What comes after antipathy?

Don’t worry, lots of people live in fascist, authoritarian regimes. Quality of life for regular people inevitably drops, but that takes time. (Time that lets the authoritarians cement their power as they take from poor and middle class and give it to those who will help them stay in power. No one really cares about those losers anyway.)

I am tired. My heart is sad and my nerves are frayed. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, even more than usual.

I find myself just over it, in terms of antipathy. I’m ready for a sane president who respects the constitution and the citizens of the USA, and that is sounding like that might not happen, through cheating and collusion. I’m not angry about it. I’m depressed.

Ballots

It’s those pesky ballots, you see…the ones people use to vote. “If you get rid of the ballots…” Donald Trump said at one of his rallies last week. Let’s be clear: If you do that you get an autocracy, in this case a fascist autocracy.

COVID-19

Donald Trump signed an executive order a few weeks ago at Bedminster with his cronies, probably including the one who paid him to do it, looking on, starting to de-fund Social Security and Medicare, the one “suspending collection of payroll taxes”…

I say this because “suspending payroll taxes” translated into English means that the payments are coming from reserves, which are going down instead of being replenished, which means they are being depleted. He also has sent out “bonuses” to medicare recipients that will deplete the medicare reserves further, to strategically buy votes from people who are bad at math (the majority of Americans, because Republicans have been systematically gutting our education system for decades). These aren’t necessarily constitutional, or legal…but who cares about that? Who enforces that? If it isn’t’ enforced or defended the constitution is nothing. Republicans are effectively taking a dump on the flag.

Destroying these programs is a well documented, long time goal of the Republican Party. Don’t worry, though; they have a plan: corona virus will kill off those over 65. Good save, COVID-19!

We also learned this week that Trump sees COVID-19 as having another plus: he has an excuse to keep his distance from his supporters. Apparently he never liked them much. Frankly, I’m not crazy about them either, possibly the only thing I have in common with Trump.

Justice

Right now the streets are filled with people saying that life matters and justice matters… But don’t worry, out of control nut jobs answerable to no one (Trump supporters and the police) will soon scare or kill them off, in spite of that pesky constitution that gives them the right to protest. Plus they’ll kill anyone else they happen to feel like…like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many more to enumerate.

Wake up team: these lawless types have to have an enemy. That is what defines them. Like the Nazis they are they will eventually come for you. That is the point of this poem:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
     Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Confession by Martin Neimoller, as inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

This is a warning we should all heed.

Women have had their uteri removed while being denied any other form of health care at an ICE facility in Georgia. How Nazi is that?

Children were removed from their families and put in cages because their families committed the sin of wanting a better life for them, and the powers-that-be believe that people with brown skin are not actually people.

That is really what is going on: the next step is genocide, unless you take into account the killing of people of color by police. It isn’t the next step, it’s happening right now.

Decency? What’s that?

You sure wouldn’t want to pay any respect to a Supreme Court Justice who served 27 years by waiting until she was interred before turning her life of public service into a tacky campaign event, would you?

Moscow Mitch has enough votes to replace Justice Ginsberg with indecent haste so he and his goons can be sure to remove health care from millions of Americans before Christmas. Groovy. The pandemic gives it extra special meaning.

Laws that give corporations more right to life than US citizens are safe for the foreseeable future. Boy, you wouldn’t want those corporations to suffer, like, say, the families of over 200,000 who have died from COVID-19, military families or the black people shot in their own homes.. now would you?

When the nominated replacement for Ruth Bader-Ginsberg is seated they might as well take the word “justice” off the building. They should put up a sign that says “forget the Constitution, mega corporations rule, suckers!”

Addicted to antipathy

Trump and most of his supporters are mentally ill sociopaths who feed on the energy from antipathy. It’s a form of addiction: I learned about it when I went to classes at a rehab center for a family member with a substance abuse problem.

Addicts are prone to create situations that cause them to get what I call a lizard brain buzz: fear and anger cause a physiological reaction that is a kind of high, akin to coitus or taking drugs. So, if we can move to a post antipathy mode it might help to remove some of the appeal that Trump has for these losers. A bit like taking their toys away.

