I dislike the phrase team player. I am not a team player; indeed, I am not a player of any kind. Don’t know how to play. I don’t need a team and haven’t a problem being alone. Owing to my lifelong Paganism and my adult lifelong Socialism, I am often alone. I am not a leader or a follower and will not be conscripted into either. Any attempt to do so will only piss me off. I am not a nice person when I am pissed off.
Having said all of this, I have spent the last four days watching the Republican Convention – watching people systematically, angrily and even aggressively brow beating one another into supporting a narcissistic sociopath, pathological liar and dangerously reckless man for the Presidency of the United States of America. It is patently insane. I keep looking down the block for Rod Serling, cigarette in hand, sardonically greeting me in the Twilight Zone.
Underlying all of this forced conformity in the home of the free and the land of the brave is the misguided idea that bloated, self satisfied, condescending, money grubbing political parties can and must control the conscience of a people. This concept is working in tandem with the idiotic notion that thoughtful adults, bright children, even loving pets should look to double dealing, treacherous politicians for moral authority. It is the worst kind of group think, of mob mentality driven by the greatest of lies and delusions – that somehow men and women who spend their lives peddling influence and promoting their own self interest have reached a moral high ground unseen by ordinary mortals.
Their rallying cry is Clinton is corrupt. The whole goddamned system is corrupt as the advocates of corporate subsidies and Citizens United like McConnell, Ryan, Christie and Giulliani well know. Hell, corruption is our avatar; greed our greatest cardinal virtue; power for power’s sake the prayer of the mighty and the scourge of the down trodden. In this soulless wasteland of our own making the Right insists in the name of God, county, guns, home schooling, the Rapture, football and mom’s apple pie that Donald J. Trump, conman-carnival barker-misogynist-racist-xenophobe-often failed businessman, is our new found savior.
I can’t tell anyone how to vote. I can only say without hesitation, qualification or reservation that from what I have seen this week there is a malignant movement afoot in this country. There is a thread of Fascism and authoritarianism running through the fabric of our Republic. Both have been on full display this week in Cleveland and must be stopped. It can only be done at the polls. So, in the vernacular of sports – second only to Christ in our reverence and respect – chose your team and place your bets, but be prepared to take responsibility for the game you instigate.