Darkening Shadows

Rafia Zakaria in The Baffler:

All the facts are already known, and against each fact the supporters of Donald Trump have woven careful rationalizations. The truths are ugly, and so they have been festooned with kitschy trappings; some fall from the lips of a First Lady who speaks of bringing Americans together in a dress that costs about what the average female wage-earner in the United States makes in a month. I imagine the homes of Trump supporters as staging areas for transforming these ugly truths: the 186,000 Covid-19 death toll wrapped in duct tape and Trump’s yellow ties until it cannot be seen, and set down in a corner. Also in that dark corner we see factual information about Kamala Harris’s birthplace in Oakland, California, rejected—her birth certificate obscured with black lettering that shouts foreigner, “anchor baby,” alien, spy, and bitch. In this way, millions of factories of false facts are slapped-and-dashed together in the homes of Trump’s supporters to create a world that accords with the words of their leader. There is no arsenal of truth that can penetrate into their homes or their hearts.

It is like an abusive relationship. So many of us have fallen, despite ourselves, for terrible people. Now half the country is in the thrall of an abusive, domineering sadist, subject to manic moods and vicious beatings and a seemingly unending appetite for chaos. This has gone on for three and a half years. Abused women, we know, are at the greatest risk of being killed when they try to leave. Donald Trump, like all the cowardly and manipulative abusers before him, knows this. The only difference is that he will not save his wrath for those he is used to abusing but for all of us, for all of America. Trump will raze all of Rome to the ground before the Visigoths arrive. If Trump cannot have America, I fear, there will not be any America left to be had.

More here.