politics

The Xenophobia is strong in this town

Not sure I should post the name or screenshots or links because it may bring a City Council candidate too much online attention that she may not want….But I will say that a new friend is running for City Council in Fond du Lac.  I’ve written here before about how newcomers often find the town unfriendly.  If you’re a shy introvert, it’s even worse.  It’s not my imagination: I’ve heard this from a number of people; I’ve found online forum threads dedicated to the subject; and articles have been published in the local newspaper about it.

At best, they may simply not realize that you–unlike them–don’t have a ready-made social system from having grown up here.  You don’t have a mom to drop off your kids with.  You don’t have a BFF from high school to go out for coffee with.  You don’t have a cousin on the other side of town, or Grandma a couple of blocks away.  It’s just you and whatever family members you brought with you.  So they don’t think of you.  You see on Facebook that they have a weekly meetup of the girls (sisters, cousins, friends since Kindergarten) to watch some TV show, but nobody thinks to ask you to come.  They invite a friend to coffee right in front of you, but don’t think to include you.

In the past 25 years I have found groups to hang out with, but something always seems to happen: You change churches to escape Calvinism, and suddenly find yourself with no social contacts.  You change jobs and people forget about you.  They drift away but you have no clue why.  Or your spouse starts arguing and breaks off contact with them, and even though YOU didn’t drop them, you don’t feel right going to their parties.  Or a pandemic starts up and you don’t see anybody for a year, making you wonder who’ll be left when you go back, especially since two of them were Trumpers harassing you on social media and another got mad at you for posting to wear masks.

But a nasty smear campaign against my friend, who moved here several years ago, is showing a strong deliberately xenophobic attitude: Not only is she being smeared for being an “outsider,” but she’s being smeared for being a liberal.  And apparently that is Not Welcome here–even though I know plenty of liberals in Fond du Lac.

She’s been giving her side of the story, and posting screenshots of the smears which are being shared around social media.  Sounds like a bunch of lies and half-truths.  The high school mean-girl attitude is astounding.

The local Republican Party has even joined in, even though she’s hardly the first or only liberal candidate who’s ever run for City Council.

(Heck, I know another of the candidates, who’s liberal and knows her.  Yet he’s not being attacked.  He was born here.  Hmmm….)

The Republican Party posted this on their Facebook page:

…One of the candidates running for City Council posted on Facebook concerned that the party would get involved in the City Council race to promote conservative values. We’re happy to explain why.

As a Party, we find it essential to support conservative candidates against those who will do everything in their power to advance a far-left socialist agenda. This same candidate is also touting their endorsement by a far-left political action group ‘Citizen Action of Wisconsin.’

Candidate ******* signed off on a platform to bring “Medicare for All in Wisconsin (including illegal immigrants)” and ‘free college for all,’ along with a slew of other far-left issues. It’s simple, a candidate with these extremist views has no business being on an elected body in Fond du Lac County.

If Fond du Lac County is going to succeed we cannot elect far-left candidates to local office who claim they will ‘refuse to sit down with conservatives.’

This is why the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County highly encourages you to vote for up to three of the following candidates by February 16th.

Great professionalism there, guys.  You DO realize that there are liberals and progressives in this town who want and need representation, that we’re not all a bunch of QAnoners and Grothmans?

Sounds like they’ve been learning at the feet of the only god they worship nowadays, Trump.  Also sounds like they’re being influenced by one of our current Council members, who’s been arguing with this candidate for a couple of years now.  He has extremely thin skin, and constantly acts like he’s being “persecuted” because he’s a Christian.  He plays petty games of whataboutism.  He should never have been elected to begin with, but apparently there are people here who think that behavior is just fine.

None of the attacks in the Rep Party post is true.  For example, the candidate’s own spouse is a Republican.  She says she’s never signed off on any such platform.  I googled Citizen Action, and it’s a progressive group of which a THIRD of the members are Republican–not a group of Commies.  I find their views very attractive.  Nope, there’s nothing there about outlawing religion or the state owning all the businesses or Big Brother watching you.

