When Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named Special Prosecutor by the Justice Department, I actually believed there was a scintilla of a chance, an ember of hope that Trump and his ham-fisted clutch of Russian spies might actually be taken down. Predictably, the Democrats were too afraid of their own shadows to steal the narrative by calling the President a traitor on a daily basis. I mean if this had been Hillary, she would have already been led from the White House in chains. Still, I could see glimpses through the miasma; a hint of sunlight through the obfuscation of fake news and “alternate” facts (recall: the Bowling Green Massacre), a whiff of Rocky Mountain air between Neil Gorsuch’s demoralizing Supreme Court decisions. After all, Fox News, the Alt-Right’s manure spreader, was quickly rusting out. While watching Roger Ailes and Bill O”Reilly get the axe admittedly felt like a back-of-the-bus hand job, I was far more piqued reading Howard Kurtz’ lamentation that the network’s own viewers had savagely turned against him. My thoughts were aswirl. My nerves tingled and my breath quickened as my budding tumescence began to lace up its jogging shoes.
And then came Montana.
Republican tech magnate Greg Gianforte won the state’s special House election despite being charged with assault for attacking The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs who had merely queried about the GOP’s health care bill. As corroborated by a Fox reporter, the candidate “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground… and then began punching.”
Truth be told, the opposition, what there was of it, came in the baroque form of Rob Quist, a local folk singer best known for performing at nudist camps (think: a two-bit Kinky Freidman). That, along with the fact that Trump carried the state by 20 points in November, led the Democratic leadership to eschew funding the campaign, which, given a final margin of only 6 percent seems, in hindsight, like another premeditated fuckup. So as the tealeaves now settle, it’s a safe bet that Mr. Trump will skate through unscathed and though there may be token repercussions (e.g. Michael Flynn loses his military pension) we will, for the next three years, continue to bear the unfortunate consequences of a regime that believes that BMWs pose a far greater risk than asbestos.
Yet for those who still feel that what happens in Washington brings little impact to their day-to-day, the inescapable fact is that the boorish behavior exhibited by our once lofty institutions is beginning to tangibly tear at what Rousseau called the social contract. Violence, to cite but one example, is spreading through the land faster than Chlamydia. To wit: members of the polity are viciously acting out Mr. Trump’s anti-Islamic rhetoric. Jeremy Christian, who murdered two commuters on a Portland train after verbally abusing several Muslim women, defended his rampage an “act of patriotism.” Sadly, this was far from the first of such episodes. And as the citizenry continues aping the incivility of authorities, airline passengers are no longer waiting for uniformed personnel to kick the shit out of them; they are now bashing out each other’s teeth completely on their own.
As we have seen in the seemingly countless cases of white cops gunning down unarmed people of color, society tacitly welcomes putting these officers on trial as opposed to the good old method of swiftly granting them blanket absolution. Nonetheless, the extreme unlikelihood a conviction is ever obtained means the entire process offers little more than bread and circuses. Predictably, then, retribution is meted out in places like Dallas and Brooklyn. Wouldn’t it be better, every so often, to send one of these uniformed thugs up the river in order to slake the angry mob? Of course it would. Because as Albert Einstein said: insanity is shitting on people over and over again and not expecting a boot in the eye.