We're running out of words
Flummoxed (adj.): Confused, bewildered, perplexed.
That's the word that comes closest to describing my present frame of mind. AlterNet's LIz Posner had to look to another language to explain how she feels about the current sorry state of American political affairs. In a January 31, 2018, article, Posner found not one but seven terms in German that express the emotions that are stirred up by "being governed by a narcissistic megalomaniac."
A lexicon for our woeful times
As useful as these and other borrowings from foreign languages can be to express novel emotions, there's nothing like a few neologisms to keep a language vibrant. Below are 10 or so suggestions for what the late pundit William Safire called his "lexicographic irregulars" to parse as they will.
Polucination: The feeling that for the past year and change we have been experiencing a collective dystopic delusion in lieu of an actual functioning political system/government.
Orange-is-the-new-crack: A proper noun describing the Pumpkin-headed one's ability to turn Repugnicans (see below) and Christian Evangelicals into addicts hooked on his "Fear, Loathe, Hate, and Detest Thy Neighbor" doctrine.
Randomremotaphobia: The fear that you may accidentally change the TV to a channel on which one of Orange-is-the-new-crack's talkingdead minions (see below) is channeling Satan.
Talkingdead: I have yet to see definitive proof that Kellyanne Conway is not the re-animated corpse of Eva Braun. Until I do....
Ryanimosity/McConnillegality: These two related terms describe the dread/rage engendered by the House Speaker's evil grin; and every action taken by the Senate Majority Leader at the behest of Orange-is-the-new-crack.
Nit-twitter: Any idiot who hasn't yet blocked Orange-is-the-new-crack's feed.
Mar-a-lachrymose: The uncontrollable urge to sob in head-to-toe convulsions at the sight of Orange-is-the-new-crack cavorting yet again on the people's dime.
Amuelleration: The hope that the work of the special investigator will improve our sorry state.
Bannonymity: The hope that all evidence of the former Breitbart gruppenfuhrer's existence will miraculously be wiped from the annals of history.
Repugnicans: The party of Lincoln is now the party of spineless, self-serving toadies who piss on the Constitution, serve the rich, and mock the poor while doing everything in their power to destroy the planet.
Ivankuished: The hope that the First Daughter will be banished once and for all to the life of scorn and derision she so thoroughly deserves. If she takes along her slumlord hubby and tweedledum brothers, we will have hit the trumperfecta.
Looking hard--really hard--for a silver lining
I wouldn't call myself a fan of Dave Chappelle. He's not the type of comedian noted for inspiring his audiences, generally speaking. Yet after watching a recent Chappelle performance on TV, I felt the first small glimmer of hope after months of deepening political despair.
Not many people could present the murder in 1955 of 14-year-old Emmett Till and the criminal behavior of Repugnicans in the Executive and Legislative branches of the federal government as catalysts for a better world. Chappelle pulls it off. The lynching of Emmett Till and the acquittal of his murderers put the barbarity of American racism on full display to the world. The bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, began later in 1955, and the U.S. Supreme Court's 1956 decision in Browder v. Gayle ruled that segregated buses are unconstitutional. Both are part of Emmett Till's legacy.
Institutionalized racism is once again bared for all to see in the actions of the current administration and Congress. Racism permeates our government, our economy, our culture. The crimes the rich are committing against the poor not only go unpunished, the criminals claim their actions are perfectly legal. Some of them may be. As a reminder, slavery was legal. Domestic violence was legal. Child labor was legal. At one time, it was even legal to mail your children, if they weighed less than 50 pounds.
To paraphrase a line from the movie Cool Hand Luke, calling something legal don't make it right.
We have to suffer through a white supremacist career criminal holding the highest office in the land to effect the kind of systemic change that will restore equality and a semblance of democracy to the United States. Some of us will die as a result of the current kleptocratic regime, but those of us who survive will benefit from a rebirth of small "d" democratic principles. We hope.
Religion-based irrationality runs amok
Any faith-based religion is by definition irrational. "Faith" and "rationality" are about as antonymic as any two words get. According to writer Kurt Anderson, the more extreme Christian Protestants become, the more "magical and supernatural" their beliefs. That's why Evangelical Christians are so willing to be taken in by obvious untruths.
In a February 6, 2018, post on AlterNet, Sarah K. Burris writes that the Repugnican Party purports to believe these fairy tales along with the science deniers. In fact, the putriliticos (hey! another neologism!) are only using the delusional devouts to facilitate the Grandly Odious Party's crimes against humanity.
Further proof of the disconnect from reality the zany zealots suffer from is offered in the results of a recent study conducted by researchers at Oxford University. The cult of Orange-is-the-new-crack are "the biggest consumers of low-quality, sensationalist news stories on social media," according to the study, which Common Dreams' Julia Conley reports on in a February 6, 2018, article.
The result is that these fabulists are "playing with different facts, and they think they have the inside scoop on conspiracies," as Philip Howard, the study's lead researcher, explains. Since they don't share facts with the rest of us, it's impossible to have any reasonable discussion with them, about politics or just about any other pertinent subject. Without at least some shared facts and shared understanding of the problems we face, politics will remain perpetually polarized.
All the lies in the world add up to one big truth. Okay, in the song "Things Have Changed," Bob Dylan actually wrote "all the truth in the world adds up to one big lie," but I like to think the opposite is true as well. Maybe someday that one big truth will make itself clear to everyone. I believe it has something to do with love, but then I'd be far from the first person to make that claim.
So until the next Weekly, let's all let our love lights shine!