Insane in the Mainframe
What does it look like when an entire nation loses its mind? How can one tell if America has had a serious psychotic break? It elects Donald J. Trump as President. That alone should be sufficient, but Trump is merely the personification of the country’s psychosis. I think an even better metaphor is that America just put a gun to its head and pulled the trigger. We committed suicide. How did it come to this? For some possible insights we can take a look at some news stories over the past two years.
Jan. 28, 2015 — For five years, Native-American children at the American Horse School have attended Rapid City (SD) Rush minor league hockey games. On this night, fans from the box seats above poured beer down on the kids, Grades 3-8, while telling them to “Go back to the Rez.” Days later the City Attorney visited the school to explain the results of their investigation. At one point, speaking from a microphone, he actually said, “If anyone wants to use the talking stick when I’m done, let me know.”
Temecula, CA — In February 2014, 59-year-old John Dodrill heard a knock at the door. He opened it while pointing a shotgun at a 7-year-old Girl Scout who was selling cookies. The judge who sentenced him to six months said the man “was essentially a finger-twitch away from a homicide, and still doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.”
While police are murdering unarmed black men who are running from them, Ammon Bundy leads an armed white nationalist militia in a takeover of a federal wildlife sanctuary. They occupy the place for over a month, going through files, destroying property. Then in the trial, they’re all acquitted! It is me, or does that sound just plain nuts?
In June, 2015, Donald Trump entered the presidential race by accusing undocumented Mexican workers of rape and murder, and also called for the ban of all Muslims coming into the U.S. His xenophobia, racism, and misogyny were on daily display throughout the campaign. He encouraged his supporters to “kick the hell out of” protesters at his rallies, saying that they deserve it, they’re not like us, “These aren’t real people. Remember that.”
At a Trump rally this fall, a 29-year-old woman carrying a portable oxygen tank shouted at his supporters, “You’d better learn Russian, and the first two words are ha ha,” and a man turned around and decked her.
Several Jewish journalists have been troll-tweeted by Trumpkins, called Kikes and sent photos of Jewish men on their knees, being shot in the head. Kurt Eichenwald has written some blistering criticisms of Trump for Newsweek. He has epilepsy, and some hatriot sent him a GIF with a strobing light, causing him to go into seizure. Then weeks later another troll sent him a video with the same effect.
The NEA, National Education Association, is the nation’s largest teachers’ union. It has reported increases in school bullying due to the “Trump effect.” Joy Bock, middle school teacher and lifelong Republican, told of a 10-year-old student telling her, “If Donald Trump wins, I’ll be sent back to Peru.” Another teacher whose class is majority African-American Muslims, said, “My students are terrified of Donald Trump. They think if he’s elected, all black people will get sent back to Africa.” A NC high school teacher tells that many of her students carry their birth certificates and Social Security cards to school because they’re afraid of being deported. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the campaign “is producing an alarming level of fear and anxiety in children of color.”
Oct. 29, 2016, Allen Park, MI — Michael Kubek, age 56, held six youths at gunpoint for ten minutes after he claimed they damaged his Trump lawn sign. He had a permit and the gun wasn’t loaded, but fortunately was stilled booked on felonious assault.
June, 2015 — A 75-year-old Texas woman had an arrest warrant sworn out on her because the grass on her lawn was too high. She’d had several citations to appear in court, but claims she never saw them. Two good Samaritan brothers from the neighborhood mowed the lawn and she escaped a jail cell — this time!
Oct. 16, 2016, San Diego, CA — Inserted into the newsletter of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was a note: “How to vote Catholic — It is a mortal sin to vote Democrat!” It added, “Immediately after death the souls of those who died in a state of mortal sin descend into hell.” The church diocese says the insert wasn’t theirs.
Silver Spring, MD — Twice, two children, ages 6 and 10, were picked up by police, and Child Protective Services called, for walking alone the two blocks from a city park to their home. Seeing an unaccompanied child anywhere now calls for a 911 call.
A kid gets suspended from school for chewing a pop-tart into the shape of a gun. It’s part of schools’ zero-tolerance policy.
In Kansas City, MO — Kaleb Wiley Primm, 7 years old, was crying after being bullied. A School Resource Officer came into the classroom to take him to the Principal’s office and he began crying again, so the SRO handcuffed him above the elbows. Missouri’s Department of Education policies say a student can only be put in restraint during “an emergency or crisis situation.” But a statement from the school district said SROs are not beholden to Dept. of Education policies.
Incidents of Americans going berserk (apart from the nearly 900 mass shootings) only got worse after the election. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which keeps track of hate groups, reported 867 incidents of hate crime in just the ten days following the election. The “Trump Effect” flew through schools like a virus. Hijabs were jerked from Muslim girls’ heads, there were anti-Jewish taunts and jeers, swastika graffiti sprayed on walls and synagogues. A 10-year-old girl’s private parts were groped by a classmate who asked, “If my president can do it, why can’t I?”
Jan. 3, 2017 — Today as I was writing this, I heard of a motion by a member of the L.A. City Council, and a Democrat! It would ban childless adults from playgrounds in L.A.’s parks. They might be pedophiles, you see. Fortunately, saner minds prevailed.
The election of Donald Trump has normalized these kinds of deplorable acts. He has emboldened neo-Nazis and white supremacists to crawl out from under their rocks and inflict their bigotry and hatred on decent, innocent people. The week after the election, a Fremont, CA woman returned from a walk. She’s not Muslim; she wears a headscarf because she has lupus. She found a note on her car’s smashed windshield: “Hijab Wearing Bitch. This is our nation. Now get the F— out.”
Food stamp shaming is also popular these days. A person is paying for food with an EBT card, and someone behind them says out loud to anyone in earshot: “See those groceries? Our taxes our paying for them,” followed by advice to get a job. As if it was any of their business. God forbid this hatriot ever hits a rough patch and needs government assistance (the key reason for government). Or if his house catches fire, why should I have to pay taxes so he can get free assistance from the fire department? There’s so little compassion anymore in this country, just mean and angry people everywhere.
You’ve heard the expression about the inmates running the asylum? They’ve just elected one of their own to lead the country, a man who doesn’t read, isn’t curious, doesn’t trust or even own a computer, doesn’t care to attend security briefings, and will soon have his hand on the nuclear button. And he’s obviously as mentally unstable as many of the people who think he’s their hero. He once asked a military advisor three times: “If we have nukes, why can’t we use them?” In a Primary debate in Dec. 2015 he was asked about the nuclear triad, and he didn’t know what it was. Then he was asked about upgrading our nuclear capabilities, Here’s what came out: “I think to me, nuclear, is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.” And he just chose Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, which oversees nuclear security. Rick Perry, who doesn’t even know which end the bullet comes out of. What could possibly go wrong?
How did the country get so mean and nasty? Start with the working poor, formerly the middle class, busting their humps every day for less and less pay, less and less benefits. Then imagine a criminally negligent media in what’s being called a post-truth age. People can only be pushed so far before the snap. How many mass-shootings did we have last year? It was close to a thousand. I think America has had a full-blown psychotic break. And the mentally ill who don’t get help from a professional rarely get better on their own. After all, they know they’re not the crazy ones.