61 Comments
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

I think this is correct. The hatred of their political opponents and the rage itself is now all that is important, not policies or fixes. I mean, there is no political benefit gained by gassing middle-aged moms in Portland. Nobody who isn’t already aboard the Rage Train is going to be persuaded to your side and normies will recoil in disgust.

Every once in a while I think about how 40% of the country still supports this moronic, racist Hitler-wannabe, and I have to sit down. I could see 20-30%, sure. We all know there are plenty of assholes out there. But *40%* is a scary number and gets scarier when you realize that on Election Day Trump will probably get up to 45% of the vote. Even assuming he loses and putting my natural cynicism aside, it makes me deeply concerned for the next 10-15 years. After that I don’t worry too much, the kids are (pretty) alright.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

A not-insignificant part of that rage is the growing realization that, goddamnit!! the fucking liberals were right AGAIN!! The liberals said all these bad things were going to happen, and we said pfffft! what could those liberals know? But here we are, with reality once again rubbing our noses in Republican failure. Again. Like it always does.

And that's just sooooo unfair!

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

Trump started his presidency with a dystopian vision of America in his inaugural speech. After 3 years of fascist initiatives, leavened with historic incompetence, he’s finishing with let-it-all-burn rage at all those who opposed him. And he doesn’t care how much he harms those who supported him.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

Absolutely.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

"For one thing, Trump’s first big strongman show at Lafayette Park here in D.C. was a disaster for his approval rating."

Approval ratings are about to hit an event horizon beyond which they can't meaningfully drop more. Donnie's approval consists of the GOP base, GOP leaning voters, and twelve people who support whoever because they think their approval of the man is required to show respect for the office. Much more relevant at this point are polls of likely voters. And by definition -- likely voters -- I'd dare say there's undercounting of POC e.g. likely Dem voters. And now that I think about it, I'm sure the silent majority, deep in their hearts, really, really want to be rid of Donnie.

As for rage, sure. It's the theme of right wing media. Latching on to it during the 2016 primary was some sort of stroke of genius by Donnie. The other wannabes were pols who had to act statesman-like by definition. Donnie was free to excite the base, toss them the reddest of meat and generally pander like no respectable (such as it is) professional pol could or would. And those people want their anger reflected, which is to say, endorsed. (Of course, right wing populism's problem is that conservatives are opposed to all solutions to their legitimate problems.)

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

They didn’t even get their previous Wall. Incidentally, a couple we’ve known for thirty years, such close friends that they are the only non-blood relations at our Thanksgiving table, have been revealed since the Corona Crisis and the Black Lives Matter protests as rage-filled sputtering haters. There is absolutely no way to reason with them or even hold a civilized conversation — about ANYTHING. Their rage consumes them. Big sad frustrated sigh goes here

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

YES, 100% this Roy. Sublime

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

I made everything worse but don't blame me. What a campaign pitch.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

I think another reason for Trump's deployment of the secret police is tactical, yes, but that alone is giving him too much credit. Trump can't deal in abstraction. That's why so many of his dumb stunts include a visual element, like a Fourth of July parade that was going to include tanks, or why he always points to the map of red America, or just recently when there was an event on deregulation and he used two trucks and a crane to demonstrate some stupid point.

A virus, however, is abstract, in the sense that you can't see it, but you can see the results, which no matter how you cut it aren't good because people don't want to wear masks or social distance or stay home or fight for toilet paper. Robocops beating the shit out of college kids in hoodies? Nothing abstract about that at all. Which I think is one reason why Trump likes it.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

This makes a lot of sense. When your personal identity is wrapped up in being a contrarian, and not only do none of your ideas work but you've failed once again when you're given the opportunity to make them work, all you've got left is nihilism.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

Thanks for this, it makes me feel better. Everyday there is a new effort to dismantle anything and everything decent and good. My kid lives in Portland, and she says the Mayor (who doubles as police chief) has always been awful, and is conveniently blaming the feds for his mismanagement of the Portland cops. As for Carlson—I live in Maine, and there have been local articles about his rehab of an old garage into a studio, and although they didn’t print his address, they mentioned his local residency (summering there all his life, don’t you know). He had a tantrum at them as well, whining that they’d ruined everything by writing about his residency. It is astounding the sense of privilege that this clown possesses. They’ll come for my family if you write about my whereabouts, but I’ll peddle hate ever night and wahhhh. Trump’s confidant. The bloat. The rage.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

Why are there so many rageaholics in the USA? Well... even though I'm just a poor country boy I've had the opportunity to travel around the world quite a bit and have visited 5 of the 7 continents with various countries in each. I've also spent a lot of time in Oceania, which is an ocean and not a continent, but a lot of people still live there. I'm just saying I've been around a bit.

So I'm just gonna say something I've noticed.

Americans are the biggest fucking assholes on the planet. It's shameful. There's something about the USA that makes a significant portion of the people who grow up in it into complete assholes. I think it's another form of privilege - "hey, we're Americans, the greatest people ever!!! So fuck yah, we do we want motherfuckers!"

I'm moving to the South Pacific when I retire here in a few years. Fuck this joint. So far as I'm concerned it's been a racist, fascist pig hole my entire life. I spent 25 years running from the authorities just because I wanted to grow an unapproved plant. To me the fascism started with the war on (some) drugs (the ones the hippies and the minorities like). That was in 1972... I've never been a "proud" American - I just live here, pay my taxes and do my best to stay out of prison. I don't have to love it.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

It occurred to me a few years ago that this kind of resentment is seductive because it feels like self-respect, or at least a temporary simulation thereof. It's like a dying car battery that can't hold a charge. Give it a jump and it "works," but turn off the engine and it goes dead again.

Also, you have to admit that at least when you're angry, you feel alive--and it effectively distracts your from feelings or thoughts that any of your problems are the fault of you, your parents, or the political representatives you've voted for all your stupid, stupid life.

Expand full comment

Well, I say, let's give them something to cry about.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

Might as well face it, they’re addicted to rage.

Expand full comment
Jul 22, 2020Liked by Roy Edroso

He is a nasty Borsht Belt lounge act, obsessed with the scene, a teenage gossip. He frames everything in petty, “I’m a star, baby” terms. He’s also a sort of an original Incel, paying for sex and partners, never experiencing mutuality, ever. He is tortured, and so he tortures us. He feels nothing unless he’s hurting or defiling.

Expand full comment