On Impotent Rage

I’m trying to process what happened. We all are. But we can’t even figure out what language to use. Was it a coup? An insurrection? A riot? 

How could this have happened? How could a country that still makes everyone take their shoes off to get on an airplane after one guy failed to detonate a shoe bomb twenty years ago let a group of people storm into our nation’s capitol building?

How could the president sic his mob on legislators trying to certify an election? How could more than 100 of those lawmakers vote to oppose what was, to any impartial observer, a free and fair election? 

I’m mad at Trump, obviously. He’s a wannabe despot who will tear the country apart to satisfy his own narcissistic desires. And I’m mad at Cruz and Hawley and Andy fucking Harris. 

But I’m also mad at Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones and The Washington Examiner and Fox News and OANN and all of the other grifter conspiracy theorists who came before them. 

But I am also mad at the New York Times for writing a folksy piece about a guy who committed about 19 federal crimes by breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and putting his feet up on her desk. This isn’t the time for cute goddamn anecdotes about stealing a letter and leaving a quarter on her desk to pay for it. 

The media has been poisoned by this “both sides are equal” rhetoric which leads to pitting a nearly universal scientific consensus on climate change against some doorknob who watched a few YouTube videos filled with debunked claims put forth in the 80s by fossil fuel companies who knew they were destroying the planet but did not care because money. 

I’m mad that the media has treated Trump and Trumpism and right wing extremism as some weird anthropological case study to such a degree that it’s become a dumb Twitter joke and not the actual serious danger to society that they are. 

To such a degree that the police simply did not take the clear as day threat seriously. The insurrectionists didn’t hide their faces, their names or even their goddamn work badges.   

I’m mad we’ve been told over and over this is economic anxiety and we should be we need to understand these people rather than being told that they are dangerous treasonists whose fantasies democracy cannot afford to indulge. Also they are mostly upper middle class and rich people. Poor people don’t fly on their private jets to commit treason. 

I’m mad at QAnon and if Q is real, I’m extra mad at them. 

I don’t know if I should feel bad for the people who have been brazenly lied to by their political leaders. These people are adults. Grown ass human beings who have access to the greatest and most comprehensive source of information the world has ever known: the internet. They should know better

I am mad, too, at the internet. At Facebook. At Twitter. The spaces that have created these echo chambers. The places online that have radicalized people to such a degree that they went looking for a member of their own political faction, who has been as loyal to Trump as a cocker spaniel, to lynch him. And one of their own gets shot and killed, they film it

Insurgency existed long before some dudebro decided to make a site where you could rate girls though. Facebook is an accomplice, but ultimately white supremacy and Christian supremacy are to blame here. One very palatable Black president was enough for the entrenched powers to lose their entire minds. QAnon is not new. It is a regurgitation of the Satanic Panic which itself was a recycling of Apion’s blood libel. This bullshit isn’t even novel. It’s the same trash that has been argued over for centuries. 

“The phrase impotent rage seems apt,” my best friend of nearly two decades said of her feelings on Wednesday’s events. That’s the best description I have. I am furious, extraordinarily angry at everything. 

And I don’t know how you fix everything.