I’m always talking about the two Americas and the cultural war currently raging all around us. Well, I had a first-hand toe-to-toe skirmish with someone from the Other Side a few hours ago, and now that my blood pressure has returned to normal, I want to share about it. Quite frankly, as I recount the incident, I expect my blood pressure to rise back up to the 158 over 120 that it was measured at when I got to the doctor’s office today. Man, was I pi$$ed!
My story starts with me merrily blogging along (this is a great news day) and then I had to put the computer aside and go to a doctor’s appointment. So I called a Lyft and some seemingly okay young man came in a black car. So down the road we went, and I was in a good mood. The only odd thing about this ride that was different from all the other rides, was that there were paper signs plastered all over the back of the front seats about no eating or drinking in the car, seatbelts are the law, be sure to give him five stars, tips are appreciated. I said, very nicely, “You know, I’ve never seen anything like this in a Lyft before and I’ve taken hundreds of rides. Actually, I think the signs cheapen the experience. Lyft, at it’s best, is like a limo ride. It’s valid to say you must fasten your seatbelt, but other than that, I think you should lose the rest.” No, he liked all his frou frou, bla bla. So I said, “Hey, it’s your car, your career, do whatever.”
He asked me what my career was and I said, “I’m a blogger, actually. I blog about politics.” And I told him what a great news day it was and how I hated to leave my computer. So I went on about how Robert Mueller had essentially called William Barr a lying sack of shit, but not using those words, rather communicating it in legalese and gentlemanly discourse, good for him, he’s a pro. Then I said Nancy Pelosi was really going out there today. She publicly challenged Melania’s immigration to the United States and her parents chain immigration, and man, was that going to hit the fan. He was just nodding, in what I took to be assent. Realize, I’m in California and the vast majority of people here hate Trump with a laser-like intensity, although none so much as me.
Then I said, “Now here’s a news story you probably haven’t heard anything about. Some guy set fire to himself on the White House lawn today.” The driver said, “If you’re not happy with your life, you can’t blame the president.” His inflection sent off an air raid siren in my head. I said, still in my businesswoman respectful-just-askin’ voice, “Are you a Trump supporter?” He replied, “I’m a Republican, but I’m not a crazy Republican.” I said, “Good, then I assume you’re a fan of Justin Amash?” “I don’t know who that is,” he said. I explained, “Well, Amash is the GOP congressman from Michigan who is spearheading a movement to get Trump impeached. You haven’t heard about this?” “I don’t have much information,” he admitted. I said, “But you voted for Donald Trump, yes?” “I voted for Trump because I thought it would be nice to have a businessman in office, but then when he said certain things, I said, ‘no no, you can’t say that.'”
I thought, this is drole, this a$$hole believes that the worst things Trump has done in office are a few slips of the tongue. So I said, “But you voted for him because you believed him to be a successful businessman?” “Oh, yes.” I said, “Do you still believe that?” “Well, he’s made tons of money,” he replied. I said, “No, Sir, he has not. He has lost more than he ever earned. He inherited his money, blew a lot of it, borrowed from his siblings, and then proceeded to cheat his workers and lie about his wealth to anybody who would listen.”
By this time, as you have guessed, the “cool” older businesswoman had vanished and I had morphed into my full Ursula mode, and that’s who was in this poor son-of-a-bitch’s back seat, warming up for a full blast rant. I am put in mind of a time when Durrati read one of my rants and I happened to be talking to him afterwards about getting a bear avatar, and he said, “Get a snarling grizzly. No pooh bears for you.”
Now, those of you who read me know how writing is my religion and writing about politics in this era, is my holy quest. I truly believe the fate of democracy is at stake, as we speak. Politics is not trivia to me, it is the mechanism by which our society is going to continue to stand, or fall into the abyss. And, to my mind, I was talking to one of the jerks who are hurling it over into the abyss, as the yous and mes play tug of war and try to drag it back up over the cliff.
So I said again, “Just tell me, do you believe that Donald Trump is a successful businessman, yes or no?” He replied, “I don’t have the particulars.” I said, “Well, Sir, they are readily available. You might glance at the front page of the Los Angeles Times occasionally. Some of Donald Trump’s tax returns were in fact released, and they conclusively proved that for people in his income bracket, he was one of the biggest losers of money in the entire country. Maybe if you had a few facts, your criteria for this man’s success would be modified.”
