It’s tough for me to think about anything else than the fact that kids are being shot to death in our schools. Today, I went to see Black Panther, and I was all excited to sit down right now and write a review of it, but as I attempted to work on my first sentence, the only thought in my head was, “Kids are being massacred in our schools.”
In such a reality, how can there be anything else for us to talk about?
We read on the news that gunmen attacked a church in Iraq, that a drone accidentally dropped a bomb on a funeral march in Afghanistan, that hundreds of women have gone missing in Mexico, and we read these things and hear these things, and we think to ourselves how lucky we are to live in the United States, where these things don’t happen.
Instead, we have regular slaughters of school children. How lucky we are.
When are Americans going to wake up to reality? We are not the best nation on Earth because there is no best nation on Earth. It’s not a competition!
Every single country on this planet has problems — deep, systematic problems that bedevil them incessently, horrors of their own making, internal issues that cannot be solved by pointing a finger elsewhere.
Israel has their issues. India has their issues. China, Russia, Syria, Sudan. Germany has their issues.
The United States has them too.
And right now, without a doubt, our biggest issue is that we’ve designed a system that is willing to sacrifice hundreds of innocent children in order to maintain the status quo.
That’s how hard the right wing is fighting this.
They have to know that putting armed guards in our schools is a bad idea. It is such a double-down on the status quo that it’s not even funny.
There is no superhero who is going to come in and stop this. Trying to stop someone who is dead-set on being violent requires such an insane amount of discipline on the part of so many different people that there is no way we’re ever going to be able to stop them all (see: ISIS), and in the meantime, our armed guards will be “accidentally” killing (mostly black) boys as a result of our national paranoia, ensuring that the slaughter of the innocents will continue.
They have to know adding more guns won’t work. Which means that if they’re fighting this hard, they must be willing to sacrifice innocent children in order to maintain the status quo — i.e., a nation in which everyone is armed, everyone is paranoid, and everyone is a potential enemy.
It has to stop. We all have to put down the guns and trust one another. We don’t all have to agree, but we do have to trust each other.
At this point, the right is so willing to fight for the status quo that they’re attempting to stifle the rights of the victims to be heard.
We also have to remember that the right (and the left) are being deliberately manipulated by the Russian government. We know for a fact that the Russians are currently spreading misinformation about the shooting in the hopes of increasing the national discord, and that elements of the nation’s mass media seem as if they’re complicit.
This is where President Trump comes in.
The angry right maintains that Sec. Clinton and President Obama were treasonous politicians with a secret mission to destroy the American experiment. If they hate Sec. Clinton and President Obama as much as I hate — yes, hate — President Trump, I have to forgive them their insanity.
Because, right now, I am convinced that President Trump is deliberately acting in the interests of the Russian government.
How did the Soviet Union fall? It wasn’t because our military overpowered theirs. It was because our culture and economy were able to sustain themselves longer than theirs.
We were able to do that because the U.S.S.R. was in internal disarray. The Soviet Union began in the arms of a madman, and for decades, Russian politicians had to subsume their own thoughts to the errors and wickedness of their leader. When Stalin died, the Soviets tried to return to the principles of Lenin, but a rearguard of former Stalinists remained, creating within the leadership of the Soviet Union a veritable civil war, one with imprisonment, exiles, and casualties.
The two sides weren’t only fighting about how best to defend themselves against a well-armed and increasingly aggressive United States; they also fought about farm yields, education policies, labor practices, women’s rights, and more.
More than anything else, it was the internal divisions that destroyed the Soviet Union. Russia declared itself more important than the other republics, thus deserving of more power and control, but this assertion only sowed the seeds of discontent among the outer republics, creating rich soil for revolt.
In addition, the U.S.S.R. had to contend with its loss of life and treasure in the mountains of Afghanistan, the ever-sucking vaccuum that is a nation at war.
Putin knows all of this. He knows it better than perhaps anyone on the planet. And so he knows that for the United States to fall from its perch, all he needs to do is stoke the flames on our increasingly-intensifying internal debates.