And the City Council has nothing to do with federal issues such as Medicare for All or “socialism” etc.  They’re about frickin’ TRASH PICKUP.  Deciding how to plow and fix the frickin’ roads.  Deciding–or not–to transform Lakeside Park, a current source of angst and fighting.

It’s the usual partisan buzz words like “far-left” and “socialist” and “extremist” even though you’re nowhere near “far-left” unless you’re a Communist who reads Marx and worships Pol Pot.  (That would be Antifa.  Antifa hates the Democrats for being too conservative, by the way.  Not our people at all.)  Meanwhile, the screed comes this close to accusing the candidate of eating babies and getting checks from Soros.

Seriously, people, the Democratic Party is more properly Center Right compared to the rest of the world.  A lot of us don’t even want the socialism that people like Bernie are looking for; the last batch of presidential candidates had many moderates.  Biden is practically a Republican.  Dems are an umbrella, not a monolith.  The Republican Party has just gone so far to the right that they’re ticking off all the boxes of fascism, and censuring and threatening to boot out anyone who isn’t a full-on Trumpist.  I’ve seen right-wingers get scolded on TV by British right-wingers for being too far gone.

The constant refrain in screeds written about this City Council candidate is that she’s an outsider/not from this community, that we should elect people who are from this community, that she’s bringing in ideas that don’t belong in Fond du Lac.

Except they’re already here.  They’ve been here for a long time.  I hear them from people who were born here.  I’ve been here 25 years and I have many of these ideas.  As I commented on that post by the Republican Party, liberals are here in Fond du Lac, too–unless you want to kick them all out and make Fond du Lac a conservative enclave.  (And well, I own a house here, so you’re not kicking me out that easily.)

And now we can’t have City Council members who weren’t born and raised here?  Since when was that a requirement?

As someone “not from this community,” I get the very strong impression that these people wouldn’t like me simply because I wasn’t born and raised here.  That they would call me an “outsider” even though I’ve lived here since 1995.  I wonder if these are the same people who yell and scream on Facebook at anybody who suggests that Fond du Lac is unwelcoming.

As QAnon swirls down the drain….

I see the posts from a former narc blogger still finding signs everywhere that QAnoners should keep “trusting the plan.”  Everything she writes is a ridiculous break from reality, but she continues to give pep talks and claim that Trump has never lied to them.  Not only was she raised by narcissists, but she appears to be an Evangelical, two things which probably made her susceptible.  She wrote the other day that everyone who doesn’t believe in QAnon will soon go through painful deprogramming where everything they believed is proven wrong, that she knows what that’s like because she deprogrammed from narc parents, that QAnoners need to be there to help them.  And I shake my head and think, “No, you’ve got that backwards.”

I see Richard’s friend Chris spiraling down further and further into a psychotic break, posting on Facebook that he’s leaving Facebook along with his home–and he won’t say where he’s going, because he believes the Facebook Powers That Be somehow care WTF he does with his personal life.  Over the years, I’ve seen Chris fall for every single conspiracy theory that comes down the pike, from aliens to birtherism to FEMA camps to Flat Earth to anti-vaxx to microchipped vaccines and QAnon.  There has to be some kind of mental illness at work, along with his past in Jehovah’s Witnesses.  And yes, some of the weird stuff I’m reading in QAnon blogs about the US being a “corporation” sounds familiar because of a daffy webpage Richard sent to me, many years ago, something he actually believed even though I debunked it in two minutes.  That makes me wonder if Richard has fallen for any of this QAnon crap, too.  That daffy webpage was part of a website that squirted some of the Sovereign Citizen crap I’m seeing on these QAnon pages.

I see in the Reddit forum QAnon Casualties that many couples and families are being driven apart by this, even turning violent.

I see QAnoners looking at us like we’re the poor, deluded fools.  I get my news and history from respected, fact-based sources, which agree with each other and with primary documents.  I respect science and doctors.  Yet because I don’t listen to some mysterious stranger on the Net, I’m the fool?

