Reality is trolling you: the farcical nightmare of post-Trump America

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I wonder if our stage was already set for something ugly and we got something way too ugly with trump. I think he picked up momentum as he went when so many haters emerged and praised his diseased outlook and hatred of others. I can’t credit that petty little manchild for all the damage done. He just seems to have knocked the lid off the box of hate that already existed. Once he saw the garbage he had spilled out he wallowed in it like the bloated orange boar that he is.


Michael Lewis exposed this brilliantly several years ago in ‘The Fifth Risk’. Many of Trump’s policies were deliberate attempts at undermining the Federal bureaucracy via politicization - and some were just basic ineptitude.


Sounds familiar…

the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security

The world you live in — your nation, your people — is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father […] could not have imagined.

I fooled myself. I had to. Everybody has to. If the good had been twice as good and the bad only half as bad, I still ought to have seen it, all through as I did in the beginning, because I am, as you say, sensitive. But I didn’t want to see it, because I would have then had to think about the consequences of seeing it, what followed from seeing it, what I must do to be decent. I wanted my home and family, my job, my career, a place in the community.

To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it — please try to believe me — unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that [no-one] could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.

You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow… But the one great shocking occasion when tens or hundreds of thousands will join with you, … never comes. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions, would have been sufficiently shocked … but of course, this isn’t the way it happens. In between comes all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you … and you see that everything - everything - has changed

Although they might sound like things Americans are saying about the current situation, they’re not. I’ll leave it to readers to Google up where these quotes are from. No-one should be surprised.


At this point, we need to stop the hand-wringing, cynical flouncing, and indulging in awful What-Ifs and ominous “We Were Warned!” prognostications, and do what is necessary to strengthen and defend democracy.

  • It isn’t enough to vote the GOP bastards out. We need to make sure that friends, relations, and neighbors are registered to vote, equipped to vote (e.g. have IDs), and have a foolproof game plan for election day.
  • Campaigns for candidates running against GOP candidates and incumbents need to supported, with volunteering and donations.
  • Local Democratic parties need volunteers and donations only. They help coordinate local campaigns and GOTV drives.
  • Corrupt and biased election incumbents and candidates need to be opposed.
  • Litigation against voter suppression laws needs to be supported.

Related thread on Twitter:


Even without googling, a lot of these paragraphs were hauntingly familiar. But then again I finally finished Defying Hitler.

It was a difficult read. I kept putting it down to read something light, like Kafka, instead.


Becoming a country ruled by a fascist central government is like Hemingway’s description of how one goes bankrupt: gradually, then suddenly.



Is this The Shock Doctrine?

We’ve been on our way since Reagan.


Yeah thats true and while we’re at it lets throw in an eat shit and die to Neutered Gingrich the forgettable pustule that oozed out so much hate in the 90’s, Fuck you newt.


Did you mean boor? He is definitely a boor. A classless boor.

Agree with all that, but would also emphasize how very much worse things can still get, and how much worse they already are in other countries.

But it is true, having grown up a profoundly cynical kid in the 80s and 90s, brought up on Jello Biafra and Noam Chomsky, I still never would have anticipated living to see some of what we’ve been through, like the House Republicans backing bogus election fraud claims on the floor of the Congress literally hours after they were driven in fear from the same room by a crazed mob of his supporters.


Reagan at least had relevant experience before he got the top job though. Whatever you think of his policies or his judgement, “Governor of the most populous state in the union” is a legit resume item for a would-be President.

Trump was the first POTUS in our entire history who came to the job with no experience in public service whatsoever.


whats revelatory is: we talk about Trumpists turning America into a fascist state as if that is something that never existed.

Yet, what was it like to be a PoC in Jim Crow South, 1865-1965, if not a fascist state?


@frauenfelder, can you do us (me) a favour and put the full MidJourney prompt into the file name or alt text of the image every time. Otherwise I’m just left wondering.

I’m guessing this is “Trump as a Farce”?


“post-Trump” ?

Yeah, right.


I left the USA in March of 2015. Obama was still the president. I wasn’t entirely happy with the prospect of Clinton, but things seemed normal enough. It was obviously impossible for Trump to be elected.

I have not been back since. I’m not 100% certain that any of the stuff in the last seven years actually happened, although my friends and family and the Internet all seem to agree that it has…

The strange thing is that although it was me that left…the place I left is gone. The America I departed doesn’t exist anymore. I’m like one of my friends in school who came to the USA from shattered lands, like Afghanistan and Iran or Mississippi.


Now I just want my Mommy. :cry:

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