I’ve been very lazy and not posted anything here in a month or so. Not that I don’t have things to say but I’m working full time from home and the idea of sitting down in from of the computer to write a blog post has been, um, unappealing. Anyway…
I’m going to take the easy way out and post the transcript of a conversation with a friend over WhatsApp about the state of the US. My friend is Swedish so his view is totally non-American and I’ve lived outside America for 16 years so mine is colored with overseas experience.
The conversation was over a week ago, so the trigger is old news; the shooting of two police officers sitting in their patrol car in LA:
N****** : Fuck, USA is really imploding
beggs : That’s Compton. Been like that my whole life.
beggs : But, yea the US is imploding…
N****** : Last time I think the west was at this stage was domestic left wing terrorism in the 70s
beggs : Let’s see what happens come the election. See if we have an outcome and people accept it.
N****** : And I count for democracies, not in dictatorships, like Greece or Spain
beggs : If things really go south with the US election and Britain fucks Brexit again then we can rephrase it to “last time the west was at this stage was the facism of the 30s.”
N****** : [RE: beggs: Let’s see what happens come the election…] Do you think the majority middle will stand up and deny the extremes their ability to wrench havoc
N****** : [RE: beggs: If things go south with the US election…] Very likely that strong right wing dictatorships would arise
beggs : The biggest problem will be that many places will take days to count the mail in votes. They legally can’t start till the polls close on Election Day in places. And it’s manual often too. So we won’t know for several days… and mail in voting skews Democrat by about 20 percentage points most years according to something I read in The Economist.
beggs : So Trump could declare victory on Election night based in votes cast that day in swing states and then a few days later they announce he lost due to mail in votes, hence all the bitching and fear mongering about mail in voting. I can’t see trump accepting that, he just can’t accept losing anything.
N****** : I heard a theory about what the real goal of China and Russia is
N****** : they don’t care who wins, they only want to create distrust in the process
N****** : cause that could create a more authoritarian system in the future
beggs : Maybe but I don’t see either wanting a more authoritarian US, I think they would prefer a more chaotic and divided US. Too distracted by its own domestic shit to care about playing global cop. But Trump is perfect if they do want more authoritarian. Can’t stand to lose and totally willing to use force against anyone not stoking his ego.
N****** : Yea, case in point he creates chaos
beggs : As for the cops getting shot: I haven’t read about it but some gang banger shooting cops in Compton is par for the course. But protesters blocking the emergency room and changing let them die… this is a major funk up. Discrediting the valid arguments and protests of BLM. The movement lacks a visionary leader like MLK. Someone who can turn the anger into a constructive push for chance and hold the masses together so it does not become a mob.
beggs : The last time we had substantive change in institutional racism in the US was in the 60s. And the sustained, (mostly?) non-violent, non-mob, non-looting protest movement was key to that. Burning down buildings and shooting cops does not bring about change. Just proves the other side right, you are a menace. As long as you are a violent menace they hold the moral high ground and can write off the “protests” as riots, as a problem to be cured —by force— not as a symptom of the larger problem which needs to be addressed. cure.
And since I’ve waited so long to post this I can add this conversation, triggered by the first debate:
N****** : I think there is a small risk the USA could get into a civil war, it’s just crazy
beggs : Really? I didn’t watch the debate. Was it that bad?
N****** : It was like a 5 year old screaming in the sandbox
beggs : It was the same last time. He just would not shut up.
N******: Due to all the normalization of his behavior over the years we have almost completely lost the idea of how bad he really is
N******: But that is the behavior of the online era
N******’s last comment is spot on. Trump really is the personification of how people “talk” online: tl;dr, “my opinion is best”, “I’m right, you’re wrong”, “you’re a Nazi”… Trump is the real world personification of a name calling, alternative fact spewing, know-it-all, troll. The debate was one step from someone invoking Godwin’s law [wikipedia.org]. And I’m surprised someone didn’t, I guess it’s cause Trumps supporters are most often called out as fascists and Biden was trying to be more… political? Dignified? Fuck I don’t know. You’re not supposed to straight up call your opponents names. You’re supposed to disagree with their position not their existence. Trump has normalized so much shitty behavior for a politician.