Discover more from Public Enemy Number 1
After the meth bender, part 1
The civic addictions that led us here aren't fun for the MAGAs or the Respectables anymore. Both know the party is over; and degradation is all that's left. They still can't stop themselves.
Why, fellow citizens, do you prefer ending 247 years of imperfect, but aspirational American representative government to sharing the country with the libs1?
Why is a gross Capitol Lynch Mob dictatorship, with a terrible economic record, so much for better for you than just muddling through with your neighbors in the aspirational, but flawed American model we’ve known?
Why would you kneel in abject, submissive loyalty to someone you know would rape your daughter and force her to have abortion (without paying for it); you know would steal from and cheat you at any time; and you know would sic a lynch mob on you to keep his power over you (because you watched him do it to his vice president)?
Why would you chase millions of people away from the Jesus you say you love with your cruel and gross and unChristian behavior?
And what, exactly, is the mass crime you perceive that I and so many others have committed against you for which you will seek to impose “retribution” through a truly gross dictator?
Those are the only questions I find interesting — in an intellectual, moral or political sense — about the dreary 14 months ahead many of you insist on putting us through, yet again.
There will be no campaigning or efforts to persuade you in this space. I’m not going to beg you not to murder/suicide the country like a weak, abusive husband. You’ll either do it or you won’t. I’ll be trying to survive you and stop you as best I can, without ceding any civic space to you.
But I will also try to articulate the whys while I do it, as a self-defense tactic.
MAGA’s meth isn’t fun for you anymore
My best guess, absent your own willingness or ability to explain, is addiction. Dopamine.
What follows is a screenshot from a presentation by a doctor who specializes in treating addiction. You can listen to it here. Notice that methamphetamine is 600 percent more thrilling and pleasurable than sex. Your brain recognizes this as too powerful for health and compensates by ratcheting down your baseline dopamine to miserable levels, forcing you to chase the spike with ever-increasing desperation and unhappiness.
Thats’s the core dynamic of addiction.
MAGA is meth
The lynch mobs it always produced, long before the Capitol Lynch Mob, long before MAGA needed a name, are the ultimate high. Thus, the mass orgasmic peak of the MAGA meth bender was January 6th. No one can persuade anyone to surrender an addiction this powerful. The decision to even try to quit has to come from the addict, in the hope of escaping the personal, family, and community consequences of the addiction.
I’ve never cared about or stressed about Trump as a drug. He’s gross and a criminal and boring. Like meth, I find it physically repulsive to even contemplate taking a hit off him. I pay him essentially zero voluntary attention.
But you, the MAGA meth addicts, I pay great attention to. You matter deeply. You will deliver his lynch mob dictatorship if you can. And I think you all know that you are now well past the fun stage — the super-charged orgasm stage — of this multi-year MAGA meth bender. You’re in the final scenes of Requiem for a Dream (watch at your own peril).
The joy you derive from the addictive cruelty is over — only the degradation of addiction remains and the shredding of all human dignity. Maybe you destroy all of us and America with that — maybe you don’t. But you won’t have fun this time. This is not 2016 or 2020. You will not be the aggressors around here. I will. I know this already from your behavior, which is fundamentally defensive — and consumed with sheepish, whiny cries of victimhood.
The other, worse addiction — the “Respectable” opioid
You non-MAGA, “respectable” folks have a different, less powerful, but more damaging addiction for the country and community. You’re addicted to the opioid of status and your own quietly, but dearly, held prejudices. (You know who you are.)
There are fewer of you than there are MAGAs. But you own the most capital in our society, as a group, which makes you the most powerful American class. You could have stopped the meth bender at any time. But let’s be honest: you partied hard with the MAGAs and enjoyed it quite a bit. And then, when the fun started to wear off, your particular opioid rendered you impotent to stop the MAGA rave.
It deadened you to the possibility of collaborating strategically with “libs” like me to enforce some sense of civic decency and build any kind of constructive shared future together for the state and country.
Thus, the entire GOP presidential primary shit show is premised on an absurdity — that some meaningful public difference in behavior or “belief” exists between Rick Nolte and Jennifer Canady. Between Ed Shoemaker and Scott Franklin. Between DeSantis and Trump.
But it’s nothing more than aesthetics and the nature of the high — just the difference between an opioid and meth. Canady and Franklin just wear much nicer clothing than Nolte and Shoemaker and attend fancier events. That’s all.
