Archive for November 7th, 2017

The Night The Lights Went Out

I was in email communication with several humans on November 8, 2016, a day which will live in infamy, the night the lights went out, when 62,979,879 grunting, hooting MongoRoids drug knuckles out of every haint and holler to Make America White Again, plunging the nation into darkness.

Because everyone is of course eager to relive that catastrophe, I thought I would here retrieve my correspondence and present it chronologically, unfold again the premier horror show of our time, far worse than anything unnamed-7penned by Lovecraft, Poe, King, combined.

Like all horror stories, it starts out sunny. And then, The Monster wakes.

What a complete prick:

At an airport rally in Minneapolis, Trump said Minnesota had suffered a “disaster” as tens of thousands of Somali immigrants, some of them war refugees, had settled in the state over the last few decades.
“To be a rich nation, we must also be a safe nation, and you know what’s going on there,” he told the crowd. “Oh, Minnesota. Oh, Minnesota. You know what’s going on. You know what I’m talking about. Do you know what I’m talking about? Oh, be politically correct. Just nod. Quietly nod. The whole world knows what’s happening in Minnesota.”
Trump then criticized Hillary Clinton for supporting the admission of Syrian refugees to the United States, drawing a roar of boos for his Democratic rival.
“She wants virtually unlimited immigration and refugee admissions from the most dangerous regions of the world to come into our country, and to come into Minnesota, and you know better than anybody,” he said. “Her plan will import generations of terrorism, extremism and radicalism into your schools and throughout your communities. You already have it. When I’m elected president, we will suspend the Syrian refugee program and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country.”
Trump said Minnesota had seen first-hand the problems caused by “faulty refugee vetting, with large numbers of Somali refugees coming into your state without your knowledge, without your support or approval.”
Offering no evidence, Trump said some Somali refugees in Minnesota had joined the Islamic State terrorist group and spread “their extremist views all over our country and all over the world.”
“Honestly, it’s hard to believe,” he said. “Everybody’s reading about the disaster taking place in Minnesota. You don’t even have the right to talk about it. You don’t even know who’s coming in. You have no idea. You’ll find out.”
Very soon now, and he will go back into his crypt. The brown people, the black people, the women, the people whose backs he walked on to try to reach the White House, they are taking him down.

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You Drift, And You Get Warped

In the terror-struck and vertiginous days after Donald Trump’s election a year ago, as I tried to make sense of America’s new reality, I called people who lived, or had lived, under authoritarianism to ask what to expect. I wasn’t looking for concrete predictions—one of the disorienting things about that moment was that no one, no matter how learned, had any idea what was happening—but for insights into how the texture of life changes when an autocratic demagogue is in charge.

A secular Turkish journalist told me, her voice sad and weary, that while people might at first pour into the streets to oppose Trump, eventually C5YkZ2dU0AA6VZF.jpg-largethe protests would probably die out as a sense of stunned emergency gave way to the slog of sustained opposition. The Russian dissident writer Masha Gessen warned that there’s no way, with a leader who lays siege to the fabric of reality, to fully hold on to a sense of what’s normal. “You drift, and you get warped,” she told me.

They were both right. The country has changed in the past year, and many of us have grown numb after unrelenting shocks. What now passes for ordinary would have once been inconceivable. The government is under the control of an erratic racist who engages in nuclear brinkmanship on Twitter. He is dismantling the State Department, defending the hollowing out of the diplomatic corps by saying, on Fox News, “I’m the only one that matters.”

He publicly pressures the Justice Department to investigate his political opponents. He’s called for reporters to be jailed, and his administration demanded that a sportscaster who criticized him be fired. Official government statements promote his hotels. You can’t protest it all; you’d never do anything else. After the election, many liberals pledged not to “normalize” Trump. But one lesson of this year is that we don’t get to decide what normal looks like.

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When I Worked

November 2017
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