Why is America being flown by the asshole on the plane?

By Andrew J. Pridgen

It happened. It happened like how you woke up this morning. You don’t know how you did but you did. We elected, freely elected, the candidate endorsed by the KKK, white supremacists and those who occupy the highest offices in the Kremlin. Congratulations, we are now seen by the rest of the world as its biggest threat, its most out-of-control vessel steered by one of the worst humans ever to board it.

The Russians hacked and released emails through an exiled third party named Julian Assange who looks in real life like he’s playing a version of himself on SNL. They planted and promoted fake news and they likely have an insider or two on the GOP side—or at least men heavily leveraged to them financially—including the president-elect himself. Oh, by the way, we don’t know how much in debt Trump is to Russia (or any other foreign entity for that matter) because two weeks out from inauguration we have not seen his tax returns nor has he agreed to divest himself in any way from any of his businesses. The moment he takes the oath of office, assuming the Bible his hand rests upon doesn’t spontaneously ignite and engulf him in flames, he will be the slithering, sentence-fragment vomiting violation of the Constitution he will have just sworn to protect and defend.

Most of candidate Trump’s team who had questionable Putin ties are still active with the transition to power. Michael Flynn, the anti-Islamist, conspiracy theorist, disgraced former general, is the Slack moderator for a regular squash game of former KGB agents and will be taking a major security post in the Trump administration. Other Trump lackeys who come from Russia with love include campaign advisor Roger Stone, Carter Page (who Moscow denies knowing, which is even scarier) and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager whose shady Russian business ties are so deep he’s got pictures of Teddy KGB in his wallet.

Yes, that happened—in America. Our nation’s highest office has been compromised.

But before we blame it entirely on Mother Russia, let’s get a few of the mea culpas out of the way stateside. We bought (and still do) the ridiculous rhetoric they were serving, the steady stream of easily disproved conspiracy theory and the lies on top of lies on top of lies on top of lies. Trump, the ringmaster, spits fact-free factoids with such regularity and force of conviction that any ounce of truth at this point would—and does—seem a wild fabrication.

The result is we now occupy upside-down world.

Republicans, if they were to define themselves by three platforms over the course of history since World War II, would say they are in favor of: 1) Small Government, 2) Family Values and 3) a vehement Anti-Red Stance.

Well, guess what? They’ve flipped the script on all three over the last 18 months in a quest for unfettered power. If an honest member of the GOP were to come to me and say they now support the platforms of Unabashed Greed, Misery for Humans and Animals and Neck Flab, I’d be a lot more inclined to believe them and engage in a conversation.

The government, namely the deficit, is about to grow by tens of trillions of dollars and the ironic part is none of that money is going to go towards helping the health and education and protection of its regular citizens. Keep them poor, sick, stupid and threatened and everything will work out fine for those in power.

This money is going directly to 1) Take away the Affordable Care Act 2) Scale back or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security 3) Pay for ridiculous infrastructure like building a southern border wall that nobody in theory or in practice wants or needs (unless the ultimate goal of it is to trap us into all enjoy a financial meltdown or nuclear holocaust together).

All of this will lead to more tax cuts that benefit a subset of the most wealthy. So that’s a neat trick: Growing government while shrinking up services government provides. It’d be even cooler if we hadn’t seen Milton Friedman’s trickle-down economic theory fail twice over the last thirty years, once in the early ‘90s recession after the Reagan administration and once in 2008 with the housing crisis/Great Recession in the wake of the Bush administration. The only problem with the third go around—like all part threes—this pending meltdown is going to be even bigger, badder and with more explosions, and certainly could create ripples so profound that complete economic collapse and another Great Depression are within the realm of reason, only this time with no FDR or conventional world war to dig us out of it.

Trump and his cronies within the first two years in office will seize the opportunity to increase the debt more than all presidents combined (this is the same party, bt-dubs, that shut down the federal government over a routine raising the debt ceiling to meet our credit commitments) …and the result will be doing away with health care for tens of millions, defunding any chance most women have to get safe reproductive health care and counseling, eliminating entitlements for the elderly …and children and disabled while they’re at it. Throw in privatizing everything—down to our public schools—all in the name of giving corporations and the .00001 percent wealthiest in this country, a segment of the population that, in case you haven’t noticed, has been doing pretty OK for themselves over the last thirty years, an even bigger leg up.