I saw something go by of someone saying that Trump supporters won’t care that he cheats and doesn’t pay taxes but they might care that he lied to them about being successful. My prediction is that they won’t give a tithe of a rat’s hindquarters about that…all they want is the lizard brain buzz he is so good at delivering. You aren’t dealing with rational people, they are addicts…and so is Trump. It’s likely that his abysmal financial failures are due to his addiction. He has to get his fix even when it means he fails.

I feel obliged to point out that I think that many media outlets, on both sides, tap into that buzz too, getting a bit of a charge, and good ratings, from the outrageous things that Trump does: urging people to break the law, breaking laws openly and the shocking disrespect he showed to Justice Ginsberg are examples. This is what Bob Woodward is talking about when he called his recent book Rage. That righteous indignation is described by Don-boy as rage. It feeds him.

I try to stay informed, I feel like it is my moral duty to do so, but I really get exhausted and depressed by the incessant buzz of baiting and righteous indignation. For the same reason that when I feel a bit tipsy I stop drinking, because I don’t like the feeling, I have had to step back, even from programs that I enjoy, because of the emotional charge now and then.

The thing we need to recognize is that we are not dealing with thought, it’s more like alcoholism or a cult-ish high. (“Religion is the opiate of the masses.” Karl Marx).

Post antipathy

Protests don’t help in authoritarian regimes. Give it up team…But don’t worry, lots of people around the world live in authoritarian and fascist regimes…just never though I’d see it here.

It takes a little getting used to, but don’t worry: the antipathy is almost gone. In my case apathy isn’t what comes after: it’s a weird sort of calm combined with tears of mourning for a republic that I loved and believed in.

But that won’t stop me from voting. There is a slight chance that we can pull out of this death spiral.

There is one more thing we can do, and it will be in our best interest, no matter what the outcome of the election: start to save up for the inevitable bad times as the virus wanders about, and to prepare for the increased medical costs from the end of the Affordable Care Act (inevitable at this point, although that might be temporary since it could be replaced if both the presidency and the Senate flip) and Medicare (might be saved if both the presidency and the Senate flip) and lost income from Social Security (might be saved if both the presidency and the Senate flip) to come. My post “A different kind of prepping“, explains a bit about it.

The fact is that for middle and lower income folks the financial situation is dire and there isn’t much hope beyond old fashioned frugality. The sooner your family starts to reign in expenses the better off you will be. This is more important than “prepping” with huge volumes of food you will never eat or bullets you will never shoot. (Most “prepping” advice is a marketing campaign, it’s an industry trying to bilk you…like Trump and Co.)

Maybe cynicism is another thing that comes post antipathy…

7 thoughts on “What comes after antipathy?”

  1. I’m with you, never thought I’d see this in the US. The worst part of it all is that too many people are ignorant and can’t seem to be bothered. This time in our history has the feel of Germany in the 20s and 30s right before Hitler came to power. Just frightening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that what is saddest is that Germany had many serious challenges in the 20s and 30s and the US has had a rather amazing stretch of stability. We don’t have the excuse of run-away inflation or a depressed economy to try and palm off on minorities. There really isn’t recent scarcity to rationalize the bigotry.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, there definitely is a difference between the US and Germany. Should he “win” the election, his party and fans will learn firsthand that no one is safe for long. I’m hoping that reasonable people vote him and Mitch and fellow Republicans out of town. So much for the Pro-life party! Just shameful all the way around.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “if both the presidency and the Senate flip.” If only, but I don’t think that Trump, the current GOP controlled Senate under Moscow Mitch, the Justice Department under Bill Barr, or a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court will allow that to happen. They will steal the election and there will be a second civil war in America.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure about the war, frankly I’m not sure enough people care, but I’m not optimistic about outcomes.
      The greatest hope I have is that my college age nieces are both involved in get out the vote campaigns. The younger people could, and in my opinion should, make a big difference. They are under estimated because they aren’t counted under “likely voters” in the polls.
      Young people should have the greatest say: they have to live with the consequences the longest. I will probably be dead before Coney-Barret is off the court. What a disgusting choice to replace RBG, but then it is probably carefully calculated, like everything else, to maximize outrage and give the addicts a fix.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They have. I believe they are intimidating voters in some places. I have thought that his threats are more to scare his beloved suburban housewives into voting for him for fear of what he might do if not elected. The way to deal with post election threats is to stay home if you can and let his body run around and shoot at each other. Take as much energy away from them as you can. When Joe is sworn in he is commander in chief

        Liked by 1 person

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