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What will we do when these people retreat to their caves?

QAnon conspiracy theorists, praying for years that Trump would flush Satan-worshipping pedophile elites out of Washington, tore apart any scrap of data from the [Trump concession] video to prove that he was playing one final trick. They subjected the time stamps to numerology, thinking that there was a secret message encoded.

Margaret Soltan, January 8, 2021 8:03PM
Posted in: We'll get through this.

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8 Responses to “What will we do when these people retreat to their caves?”

  1. factcheck Says:

    why do you think they will?

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Because they always have. Dangerous yahoos have always been around – but the Tea Party, which was their major public breakthrough, was, until a dangerous yahoo took the White House, a peripheral phenomenon in this country. Trump took their latency and made it manifest, to be sure; he somewhat unified – via his unquestioned godhead – their disparate and typically at-war-with-one-another cults. But the natural state of yahoos is at odds with other groups of yahoos. We will read about them, in the future, for the sorts of reasons we always have: One biker cult will get into a tussle with another biker cult at a breastaurant, and ten bikers and two police will die in the parking lot shootout. (And to be sure we will continue to read about them for the moment, while they are in transit – flying back to their caves on airlines that are trying to ban them because they’re getting drunk, getting into fights, harassing fellow passengers, and threatening the safety of all aboard.)

    In a reasonably healthy democracy, ragtag groups like these are a pathetic if uncomfortable joke, exchanging among themselves in their bunkers and top secret boys-only clubhouses end of the world scenarios, Jewish conspiracies, and of course race war plans.

    The flagrantly violent, exhibitionistic, and stupid we will always have with us, and the other day the whole nation got a ringside seat at their Family Trump produced circus/zoo, as they toted their folkwear (guns, bombs, horseheads, clown uniforms, Davy Crockett caps) into the Capitol. Michelle Obama got it right today when she singled out, as Trump and Trumpworld’s defining adjective, “infantile.” But of course infants who have learned how to mass and how to shoot guns – child soldiers, if you will – are extremely dangerous.

    This has nothing to do, by the way, with their famous “resentment of elites” – resentment of people like myself, who write stuff like the above. Just as Trump never had a politics, never had any issues he ever cared about or bothered to understand, these people have no point of view sophisticated enough even to be rolled up into something as modestly substantive as “resentment of elites.” As we come to see in sharper and sharper detail the representative set of yahoos who broke apart the Capitol and literally shat and pissed all over it, we see – and not at all to my surprise – a pretty affluent lot, with pretty good jobs (of course, those who’ve been identified have lost those jobs now) and seemingly pretty good lives. As with the mad Trumper shot in the chest, they may turn out to punctuate those lives with arrests for fighting (she kept going after her ex-husband’s new squeeze, among other violent stuff), but most manage to stay employed and afloat anyway, and indeed now that they’ve been outed, fired, and arrested, they’re so fucking sorry man! Plus I really shouldn’t have filmed myself doing it cuz that made it so easy to identify me…

    This was just one of their stupid violent outings with their friends – the sort of stuff they do on occasion when they get high and whipped up by something… At least one of them traveled to their place of pillage in a private plane. I called bullshit long ago on the resentment of elites thing. Like a lot of Americans, they are bored, restless, cuz ain’t nothing going on upstairs. What they resent is people ignoring them.

    I’m pretty confident we’ll indeed be able to go back to ignoring this yahoo fringe quite soon. Watch and see.

    And as to the But seventy million people voted for him! That’s a lot of yahoos! … oh really? I doubt many of the people at the Capitol are capable of understanding how to register a vote. Even if they are, they’re not the type to vote. The masses of people who voted for Trump aren’t yahoos and don’t stroll down the street together to take a dump in Nancy Pelosi’s office. We can work with the average Trump voter, and I trust we will.

  3. TAFKAU Says:

    I guess I’m a little less sanguine because I’m not sure who the average Trump voter is. As a group, I think we can break them down roughly into four categories:

    1. The bearded, belching, tase-myself-in-the-balls yahoos (this describes both the men and women). They are not habitual voters, most of them anyway, but they forced themselves to learn the process in order to put and keep their messiah in office. They are subconsciously self-hating nihilists who want the rest of us to suffer and hurt as much as they do. I suspect that you’re correct in assuming that they’ll return to their biker bars and their violent, episodic lives. We won’t have to work with them.

    2. The long-term Republican loyalists who will vote for anything with an R after its name. Many were uncomfortable with Trump, but could not physically force themselves to pull the Democratic lever. They would have voted for Jeb or Marco or anyone else who won the GOP nomination. We can work with them; we always have.

    3. The cynics who know Trump is garbage, but tolerated him because he helped them get their tax cuts and their reactionary judges. It sucks that we still have to work with them after all of this, but we obviously can.

