“strength” versus “weakness” American style

In a smash-mouth culture like ours, ruled by the pernicious myth of the rugged individual, someone who prevails to get billions, after receiving nothing but a modest several million dollar head start, strength is seen as decisiveness (no matter how bad the decision), a willingness to discuss, deliberate and compromise before acting is seen as a vice of the weak.

Strength here is an unhesitating punch in the fucking face. Weakness, pausing to consider the effects of giving in to a strong desire to punch somebody in the fucking face.

The party of Trump has no hesitation to talk about building more gallows, executing traitors, torturing the families of terrorists (as long as they are Muslim terrorists, of course). This kind of tough talk makes frightened people feel strong. You join the lynch mob and now you are powerful, nobody can fuck with you, especially if you are armed and law enforcement is on your side.

You know what strength is here? The power to overturn a 98 to nothing Senate vote to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, signed by a president who shares your conservative views, with an ideologically driven opinion pulled directly from your asshole. Strength is the ability to keep lying to angry crowds, whipping them into a frenzy while pointing out you have never been charged with any crime, ever. Weakness is finding yourself having to explain why no action can be taken yet to stop an insane, violent cheerleader for violence. The “strong” party would be howling to lynch anybody like that on the other side.

This false and prevalent notion of strength and weakness is only possible in a culture where most people have lost the ability to make critical distinctions about anything; a culture where ruthless wealthy bullies are seen as heroes. Well done, Charles Koch.

In the days before Reagan ended the Fairness Doctrine the Soviet propaganda network was called Pravda, which translates to “truth”. By a surreal coincidence the compulsive liar Donald Trump’s new post-truth social media app is called, in Russian, Pravda. Very strong, sir!

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