We’re living in parlous times. As I type there are Ukrainians charging forward, and dying, in the eastern reaches of the country Russia has tried to brute from them. New York and the rest of the upper seaboard are dealing with the thick soupy haze of wildfire smoke that Oregon had to deal with a few years ago, and this is just gonna keep happening around the world as the temperatures rise and the coastlines shrink and the atmosphere changes. And, of course, here on the Shining City on the Hill, we’re confronted by the spectacle of our lumpish chud once-and-future?-president facing serious consequences for being a complete fucking idiot, and at least 74 million Americans (and one of the two major political parties) running interference for him. I just read an editorial by a conservative columnist who was very, very sad about all this. He says this is dividing the country, this indictment.
I’ve got some bad news for you, sunshine. The United States ain’t. We’ve got 332 million people in this country, and a significant portion of them are PISSED that Cracker Barrel and Disney World and Anheuser-Busch don’t differentiate between money paid them by good, decent, god-fearing patriots, and gay, cross-dressing freaks who read books other than the Bible. Trump, in one of his rallies yesterday, marveled at his fans. “I talk about transgender, everyone goes crazy. Who would have thought? Five years ago, you didn’t know what the hell it was.”
And they didn’t. They honestly didn’t. They grew up, Trump’s white skittish redneck moron base, laughing at guys dressed as women on the teevee. Laughing at people in blackface. Laughing at faggot jokes, and beaner jokes, and hooknosed-Jew jokes. As long as gay people and Black people and all the rest of the minorities were quiet and on the sidelines, everything was cool. But once they started getting uppity and demanding rights and stuff, it became deadly serious. The Actual Fascist Party has always known about this discombobulation, this unease, this terror in their base, and they’ve exploited it masterfully.
For all that America has striven for liberty and honesty and goodness in its two-and-a-half centuries, there’s always been a bedrock of anger and pain, injustice and hate, from Thomas Jefferson impregnating his slave, to those nice, suburban white women screaming at Ruby Bridges as she went to school, threatening to poison her, showing her a Black doll in a coffin, to Donald Trump taking out a full-page ad in four newspapers calling for the death of the wrongly-accused Central Park Five, long before he became President and started throwing Hispanic babies into cages and paper towels at brown-skinned hurricane victims.
Look. This is not complicated. Trump lost the election, took documents he wasn’t allowed to take, documents about our nuclear capability, our warfighting strategies, top secret information about our allies, and he showed these documents to at LEAST two people who weren’t authorized to see them. Then, when the legitimate government demanded he return the documents, he pawed through them with his flabby little hands, had his body man dolly them around Mar-a-Lago and stack them in closets, ballrooms and bathrooms, spilling them on the floor, stacking them next to the ‘60s era lowrider toilet beneath the Louis XVI omigod are you KIDDING me chandelier, and basically did the whole thing John Belushi did in THE BLUES BROTHERS when his scorned, abandoned lover finally tracked him down, in the sewer. “I ran outta gas. I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from outta town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts! It wasn’t my fault! I swear to God!”
And ten months later, after he’d stolen the eyes-only papers meant for presidents with, you know, actual brains, and meant to be read and acted upon in the White House, by executives still in their jobs, the CIA released a statement saying that a disturbing, statistically-improbable amount of its foreign assets had been identified and executed. Men and women who’d risked their lives to help the United States because they believed in the United States, and then died because of that belief. People who took bullets in the brain, got their testicles crushed, got raped, got blinded, and if Saudi Arabia was involved, got bonesawed.
I’m not saying that Donald Trump showed off his papers to his Saudi buddies, or his Russian buddies, or his North Korean buddies.
I’m saying that he could have. And all those conservative columnists being very sad about how divisive this all is, who are crying about the weaponization of the Justice Department, who are moaning about Joe Biden’s garage or Hillary Clinton’s servers, all those Actual Fascist congresspeople bloviating and bleating and threatening, Kari Lake calling for gun violence, Trump’s FUCKING PRIMARY OPPONENTS promising to pardon him; they probably don’t have the blood of bonesawed CIA assets on their hands. Probably.
I don’t qualify to be a Republican. I have a brain, and a spine, and balls, and I’ve read more than three books. But if I WAS a lobotomized mouth-breathing racist piece of diseased, drippy shit, I might, in the dim recesses of the back of my skull, consider what standing up for an avowed traitor might someday do to my brand. Especially when so many of the 1/6 morons are getting sent to jail. These monsters don’t care about honor or reputation, because the worse they act and the louder they chalkboard-claw, the more money their drones send them. But they DO care about getting marched into a cell, I imagine…
Naw. I can’t even pretend to kid myself. Trump’s gonna Trump, and his people are gonna Nazi. I said these are parlous times? The next year and a half are gonna be turbulence like we haven’t seen since the late sixties, and Watergate. Buckle up, friends and lovers. It’s a bumpy road ahead.
John Philip Sunseri II
John Philip Sunseri II is a horror writer from Portland, Oregon. As well as writing traditional horror fiction he also writes Lovecraftian horror. John spent two years at Yale University studying a major in English.
Writing since 2001, John has published over 50 short stories. 2007 saw the release of his first novel, The Spiraling Worm co-written with Australian author David Conyers.