As we roll into the late spring of 2018, I’ve been considering the coming conservative grief.
I saw the same thing happen in the 80s, during the Reagan Era. The conservatives were all a-twitter that Saint Ronnie was cutting their taxes. When they discovered that the wealthy got 80% of it, while Reagan raised taxes on them 11 times… well, they knew they’d been ridden hard and put away wet. The backlash was pretty incredible.
There is no doubt in my mind that the average conservative supporter of Trump and today’s GOP Congress will eventually get wise, too. Whether it is the realization that Trump and the GOP are coming for their Mom’s Social Security and Medicare, or having their own kid be dumped off CHIP and no longer having health insurance or just realizing that their needed tax deductions are gone, while those for the ultra-wealthy remain… at some point, they won’t be able to deny it anymore.
And then, they will have to deal with the fact that they got screwed, blued and tattooed. In my mind, it will be much like the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief; you’ve probably heard about it. When Trump’s current supporters start to realize just how badly they’ve been taken, I imagine they’ll go through much the same process. Here’s my take on it:
The first reaction will be to deny that it actually happened, that it was a huge scam all along and you believed it. You. Bigly. You know it in your heart, but hey! You have experience in magical thinking, so stage 1 is easy for you.
“No way the God-Emperor would screw us! Fake News! Sure, he has been sued over 3,000 times by small contractors for non-payment, but he would never kick us in the teeth like that!”
When it becomes obvious that the denial is useless and can no longer continue, the anger sets in. For the Trump supporter, I will imagine that it will be a blazing anger that blames everyone except the actual culprit.
“It isn’t fair! We invested our whole hearts and minds in this guy; why, how, could this happen! Trump cannot fail; he can only be failed! Who is to blame for this travesty? Those damn libtards?”
When the anger cools, the victim seeks to bargain with the universe to change or alter the cause of the grief.
“Please, dear Lord; if you’ll just make Trump act Presidential, I’ll change my ways! I’ll… I’ll actually read the Bible for the first time in my life! I won’t tell the homeless to get a job when they ask for spare change! I swear I’ll vote for someone to the right of Trump, not like that poser I voted for in ’16!”
When Bargaining has no effect, the victim becomes depressed and recognizes their own mortality.
“What have I done? How can I go on after having been a part of this whole disaster? How could I have been so stupid? Sweet Jesus, just take me!”
Finally, recognizing that they’ve been hoodwinked, the victim accepts the inevitability of the tragic event.
“I screwed up. The damn libtards were right; Trump and the GOP rogered us 12 ways from Sunday, without Vaseline or mercy. I better go out back and dig a fallout shelter for when he starts lobbing nukes.”
So, there you have it; my Five Stages of Conservative Grief. Perhaps it will play out this way, perhaps not. The only certain thing is that it will play out in some fashion.
I’m stocking up on popcorn now, before the rush.