DeSantis wasn’t even an aesthetic alternative to Trump. The fact that people thought he was for a while makes for hilarious commentary on billionaire bad taste.
DeSantis was nothing more than a temporarily dangerous tumor for Trump, a festering growth on his MAGA flesh. DeSantis may have imagined himself a bodysnatcher; but he was more akin to a goiter or cyst or gangrene, a condensed outgrowth of Trump’s vile tissue.
Trump eventually needed to lance DeSantis before the flesh eating virus killed him. He did that easily; and now the deflated boil is slowly bleeding out its green grifter Nazi boy puss and putridity all over Florida’s future while the “respectables” look on ridiculously — frozen by their status addiction.
The MAGAs and the Respectables always get to the same place
I am at my most effective as a public advocate when I can use the interests and petty personal rivalries of MAGAs and Respectables against each other to advance a common good.
I’ll make tactical alliances — on honest, open terms — with almost anybody to achieve a strategic goal for the common good. Alas, no MAGA nor Respectable will make a strategic alliance with me in the name of the common good.
They cannot allow themselves to imagine I might represent the common good in any general or consistent way — or that the idea of the common good is actually a common good.
So I pick my way piecemeal through this minefield of moral psychology as best I can, guided by the eternal, “I don’t agree with you on much Billy; but … “
In the last decade or so, I have collaborated repeatedly — both openly and quietly — with individual MAGAs and Respectables on multiple individual lib issues important to them personally within Polk County and state boundaries.
These have included: addressing police misconduct, wrongful convictions, sales taxes for school construction and transit, crushing localized MAGA/CCDF in Lakeland and Polk County, removing the Confederate monument from Munn Park, a range of “local control” vs. state overreach issues, pursuing Lakeland city government structural reform, and in attempting to overhaul for the better Polk County public education by rejecting Florida’s dead model of education, strengthening the teacher corps, and demanding accountability and honesty from leaders.
That’s a quite a woke agenda when you add it up, isn’t it?
In my successful 2016 School Board campaign, MAGAs in Polk collaborated with me to crush the Respectables, who are mostly to blame for killing Florida’s public school system over 25 years with useless data and the contempt for teachers — which Respectables also feel for “employees” as a general class.
Many of you MAGAs in 2016 explicitly compared me to Trump in a way you meant as a compliment. I don’t hear it anymore, which is certainly fine with me. I have many flaws; but I’m not a comprehensively disgusting human being. I do not lie in every sentence and abuse everyone I come in contact with, despite what your Fox News masturbatory fantasies might tell you. Of course, you MAGAs have now turned on the public school system yourselves because it gives you a chance to: act gross in public, ban books, scream slanderous insults about LGBT people, and tell laughable racist lies about American history. It’s also good for grifting, which is probably the number 1 reason. You’ve finished the job the Respectables started and killed the Florida state school system, public and private alike.
And you, Respectables, know that we’ve collaborated quietly and effectively in this brief
CCDF CDF era, when the MAGAs started to attack your personal power and status interests as a class. But you were much too selfish and addicted yourselves to think beyond your own personal interests to focus on the well-being of the county, state, and country as a whole. As soon as we killed off the CCDF CDF MAGAs for you, we libs lost our utility. And now ya’ll are out here making common cause with confessed felon T.I.T.S. Nolte in the stupidest, weakest form possible form of passive aggressive bigotry addiction. Like I said, degradation.
In the end, Respectables and MAGAs always go back to the same place, the same metaphorical drug den.
And that’s why I expect all of you — MAGA and Respectable alike — to prove yourselves retributive J6ers in the end. Prove me wrong. You haven’t yet.
I can hurt you; but I can’t win you over
That’s what you have proven to me, again and again.
That’s why a dreary stalemate is the best we can do at the moment — until it breaks in November of next year, one way or another. If I help that stalemate break in a constructive way, it will be because of my capacity to hurt people, not the quality of my thinking or moral decency.
Hurting you — or your personal enemies — in public is my only civic contribution that has ever really earned me the genuine respect of your action and attention or the facsimile of your collaboration. It’s the reason you called me Public Enemy Number 1 and everything else.
What a sad and sorry reality.
I’m not your hit man or mercenary. I don’t want to be your prosecutor.
Like the rest of the libs, I have much more to offer you in a shared public life than war; but I can’t make you take it, any more than an addiction counselor can make you put down the pipe.
