I’ve been trying to articulate for the last week this feeling of things spinning off their axis. I’m in the UK right now, a place I now end up spending about a month a year, and I was talking about politics with a young man from Northern Ireland. He had supported Brexit, yes, because he had believed the Conservatives’ utter garbage about how much funding would go to the National Health Service. Now that Brexit is so obviously the clusterfuck of regulations and shortages that the Stay coalition had said it would be, as well as there being no benefit at all to having left the EU, Donal is, to say the least, done with Boris Johnson and the Conservatives.
I pointed out to him that at least politicians in the UK don’t pander to religion quite as blatantly or quite as regularly as American politicians do. “You don’t see anyone here talking about how God wants them to do something,” I said.
“No, they don’t,” Donal said. “Everyone would look at them as if they’re quite mad.”
And that was it. It’s not that religion doesn’t matter (Donal being from Northern Ireland knows that quite well). Indeed, some bishops sit in the House of Lords, an outdated notion in a very outdated institution, and about two-thirds of the public think that’s bullshit. But I realized that one of the things we don’t talk about enough in the United States is just how many crazy motherfuckers are in power. We treat crazy motherfuckers the same way we treat sane politicians when, truly, we have to call crazy motherfuckers “crazy motherfuckers.”
Right now, the media and other politicians are still indulging the complete madness of those who believe in the lie that there was massive voter and election fraud that changed the outcome of the 2020 election. Of course, a good many of those who are spouting this don’t believe it and are merely playing along in order to stay in good graces of Donald fucking Trump, and that’s just Ol’ Yeller levels of pathetic. But a whole bunch of people really believe this shit. And those who know it’s not true are not doing enough to say, objectively, they are wrong. There are no “doubts.” There is no hidden evidence. There’s nothing. It’s the electoral equivalent of insisting you see leprechauns fucking mermaids on the backs of unicorns and wanting to fight anyone who tells you it’s not true. Sorry, but you’re just fucking insane.
I don’t understand why the first question to any politician or pundit on any non-Fox “news” show isn’t “Was Joe Biden legitimately elected president?” And if that politician or pundit doesn’t say, clearly, “Yeah, of course, I’m not a crazy motherfucker,” then the interview is over. Why should we give a shit what a crazy motherfucker or someone who helps keep crazy motherfuckers crazy has to say about a goddamn thing? Why would the next thing be “Well, Senator Crazy Motherfucker, you refuse to acknowledge reality when it comes to the election, but, hey, let’s treat your opinion on tax policy as legitimate.” Fuck that. Fucking hell, because of the failure to call out crazy, the Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania is fucking crazy.
And the crazy keeps going. The Great Replacement Theory, which motivated the rabid little dickhole to drive to Buffalo and gun down people at a supermarket, is racist madness, the kind of mass hysteria that motivates genocides, like in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia, or fascist lockdowns of nations, essentially becoming North Korea. It doesn’t even make any goddamn sense since it takes years for immigrants to become citizens in order to vote in national elections. Again, factually, the whole thing is bullshit, but people cling to it like the last piece of white driftwood in a black and brown flood.
I’m not even getting into the Covid madness, where all of a sudden, billions of people getting a vaccine is seen as “experimental.” Fuck you, you fucking bugfuck insane disease vectors. And I’m not even talking about QAnon and other warped shit. I’m talking mainstream crazy.
Yeah, whenever I hear a politician on any side say that our rights “come from God,” I think, “Oh, shut the fuck up.” But this shit is getting nuttier and nuttier. It’s the 21st fucking century, but our leaders are expected to talk like they’re pilgrims on the Mayflower or some such shit. In her commencement speech at the University of Wyoming where she said some bullshit about “two sexes” and later apologized, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis also said, “There are those in government who believe not that the creator endowed us with inalienable rights … but that government created those rights.” And Democrats say shit like that, too. Government did create those rights. That’s why those rights are in the U.S. Constitution but not in others. Unless your god’s a pussy and couldn’t get other countries to guarantee them. But Republican nutzoids like Marjorie Taylor Greene tweet shit like “Our God is bigger” and speak about how “godless” the nation is and how Satan is doing shit and what the fuck are they even talking about.
Look, we’re used to stupid. We’re used to corrupt. We’re used to manipulative. We’re used to that shit. But widespread crazy is scarier than all of that. Widespread crazy will lead to more violence. Widespread crazy will lead to condemnation of those who refuse to give in to the crazy. Widespread crazy is a goddamned virus that is only happy if it spreads.
And what I figured out is that too many of our leaders and media figures are not holding people accountable for crazy. Crazy is not merely problematic. It’s not just another side of an issue. It’s fucking crazy. This country is going fucking crazy, driven there by Fox “news” and online bullshitters who get off on making people crazy and crazy people themselves, who now have a megaphone that can be just as big as anyone trying to tell people that reality is reality.
The problem is the insanity. I wish I could give you a solution. But crazy brings out crazy, madness brings out madness, rage brings out rage. I think a box has been opened and I don’t know that we can close it.
The one hope I can offer is that Donal did change. He didn’t blame the anti-Brexit voters for the failure of Brexit. He blamed those who made impossible promises, and he knows that he was wrong. In fact, attitudes to immigrants have softened post-Brexit, as if everything the Leavers said was a lie. I’m not saying that kind of change of heart is possible in the United States, where people wear their madness proudly like a red cap made in China. But humans do have that capacity. Just maybe not American humans.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on May 22, 2022 on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.
Image Credit: Reader’s Digest