Over the 4th of July holiday wrestler — and one of my new personal heroes — John Cena starred in an extraordinary video about who “average” Americans are. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to watch it. It’s literally perfect. If you find a fault in it, examine your soul because you are probably empty inside.
After watching the speeches and reactions of the crowd during the first and second day of the Republican National Convention, it seems pretty obvious that they are now the party of “Who the fuck let those weirdos into our country?”
For all their bluster about how we’re the greatest country in the world, in the history of the world in fact, shouldn’t they be proud of our freaks, as it were? I mean, under the reasoning aren’t our weirdos better than everyone else’s? Shouldn’t they at least be shouting “U-S-A’s FREAKS ARE BETTER THAN YOURS, U-S-A’s FREAKS ARE BETTER THAN YOURS, U-S-A’s FREAKS ARE BETTER THAN YOURS?”
Isn’t it funny that the ones who claim our guns are meant to protect us from the tyranny of government are perfectly fine with a black man being pinned down and shot at point blank range as long as he had a gun in his pocket, much less actually brandishing the damn thing? Why are they so afraid to admit that Black Lives Matter? Are they afraid that means their lives won’t matter as much?
I used to be a conservative, raised in the right-wing Christian conservatism that gave rise to Reagan’s 80’s and the Bush years. So I know firsthand that conservatives feel a genuine societal threat from the idea of marriage equality, women choosing how and when to carry a pregnancy to full term, and giving those in need a helping hand, regardless of whether we think they’re “lazy” or not because that’s the right thing to do. They’ll tell you it’s because tradition is important, or children just do better with a mommy and a daddy, or any number of platitudes, but at the end of the day it all comes down the baseline emotion of fear. Because in reality, over and over again they’re proven demonstrably wrong about who Americans are and what their values may be.
Conservatives told us that slavery had to stay at least in some parts of the country to prop up the economy. They told us that we couldn’t desegregate because the black man just wasn’t ready for it. They told us that women voting would bring the end of society as we know it. I cannot tell you how many times I heard growing up that abortion was murdering millions of Americans a year and how we’d all pay a swift price from God for it, or something. And ditto for those uppity gays demanding marriage rights. That too would wind-up bringing not just calamity in the streets, but would carry with it the wrath of vengeful God…who loves us unconditionally…enough to murder us for treating other humans with dignity.
Each convention night has a theme. Last night’s was “Make America Safe Again.” Tonight’s is “Make America Work Again.” But I think all the nights should have just been named “Keep America Ignorant and Paranoid, Always,” because that’s essentially what the Republican Party has become. They don’t want their rank and file voters thinking the Iraq War was the worst administrative decision of the last twenty years; that’s obviously Obamacare followed quickly by Benghazi. They don’t want Americans understanding that they have a far greater chance of getting murdered by another American’s gun than they do by any radicalized terrorist, so they never mention the gun violence epidemic this country is experiencing.
It’s funny — Republicans are the ones claiming that we need to boldly stand on a mountaintop and beat our chests, proudly declaring ourselves the best at everything. And yet, they’re so ashamed of someone who just wants to feel comfortable in their own body, that they’ll use the force of government to dictate where they use the bathroom. How can they claim to be able to stand up to terrorists when they can’t even look a transgender person in the eye and be honest about why it is they’re getting treated with such discriminatory disdain?
John Cena was right in his video. The average American looks nothing like what those largely white, mostly older, fools in Cleveland want you to believe. I don’t know if that makes them more angry or more scared…or just both. What I do know is that at one time at least Ronald Reagan feigned the desire to be inclusive. Now, you get preachers — CHRISTIAN PREACHERS — decrying liberals and democrats as the “enemy.”
And you have Reagan’s party demanding that the government and the country be taken back from the rest of us — not that their own umbrellas widen to take us in. God Bless us, every single, miserable, one.