The greatest weapon drug dealers have in addicting you to your own cruelty and moral decay is the sensation you carry about the metaphorical me — which includes all the vulnerable people you consider icky or easy to torment for the sake of dopamine. The abstract idea of me — or the vulnerable people I consider part of me — is human retribution crack to a lot of people. I understand that very very well.
If your alternative is that me, that eternal abstract other, you’ll endure every escalating personal degradation and cruelty to your neighbor and mass AR-15 shooting to avoid taking it. You’ll do or tolerate literally anything to avoid admitting what you know … I know … you know.
You’ve humiliated yourselves, licked the curdled feet of dictators, dishonored and damaged your religious faiths for a generation at least, while gutting the future of Florida and your local communities.
And I haven’t. The “libs” haven’t.
Your response to January 6th — which was an open, unambiguous, act of hot civil war against your neighbors — has proven that conclusively. Rather than confront that act of hot war — to your eternal dishonor — you’ve chosen to co-opt it or hide from it or hedge your bets on it. And now you’ll try to make its author our shared dictator.
If the Capitol Lynch Mob didn’t create the cliched “tipping point” for an open, cross-faction, civic alliance to fully defeat the rot of America’s eternal MAGA, then there is no tipping point.
January 6th’s pitiless light revealed clearly what I always knew.
Nothing will ever lead you to declare openly to your friends, family, or fellow church or county club members — yeah, we gotta team up with Team Lib for a little while to save representative self-government and try to imagine a shared American and Floridian future worth living together in.
There is literally nothing I can ever do to change that. That’s because it’s not about me. I’m not the addict. I’m the drug. You take hits off the idea of me as surely as you do Trump. No wonder you compared us.
Make addiction painful again
I long ago made peace with these rather grim facts. They do not bother me; and I’m not sure they really ever did. I’m not much for dread or lamentation. I don’t like to give anybody that kind of power over my mind.
But I’m also weird, with a really dark view of human nature that actually enhances my fundamentally forward-looking and happy outlook on life and its possibilities. I am the opposite of cynical. My cold realism always includes room for the unpredictable intersection of purpose, effort, and possibility.
It’s unlikely; but you might hit rock bottom this time and acknowledge quietly to yourself it’s time to try to put down the pipe. You won’t admit I’m right; but I’ve never asked that from you. My prodigious ego does not demand your affirmation.
Thus, for the next 14 months, I will seek to inflict pain in the service of hope — or something adjacent to hope.
I will do whatever I can to make MAGA and Respectable addictions alike intimately painful for everyone who suffers from them in my small sphere of influence so that maybe, just maybe, you seek some sort of treatment or look in a mirror. That’s the most useful thing I can think to do to try to save the country and my family from a Capitol Lynch Mob dictator.
It’s the only tactic you’ve proven to me might work.
I am aided in this by a simple truth: MAGAs and Respectables, alike, know the party is over. The absence of joyfully cruel agency this time around, the absence of glee, is a weapon for me — and the libs. I intend to use it without mercy.
I know you’ll still try to make Trump (or even somebody else) our Capitol Lynch Mob dictator; but you’ll do it with a tweaking copper thief’s urgency or resignation. You will then blame that desperate behavior on me, writ large. That’s what addicts do — blame the invented sins of other people for the destruction they wreak.
And what does this you gain you? What benefits do you derive from trading what we libs could offer you for just taking hits off us? What’s the civic goal you’re trying to achieve by freebasing fake rage-fueled bullshit?
There’s absolutely nothing you can point to. You’ve asked for nothing and gained nothing for yourselves or your communities with your MAGA meth bender and your status opioid except ongoing personal hits from the drugs. Every hit puts more shit and blood and semen on the walls of the now molding civic doublewide we inherited together from our civic forebears.
You’ve chased the dragon so far now that setting that trailer on fire — ending American representative self-government, for the sake of Capitol Lynch Mob dictator — is all that’s left.
In doing that, you imagine you’re wounding me more than you’re wounding yourselves.
In part 2, I’ll explain why — and why there is no future for Lakeland, Florida, or America without libs, even in a Capitol Lynch Mob dictatorship. I’ll explain why you have only two options, MAGAs and Respectables: some sort of constructive/durable peace with libs, who are the most orderly and constructive and developmental part of any thriving society, or anarchic oblivion for all of us.
“Libs” does not mean Democrat or progressive. It means anyone willing to share and constructively develop civic space with all persons. And it means anyone who seriously reckons with the human consequences of what they say the believe. Libs sometimes need to reminded of that last part, too.