The Rise of the Despicables

Americans are not deplorable, and Hillary Clinton should not have labeled them as such. In many cases, those she referred to were the overlooked, betrayed, or forgotten. They are those whom culture and technology has passed by in the name of efficiency, profit, and modernity. Many in the Rust Belt and rural America saw their life’s work denied, pensions pulled, and children placed at the back of the line for college admission because of affirmative action. They were scared, confused, and seemingly without a voice. Most were not the individual targets of overdue social policies intended to right past wrongs and make America better for all, nor of changes in economic realities; in some cases, they were the victims of corporate greed. The Democrats did not listen; instead, they built fences between people rather than invite everyone into the tent of democracy.

Trump, an iraphagus*, tapped into this anger and gave it a voice. However, the voice he gave it was one of hate and intolerance that turned good people into wraiths. The first real evidence of his handiwork was the January 6 insurgency. It continues in the present with such things as gerrymandering, anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, anti-choicers, anti-gays, and anti-public education movements. It has enthused and promoted groups like the Oath Takers and white supremacists.

These activities and attitudes fade almost to insignificance in the face of the current heinous rise of the despicables—those autocrats and dictators taking their page from the tyrants and killers of the past. Putin wants Ukraine. Hell, he wants all of the former Soviet Union. Xi Jinping will take Taiwan if Putin is successful; he will do it quickly if the West caves. North Korea will head south, and I heard Trump say that it is a great time to use Putin’s brilliant strategy to take Mexico. There are certainly despicables who are not territorial but equally odious all over the world; they are happy to stand by, even cheer on the new Cold War and the heated incursions. 

Ah, not to worry! We will probably die from climate change before we are destroyed by weapons of mass destruction. If you are as old as me, you probably hope that it doesn’t happen before you leave this life due to natural causes.

Damn, but what about our collective youngsters?

*A monster that feeds upon negative emotions

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

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