Righteous, fuming, long bottled up anger when finally released does not have an attractive history. Just look at the Union Army’s burning of Atlanta, Mussolini’s fate at the hands of a raging Italian crowd, the shaved heads of French women who consorted with the Nazis, Saddam Hussein hanging lifeless from a noose. While there is a biblical notion of forgiving seventy times seven, there is an older, more mortal biblical notion of an eye for an eye. As the Trump house of cards prepares to fall—and make no mistake, we are now in the final months—all of us who self-identify with the resistance will be morally tested like never before.
As Shutdown ’19, Round One drew to a close last week with the President vanquished, we witnessed barely contained venom from the long-suffering. When Wilbur Ross suggested taking out a bank loan to pay for necessities, some of us wanted an eye. When Donald Trump advised cutting a deal with the grocer (What exactly is a grocer?), others of us looked around for a noose. Though most reliable sources state Marie Antoinette never actually said, “Let them eat cake,” the phrase has over the past couple of centuries come to embody utter and profound disregard for the people who prepare our food, transport us from place to place, and keep us from being impaled by marauders. This was precisely the callous sentiment Donald, Lara, Wilbur, Kudlow and company conveyed as the entirely unnecessary and sadistic partial government shutdown reached a critical stage and began to vaporize American households.
What will be our mindset when Trump and his mob crew are politically and legally vanquished? Will we rise above Atlanta, Giulino di Mezzegra, Paris and Baghdad? I say let them eat fake.
While violence in the streets can be fun and tempting, it will provide the alt-right with precisely the narrative they seek. What we need to do is hold up a mirror to every supposed American citizen who since 2016 has sold out this country for money, power, or simply the thrill of hurting their imagined enemies. While ceaselessly ridiculing as “fake” every factually based account of collusion; tirelessly mocking well established explanations of climate change, border security, and sound economic policy; and disputing objectively verified data ranging from the federal debt to attendance at the inauguration, the MAGA maggots jammed fake down our throats. Soon, it will be their turn to eat it.
We got a little taste of this fitting force-feeding last Friday morning when a crowd showed up spontaneously to greet the arraigned and glib Roger Stone with a chant of “Lock him up!” There will be too many more to count. Scum like Rudy Giuliani must be run out of town. The coupons he earned cheerleading in the aftermath of 9/11 were used up sometime in early 2009. In a pathetic attempt to still matter, Giuliani has lied and shilled for a treasonous president and must never again be allowed near a campaign, a microphone, or a court of law. Sarah Huckabee Sanders became so proficient at prevarication Joseph Goebbels wanted his playbook back. Don Jr., Ivanka, and Jared must take their sense of entitlement and Cosa Nostra-like loyalty to a federal penitentiary where they can earn cigarettes and rediscover the true nature of free enterprise.
Mike Pence—previously a run-of-the-mill heartland hypocrite—made a deal with the devil so unseemly even Jesus would be loath to turn the other cheek. Pence, if still a free man, must be effectively banned from electoral politics and return to radio in the form of a podcast for one. Mitch McConnell and his band of see-no-evil Russian oligarch co-conspirators must be accosted at every open elevator door with the sort of wrath normally reserved for pregnant women walking into a Planned Parenthood office.
Sean Hannity must be so bombarded with score-settling phone calls, emails, and lawn protests he will go back to hanging drywall. Mark Levin’s command post, deep in the bowels of a hidden bunker, must be located and flooded with Russian oil. Ann Coulter’s head must be shaved. Yes, that violates the ground rules set forth earlier in this essay, but I just want to see Ann Coulter bald.
As far as the garden variety ex-Facebook friend is concerned, he cannot be let off the hook just to make peace in your fantasy football league. We’re not talking about the disillusioned onetime Reagan Democrats so badly fooled in the fall of 2016. We’re talking about the member of the base who stuck by the orange Fuhrer right through the Manafort indictments and government shutdown breadlines. Sure, while your ex-Facebook friend grapples with a touch-and-go credit line, a shaky situation back at the soybean farm, and a youngest son who just came out of the closet and is marrying a Mexican, your better angels will likely be inclined not to remind him of his complicity in the greatest act of treason in American history. But some truths must be taken like medicine. It’s almost time to swallow.