But then I’m jolted with familiarity, thinking back to decades ago, when I myself was raised in a fundamentalist church which talked about God “speaking” to people and setting out fleeces and the Satanic Panic.  We believed in demons.  We believed the Rapture was nigh.  One day, I daydreamed about being at school prophesying about the End Times as I got Raptured up in front of all my classmates.  Even worse, I started watching Pat Robertson in 1985, where I learned all sorts of Charismatic ideas which tied right in to the teachings of my dad’s favorite TV preachers, such as Oral Roberts.

For years I thought I was the one who knew the truth.  “Every knee will bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” was often sung in my church; we imagined the day when all the doubters would see that we’d been right all along.

In college, I imagined God telling me the outcomes of some romantic relationships.  I saw a bunch of signs and everything, and kept telling myself to trust the “words of knowledge” even when they didn’t seem to be coming to pass.

Starting in 1991, Pat Robertson claimed that God told him that Bush would ride the wave of his post-Gulf War popularity into re-election in 1992.  This was my first election; sometimes I read about Clinton’s ideas and thought they sounded pretty good, but it would be pointless to vote for him when God said Bush would win.

Well, we all know how that turned out: Clinton won in 1992, and won re-election in 1996, while Bush went into retirement.  I remember staring at the TV in disbelief, waiting for the news media to correct themselves, then jokingly saying, “Impeach!”  Yet shortly thereafter, when the GOP started their Whitewater investigations, I thought they smacked of partisan digging and persecution.  This was the second crack in the shell of political and charismatic Christianity that Pat Robertson had built around me.  The first crack was the previous year, when an essay in my Persuasive textbook informed me that the 700 Club didn’t tell the full story of the Mapplethorpe exhibit.

So I was there once, myself, in a haze of magical thinking and unreal expectations, based on cult-like brainwashing.  Fortunately, reality kept breaking in and finally got me out of it.  And yes, it was painful and confusing for some time, but ultimately it was the best thing for me.

However, many people never leave the brainwashing.  I don’t know why some people do and some people don’t.  Some might attribute it to the Holy Spirit’s leading, but why wouldn’t He lead them, too?

How long will it take QAnon to break out now that all their fantasies are proven false?  According to news reports and social media postings, some are breaking out, while others are digging in deeper, looking for signs where none exist, just as I looked for signs that my “words” would come true.

But they weren’t real.  They were a fantasy.  Q is all fantasy, delusion, brainwashing.  Come out of it, QAnoners!  Come to the Truth.  Come to Reality.  Deprogramming will be painful as everything you think is real will fall around you, but it will ultimately be better for you.  And no, Biden’s administration does NOT mean the end of the world.  On the contrary, we should soon rebound, as an adult finally steps back into the White House and starts repairing the damage done by an idiot who never told you the truth and never had a clue and never cared about you or the country and has the blood of 400,000+ people on his hands.  And then you’ll see that your despair is not warranted, that Democrats are not demons and there is no secret cabal and that “V” was just a movie.

I was right about Trump

I was right about Trump 1

I scan the images from that day, looking for a familiar body shape and face.  One looked like him, but the next pic showed him near somebody else, so I dismissed him as too short.  Was Richard at the insurrection?  Was his buddy Chris, who has gone full QAnon?

I don’t know, but I do know one thing:

I WAS RIGHT.

For years, we’ve been dismissed for warning about Trump.  We’ve been called libtards.  We’ve been accused of hyperbole and alarmism and “not giving Trump a chance to govern” and Trump Derangement Syndrome.  We were mocked for saying that neo-Nazis and white supremacy are a huge, dangerous problem in this country.  I was harassed and trolled by my own friends and family when I started to finally speak up.  I had to lose a few, and it looked like a few dropped me on Facebook, our only link to the outside world most of the time in this plague-ridden world.  And yeah, it makes me angry.

