It seems to happen every week: some senseless killing takes place. Cops are killed waiting in their cars. A doctor is killed at a hospital by someone she doesn’t know. There is gunfire at shopping malls, schools, or post offices. On one hand, it feels like the nation is on the brink of a breakdown, and on the other people are arming themselves to the teeth as the N.R.A. and its allies in Washington are preaching that the only solution to irrational violence is to put more firepower in the hands of more potentially irrational people.
People feel powerless. That is why a majority of people in the basically rural Electoral College, not the popular urban vote, elected Donald Trump president. Trump promised them power, that they “will not be forgotten.” And power to them meant keeping things as they were, in a haze of nostalgia that for the most part was as real as Trump’s promises.
People feel powerless because they have no more power over their paychecks—with unionism being gutted in the name of “right to work” and “workplace independence,” there is no recourse once your paycheck has been either jerked away or reduced to a form of welfare. Trump and his billionaire buddies have no interest in assuring a future to anyone, but this haze of nostalgia wrapped around a promise of regained power is extremely seductive. It is the “real pussy” that Trump’s followers are grabbing at with him. We are going back to an “All in the Family” view of life, when “girls were girls and men were men,” the Bible was everybody’s teacher even though nobody read it, and a man could still live steadily off his salary and even support a family with it.
You’re stuck. And it’s very scary to be there, and people who might even be your allies only exist as strange websites whose real authors you’ll never get to meet.
We do not have Big Brother now, we have Big Money, and for most people it’s getting further and further away from them. In the old days you could hate the Rockefellers because at least you could see them. Now you can’t see Big Money at all: it hides perfectly behind rows of shell companies, faceless boards, the “teams” above your team and the puppeteers pulling the strings above them.
You can hate the “lying” press because it doesn’t say what you want to hear, but the people pulling in the money above it—and the money keeps getting bigger and bigger, this vast bubble of money—you’ll never really see.
Originally Published on Huffington Post