The Bad Guys Are Winning and I've Lost Hope That They Can Be Stopped

I've tried to write a bunch of different posts this week. We've had a wave of ludicrously sinister political news, like the texts of frantic Fox "news" hosts desperately trying to get sweaty lackey Mark Meadows to convince then-President (no, really) Donald Trump to call off the red-hatted goons as they stormed the U.S. Capitol, waddling and stumbling around in hopes of murdering their way to overturning the 2020 election. Adjacent to that is the pathetic mewl of dried jizzstain Donald Trump, Jr. also attempting to get Meadows to talk to Daddy, which is like the stupidest, saddest episode of Succession. There's the gruesome, slow garroting of the Build Back Better bill, with Democrat-adjacent Senator Joe Manchin of (dicking over the people of) West Virginia standing nude and red-faced behind it as he tightens the rope on its neck, its gasping last breaths bringing him closer to the powergasm he so intensely desires. There's the wildfire of the Omicron variant of Covid, sweeping through the world and hitting our population of moronic antivaxxers so hard that you'd think it would bitch slap some sense into them, but it won't. It just won't. 

Over here on the left, we keep hoping. We think that there is going to be some deal, some prosecution, some shift in the vaccination zeitgeist. If you are damned to be on Twitter, you might see someone say, "Boom!" when a piss dribble of news about New York prosecutors investigating Trump comes out. Yet there will be no "boom" moment, even if every revelation seems like it should be. No matter how may times Joy Reid burns Tucker Carlson or Eric Swalwell destroys Marjorie Taylor Greene or Twitter eviscerates Ted Cruz, it doesn't really mean shit beyond the masturbatory release of dopamine we get whenever we see our team get tough with the players on the other. 

But it never sticks. It never hurts. The rhetorical disemboweling of Sean Hannity because of the texts he sent Meadows is meaningless because Hannity doesn't have to make you happy. He just has to keep humping Trump's leg and that pleases the yahoos who will forgive whatever hypocrisies he's committed. I mean, it doesn't even matter that right-wing media and elected officials are literally causing the deaths of their constituents by "questioning" the legitimacy of the Covid vaccine and of mask use. If it makes those same yahoos hate the "libs" even more, then cords of stacked corpses are a legit price to pay.

But we know all this. We know that 30-40% of this nation is lost in the racist, xenophobic, anti-science, anti-reality fog that the right has created, and we know they will never come back. The fever will never break because they are the virus itself. We know that the right has been working for decades to shift all power in their direction, from state legislatures to the judiciary. We know that they have worked the refs and roughed the players. 

Still, so many of us believe that, somehow, the good guys will win. 

I was once writing a play, and I was in a workshop with a Great Writer. In a one-on-one meeting, he said he liked some aspects of the piece I was working on, but he thought the end rang false. He asked me, "Do you think the good guys always win?" I said that of course, I didn't. He said that was the problem with the end. It was wishful thinking that goodness would triumph in the situation of the play. He was right. We want the good side, our side, victorious so badly that we delude ourselves to the point where our own experience and understanding of the state of the things is shoved aside in favor of that desire to see the heroes win. So I changed the ending.

This week, I finally gave in to the idea that the bad guys are not only winning, but that they have closed off the paths to being stopped. Let me be as clear as possible: I think that Republicans will win back the House in 2022 because of open racism and unchecked gerrymandering and restrictions on voting. I think that they will use the power of the purse to immediately shut down any investigations into or prosecutions of Donald Trump and those responsible for the January 6 coup attempt. I think that the 2024 presidential election will be stolen. I think that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and other decisions that have made life fairer and healthier. I think that even if Democrats actually do the things we think will ameliorate some of the damage, that same Supreme Court will undo most of them. I think that we're fucked when it comes to climate change and this virus and the next.  I think that a civil war is now in the realm of possibility. I think that all of this is going to be so much worse for non-whites, for LGB and especially T Americans, and for women. And I think the only hopeful thing I can say is that we need to start thinking ahead on how to react to any or all of that happening. It's gonna take a fuck-ton of hard, hard work. 

I originally wrote that "it is far more likely than not" that those things would happen, rather than just saying what I truly believe because I don't want to give up on the hope of the prosecutorial unicorn jailing these traitorous motherfuckers or that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will finally say, "Fuck the filibuster" or that all the election fuckery will be overwhelmed by Democratic turnout or that Brett Kavanaugh will grow a soul.

But, if I'm being honest, I'd say that I know the bad guys will win. Oh, sure, sure, there have been moments when the good guys have scored, like on getting judges confirmed. There will be victories along the way for us, maybe even on voting rights. Yet that just feels like it's staving off the inevitable. I mean, the best-case scenario when it comes to elections, for instance, is that either the country is divided even further by right-wing lies about fraud and chicanery and that leads to violence. Or that Trump is actually prosecuted and that leads to violence. More likely, we'll just watch democracy swept away like so much dust on the floor, our civil rights wither, and the nation fall apart, not with a "boom," but a whimper. 

I want to be dead wrong about all of this. I want to look goddamned foolish in a year or two. That's the most optimistic thing I can offer right now. I can't shake it, though, this feeling that the bad guys outplayed us. They did it right. They turned language itself against the left, outright changing the meaning of words. They made the news media afraid to be honest while creating their own information ecosystem devoted to lies. They made misdirected hate into a virtue and incoherent rage at the Other into a sacrament while declaring that the problem is the hate directed against them. They pushed a mutant version of Christianity into the central organizing principle while unapologetically committing every sin repeatedly. And while we have ourselves to blame for a whole lot of the ways in which we've slouched towards Armageddon, I have to tip my non-existent hat to the right. 

Well-done, you moral lepers, you shit-spreading freaks, you savage monsters. Instead of trying to make it get well, you fucked the dying country hard until it's become a corpse and now you're fucking the corpse while telling everyone that it's alive and more beautiful than ever. You played the long game. You sowed the wind, but the whirlwind belongs to us all.