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By Bill Shunas
Have right-wingers always been weird and I just missed it? Or has their weirdness been a twenty-first-century phenomenon? I'm not suggesting that they used to be nice or reasonable, but they were understandable. Nowadays they go beyond politics and approach some kind of an alternate reality. It used to be—okay you like Hitler? I can somewhat understand how you reasoned yourself into that position. And I hope that the next time you step into the street you get hit by an Amazon delivery van. But I can't understand how you concluded a child sex trafficking ring is operating out of a pizza parlor basement in Georgetown, and it's all connected to the Democratic Party.
I know a guy who won't get his COVID vaccination because, among other things, the shot implants a tracking device into your body. That way they always know where you are. Silly me. I went and got the three COVID shots. That means I may have three trackers in me. They will always know where I am. Bummer.
That reminds me. Back in the early seventies, we kept up our anti-war, anti-government lives. I had a cat. His name was Miliano, named after Emiliano Zapata. One day Miliano came home with his foot all torn up. To the vet we went. They kept him overnight. I picked him up the next morning. The foot was fixed, but so was his shoulder. The vet berated me for not noticing the shoulder wound which was now stitched. I swear I brought him in with no shoulder wound. Anyway, not too long after that, I read about the government implanting listening devices in people's pets. Miliano! It all made no sense. We never had meetings at my place, and I never took him to meetings. So, Miliano probably never transmitted any subversive talk to the government. Unless I talked in my sleep. Nowadays all you need is a vaccine. This may be an example of primitive versus modern medicine and spycraft.
Not all of these new right folks think they'll be injected with trackers. Some will have other problems with the vaccine. One such worry is that you'll become magnetized. Brings back memories of Doctor Strangelove. Remember the movie? His arm appeared to be magnetized. Must have been a vaccine. He'd lower it, but then, like a giant magnet had control it would snap back into a Nazi salute. There's the fate some are afraid of if you had the jab. They shouldn't complain. It's a salute they might be proud to show their kids.
So, you have a choice. With your vaccine, you can either get a tracker or be magnetized. And you get a free red MAGA cap. With these choices maybe that's why so many avoid the jab. They'd rather take a chance with the virus. As long as they get a MAGA cap. Like many things these days, getting a jab—or not—is a political statement. The dumb don't get jabbed. They get Trump.
Talking about dumb. Many MAGA hats were seen at the 6 January event. And several are doing jail time. There were casualties at that event, including six deaths, and people need to be punished for that. But it seemed like such a poor excuse for an insurrection. It was like taking a knife to a gunfight. They deluded themselves into thinking that large numbers would rise up and reinstate carrot top as Commander in Chief. And Trump was there arousing their passions, and then he disappeared when the mob started committing felonies that got them nowhere. There was a lack of strategy and a lack of numbers with no leadership. If this was an example of the master race in action, those people should think about switching to an old-fashioned cult.
I wonder about the one out of six or seven people who believe some of these off-the-wall ideas. Political conspiracies are enjoyable in movies, but you better not let them guide your behavior. People who thought you were a fool would then know you are. But you might be right—the government does restrict freedom. They tell you freedom is not free. Then they raise your taxes. Then they regulate your behavior because freedom is not free. Next thing you know they'll take your firstborn, put him or her in uniform and send them off to develop PTSD. And sometimes they control you in ways not evident. Be careful around cats.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, it was impressive how Poland and Hungary were ready to care for Ukrainian refugees. They were prepared before the fighting started. Camps were set up. Places to shelter were ready. There were cots, food, water, and whatever was needed. Transportation was ready. People opened their homes to refugees.
While those European countries aiding refugees are deservedly praised, there is a shadow over their efforts. They have deliberately rejected some non-white Africans who had been living in Ukraine and made it harder for them to access services. The rescuers couldn't put aside race and just do the righteous humanitarian things that they are doing for white people.
Overall, though, compare this effort to the mistreatment of refugees at the US-Mexican border. Some of these are victims of smaller wars and persecutions, but they are refugees in need. They are in need of humanitarian aid the same as refugees in Poland. Family values do not apply at the US-Mexican border. Children are separated from their parents. Usually, the situation is ignored. Once in a while, the media comes by for a story. Conditions are dire.
Among the unwelcomers, many were wearing MAGA hats. They're ever vigilant of who might be coming to infect their society. Heavens! Maybe all of them and their children will become Democrats. Although, I suspect some Democrats don't want them either.
Bill Shunas is a Vietnam veteran, author, and long-time VVAW member.