Charles M. Blow's latest column, "Trump's Rage Junkies", put a big ol' smile on my face. Not least because we here at The Daily Banterhave been calling Trump's white Republican voters "rage addicts" since before the election. Welcome to the party, pal! You cannot fix a problem until you identify the problem, which Blow almost does:
Trump is like a drug dealer who has addicted his followers to fear and rage and keeps supplying it in constant doses. His supporters have become rage-junkies for whom he can do no wrong.
The trouble with laying the addiction at the feet of Trump is that it absolves white Republican voters of their responsibility. Sure, they're monsters now but only because Trump got them hooked on rage!
But that's bullshit. White Republican voters weren't nice people who were corrupted by Trump, they were nasty assholes that kept voting for the most racist politicians they could find. They told the Republican Party what they wanted and the GOP was only too happy to comply as long as they got their tax cuts and deregulation. The mistake the Republicans made was that they thought they would be able to control their increasingly insane and racist base. They couldn't and now the GOP has become an existential threat to America (and the world) that needs to be put down.
The Rage Junkies Infected the GOP Not the Other Way Around
Like the poor, doomed, infected bastards in 28 Days Later, there is no cure for the madness that's taken over the GOP. The rage junkies won't allow it. There can be no shift back to the center. No move to moderation. The rage junkies will destroy anyone that tries. Trump didn't create the addiction but he did give them the best high they've ever had. After tasting the pure hate of white nationalism, white Republican voters are never going to go back to dog whistles and keeping their racism to themselves.
This is why the Republican Party must be destroyed. Its trajectory is now irreversible. Within a decade or less, it will be an openly white nationalist party. Republicans will be dedicated to purging America of its "impure" elements. They're already doing it now but without the open appeals to one party rule and fascism. As long as they're still playing, more or less, by the rules of elections, we can take away their power and save our nation. They cannot be allowed to govern because to them, governing is synonymous with violence against the rest of us. Right now, it's soft ethnic cleansing but that won't last as the rage junkies start chasing a stronger high.
What Comes After? Nothing Good.
If we're incredibly lucky, millions of Trump's white Republican voters will hit rock bottom after he's gone. They'll look around at their lives and realize that they've been shunned by their friends and family. Why? Possibly because they couldn't stop screaming racial slurs at people on the street. Maybe those people can begin the process of kicking their addiction to hate and rage. But many will never let go even after we destroy the GOP and take away their power. Unable to hurt us on a national level, the rage junkies will take to the streets with their guns. This reality is something Blow either doesn't understand or is unwilling to face:
But no amount of moralizing from Trump’s opposition will affect the fervor of his supporters. Quite the opposite: Nothing quickens the pulse and induces the delight of conservatives more than the consternation of liberals. They would let the whole country collapse for the pleasure of spite.
What Blow leaves unsaid is that that spite will turn into a bloody murderous killing spree. When they can't get their rage fix anymore, the rage junkies will find new means. This is the conundrum we face: We have to destroy the GOP before they commit atrocities but doing so will result in atrocities. Our only consolation is that Trump's rage junkies will never be able to commit the kinds of organized mass murder a white nationalist government would be capable of.
Still, at least we're finally starting to have the right conversation about who and what white Republican voters are. They're not victims or under a spell. They're not going to wake up one day and go back to being nice people. Trump's rage junkies are violent animals that crave the suffering of others. Accept it and act accordingly.