Words by Cameron Higgins
It has gotten to the point where it takes a leap of faith not to think that Trump is a bumbling, traitorous stooge of Vladimir Putin. There was collusion (if there wasn’t, explain why the fuck were they talking to the Russians so much). Trump has — against the advice of his own advisors — changed US foreign policy (Syria, shit-talking NATO) in ways that *coincidentally* align with Russia’s strategic aims (getting the US out of Syria, dismantling NATO). The FBI began investigating whether Trump was a Russian asset years ago. Moreover, there are decades of shady money stuff between Trump and the Russians.
Fox News and Trump’s tweets are rhetorical bubbles and the failure of the US public education system to educate its increasingly desperate populace aside, there is a simple reason millions of Americans refuse to read the cards on the table: because reality will explode.
This isn’t so hard to understand. An entire generation was raised during a Cold War with Russia. This cold war was thought of in terms of nukes and tanks and apocalypses. We won the Cold War. So, understandably, for those raised in a time when patriotism was in vogue, the thought of admitting defeat to Russia must especially sting. Moreover, the complex information-warfare that lead to this is way over most of our heads. But most of all: the whole fucking thing is so ridiculous. You’d get laughed out of a writer’s room for pitching the current plot-line: that a moronic and classless reality-TV star and fake-mogul wins the presidency and has serious shady entanglements with Russia and sells out the whole country.
Truly, if you accept that — as we need to, with clear eyes and chins up to the future — it is not dissimilar to opening Pandora’s Box. You can’t help but ask what other monsters are out there? What other completely insane things have happened and been passed off as normal in our time? What if it’s all true? What if actually the moon landing was faked and the CIA shot JFK and 9/11 was an inside job and this and that and this and that until all of a sudden reality turns into a giant wormhole. The narratives you’ve swallowed your whole life are revealed to be hollow. Former buttresses against anxiety, they become sources of anxiety and frankly, no one wants that. Political orientations and ignorance and manipulation aside, people don’t want to hurt. When the truth hurts, which it generally does, they will turn away from it. Basically, if the monster under the bed is real only he doesn’t bother you unless you look at him in the eye, why would you ever look at him in the eye? Well, because he’s a fucking monster and monsters are going to eat you somehow. This is not OK, but it is as natural as selfishness and greed. So, like other undesirable traits in the emotional cacophony of human experience, we have to figure out how to confront this madness. To avoid the swirl of paranoia, the lack of reference points.
We have to help each other look at the monster under our bed.
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