I hacked America’s data, and I found out that we’re a bunch of terrible, idiotic human beings.
Okay, that’s a little over-the-top. It’s probably more accurate to say that many of us are terrible, idiotic human beings, and that incredibly vocal plurality is causing our national boat to careen dangerously starboard.
And I didn’t really “hack” anything, namely because I have no idea how to do that. I did, however, spend the last several years reading people’s public social media pages, posts, and comments. That is to say, I spent the last several years entertaining (and often infuriating) myself while using the toilet, sitting in traffic, pretending to work, doing that “uh-huh…uh-huh…yeah…” thing during telephone conversations, attending meetings, sitting through funerals, taking flights, and engaging in more than a few middle-of-the-night “let’s see if anyone liked my witty comment” check-ins. I’m insecure and need your likes and comments to sustain my sense of self-worth.
So I guess it’s more accurate to say this:
If social media participation is a good indicator of the soul of our nation, God help us. We’re headed straight for the jetties and we’re going to crash and drown any day now.
And it didn’t take hackers to show that. Just log in and peruse any social media site for five minutes, you’ll see where we’re headed. And you’ll probably get pissed, too.
To me, the fact that Russians posted bullshit stories isn’t that scary. Hell, Fox News Channel puts out bullshit stories all day, every day, and they make a considerable fortune selling advertising to companies that make end-of-days protection kits. God bless America, God bless capitalism, and God bless easily manipulated old people.
What’s terrifying is that 30% of Americans were primed and ready to engage in some good old-fashioned confirmation bias when they read that Hillary was running a child sex trafficking ring from a DC pizza joint. I mean, when she got done personally killing the embassy staff in Benghazi and Seth Rich, child sex trafficking was the next logical step. That’s textbook Washington, right there. And when I’m choosing a home base for my heinous crimes, my first choice is always Comet Ping Pong. I think it’s their slogan, actually.
Comet Ping Pong: America’s First Choice For Housing Criminal Enterprises.
But that’s where we are, friends. We’re a country with a sizable minority that honestly believed Donald Trump would be a good president. Yep, that guy. The one from tabloid news. The one who has been thrice married. The “you’re fired” guy from The Apprentice. The one who has been a national punchline for 30 years. The one that “grabbed ‘em by the pussy.” The one that slaps his name in gaudy gold letters on anything and everything that offers him a royalty. The one that if you were playing $100,000 Pyramid, you could tell your D-list celeb partner, “this is greed embodied in an embarrassing, orange holdover from Studio 54’s heyday who now sells frozen steaks” and you’d score an easy point. Alfonso Ribeiro would be so excited for you!
They thought that guy (Trump, not Alfonso Ribeiro) would be an obviously successful occupant of the shoes of Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, JFK, and Barack Obama.
I’m pretty sure Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air wouldn’t have us worrying about nuclear annihilation, stock market crashes, and deporting fathers while their children cry in horror. Carlton’s not a dick.
But since the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos isn’t our Commander-in-Chief, and AFV’s prime demographic stuck us with Donald Trump, this is where we are:
It seems likely that our president slept with a porn star, then had his goons threaten her and her daughter, then paid her off using campaign funds.
Side note: my life’s goal is to be rich enough to have goons.
It seems likely that our president was aware that people in his campaign were working with Russians to help influence the outcome of the election.
It seems obvious that our president doesn’t read what’s put in front of him, has the attention span of a coked-up housefly, and gets 99% of his information from Fox and Friends. He gets the other 1% from things he reads on the john when the battery goes dead on his phone. You know, things like the back of the air freshener, the toothpaste tube, the fine print on his AAA card. Stuff that probably isn’t going to help you make good decisions about next steps in Syria.
Every morning, the leader of the free world wakes up and tweets in an angry stream of consciousness that has more in common with the ravings of a schizophrenic homeless person than with the thoughts of a head of state.
And today—just today—he has (1) threatened Russia while telegraphing our likely next military move, (2) disparaged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, (3) disparaged Special Counsel Robert Mueller, (4) disparaged the New York Times, (5) called the head of a foreign nation a “Gas Killing Animal,” (6) disparaged the FBI, and (7) blamed the Russian/Syria issue on the media and Democrats. And it’s not even 3 pm as I write this.
The “let’s send in an outsider to shake things up” experiment is starting to have lasting consequences. Namely because we’re not a cranky-yet-beloved old baseball skipper, making an ill-advised-yet-gutsy move in the 9th that’ll leave us as either a genius or a fool. We’re a country, as it turns out, and not just any country. We’re the shining city on the hill. We’re the world’s largest economy and the world’s most advanced military. We’re the dream of billions of tired, poor, huddled masses.
In November of 2016, we stood outside between Caesars Palace and O’Shea’s on Las Vegas Boulevard. Realizing that both casinos were rigged against us, we decided to play a little Three-card Monte with a drifter in an alley. We glanced away for a fraction of a second, and when we looked back, the drifter was gone with our money. And our watch. And our 401(k), somehow. And our sense of dignity and moral authority in the world.
We were 100% destined to lose this bet…and we did it anyway…and we somehow wound up losing more than the amount we bet. And anyone with a drop of common sense could have told us that was exactly what was going to happen.
Which reminds me, I think an end-of-days protection kit might be a wise investment after all.