Absolute is Not Just a Vodka
If you continue to support Trump out of loyalty to him, please understand that your loyalty to him supersedes every other thing that you care about in life. You may not yet realize that, but it does.
Your life is over. You are now part of the Trump machine. And, as such, you are expected to fulfill your role as subservient and without question. You may think I am exaggerating, but if so, go back and look at what he has done to the careers and lives of those who questioned him when he was dead wrong! This is the way of dictatorship. Read about Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany or Mao’s China before it’s too late.
You will believe as you are told to believe.
You will give to the State whatever it requires.
You will embrace evil. And, you will know in your heart that it is evil even though people will give you all sorts of rationalizations about why it’s for the greater good and it’s only a few people dead and a few more and a few more and ….
You will tell authorities about any neighbors who are people of color or people of a different religion or people who have a funny accent or people who don’t watch Faux News. Of course you will.
You will betray your friends as well if you overhear them saying something that used to be true such as “The earth is round” but which is now out of favor as being just a sissy-science nerd thing.
You will betray your spouse as well if they don’t go along with the new regime. It sounds as though it would be a pretty soul-wrenching thing to do but then it occurs to you that they might do the same to you. Of course it will occur to you.
And you decide to beat them to the punch. So, you gather evidence so that in a case of he-said, she-said, you will have the upper hand. Of course, it might not even be true at all. You might just be tired of your spouse, but a convincing accusation is all that is needed. Even if your spouse is completely innocent, it will serve the purposes of the state by making their execution public.
You will betray your parents if asked. They did it in Russia. They did it in Germany. They did it in many places where absolute tyranny ruled. Not everyone did so, of course, but it’s easy to make rationalizations.
“Oh, they were old anyway.” “Oh, they were in bad health and they probably would have died anyway.” “Oh, they were never that nice to me anyway. Always preferred my older brother.”
You will betray your own children as well. Of course you will. You’re currently supporting someone who is in bed with oil companies including Russian oligarchs. And, they aren’t snuggling just to stay warm. No, they are in positions that would even make Caligula blush.
As a result, Trump has worked tirelessly to roll back as many environmental regulations as he possibly can. This means your children — and their children — will grow up in a world of dirtier air and dirtier water and a more corrupted food supply. It will smell worse. It will taste worse. It will be a world that predisposes people to diseases such as cancer, asthma, and auto-immune disease. In some places, such as Flint, Michigan, it will cause brain damage in children. So, yes, you will betray your children for the sake of your loyalty to Trump.
It’s not that you don’t care about your kids. Of course you do! But Trump knows that too. He and Putin’s targeted cyber-campaign have used that love to help convince you that the only way you can really protect them is to let him have absolute power.
And do you know what you will get from Trump in return for giving him absolute power?
No protection. No wealth. No opportunity. Nothing.
Maybe that’s not quite true, because you might get, perhaps, a thrill out of being on the winning team even if the team cheats in every possible way. Personally, I find those kind of victories make me feel worse than losing fairly when I’ve done my best. Your mileage may differ.
Perhaps you get a thrill out of chanting along with the President.
Perhaps you get a thrill out of thinking about all the pain Trump causes “liberals.”
I don’t know.
But I do know this. There are many ways to get thrills that do not require you to give up everything you care about in return. Why not enjoy one of those instead?
Other than that thrill?
Look around your life. Look at the people you care about. Do they look more peaceful and loving than they did four years ago? Do they look happier? What about you? Are you happier? Are you wealthier? Do you feel safer than you did four years ago? Do you feel healthier than you did four years ago? Does the nation seem better off? More united? More respected throughout the world?
Well, however your life is different than it was four years ago, that change is what you are trading your life for. You are pledging to give everything to Trump if he wants it.
Everything you love.
You have no real choice.
You have given up your life as an autonomous human.
And, as nothing more than a meat machine, you will inevitably be replaced by a cheaper, faster, metallic and plastic version. It may take a little longer if you are a lawyer, or a banker, or a manager, or a computer programmer or paid companion than if you are a grocery clerk, or meat packer, or bus driver, but it will happen nonetheless.
What you have forgotten is that your life, like every other human life has value in and of itself.
The value of your life, as enshrined in our Constitution, comes from being born. The framers of the Constitution called it a God-given right.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
And if you let one person have absolute power, then they can absolutely take away:
Your Pursuit of Happiness.
Instead, you will be working for their happiness. And, you’ll be giving up your own life and the lives of those you love for the word of someone who doesn’t even know you exist — someone who will throw you under the bus for nothing more than the pleasure of hearing the crunch beneath the tires.
When one person has absolute power, no-one else has any at all.
You may comfort yourself by thinking that, while you may not have much control over your work life, at least you’ll have control over the rest of your life.
There is no invisible boundary around your property or your house or your bedroom or your body. Of course there isn’t. In a democracy there is such an imaginary boundary.
There are things like courts of law, and search warrants, and fair trials. Those are gone. So, if someone in power wants your property, or your house, or your son or daughter, or your life — who’s to stop them? You’ll haul out your assault weapon? Come on.
Once the rule of law is gone, a whole truckload of weapons won’t help you keep what’s yours. And neither will a truckload of MAGA hats. But don’t worry! You won’t even need to fight!
Because you’ll want to give it all away. You’ll convince yourself it’s for the best. The power over you is then absolute. People are already putting their lives and the lives of their families at risk for no better reason than that they’re told to do so. And it feels to them as though they are freely choosing to do so.
You may want to exercise your freedom to choose while you still have any such freedom. Because it is disappearing a whole lot faster than the virus is.
Absolute is not just a vodka.