I visited a War Relocation Center (a WWII Japanese-American concentration camp) for the first time this month. It was the first of ten camps built, in Hunt Idaho, which opened in August 1942. I walked the land, walked the trails, and spent some time in the tiny, silent and somber visitors center. But one of the first things I saw, aside from a replica of a sentry tower at the entrance, was a pickup truck. An overweight middle-aged couple owned it. They were walking around the monument parking area, reading the interpretive signs. They seemed to be engaged for the few minutes they were there. They were visiting the park on a bright, sunny Saturday in the Idaho desert. They could be at one of the parks in Twin Falls, full of barbecues, lawn games, dogs and cold beer. But they came to this sad prison camp site for a reason. I assume they came to learn.
But the pickup truck threw me off. It was a slightly lifted American truck. That’s normal in Idaho. I Can appreciate modified pickup trucks myself. The decals on the rear window are what I noticed. There was a skeleton hand raising a middle finger. There was a decal reading, “I burn diesel. Mind if I smoke?” And there was the classic Calvin-like character taking a piss. He was pissing on the word “Liberals”. So here was a little irony. A Republican couple (I’ve stopped calling them Trump supporters now - if one is a Republican, then that’s redundant, and also dated once they have a new leader) was visiting a prison camp that held US citizens, while on the same day, the party and administration they support is holding immigrants of all ages in multiple prison camps. I didn’t see them turn around and leave, but that’s what they did. They opted not to go further onto the walking trails with more interpretive signs. I guess they finally understood that reading about peoples’ constitutional rights being revoked and peoples’ rights to freely move taken away conflicted with their “own the Libs” worldview.
I’m pretty sure Republicans would love to send all registered Democrats into prison camps. We’re just the majority that keeps getting in the way once in a while. Donald Trump doesn’t want an approval rating from anyone who voted against him. He just wants a 100% approval rating from Republicans. He’s the president for the ruling minority only. Everyone else might as well not exist.
I thought about those current facts, but then I thought about the pissing decal again. I would love to put a Fuck Trump, or Death to Deplorables (maybe a “Deplorables Hunting License”) decal on my Lincoln. I advocate that if anyone is a registered Republican, they are hostile members of a hate group that needs to be deported, put into prison camps, or simply executed. This nation would be immediately better if we killed-off the 60 Million or so voting Republicans who are making life miserable for the 70 or so Million who have never voted Republican. They are making life miserable for the majority simply because they want to. There is no unity and harmony in this nation anymore. So fuck it. Kill all the Republicans. Let’s fix this mess.
But I can never put that argument on my house, front lawn or motor vehicle. It would be a matter of days until my vehicle’s rear window was smashed by a tire iron. See, the Right Wing gets to troll, insult, threaten, harass, and taunt. They can decorate their vehicles with thin blue lines, punisher skulls, crosses, pro Republican slogans, anti-BLM stickers, anti-immigrant slogans, confederate flags, stickers against colored people and stickers with misogynist meanings. We liberals cannot do that. Even if we tried, it wouldn’t be long before a social media moderator, employer, journalist, or right-wing deplorable on the street called us out for it, damaged our property, or terminated our employment. We liberals still live in a civil society. It was the 60 Million deplorables who left it. Let me make that crystal clear: the 60 Million deplorables broke their social contract. They are an anti-social hate group that wants to burn the Republic down rather than share it with anyone who disagrees with their ideology.
I wouldn’t dare slash the tires or smash the window of a truck that had a confederate flag or an anti-liberal sticker on it. The owner very likely has a gun. And more important, I don’t damage other people’s property. But if I put an Antifa sticker on my vehicle, I’m pretty sure some deplorable would call the cops on me, especially in my excursions into Pennsylvania or upstate New York. The deplorables get to bully and retaliate. They get to call the cops. They are allowed to brandish their weapons. We Liberals aren’t allowed to open our mouths, let alone strap an AR-15 to our backs. Even when we have the facts on our side, we lose. Facts and truth are useless today.
Remember the rules that applied to Jackie Robinson? There was an unwritten rule that he was not allowed to reply to insults or taunts, and he was not allowed to throw a punch at anyone who hit him. It would be the end of his career. Similar rules apply to us liberals.
Now I know that my fellow liberals would tell me that this is not a problem. Deplorables go low, we go high. We don’t damage property or threaten to shoot Republicans. We don’t drop to their level. But there are a few rebels like me who believe that if we aren’t allowed to bully and troll them back, then we’ll never be rid of them. Shouldn’t we try to get rid of them? Maybe get rid of is too strong a term. Isn’t it time we tamed the deplorables (do you like the 1984 Reagan Bear in the Woods ad reference there)?
Put another way: The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Republicans. You know what I mean? And did you see what happened to a fellow liberal when he made that joke? It strengthens my argument, folks. We liberals can’t joke about the deplorables. Nor can we express our rage through art. We are told to keep it civil. The right-wing is a protected class.
If shaming worked, I’d advocate shaming the deplorables. But that no longer works. We need to tame them. Isolate them. Sometimes insult them, and make sure they don’t hurt more people. Who knows how many of them want to go on a gun rampage on election day next year? A lot of violent men might go over the edge next year.
I badly want to put an Antifa sticker on my Lincoln. I really do. But I Love my Lincoln, and I don’t want some white nationalist with a tire iron or gun anywhere near it. I know I can’t make the deplorables go away. And I also know that I can’t wish them away. They will always be a significant and destructive minority in this country. They can threaten and intimidate. And they know that most of them will never lose a job or serve prison time because of it. I just think that’s wrong.
Yeah. It is wrong.