It was exactly as gross an act of public coitus as you might imagine, the moment the Cult of the Gun embraced the Gloating Orange Madman, AKA when the National Rifle Association officially endorsed Donald Trump for president. And lo, the heavens did cringe and history did bury its face in its hands, and scream.
It must be acknowledged: There is a kind of pitiless symmetry here. Trump and the NRA make a far more insidious bedfellows than it might initially appear, given how both are comprised of the same sociocultural toxins: vicious intolerance, outlandish conspiracy theories, fake statistics, patriarchal megalomania, racism, shameless lying and truly acidic levels of paranoia, all coupled to a love of authoritarianism, mass incarceration and 5th-grade fantasies of macho vigilante justice. Both agree, in no uncertain terms, that concepts like kindness, inclusiveness and thoughtful humanitarianism are for “losers,” and have no place in American discourse.
Which is why it’s only moderately ironic that Trump doesn’t really care about gun culture, per se – and when he has mentioned it in the past, his views were sometimes fairly… liberal. He formerly supported the assault weapons ban, agreed with Obama regarding the horrific Newtown massacre, seemed to hold relatively reasonable opinions – if you can call anything that passes through his miasmatic slaughterhouse of a brain an actual opinion – on gun control.
But everyone knows Donald Trump cares as much for unwavering principles as a rat cares for classical music. Trump doesn’t do integrity, or compassion. He does rage, illogic and free-association defamation, all tied to a bully’s shrugging contempt for honesty, intelligence and empathy.
Translation: Trump might not care about guns, but he definitely cares about what guns – and the NRA – represent: fear, authority, keeping the masses drunk on ignorance and anxiety, so as to maintain his influence and ensure the TV cameras are always pointed his way.
As for the NRA, turns out Trump is a perfect sort of bloviated antihero. He cares even less about facts and truth than they do. He is even more apt to spin the dark lie of America’s bogus exceptionalism into “truth.” He’s even more likely to posit insane, childish conspiracy theories about what kind of dangerous (Muslim Mexican feminist scientific intellectual progressive) wolf is at the door.
Translation: As long as kissing the barrel of a gun on camera brings raves among Trump’s white male base, he’s all for it. Never mind that guns, of course, bring nothing of value to the American experiment. Never mind that they do not protect, they do not heal, they do not unite. Who cares that communities, families, neighborhoods, relationships, marriages and melting pots and cultural harmony all suffer and bleed under their rule.
It always bears repeating: Guns are designed, built and sold for a single purpose: to annihilate life – usually human – as quickly and efficiently as possible. They are handheld apocalypse. They are the devil in a billion tiny metal casings. Where guns dominate, love forsakes. Where vulgar paranoia rules, guns profligate. No wonder Trump is the NRA’s new BFF. They are equal-opportunity destroyers.
To defend Trump or the NRA at any real depth is to defend the worst in the human animal, the ugliest tendencies and most cynical, antagonistic compulsions. They both endorse the same spiritual gracelessness, the same moral disintegration. They are both anti, not pro. They both constrict, not expand. They offer zero joy, only fear. They both mean the world ill.
Do you wish to test this fact? That’s easy: just try to criticize either one.
You will receive death threats, savage wishes for violence or gruesome illness on your person and that of your loved ones, be called names so puerile and full of hate as to be wrought of feces and phlegm and the blood of spiders.
Conversely, offer either one your blind, unending support, and get yourself a creepy pat on the back and membership into a deeply paranoid cult of white males who’ve been trained and indoctrinated – by Rush, by Fox News, by mal-education – to have all sorts of reasons to be furious, none of which they fully understand, largely because they’re not really true in the first place. Who cares? Rage is the new STFU.
Meanwhile, as you were reading that paragraph, someone was just killed by a handgun in America. Probably a woman. Or a toddler. Or a toddler shot and killed someone else. Meanwhile, while you were reading this column, someone’s heart was made perceptibly more cold and uncaring by Trump.
Calculating the exact number of gun deaths in America per day, week, or year is extremely difficult, but one thing’s for sure: the data is gruesome and culturally ruinous, no matter who’s counting. And polls about Trump’s popularity – or savage lack thereof – are everywhere.
Far more difficult to measure is the toxic atmosphere of fear, of lies, of the American experiment gone dark and sour that both Trump and the NRA simultaneously create and feed on. The air they breathe is pure poison. Gun culture is already our nation’s most debilitating cancer, and it eats at our very core. Throw in Trump’s rabid attack-dog worldview, and the country is in for one devastating infection indeed.
Read more here:: Like cancer endorsing rabies: The NRA embraces Trump