We went ahead and took the plunge with our abuser and now we must be prepared to be tied up and beaten (and not in a good way) from day 1.

By Andrew J. Pridgen

This get-to-know America’s newest spouse grace period officially ended as soon as the door shut behind him. The first days of his presidency have played out exactly the same as if you spent the first 48 hours of your honeymoon tied up and beaten within inches of your final breath with curtains drawn and 3 Doors Down blasting in your Waikiki hotel room. And now he’s got you swinging you off the balcony, holding you by the ankles threatening to let go and you’re thinking that may be a better alternative than going back inside.

If you marched Saturday, good. Let that be the start because we’ve just run out of gas and there is no filling station within thirty miles in either direction. Time to get walking.

We know this from the first official pair of business days in this new world, some kind of radical crash/change is happening the only way he knows how — by forcing it upon us. America’s government as we knew it is going to devolve quickly and the reaction will be dismay, anger and then bribes and cover your ass and every man for himself.

Trump, the master of branding off-brand steaks, vodka, ties and college, is merely the grotesque face of this — his fledgling regime the ultimate middle finger to what we knew, the ultimate abuse of executive power and the ultimate mindfuck, all guns pointed at the proles convincing us that lies are the truth and the Constitution is a document that OKs rights for only the few. Billionaires in charge who don’t give a fuck about anyone will continue to step on the skulls of those drowning and pull up the ladder once they reach safety.

Can the pendulum swing back in this lifetime? I don’t know. I mean literally there are 65 million people in this country who willingly voted against their own interests and the interests of their children and are quasi- if not all the way brainwashed. At the very least they are warped enough to believe when people are being good Americans, enough to put themselves out there and speak their minds and march in the streets, that they are somehow scourge. How do you combat that total avoidance of decency and reason and abandonment of tradition? You start with compassion, I suppose. But that doesn’t seem to be near enough to displace hatred, ignorance, insecurity and infidelity when it comes to capitulating to the the rule of law.

Then you have another very sizable cohort who do not openly support Trump but are unlikely to speak up. They don’t want their kitchen remodel plans disrupted and already have their eyes on a second home purchase in Palm Desert. In other words, they have played by the rules so far and though they don’t have a lot compared to the power elites, they have enough to lose that they don’t want to get in a scrap for risk of it getting taken from them.

The Trump administration is relying solely on that demographic to roll over.

If something positive can be said about the last week, a lot of the latter category did get out of their collective comfort zone and decided to walk on Saturday. I think in that there’s a lot of hope (and maybe not entirely false hope if 3.3 million peaceful activists are to be judged) that we’ll be able to reset through non violence, attrition and, frankly, the creeping mortality of the white male Boomers in charge. They can’t live forever (Dick Cheney) can they?

It could very well be true that a generational turnover may fix some of this. However, Trump and his surrogates are accelerants so they might pitch us too far down into the darkness to emerge peacefully and whole. Think of where we were just one week ago and where we are now and understand a complete breakdown is not only a very very real option, it is their singular goal. And there is no man on this earth — a man who, make no mistake, made a career destroying things — more qualified to usher in this era of ultimate devastation.

For its part, the Trump administration has tossed aside any pretense of tradition, courtesy or legality and instead already gone full-blown fascist in pursuit of this end game. The first and most notable thing it did Friday was to freeze all grants and contracts as well as call for an illegal not to mention immoral media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency. Emails sent to EPA staff since his inauguration and reviewed by The Associated Press showed specific directives to ban press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.

That is right, we have a total gag order and a work stoppage on America’s singular entity that has had bipartisan support to protect the effing planet since Richard Fucking M. Nixon founded it 47 years ago.

Saturday, it was press secretary Sean “Dippin Dots” Spicer putting up a distraction and lying about the inauguration crowds like he was eight and had just broken a window. Then it was Kellyanne Conway — a woman so evil the devil plans to send her packing when she reaches the gates of hell, he doesn’t need that kind of competition — who introduced alternative facts as a synonym for lying on the talk shows, and as close to anything the administration has shown as an initiative, Sunday morning.

It continued Monday with Trump still trying to tell anyone within earshot that his inauguration was, um, huge, along with defunding parts of the ACA, reviving Dakota Access and Keystone Pipeline XL and blowing kisses to FBI director James Comey like they were Peter Graves and Ann-Margret about to disembark on the Love Boat together.

These arrogant and out-of-control billionaire criminals are the new ruling class and they will strip out any semblance of democracy like it’s a ‘98 Honda Accord using their warped version of it to crush any movement in the name of false patriotism.

Those who do not pledge allegiance to the new state will be crushed, impoverished, humiliated in public or, in worst cases, beaten and killed. The only way for power so vile and so corrupt to sustain itself is to pit people against one another and when that doesn’t work, wield such extreme consequences that fear is the constant state of the public.

It’s a formula as old as time only we haven never been fully exposed to it in almost two and a half centuries, so naturally, we don’t know how to react except for ALL-CAPS panic. That is why we should take a deep breath and pay more attention to Russian journalists as they provide the playbook for what’s going to happen and how to mitigate it. (Hint: Move to Berlin.)

Eventually truth is going to have to speak to power. The kleptocrats in charge and their rich beyond any imagination surrogates are going to have to be swept out. American workers, in grave danger of becoming poorly educated, opiate-fueled, sickly slaves, will have to rise up as one. Corporations and corporate heads will have to go back to paying taxes. Hedge funds and private equity firms and Wall Street charlatans will no longer be incentivized by the government for gambling, losing and laying off. Banks will have to go back to lending, not raping. Big oil will have to be quashed by environmental restrictions and regulations that should have been put in place during the Carter administration and clean and alternative energy must be given a chance to thrive.

But these growing pains, the re-installation of a simple, fair system, will be beyond morose and beyond your wildest nightmares now that our abuser is in charge of our destiny and the phone lines for help have been cut.

The other problem is the destruction, while ushered in swiftly, will unfold slowly over time — the whole frog in the boiling water effect. On this same trajectory, your life as you know it will be barely recognizable five years from now, yet you won’t have noticed much change in the day to day, that is unless there’s some cataclysmic revolt by the planet or act of war, which this administration is setting the stage for entirely, indeed comes to fruition.

The device you read this on has been no help either, and I admit that I am too reliant on worthless likes and even more worthless online petition signings. The only agent for change will be what we saw Saturday, put the black mirror down and find a local group that is getting organized. And if you can’t find one, start one yourself. People linking arms with one another is the only way to generate enough electricity to short out this power grid.

The time to connect in real life, is now. Because now has never been more crucial. Going tribal is the only key to survival.

The honeymoon that never was, in other words, is officially over.

Andrew J. Pridgen is the author of the novellaBurgundy Upholstery Sky”. His first full-length novel will be released in late-2017.