The March Of The American Kooks

David Roth, writing for Defector, matches old-school dumbshits to the new era dumbshits.

Here is the synchronicity that binds old-fashioned American kookery’s longstanding suspicions and signature fantasies to the person Donald Trump, and which sent them charging into the Capitol last month ready to commit murder in his service, and which has them still standing back and standing by to advance a fantastical and self-invented agenda of retribution and exterminative violence. Trump’s inexcusable celebrity and singularly rancid self are the irritant around which this weird pearl has formed, but the process was perfectly natural.

Without social media, Trump himself is a spent force, just another podgy golf asshole griping in a country club. But also he is airborne, now.

He is alive in all the Americans who are not just blinkered and baffled and vain enough to consider wearing a mask into a supermarket somehow the same thing as dying in the Holocaust, but who also believe that their confrontations with the tyranny of The Door Guy At Trader Joe’s must be streamed someplace where people can throw it some hearts, or likes, or fuming devil faces, or money. Social media is bad for people like this in the ways that it’s bad for everyone, but there is no more intoxicating or deranging a gift for a person who is already like this than something that looks and feels so much like a megaphone.

Ultimately, Roth equating Steve Carlton to the QAnon folk is… probably right.

February 4, 2021