    4. The movement evangelicals who believe that Trump was God’s imperfect instrument to save our lost world. Not of lot of these in the DC suburbs, UD, but you don’t have to travel too far to find them. Just head an hour or so west to where Maryland curdles into West Virginia. They’re lovely people, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. I’ve lived most of my life in the South, and they’re the folks who will pull over to help you change your tire. Their kids will walk the neighborhood after the big storm, helping total strangers clear the debris from their yards.

    But they do believe that Jesus is King and that God’s law supersedes man’s law. They are horrified that abortion kills millions of babies, that homosexuality has been normalized, and that we’re even debating whether someone is a man or a woman, when that decision was already made by the Lord. They embraced Trump and there was nothing cynical about it. There are millions of movement evangelicals and they constitute a majority or near majority in a number of states. And if you add the devout, conservative Catholics to the count, then the number rise even higher (and look how much better Trump did than the typical GOP candidate in South Texas and South Florida). Many, if not most, believe that Trump was a gift from God and that the election was stolen from him in defiance of God’s will. Many of these people are my favorite neighbors and beloved co-workers, but in a political sense, I don’t know how we work with them.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    TAFKAU: As always, a wonderful comment. Two stray reactions, and then a longer bit of writing.

    1. tase myself in the balls: LOL

    2. They are subconsciously self-hating nihilists who want the rest of us to suffer and hurt as much as they do. I instantly thought of Randy Newman’s song I Just Want You to Hurt Like I Do. Typical Newman: Brilliant, excruciating. (His song “Rednecks” made a brief comeback during the Georgia primaries, since people started bringing up proud native son Lester Maddox.)

    3. Your breakdown of possible Trump voter types pleased me, because it tends to reinforce my point in my earlier comment in response to factcheck that we probably can in fact work with most of the people who voted for Trump. Your #s 2 and 3, which represent tens of millions of Americans, we can indeed work with. I’ve said from the start that a lot of people who voted for Trump did so pretty passively – he’s the prez, so… he lowered my taxes, so… I’m a Republican, so… we need a strong man to lead the country, so…

    Which leaves #1 and #4. I think we probably agree that #1 is barely worth talking about, though it’s certainly worth keeping FBI informants active within its more squalid redoubts. #4 is fascinating to me for a number of reasons. Joe Biden is the real thing: A serious, devout, lifelong Catholic. Fuckface thinks people who believe in God are losers, and, to give him credit, he never did much to hide this attitude. For that reason, and in light of the recent use of the Capitol building as a pissoir by Trump’s most visible, fanatic followers, I actually think some people in this final category are somewhat reachable. I understand that their religious/social convictions are probably immovable; but that doesn’t mean that – lately disgusted by and afraid of Trump – they cannot find a way to entrust those convictions to another politician/political location. Note that some Republican congresspeople are beginning to take against Trump; they may be harbingers of larger similar shifts away.

    I think if Joe Biden and Kamala Harris could avoid talking about things like the beauty of gender fluidity, they might bring some members of this group a little closer to their world. I don’t think they should avoid talking about Biden’s “troubled” son, though – his is just the sort of rocky ongoing personal journey that I suspect this group sympathizes/resonates with.

    Then there’s the whole question of what the hell We can work with these people might mean. No Kumbaya around the campfire for damn sure; but maybe we could start with some social justice issues… I mean, I have modest stuff in mind; mainly I have in mind the absence of active pig-headedness and hostilty on both sides. I even think the covid crisis, focusing us on our common vulnerability, can be a good way into a new world of some cooperation. Obviously the changed makeup of the Senate matters here; equally obviously, a lot of the people who voted Democratic in Georgia are the very group we’re talking about in #4.

    Newly notorious Hawley and Cruz can play an important part in this shift as well. It’s useful to see rank religious hypocrisy in the very highest relief. Concentrates the mind, especially among people who, as you say, actually have deep and sincere convictions.

  5. factcheck Says:

    which categories do your military and police belong to? which way will they shoot?

  6. Margaret Soltan Says:

    factcheck: Given the many injuries (and one death) sustained by the police as they battled the DC insurrectionists, I have no doubt that they will protect the country and not its traitors.

    There are indeed rogue racist police/white supremacist police, and this is the shame of a nation. But just as I don’t judge Trump voters by the yahoos that showed up in DC last week, I don’t judge police forces by their rogue members.

    And I certainly don’t think that because most police vote Republican, they will shoot, or fail to protect, people they perceive as (?) Democrats.

    Most police, I’d guess, are TAFKAU’s category #2.

    As for the military – they seem to have trended toward Biden.

  7. factcheck Says:

    the list is not complete.


  8. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Thanks for that link, factcheck. Reading the article now. UD

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