Are You Afraid Yet? You Will Be...
As this adhocracy continues its downward spiral, we have to ask: Was it worth it?
I said those words two years ago in an essay I wrote about the newly forming Trump administration, before its horrors would be made real. No one was afraid then. Give him a chance you said. He’s a reality television host and a billionaire. What’s the worst he could do?
Let's keep it real for a moment. Before I sit down and write something new and never seen before in the realms of the fantastic, I have to mention these thoughts which I keep trying to banish and realize I cannot.
How many non-White Americans are sitting in their homes right now, afraid to go outside for any reason?
"They're hunting us." A direct quote from a Hispanic citizen in Texas.
How many won't make it to summer festivals they may wait all year to attend but now dread the very idea?
I'm going, but that's because I don't give a fuck about the feelings of White young murderers who feel entitled to kill people because they want to.
But I wonder, how many good American citizens are living in dread, wanting only to head out to their county fairs, their shopping malls, their places of worship, but don’t dare for fear of gathering in numbers sufficient to entice a White, young, radicalized gunman to show up armed to the teeth, who will begin shouting ‘Blood and Soil’ before shooting innocents bent on enjoying themselves, as best they can in an America less visibly tolerant of difference than it has been since the 1960s?
For all of you Trump supporters who claim they don't understand the notion of racism or the idea that their fearless leader is a fraud, I am speaking to you.
I know you won't read this document. Because it goes against your grain to read anything, let alone anything which challenges your worldview.
In your world, Trump is making America a Better, Whiter Place, a place where White people feel more secure in their racism, more secure in their intolerance, more secure in their ability to believe the unbelievable lies presented as truth by the President who should have never been.
A president bent on his own aggrandizement, at your expense.
- Does Trump care you have to pay more for your medicine? No.
- Trump care if you have less money in your pocket? No.
- Does Trump care if food costs go up thanks to his tariffs? No.
- Does Trump care if you have healthcare you can afford? No.
- Does Trump care if you can afford to live where you work? No.
- Does Trump care if you are a minority in America? No.
- Does Trump care if you live in fear of a radicalized America? No.
- Does Trump care that he has isolated our nation from our allies? No.
- Does Trump care if you spend your last dollar on medical care? No.
- Does Trump care if the world is less stable because of his style of leadership, his lack of understanding about global economics or his lack of foreign policy? No.
- Does he care that nuclear war has returned to the table? No.
- Does Donald Trump care about America? All signs point to NO.
Does Trump care about the rich?
Most assuredly. They keep getting richer every day he is president. Every day he can take control of our judiciary, every day he can install more extreme conservatives into office, he is seeding the future with toxic conservatism, the kind of belief system content to chew off its limbs as long as it's profitable.
We are growing poorer collectively, we are less effectively governed, living in cities which are dirtier, more rat infested, have less federal funding, dying infrastructures, lower educational standards and less affordable housing, while at the same time have more prisons, more cruelty, and ultimately an emboldened populace of whites who feel entitled to an era of opportunity which excludes everyone but them.
They feel entitled to the best, highest paying work, high quality homes, the best places to live, and the ability to terrorize minorities at will; whether it be by calling the police on them just going through their lives, or by walking up to them and harassing them in restaurants, or by walking up to them in their cars and blowing them away because they don't like the music coming from the car. The police are a weapon in minority communities, a weapon poised to go off, kill the innocent and still get home in time for dinner.
Now, we have to endure the idea of a modern Gestapo, ICE sweeping through our neighborhoods, grabbing our neighbors on the SUSPICION OF BEING "ILLEGAL" ALIENS.
Traumatizing families, deporting actual American citizens, deporting men and women who served in our militaries, risking their lives for our freedom only to lose their own.
Meanwhile, we are seeing a world growing more fragmented and dark as Donald Trump attempts to secure a second term as president, a position he should have never had in the first place.
Trump lacks the self-awareness, humility, psychological fortitude, social skill, temperament, education, or motivation to lead a nation in desperate need guidance.
Of belief in our best selves, not just kowtowing to the richest, most powerful, most connected members of our society.
The world was in need of vision. Donald Trump lacks that vision. The world was in need of humanity.
Of an understanding of what brings us closer together in what may arguably be the end of days, brought about by greed and shortsightedness of corporate powers around the world, more concerned with wealth than having someplace to live a hundred years from now.
If you see Donald Trump as the messiah you have waited for, wait a little longer. After he gets rid of “the Mexicans you fear, the Muslims you despise, the Blacks sucking up welfare and gunning each other down in major metropolises,” he will come for you. His words not mine.
He is already picking your pocket, with each tariff he creates or extends, you get poorer. With each service he denies the nation, you lose a bit more prosperity. With each national park he opens to exploitation by Big Oil, you lose a bit more beauty. With each plane full of cyanide dropped somewhere indiscriminately poisoning nature, our world has more mindless death.
A man who can murder nature can murder anyone. Give him enough time and he can destroy the world.
Donald Trump is that man. But he will not be alone.
There will be a host of white supremacists, nationalistic idiots preaching radical, jingoistic rhetoric, without thought, starving, dirty, poisoned but filled with patriotic zeal until the day they have served their purpose and are themselves summarily dispatched.
For Donald Trump's heaven has no place for white nationalists. They are the snowplow to clear the road for the industrialists he serves. When they are done, they too will be disposed of.
The meek shall indeed inherit the Earth, a blasted ruin, with blackened skies, radioactive overheated seas devoid of life, where rain falls everywhere except where it's needed, and sandstorms bring dust and death in their wake.
This is the future Trump, Bolsonaro, Duterte, Putin, and Un and other strongmen governments would have for all of us: industrialized to death. Keep playing with Trump. Keep supporting his feckless leadership. More will die.
The man is clearly mad. The man posed with the child of two people murdered in his name and thought he was doing something sane.
His thumbs-up a message to other would-be murderers waiting in the wings for your next festival or outing or trip to the store, a message which says:
"Sow fear. You are not a terrorist. I won't let the government call you a terrorist. You are a patriot. And the Tree of Liberty needs you. It needs the blood of patriots, of minorities who don't know their place, of women who won't submit, of children whose parentage can't be ascertained. The Tree of Liberty needs blood. It doesn't matter who it belongs to. Even if it's yours. You are doing a great thing for this nation. Die for me."
The blood of the world won't be enough to satisfy his ilk. No, they won't stop until we're all dead or enslaved to his will.
You can't say you weren't warned. I'll see you at the next mass shooting, the next 40,000 deaths attributed to firearms we will never control, at the funerals of the next preschoolers in the line of fire, a price as a nation we will continue to pay because we can't be bothered to find our humanity and make it stick.
From a disappointed perspective,
I am The Cognitive Dissident.
I see this monster for what he is not what the media tells me. If you want to know a man, judge him on what he does, not what he says. There are hundreds of people on the borders of the United States, in concentration camps. What else do you really need to know about him?
We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress. Enjoy your festivals. If you can.
He is also a freelance journalist for Polygon.com and Panel & Frame magazine. Thaddeus is the co-founder of Futura Science Fiction Magazine and one of the founding members of the Afrosurreal Writers Workshop in Oakland.