarsour as “antisemitic,” even as she helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for repairing vandalized Jewish cemeteries and graffitied synagogues, while Hungarian president Viktor Orban’s antisemitic attacks against George Soros are defended by Israel’s prime minister.
Virtually everything that American right wing conservatives demonize seems to be rooted in the very principles expressed in the Preamble to the US Constitution itself “in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” What if the evil and godless Deep State are the good guys?
No matter how long the arc of justice is, it will not bend where we want it to bend, unless we bend it ourselves — socially, politically, culturally. Because there really is no arc of justice, long or otherwise. We are entirely on our own and that does not have to be so scary after all.