Is our recently displaced, totally disgraced former “president” going to be reinstated, returned to the White House sometime in the month of August? You’d think such an idea would smother under the weight of its own absurdity, but this notion is still out there, circulating mostly in the most deranged reaches of the internet, with all the viability of a petition to make Marjorie Taylor Greene the Queen of Denmark. How will such a fantastically unconstitutional scenario play out? It must be a tantalizing prospect for the crowd that tends to wear TV dinner trays on their heads. Will the military take charge, giving America that special, extra-legal, far-eastern flavor of Myanmar, while escorting the Bleached Peach to the White House? Will there be martial law? Or will it be the voice of a unanimous Supreme Court that delivers the Executive Branch to him, sweeping aside our founding documents in a move unprecedented yet so magically legitimate?
Of course, many other questions will need answers. Will a sound system on Lafayette Square be blaring “Eye of the Tiger” or “Y.M.C.A.”? Will Mike Pence be hanged for his public perfidy? Will Joe Biden be marched through the streets in rags and chains, stripped of his aviator shades, after having admitted his involvement in the celebrity cabal of Satan-worshipping, pedophile cannibals who foiled the legitimate election of our pure and patriotic former “president”? Details will need to be ironed out.
At times like this, I think of the classic words of author Sam Lipsyte: If you haven’t got anything nice to say, you’re probably beginning to understand the situation.
If there is any good news in a country where paranoid political fantasies are more plentiful than food trucks–and truth itself is on life-support–it can be summed up in two points.
One, the people who embrace the weirdest and most dangerous ideas in the national conversation today are easily identifiable. No surprise that they are almost all Republicans. According to a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll, 29% of them believe that the former “president” will indeed be reinstated. How big a surprise can it be that the same rough percentage of party members has adopted equally bizarre positions on two of the most fundamental issues facing America today?
Take climate change: a Gallup poll taken earlier this year revealed that 23% of Republicans believe that the predicted, disastrous effects of climate change will NEVER come to pass. The number of Democrats who hold that view is 1%.
On the topic of COVID vaccination, a number of polls show about 30% of Republicans categorically refusing to be vaccinated. Why would they want a government super micro-chip in their bloodstream, monitoring their consumption of sour cream dip and Mountain Dew? So the Venn diagram of Republican climate deniers and vaccine refusers shows a heavy overlap, though the two groups might not be made up of precisely the same population.
The only jugular vein issue where the percentage of Republican madness creeps above 50% is the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election results. About 53% of them believe, without a dust mote of evidence, that the election was fraudulent. This is no less insane than believing Jewish space lasers started the wildfires in the West, and it’s disconcerting, naturally. But the best way to approach these people—about any of the above issues–is not to approach them at all. Save your breath for more noble causes. And that brings me to point #2.
Not only are the nuttiest people easily identifiable, but they’re a clear minority of Americans. How to stress that enough? Now is not the time for fruitless, circular arguments with zombies, but for efforts to move America forward as the framers intended: through majority rule. Yes, we have to deal with blatant attempts at voter suppression, ludicrous gerrymandering, and–worst of all–red state legislatures trying to control and possibly falsify election results that don’t favor them. But hey, nobody said the dirtbags wouldn’t play dirty. The crazification of the Republican Party is real. The catch for the hard-core Repubs, however, is that party leaders are gambling their future on a disgraceful show of grotesque toadying toward the former “president,” hoping the variety of painfully contorted postures they adopt, their partisan Kama Sutra, will hoodwink the broader public. Let them discover for themselves that their greasy servility won’t attract the voters they need to win elections.
Knowing what they’re about should only serve to encourage us to go all Stacy Abrams on them, while working with non-insane Republicans who can name the three branches of government and know how to eat with a fork and knife. The people who understand that having a thuggish, incompetent, self-absorbed wretch as president is a bad idea.