Trump has blown open a thin veil of marriage between God and the right wing, originally pierced by P.T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood in 2007. TWBB fans know that religion and capitalism are train-engines facing opposite directions and connected in the middle. Jesus was a textbook communist and compassion is the opposite of fiscal growth. But where as Charlie Sheen was once a punchline for his troglodytic, over-simplistic "duh #winning" persona, there are a core of Trump supporters that are truly terrifying for a similar competitive lust.
I'm not referring to old-fashioned value voters who use Fox News as the warm fireplace in the center of their home, 60 year old Christians who value God and hard work for hard work's sake. Those easily sold a bill of goods, who actually believe Hillary is a felon, are merely a technical problem; they're a social engineering puzzle to keep folks with only one source of news from being fooled by a con-man. The same way our parents are all being scammed by anti-virus software ads and clever algorithms sending "real" emails from their friends in an emergency who need to be wired money immediately. This was merely a knowledge gap. An embarrassing moment when a generation incidentally more informed than its parents needed to protect them--and everyone--from their good intentions. But this is much worse.
This is a different breed. This new breed is educated. They're sophisticated. They're tech-savvy, and they have a sense of historical context. They enjoy irony and vulgarity, they respect personal strength. They know that God is a metaphor, an insurance plan for the abyss.
It's not neo-nazis, it's not even racists--per se. Those relentless fuckers are simply old before their time and trying to fill their own IQ holes with first person shooters and crystal meth.
The real problem is those neighbors who get evolution and understand that homo-sapiens won the chromosome race through tribalism and duplicitous manipulation--and annihilation--of our Neanderthal cousins. They get Werner Hertzog. They know that the world started as a zero sum game and they value getting what you want out of life. They're oriented by results. They champion digital privacy while they download pirated content on bit torrents. They don't feel guilt and they get a big laugh out of people who do.
They hate being manipulated, and they're smart enough to know when it's happening. They didn't vote for trump for dumb "wall" promises. They voted for trump because they're closet anarchists who know that he's willing to lie, cheat, and steal to make the system more about winning and less about slowing down the whole team to nurture the unintelligent and lazy. These people are good at getting ahead, and they want to make being good at getting ahead more valuable. Understandably so.
If it were merely Jesus and guns and traditional inability to see the big picture (firmly misjudged--as always--as actually seeing the big picture) you'd have those moments at the end of the day where Trump was an unfortunate case of being "the best we have to work with." For lots of folks, perhaps even a majority of those who actually pulled the lever for him, that's what he was. They pulled the lever with slightly mixed feelings. They voted for him despite his bragging about pussy grabbing, not because of it.
But these are not his most troubling proponents. These are merely your Mom and Dad who wish he'd act more presidential, but are sick of their taxes going up. The most alarming members of his street team are people who have never truly cared about politics before because it was aways what Alex Jones called "Two management teams laying out a buffet of lies." And on that point, they're right. And they know they're right.
So when they see Trump fairly sophisticatedly lying to his base to manipulate them at rallies, these genetic winners fueled on tiger blood are in on the gag. Trump might stand for stupid, and (if tweets are the most honest and unrefined version of thoughts) he might be stupid, but being "intelligent" is not the same thing as being "clever."
And if you've been on the internet even twice since Y2K, you know that we don't live in the era of intelligent, we live in the era of clever.
That's a whole different and insidious problem for another time, and for a more intelligent writer than myself. You see, I slightly identify with these Trump colluders. I'm not an incredibly intelligent person. But I'm educated. And my Mom says I'm clever af.
So I'm not going to use the term "psychopaths" because most people have an inability to read that word without luggage. I'll refer to informed Trump fanatics as "Naturals." Because in nature, these are the people who get ahead. Civilizations and social welfare programs are entirely artificial, by definition. Hospitals, infrastructure, and universities... Taxes, beurocracies, laws, and police stations, these are all very unnatural things designed to keep the biggest and meanest with the heaviest stick from wandering around saying, "I'm gonna have rape for dinner."
When you see a reasonably intelligent white male on facebook referring to people who want help from the government to feed their family as "cucks," you should know that Naturals don't see privilege in the same context as we do. Luck is not to be savored and reflected on, it is to be capitalized on. They don't see every human being as equally valuable, they only judge value based on power. In a post-God world, this is an understandable view-point. And that's why Trump is so scary. His values aren't wrong, they're just horrifying. In an age where everyone can pick their own values, most of us are uncomfortable normalizing and mandating a value system where the captain of this sinking titanic is whoever can step on the most freezing and screaming faces on their way to the top.
And yet that's the way we're going, because who is going to stop it? Empaths aren't typically the right combination of vicious and conniving to undermine the Natural movement of power. The number of regular dudes who perished on D Day simply to topple government-gone-corporate is staggering.
The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is to kill em with kindness. Find whichever white male redditor in your life is still sharing the most anti-Hillary memes and say two nice things about them: One that's completely true, and one that's only half true. Their brain chemistry will react so as to reinforce the half-true behaviors. A year from now he'll hopefully have rounded that out to mostly true, and you can do it again with other characteristics. The mind is hackable and even bullies respond to love and affection. Just look at Trump's initial acceptance speech immediatly following the biggest "you really love me" moment of his life! He was gracious and he thanked Hillary for her service as Secretary of State! That was until more mockery from SNL came his way and Scrooge polypped back into a petty, insecure chode.
In the meantime, all my fellow post-God voters who've decided to throw in on the side of civilization and empathy will have to think subversively; think manipulatively, slightly psychopathically.
Vote like a Bernie, but think like a Natural.
Sassafras H. Wilmington is a retired carnival barker with soap-carvings in several Ramada Inns around the Ohio Valley area.