(And, as we did to the Soviet Union, bleed our military using proxy fighters in the Middle East.)
Who better to create, maintain, and intensify internal conflict than Donald J. Trump? As a former professional wrestler with a personality that revels in acting like the heel, Mr. Trump could know no bigger stage than history and be a part of no bigger fight than one between the Russians and the United States.
He is a man you have to respect on some level. It’s true that he leaped into this world with a golden parachute stapled to his scalp, but it’s also true that he’s been looked down upon as a failure by vast swaths of his fellow Americans, and yet, through whatever means necessary, he was able to attain virtually every capitalist goal: money (check), sex (check), power (check).
At the very least, the man seems to know how to play the game (regardless of how conscious he is of that knowledge).
And that’s the thing: for a narcissist/capitalist such as Donald Trump, who is truly only in it for himself, it doesn’t matter what history has to say about him; he just wants to make a big impact while he’s here. He’s the bomb with the smile on its face.
I am completely capable of believing that Donald J. Trump accepted some deal with the Russians where he agreed to play an active role in the downfall of the United States. I truly believe that he is a puppet of Putin’s, and that Putin’s overall goal is the disintegration of the nation.
Putin wants to see the West crumble, just like his Soviet Union. He doesn’t need to see it explode. He’d rather watch it pick itself apart like a diseased crazy man digging his fingers deep beneath his skin, screaming at unseen voices while attempting to rip out bugs that aren’t actually there.
Putin wants to see us crumble.
And we are so broken already, so willing to condemn our neighbors to hell due to the color of the political sign on their lawn. How many steps away are Democrats and Republicans from becoming the Sunni and Shia of Washington D.C.?
The Democrats are saying, “Put down your guns. We don’t trust you.”
And the Republicans are saying, “No.”
But why are they saying no? What don’t they trust about the Democrats?
It’s my understanding that Republicans think the Democrats want to do to the United States what the Communist Party did to the Soviet Union. They imagine jackbooted thugs attacking their property under the name of “the government,” but only after the government bleeds them dry with taxes.
Republicans believe that if they put down their guns, the Democrats will literally tax them to death, creating in the process an economy and a society that is so broken that crime will be rampant and their lives and their families will be constantly in danger.
What they don’t understand is that their guns do not protect them. What protects them is their money.
The difference between the Democratic Party and the Communist Party is that the Communist Party advocates for revolution.
If I were a rich person in Bolshevik Russia, I too would want my guns.
But the Democratic Party does not advocate for revolution; too much of their money flows throughout the system. Sen. Sanders may be calling for a revolution, but the Democratic Party roundly defeated him in 2016, and too many people in the party bureaucracy still blame him (in part) for Sec. Clinton’s loss in the general election to nominate him as the standard bearer for their party in 2020.
Somewhere, people still imagine inciting a Communist Revolution, but such revolutions will only ever be localized disturbances in the global system. Money flows through globalization like information through the Internet: you can’t stop it because it always redirects itself.
The Democratic Party wants to make changes to the status quo, but they also want to make those changes cautiously (too cautiously for my taste). They believe that universal healthcare is the eventual goal; that common sense gun laws ought to be enacted and enforced; that we consider families and individuals before we consider people en masse; and that the power of corporations has grown stronger than our democracy, and so must, in their turn, be weakened.
But Democratic politicians, like Republicans, also have a lot of money that depends on the status quo, and while they’re willing to give up some of their money to inch society closer to their Democratic goals, they’re not willing to risk everything they have to do so.
Put simply, as someone who sympathizes with Communism, I’m telling you: there will never be a Communist revolution in the United States.
But there may very well be another civil war.
On one side will be a crowd of open-armed minorities, women, and young people, saying with tears in their eyes, “Put down your guns.” And on the other will be a disciplined force of heavily armed white men, sneering and saying, “No.”
And thousands of miles away, seated on his black throne, will be Vladimir Putin, smiling wide, rubbing his hands, and gleefully whispering, “Yes, my pretty. Yes.”
And still the children are slaughtered.