On Not Belonging: Notes from the Political Wilderness

by William Skink

There are people who are not Trump zealots and also not rushing to join the resistance. I consider myself one of them. So does Mike Krieger, who is back from a self-imposed break to report that everyone is going insane.

Facebook is probably the best platform offering daily proof of Krieger’s assertion. Earlier today I was reading proof that people are losing their shit and that real, long-lasting damage is being done to relationships with friends and family.

The original post was a demand for Brady and Darth Belicheck to denounce white supremacy. Pepe the frog was mentioned. But it’s in the comments where one sees the familial strain come out:

I was very conflicted watching the game last night and cheering for the Pats knowing that TB and Belichick endorse Trump, and by extension Bannon and white supremacy. I am made sick today by seeing my friends and family sharing pictures of TB and calling him a hero. The cumulative effect is that people very close to me are tacitly endorsing my extinction. I do not expect anything from the NFL, especially not in response to Dick Spencer and his fringe lunatics. I do expect my friends and family who care about being football fans to demand it of the NFL.

I really try to avoid getting sucked into Facebook threads, but I have my moments of weakness where I can’t help pulling back the lens a bit from the hysteria calling itself the resistance. A local musician I’ve known for years put up something about impeaching Trump, and I said this:

Trump is part of a continuum of the executive office grabbing power. I don’t remember similar outrage when Obama executed US citizens without due process while presiding over an immense expansion of government surveillance, violating our constitutional rights.

To this he said:

Trump/Bannon represents an immediate and out-of-control shift toward authoritarianism that I feel needs to be resisted with all possible strength now. Your concern over the long term degradation of our system is valid and important, but IMO is not the thing to be diverted by today. Right now, I am sick of people talking about Hillary, or Obama, or Bill Clinton or any other thing that any other president has done in the past. I believe we must act today to minimize the insane, hateful, power-usurping situation that is unfolding.

Now, I’m not saying he’s wrong in his assessment of the authoritarian shift being out of control. Just read this piece, titled “Wait Calmly“, and tell me this description of how the threat of Hitler was down-played and underestimated in 1933 doesn’t sound like what we are seeing play out these last two weeks.

I guess what it comes down to, for me, is this question: is the story of how we got to this point a necessary component of forming a viable resistance, or is the threat so immediate there’s no time for any awkward histrionics that includes Democrats as complicit in the rise of overt Fascism in America?

George Ochenski is asking essentially the same thing in his column today when he asks what now, collaborators? It’s a good question for the table-scrap enablers of Tester’s shady legislative attempt to mandate logging, and it’s a good question for any cheerleading partisan who provided cover these last 8 years as a smooth talking Democrat in the White House continued consolidating the power grab, post-9/11, enacted by Bush.

I don’t know how to effectively respond to the growing constitutional crisis Trump represents as he tweets attacks on judges who rule against his executive orders, but I do think the story of how we got here is important, because without that understanding this resistance is going to get cut-off at the knees by self-serving Democrats who can’t be trusted to represent anyone outside their donor circles.

So, for those of you not bought in to this corrupt political duopoly, here is a little Krieger to let you know you are not alone:

I think the U.S. citizenry is being afflicted by a sort of mass insanity at the moment. There are no good outcomes if this continues. As a result, I feel compelled to provide a voice for those of us lost in the political wilderness. We must persevere and not be manipulated into the obvious and nefarious divide and conquer tactics being aggressively unleashed across the societal spectrum. If we lose our grounding and our fortitude, who will be left to speak for those of us who simply don’t fit into any of the currently ascendant political ideologies?

I’ve always prided myself in having and maintaining a very diverse readership. Many of you are Trump supporters, and many of you are Sanders supporters. Very few of you are Hillary Clinton supporters. This is how it ought to be, considering that I advocate that the current paradigm is broken, unethical and needs replacing. I don’t pretend to have the answers of what needs to be done on every policy issue, but I do know for sure that we can’t continue along with the current model any longer. As such, my intent is to have a discussion with all of you who want something new, even though we will invariably disagree on all sort of topics. This is healthy and normal.

What isn’t healthy is cheerleading your preferred political candidate once he is in power. I see this all over the place when it comes to Trump, and I find it pretty sickening. I can begrudgingly accept the cheerleading during an election, after all, the entire point of an election is to win. I cannot accept it after victory has been achieved, however. Trump is now the President and wields a grotesque amount of executive power thanks to the precedents established by all of the horrible individuals who came before him. Trump didn’t create this mess, but he now holds the ring of power and that is something to be feared, not cheered.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to On Not Belonging: Notes from the Political Wilderness

  1. Big Swede says:

    Two quotes.

    “We won the night. We will control the streets. We will liberate the land. We will fight the fascists. We will dismantle the state. This is war. -Occupy Oakland.

    The spirit of insurrection is a spirit radically opposed to liberty. -Francois Guizot.


    • JC says:

      Revolution is never clean…

      • Big Swede says:

        Bash the Fash, JC.

        The “Knights for Socialism” group at the University of Central Florida (UCF) held a workshop Sunday to teach left-wing students how to “BASH THE FASH” with a “Leftist Fight Club” open to everyone but Republicans.

        “In response to the record number of hate crimes against Latinxs, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis, Knights for Socialism has decided to host a series of self-defense clinics for anyone that wants to learn how to BASH THE FASH,” asserts the Facebook event page for “Leftist Fight Club: The Rumbles at Lake Claire.”

        “This event is open to everyone and anyone, EXCEPT REPUBLICANS.”

        I’m thinking the rumble would be a lot like West Side Story, with more dancing.

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