By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — Tonight, one of the networks is airing a show about some former white nationalist type who has since reformed himself.
I think it’s going to be on MSNBC, but it could be CNN. I don’t know and I really don’t care.
It’s the not first time, and it won’t be the last, that someone tries to make the rest of us feel comforted and weepy-eyed about one rare case with a positive outcome.
For every one guy who de-clowns himself enough to start rid himself of tattoos with enemy flags (SS symbols, swastikas, Confederate flags, etc,) gets himself out, countless more clowns go into the hate machine.
A recent study came out, meant to coincide with today’s latest example of the drain getting more swamped, estimate that 24 million Americans hold alt-right beliefs. They are estimating low.
A whole lot more than that “wanted their country back” after Barack Obama was elected (not even sworn it), and a whole lot more than that call him “Obummer” to be cute and clever and call him the “worst president ever” with zero details to back that statement up.
Those may not qualify as alt-right beliefs by those taking the study, but they do in my book (the only book that matters, at least to me).
It’s a scary trend, and one we need to confront. I confront it every day on Facebook, trying to engage the MAGA crowd in logical debate, and bits and pieces of deeper hatred come oozing out like saliva on a rabid animal.
Maybe not enough to meet the standard of the survey that cut the number off at 24 million, but enough to tell me that there are more out there ripe to be plucked like the low-hanging fruit that they are.
Every time I earn a check mate in these “debates,” I get called a troll. My response is that if you don’t want anyone to disagree with you, don’t make a public post. I know I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, and I invite debate.
They do, too, trust. It’s all meant to incite and inflame and agitate, but they don’t like being called out on it in a logical manner. Any fact check, even from non-partisan entities, are meet with “fake news” trump card (and that is the only time you will see me use the word trump, as I refer to him exclusively as David Dennison, and you will note “trump” was not capitalized).
Then it inevitably morphs into me being called a libtard and/or a snowflake. Sometimes I’m told to go move to Denmark (not a bad idea, actually) or challenged to meet in person for some sort of dual in the public square (one such situation in Florida actually resulted in a shooting).
With the one year anniversary of Charlottesville – and the death of Heather Heyer, which has somehow been reduced to a footnote – upon us, that topic came up. A woman flat-out told me that it all started because Antifa was violent with “patriots” carrying the flag.
When I explained that the flags they were carrying were actually enemy flags, she said they were … paid actors.
You can’t argue with stupid – as much as I try.
The reality, according to another survey, is that most of these white hate clowns fall into predictable categories – poor, unemployed and uneducated (no wonder that most are also divorced).
That is pretty much the demographic – along with some Russian bots and the Electoral College – that helped sway the 2016 election.
There was a lot of coded hate speech used to make this fools feel empowered, and the results made them feel legitimate enough to stage Charlottesville under the nonsensical guise of protesting the removal of a statue of a traitor, Robert E. Lee.
Just because the clown of all clowns in the White House dances around the subject and won’t confront it, let alone denounce it, doesn’t mean we need to lower ourselves to that level and wear blindfolds.
On this the anniversary of the national tragedy — perhaps the largest in my daughter’s lifetime (born in 2007) -that was Charlottesville (a place we took her on vacation a few summers ago), take whiff of what is going to happen today in DC and let the stink sink in.
It’s more nauseating to me, as an American still waiting to still our potential for greatness fulfilled, than NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem (a common source of battle with daily deplorable sparring partners, even though I would personally never not stand for the anthem – even if should be “This Land Is Your Land”).
So go ahead. You can watch tonight’s show focused on one guy, all while dabbing your eyes with tissues, but the real time to watch is today.
That’s when you need to cry for we’ve devolved into, which something far from great.