Living in Oblivion

We don’t know what there is to say that hasn’t been said, that we haven’t said before, and more than once. The verdict came down Friday, and it may have been a shock, but it wasn’t a surprise. Everyone saw it coming, from the start.

People have talked about the judge, about trial procedure, about how the laws themselves are written, and these are all relevant subjects. But they don’t, to our satisfaction, get at the problem here, of which this has been yet another example, but not the thing itself.

So we ended up doing what we’ve done before: Look at voting demographics.

We already know that at least since 1976, white people have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. We learned that four years ago, at another moment we saw fit to look into it, but hadn’t found cause to update our understanding.

Until now. In November 2020, after four years of Donald Trump and a quarter-million American covid deaths, white Americans voted to keep him in office by 55-43 percent.

Twelve points.

Double digits.

White men and white women, although the latter by only — only! — seven points.

That’s the America we live in. That’s the America we’ve always lived in, if only by not so much the past half-century: Whites amounted to almost 9 in 10 Americans in 1970. That’s down to fewer than 2 in 3 now.

Still, y’know, dominant, but the other voices in the room are getting louder.

And, in our judgment, so much of contemporary American politics can be understood not just in terms of white fears, but white obliviousness. Even if you’re not an avid viewer of Tucker’s White Power Hour, everything else in our national news and culture remains tooled to white perceptions and perspectives. There are other lives lived in America, other experiences faced, but if you’re white, you have to make some effort to see them, especially when it’s so much easier to just stay in your lane.

Which brings us to Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Because we’ve covered this ground before — repeatedly — we initially despaired of finding a new way to say it, a new way to get at it.

And then we remembered the highway, the highway lined by beautiful billboards, blocking out the desolation beyond. That’s your lane if you’re white in America, that’s the road you grow up traveling, the road you’re free to take for granted. Many white folk — let’s say, 55 percent — never see anything but that, living happily inside the walls that were so expertly built for them, denying the world that exists outside the blinders.

And honestly, we don’t know what to do about that. We’re stuck with these people, we’re stuck with the institutions that are designed to give them preference, and now we’re increasingly stuck with the literal danger they pose to the rest of us.

And all we can offer at this point is some sad advice:

Try not to become roadkill.

5 Comments

After the 1/06 attempted coup, I thought that most people would realize what deep shit we’re in. Nope, I was wrong about that.

Even after an attempted coup, too many people can’t pull their heads outta their assess long enough to fill out a ballot, as demonstrated by the pathetically low voter turnout for this month’s elections.

The GOPnazis have already rigged the 2022 elections through radical gerrymandering so much that at this point we can’t even legitimately call ourselves a democracy in any truthful sense. Combine that with the fact that under 40s don’t bother voting, and we’re totally screwed.

I still think that we’re in for some major demographic changes by 2030, as most far-white boomers head for their final Klan rally in hell, but we’re gonna have to catch some super lucky breaks between now and then or the country is gonna crash hard.

Like what happens if the Republinazis seize the House in 2022, then decide to crash the eCONomy through a debt default?
FSM-only knows what’ll happen in the unraveling of an eCONomy based entirely upon cheap credit. 2008 was a preview.
The GOPnazis smash the economy and then voters blame Democrats for not being able to stitch it back together again fast enough. More lies and scapegoating as the tailspin continues, rinse and repeat. Same as it ever was.If that comes to pass, we may be lucky if we end up like Mexico: mass poverty, but with a weak, corrupt kleptocracy that’s too disorganized and incompetent to attack its own citizens.

Alternatively, maybe we’ll wake up in the near future to the blessed headline $HITLER DEAD! and the GOPnazis destroy themselves in a power struggle to asscend to Tr666p’s golden commode.

@¡Andrew!: Or the wildest season of Succession yet.

Whatta relief that Cletus, Dingus, and Cletus Jr. got convicted. One more rigged sham trial, and Jeebus was gonna vomit with rage.
It’s just surprising and disappointing that they’re only facing life in prison. You’d think those deranged wingnutz in Georgia could hang ’em or at least give ’em the chair.
On the other hand, there’s nothing that they love more than nasty racist Republinazi trash in Georgian prisons, so that could actually be worse.

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