Now at that point he began to drive past my destination, and I said, “It’s on the left.” It was then I realized that he had somehow come at the destination bass-ackwards, because everybody else takes a route where it’s on the right.
So, this discombobulated clown, obviously lost focus on the ride — which I can’t say I blame him, because he had stepped knee deep into a pool of shit, attempting to justify his “Republican beliefs,” while I was machine gunning him with facts from the back seat, showing him his hero had clay feet, if that. It was then that it registered on me that the guy was shaven bald, and I thought, “Oh, great a skinhead. That explains the signs in the car and the conversation. The little Nazi control freak, who worships the Aryan Fatburger God. Oh, Jeezuz.”
So, the clown turned left, in what was the nearest driveway, but he still couldn’t get it that the drop off point was the office building on the street, so up our merry way we went to Seventh Day Adventist Hospital and I had to tell him three times he was driving too far and I wasn’t going to pay for him getting lost. Finally, I snapped in frustration, “Listen! You need to turn this car around. Are you able to do that or do I just need to get out and walk?”
He managed to turn the car around and as we descended the hill, I began my final descent on his amoeba brain.
“Now I’m going to tell you this up front, so that you know what’s going on straight from the horse’s mouth. I’m going to give you one star so that I NEVER get matched up with you again, and zero tip, primarily because you’re an incompetent driver, but mostly because your incompetence spills over into other areas of life as well. Voting is a privilege that members of a democracy have. You voted for Trump based on illusion and delusion and zero facts, by your own admission. You are one of the 63 million voters in this country responsible for putting a criminal, who rightfully belongs bars, in the White House. I absolutely refuse to support anyone like you, in any way shape or form! YOU are going to be the death of my country, but not while I can help it!”
Then my dramatic exit onto the street, flourishing my cane like a stage prop, “And I respectfully suggest, Sir, that you get some facts about what’s really going on in the world so that you can wake the fuck up!” and I slammed the door and stalked up the steps. He honked his horn at me, which I guess was his way of saying fuck you, and I would have flipped him off, but it wouldn’t have been seen from the top of the steps.
I hope that I totally ruined this jerk’s day. I doubt if I woke him up, except to the fact that maybe if somebody starts talking about politics and it’s obvious they’re a Democrat, maybe the best course of action is to STFU, if you can’t factually defend your position. But looking back objectively at the situation, he, the young male, was of course going to instruct the old woman how things are in the world, because of course, she couldn’t possibly know anything and his is the superior mind. That strategy did not only did not work out for him, it kicked open a manhole cover straight into Hell.
And I’m not sorry for my part in this incident one iota. Somebody needs to tell the willfully ignorant the facts of life in the era of Trump. We are at war, and voting for a presidential candidate is not like choosing one suit over the other, or preferring a certain flavor of ice cream. If we don’t get serious about politics in this country and if we don’t have an informed electorate, then maybe it is time to kiss the Great Democratic Experiment goodbye. Maybe we could only sustain it for 240 years, until we became too uninformed and dumbed down to properly assess our situation. Maybe we’re just like the dinosaurs, when life around them changed dramatically; they were simply too stupid to cope with the situation and they died.
Abraham Lincoln was a seer. He prophesied exactly what we are experiencing now. Maybe he had the wisdom to realize that the Civil War was not really over in his day, merely the first part of it. Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from without. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we defeated ourselves.”
The mission of real Americans now is to win this final battle of the Civil War — which is what we call the “cultural war” boils down to — it really is as simple as that, and as tragic. We’re still fighting the Civil War. We are totally divided right now. And I pray along with Abraham Lincoln, in the same spirit, and only a slightly different context, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This is exactly what’s at stake in the next few years, our way of life, the right to self-government. It’s sad that we’re here, but we.are.here. And we have to act. An oblivious electorate (along with a little help from Trump’s Russian friends) put this bum in office. If the same Stepford voters do it again, I fear for the continuation of this republic.
Because I always endeavor to be fair, if anybody has a better idea about how to deal with these Trumpites, other than tell them the hard facts of life, in no uncertain terms, I am open to hearing what you have to say. I’m not saying that there wasn’t a better way to behave during this confrontation today, but it’s quite possible that for me, there is not. I am constitutionally incapable of listening to this bullshit and not react passionately with the truth — and I never cease to marvel that there are so many people out there with no idea, and worse yet — no idea that they have no idea. They think they know. Just like their beloved leader. They think they know. And what they don’t know, when they punch that ballot card, can kill us all.