Inspection- The Immense Power of the Asshole
Are we underestimating the asshole factor? In a country started by a lot of brave people running from a-holes, but maybe at least as many people who headed across the Atlantic because they wanted their “God given right” to be the biggest a-holes around, have we underestimated Trump’s drawing power? With a history of lynchings, whippings, burnings of inconvenient women, masters who delighted in the worse aspects of slavery, prison wardens who used used to be slave owners renewing their abusive nature with gusto on former slaves, business owners and clergy who delight in declaring Jesus empowers them to teach, preach and enforce hate, just what exactly is the a-hole factor among Americans. Is it as high as 1 to 10, to 5, to 3?
Once again I’m rereading Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this intriguing explanation for the worse of the worst evil humanity has to offer. Disguised as humans goblins live amongst us, a warrior species we created during a forgotten time when humans got really good at genetic manipulation.
A fanciful, imaginative, solution to the likes of Jeff Dahmer, Adolf Hitler, the Kmer Rouge and so many other, supposedly, human masters of damn near pure evil.
One book I had trouble finishing was written by an absolute asshole: Max Tucker. Yes, he even calls himself that. Tucker delights in being an “asshole.” Has made a ton of money writing about his assholery in his book I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Another book he wrote is Assholes Finish First. He would delight in sabotaging parties, dates, classes: anything and anyone. Playing the game of doing the minimal he has to to have sex then dumping his date in the worst of ways is apparently one of his greatest joys. Amazing how much of what he did was tolerated, how little legal problems he’s had for all he’s done.
My premise here is simple. Since I was very young I have been aware of people who can only be described as assholes. They’re easy to recognize once you become familiar with the mutant breed of inhumanity they represent. Donald Trump is a bully, and certainly an asshole who so many less powerful assholes have cheered on. Take, for example, well known bridge closer, attitude filled prima donna; Chris Christie. If you’ve ever watched bullies gather a gang on a playground, lesser bullies become the bigger bully’s bitches. Instead of defending the bullied, children on the playground either sit by silently, or cheer them on. It kind of like revelers at a dog fight cheer on the stronger dog who slaughters the beloved, obedient, pet snatched from private property to be a chew toy for a fighter in training.
Right wing pundits like Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity, etc., delight in shouting over people, panning them down while they talk over them, calling them “pinheads,” doing something they consider “debate” that’s no more than accusation, name calling and framing: like making up diseases and afflictions their opponents have. All while cheering on what are the modern day versions of wild beasts at the Colosseum.
Question being, election time 2016, are we underestimating the a-hole factor? So many uncles, some aunts, parents, strangers who think getting in anyone’s face regarding their own opinions is perfectly acceptable. (Assholes.) So many foam at the mouth all over their lounge chairs while kids and spouse shrink in terror. (Assholes.) So many who are like those who follow the playground bully and long to join Donald’s gang: like those who assault others at rallies. (REALLY big assholes.)
Are there enough to elected Donald? Good god, covered with extra greasy goose gravy, I hope not. With so many blacks, Hispanics and women, I have serious doubts. Of course one of the unique talents of the bigger bully is he’s able to sideline others, or even turn them into marginal supporters. But on a national level? To repeat…
“Good god, covered with extra greasy goose gravy, I hope not.”
His enablers are so many, from the obvious to those who think themselves “clever:” posing as Bernie or Hillary supporters, doing anything to sheer off as many votes as possible on social media. It’s an old tactic that, in my opinion, has been at a political pandemic level this year, even compared to previous presidential years. It seems almost unimaginable enough will be cowed into submission, that enough will be wrongfully tossed off voter rolls for false reasons. Almost.
But if the 2000 election and 9/11 taught me anything it’s that sometimes the unimaginable does happen. And too many damn people fall in line like kids on a playground won’t challenge the bully.
And I suspect that has something to do with the immense power of assholes.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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