But we were right.  We were all right.  Dems, Never Trumpers, liberals, Independents, we were all right.  People said it could never happen here, while ignoring that it is happening around the world–What makes us so special?  Are our institutions really that secure?  Could we go the way of Venezuela or Hungary or Brazil (or Nazi Germany)?

I recently saw in horror that a narc blogger, whose blog I liked to read on occasion, totally missed the biggest narc of them all, and accused us of thinking he’s a narc because of our political beliefs.  Now her blog has gone full MAGA, even after Wednesday, where she denies the truth of what happened.  She’s one of those poor souls conned into thinking that this is somehow God’s will.  She switched from her narc parents to the most dangerous narcissist in our country, and is down deep in the delusion, where she has become one of Trump’s flying monkey army, spreading lies and Trump’s smear campaign around the Net; it breaks my heart to see it.  How could she have missed all the signs after blogging about narcissism for years?  Meanwhile, other narc bloggers recognized the truth years ago.

Many Republicans are finally waking up from the Hitler-like spell they’ve been under.  Our European allies are horrified and, even with Biden about to take power, are backing away from letting America lead them on anything anymore.  Our enemies are mocking us, using our own words against other countries, against us.  Even our local Rep, who’s been MAGA all this time, went against Trump.

I’ve even been listening to the Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes lately, a conservative, because it’s so reassuring to hear the words of the Resistance coming out of a conservative’s mouth.  He used to support Ron Johnson, but that, also, has ended.  He once supported Ted Cruz, but only because the alternative was Trump–while he privately noted that Cruz is “a snake.”  (That’s what he called him on his latest podcast.)  It seems that as the primaries wound up in 2016, Republicans came down to a choice between the Stupid Demagogue and the Smart Snake.

Sykes warns that Cruz is setting himself up to take Trump’s place; other names being tossed around by conservatives and liberals alike as dangerous, are Hawley and Cotton.  They warn that the way has been opened for smart autocrats to step in and actually succeed this time, because of all the damage our stupid autocrat has done in the last four years, even as he finally fails to hold onto power.

These people who attacked our Capitol call themselves Patriots, but they’re not: They’re Traitors, trying to subvert the will of the People, overturn Democracy, and set up an Autocrat.  They are modern-day Visigoths, or Confederate traitors, the legacy of our first Civil War (is another coming?).  They are our own homegrown ISIS, radicalized on the Net and just as delusional and dangerous.  ISIS and al-Qaeda don’t seem to be doing much around here lately, just leaving us to burn ourselves down.

Meanwhile, Trump the Toddler is whining and tantrumming because 80 million people finally stood up and told him NO and, so far, our institutions have been holding.  But it’s very disturbing to see how easily those institutions could fail, because of corruption in the people within them.  For years I’ve seen how the GOP has been installing corrupt people in various parts of government and the justice system.  I’ve seen it here in Wisconsin, which led to Scott Walker being let off when he was clearly guilty.  And now Trump’s been doing it, putting the whole country at risk, not just one state.

As I wrote on this blog more than a year ago,

Because these days, supporting the Republican Party means supporting evil and the demolition of our great democracy. It means supporting racism, torture, mistreatment of immigrants, oppression of various minority groups, yanking food and health care and help away from the poor. It means ignoring cries that someone has been sexually assaulted. It means permitting persecution as long as your favored group commits it. It means forcing women to carry babies to term even when they are at high risk of dying, or the father is her father, or they’ll be so poor they can’t even keep a roof over their heads, while doing absolutely nothing to help those women so they don’t see the need for abortions. It also means that if the 15-year-old girl does carry the baby to term, she’ll now be seen as a bad sort of girl who (gasp) has had sex.

It makes me not want to hear about anyone who voted for Trump, or supported Trump or whatever.

Many of us are saying that we can now see and understand how Hitler took control of the hearts and conscience of the Germans, because we see it happening all over again in our friends, neighbors, and family.

You can find my own warnings on this blog, going back to 2015.  You can find my outrage when I saw Richard and Tracy in a newspaper photo of people working for Trump 2020.  And you can see that

I WAS RIGHT.