The night the GOP renominated Ol’ 45 for POTUS my wife worked on a complex math problem. Rather than get distracted by viral negativity accompanying this year’s pandemic, my wife is taking advanced math and science courses online. She looked up from the screen. “The so and so actually said, ‘The only way they can take this election away from us is if it’s a rigged election!’”
“Just stay focused,” I said. “Can’t solve complex problems if you let Ol’ 45 into your headspace. He’s the Master of Distraction, the King of Chaos.”
“But,” she continued. “No president in my lifetime would have made an accidental statement undermining election integrity, let alone making it a theme of their re-election campaign. ‘The only way I can lose this World Series is if all the games are rigged,’ said no champion ever.”
“Not even the Astros,” I agreed. “And they actually rigged a couple of World Series.” I paused. “How are those truth tables and proofs coming along? Bet you won’t any truth tables or proof at any party convention this year.”
My wife chuckled and refocused on solving a complex biology problem.
Ol’ impeached 45 continued pandering to his chaos-seeking, conspiracy loving base—not reasonable Republicans or cocktail conservatives that I’ve considered friends over the decades, friends that spent a lot of time solving problems rather than creating or amplifying them.
I trusted the conservative friends I went to school with at Penn (Ol’ 45’s alma mater), my cocktail conservative friends. Bright Wharton students that took their own SAT’s. Secular conservatives that innovate, build companies rather than cult-like family empires. I trusted their intellect and integrity. Even though we often disagreed in political discussion I never doubted their decency or love of country. And they never doubted mine or saw me as a threat.
Today, the somewhat reasoned voices of the William F. Buckley type cocktail conservative have been locked in the closet by conspiracy conservatives goose-stepping in a so-called silent majority. Many of my left-leaning friends can no longer tolerate listening to what conspiracy conservatives say. But it is important to give this ‘silent majority’ a safe space to speak their minds.
I want the “silent majority” to speak up. Shout with Kimberly Guilfoyle! Shout with 57% of GOP members polled by CBS that 170,000 COVID-19 fatalities is “acceptable” and the global pandemic itself is a hoax. Explain that the Nazi Holocaust and climate change were also hoaxes, but they pale in comparison to the biggest hoax in history, the “witch hunt” against Ol’ impeached 45. Scream that the mainstream media lies about everything as you yell your pepperoni order from Pizzagate and stand against your liberal neighbors drinking the blood of children! Snarl about Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate! Sneer at LeBron James to “Shut up and dribble!” Don’t take a knee in solidarity with victims of non-existent racial injustice and police violence. Don’t sit down and write a new GOP platform at your convention! Stand up for the values of ancient empires! Sing the national anthem and pledge allegiance to the POTUS!
The more chaos-loving conspiracy conservatives yell, shout, scream, and arm their 17-year-old kids for armageddon, the more my cocktail conservative friends might find a way to break out of the closet.
For decades, the GOP has cultivated the fear in its base and its reasoned wing that even the worst Republican is less dangerous to the country than the best Democrat. On July 19, 2016 they allowed Ol’ impeached 45 to boldly burn his brand of fully weaponized paranoia deep on the ass end of their elephant. As a result, the beast is out of control.
Today, despite the GOP’s dire warnings of the end of times, if cocktail conservatives got focused, busted out of the closet, and voted for reality rather than a reality star, armageddon would not commence. Even if the Senate flipped, the House went solid blue, every statehouse turned Democrat, the worst that would happen would be marijuana would finally be legalized, Oprah would have a cabinet post, and the doomsday clock would move a few ticks away from midnight.
My wife looked up from a complex science problem involving infection rates.
“Just stay focused,” I said.