The discarding of family values is pretty obvious. Just do a google image search of the incoming first lady’s name (NSFW).

And the whole Russia business, well, let’s make one thing clear: This is not a partisan issue. Had Hillary won an investigation would certainly be underway, vigorously. I mean the senate committee on Benghazi wasted years and hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money to come up with nothing (except, apparently, a justification for those in charge of the investigation to now want less secure U.S. Embassies for political gain). And yet, the biggest scandal of this century or maybe in the country’s 240-year-history when free elections are concerned is being downplayed as a mere suggestion by the incoming administration.

Instead of participating in a full-blown bipartisan investigation, Trump and his team refuse to acknowledge, once more with conviction, the truth—that anything actually did happen. Because if there’s one thing he’s become masterful at, if you deny, deny, deny, deny—it will eventually go away or at least you can pretend like it has and convince a lot of people along the way: “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations, including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election, including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” Trump said in a statement after (finally) meeting with intelligence officials.

Again, a few points: 1) This has nothing to do with China/other countries …and um, outside groups and people …you know, people (?) 2) Russian hackers did successfully break through the cyber infrastructure of our institutions. 3) There is a 100-percent chance that it did change the course and outcome of the election. 4) What does voting machines have to do with anything? Why not throw in something about the limo ride you had yesterday or the shit you took this morning? “It was a glorious dump…uuuuuge.”

Of course, the official Trump statement was only the beginning. During Saturday’s #tweetstormwatch17, he expressed how he really feels about the Russia vs. America.

I think at this point it’s pretty safe to say that Donald thinks tweets are actually personal texts to Eric or coded invites for Ivanka and Jared to come over for dinner. Or maybe they are his creepy-dad whispered good-nights to Tiffany. Also, it’s very reassuring that our incoming commander-in-chief believes the citizens of his nation are air-quotes stupid while trying hard to gin up support for a human rights-abusing oligarch who has journalists, opposing politicians and civil rights attorneys killed with the same ease that you hold the mayo. Great. Real great.

I guess my question is what active, kind and of-sound-mind citizen supports this walking grease fire’s dangerous stunts? Who among you wants to see more from his cabal of old white men who are more shingles than human and their not-so-hidden-agenda to drag us into Dante’s Ninth Circle? What actual living, breathing, feeling, not-black-hearted bipedal mammal is looking forward to our country strapping on a suicide vest and plunging into ruin—and to what end will they be satisfied? No, it’s not rhetorical. I’m really asking. I really want to know why a total fracking of government, process and decorum and a discarding of whatever’s left of our good standing in the world community, not to mention auctioning off our planet’s remaining resources like we’re living in 17th century Barbados, is a good thing? Or how it’s even portrayed as a partisan thing? Or why people who call themselves Christians are so vehemently in favor of making the lives of everyone who’s not them a living hell?

I’m tired of the argument that I’m a sore loser and I need to deal with it. So I’m going to go ahead and say, you’re right. I am a sore loser. But I’m sore about losing America.

Being a patriot, down to the very definition of the word, means defending your country against all enemies foreign and domestic. Our founding fathers were founding fathers because they recognized a wrong, an oppression, a need for a better way and a new day. And so, if it has to happen again, if the system has become so perverted and convoluted by a formerly fringe brigade of sickos, zealots and billionaire bathroom stall shoe tappers—if we need to hit reset in the spirit of those who founded this nation, whose quest was liberty and opportunity for all mankind, then sign me up.

Because it’s not about a political party or a single candidate or even an election, it’s about right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, the asshole on the plane vs. everyone else on the plane. The brainwashed and the hopeless vs. those who want to find real, meaningful and complex solutions and are willing to work toward a better tomorrow. It’s not going to be easy. Problems this size are not solved overnight and certainly solutions cannot be summed up on the bumper sticker on the back of your truck. We have a planet that’s revolting against us, right now. We have men in charge who are zealously being used as actors for a known murderer, oligarch and enemy of the state, right now. And we have a fake news propaganda machine that is so prevalent, we somehow find the incontrovertible truth is something necessary to debate, right now.

Right now it’s time to see how much fight we really have in us. Because those who have wrested power did it by any means possible and they aren’t about to let it go.

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