George Orwell, 1984
I had lunch yesterday with a dear friend who happens to be an ardent MAGA Trump supporter.
He kept looking at his phone during lunch and looked very unhappy and triggered. I thought that perhaps he was attuned to the events in Georgia.
I asked him if everything was okay and he told me that the country was going to shit and that he felt we were being pushed into a civil war. The election had clearly been stolen, there were three thousand dead people on the voter rolls in Arizona, etc. Donald Trump was our true current president. This is the second time in a week I have heard about the coming civil war.
When I pointed out that in every state where voter fraud accusations had been made they had been thoroughly debunked by multiple judges and trials, and that no credible evidence had been found to support his assertions anywhere, he said that they were all in on the game, the same evil deep state apparatus.
It was really frustrating for me to try to bridge our ideological gap and I quickly stopped trying. It is impossible to win these sorts of arguments. But it quickly became evident who the real villains were in his eyes, LGBQT followers who were in the schools actively grooming our children. In my friend's eyes our culture stands at the tipping point of destruction. Morality is at its nadir.
I pointed out to him that morality has been going downhill for a very long time. I recounted being at an automat in Times Square with my family in the late sixties. I was like an eleven year old kid and my eyes were wide. A very pretty scantily clad hooker sat at the table next to us and was a source of wonder for my young mind. Girl doing her job. Shorted my circuits.
But he said that was different. She was straight and not a threat to society.
Call me crazy but I don't think there is a push to "gayify" our kids at school. A percentage of humans has always been gay and I think people are embracing their orientation at a younger age without much prodding. But gay people are the most prominent target in today's culture war along with minorities and migrants.
I brought up the poor lady in the mountains that was killed at her store for flying a Pride flag and he had little if any sympathy. "Christians are killed flying their flags all the time," he said. "And we are not going to take it anymore." In his mind the diversity crowd had it coming. It was time for MAGA to take the country back, by force if necessary.
I was very unsettled by the whole conversation but happy that I could listen and trying not to judge. Everybody is feeling victimized and the dueling media silos have reduced every act into a culture war salvo. Small random local actions are purposely magnified and exploited to cause maximum national aggravation. We two Americas are dealing with two entirely different sets of facts.
We finished our lunch and agreed to not let our political differences affect our friendship but there was not really a lot left to say. The twain will be awfully hard to bridge.