Across the great divide of Red and Blue America, the MAGA hatters, anti-mask nutcases currently making life feel worse have been seething underground forever waiting for someone like the T-Rump to come along and plug them into the socket of openness and riot.
In the context of crazy — this event last Sunday at a store in my former hometown in northern California, a display of dangerous, loudmouth, don’t-give-a-shit-about-your-neighbor idiocy:
I resided in McKinleyville for 12 years, managed a liquor store there for nearly five years, though, I can’t remember if I’d been in that particular store — details today at Redheaded Blackbelt, a great local news blog, and some comments from the lady who made the video:
“I was just in line at the cashiers,” one customer of the store, Gillian Levy, explained.
“One of the fellows that is just a character that I’ve seen around town pulled off his mask.” She said that the man started yelling.
“A bunch of people took their masks off and chanted, too,” she said. “It seemed really staged. It seemed like a flash mob.”
The video she took showed a man claiming that wearing a mask “violated our constitutional rights.”
Levy told us, “He was saying a whole bunch of crazy stuff.”
The video she took captures her telling him “this was a private establishment.”
Many people besides Levy have argued that telling people to wear a mask in a private business is no different than rules frequently cited such as “No shirt, no shoes, no service.”
According to Malia Sievers, a clerk at the store, a lone protestor had preceded the 10 to 15 people involved in the Flash Unmasking not long before. “There was a person in the store squatting down and he had a mask below his [chin],” she told us. “My boss asked him to pull it up. ‘What? You don’t want me to breathe?’ the guy said.”
According to Sievers, the man moved towards her boss in an aggressive manner. “That’s when I stepped in,” she said. When her boss went to go get a manager to deal with the upset man, “he was getting in my face like he wanted to fight me,” Sievers told us. “I called 911.”
Sievers said she felt threatened and betrayed by the shouting crowd.
“I’ve helped these people for over 10 years,” she explained. “[And,] I didn’t feel safe…All I felt they wanted was fear and blood.”
She said that she screamed at the protesters trying to be heard over their chants that if they didn’t wear masks, they couldn’t purchase items.
After about five to ten minutes, she said, the protestors left the store.
“There were like 5 to 10 shopping carts around the store they left,” she told us.
“Some of the people walked out [with items] without paying. We gave video to the police.”
(As of Thursday, the Sheriff’s Department said, “We are actively conducting follow up on this case right now actually. I don’t see any information about items stolen or security footage in our system, but it may just have not been uploaded yet.”)
Go read the whole piece, though, a local story it epitomizes our country’s current ambiance: ‘For Gillian Levy, the customer who videoed the flash unmasking Sunday seen above, she says that though she feels she was justifiably frustrated, she isn’t proud of yelling back at the protestors. “We’ve all had enough of the blatant lies,” she said. “We are all at the end of our rope from hearing this stuff.. But I don’t think I solved any problems there.”‘
People such as those in the store have apparently been waiting for someone like the T-Rump to come along, and profess such crazy shit off the pandemic, which is right in line with the obvious-to-most people. These lunatics didn’t suddenly just sprout up, they’ve been there all along.
Wing-nut, Q-crazies are crazy not because of politics (Republican), but because they’re crazy — a study/survey published last summer revealed shitheads are attracted to shitheads.
From the Abstract:
In short, the toxicity emblematic of the Trump era — support for outsider candidates, belief in conspiracy theories, corrosive rhetoric, and violence — are derivative of antipathy towards the established political order, rather than a strict adherence to partisan and ideological dogma.
We conclude that Trump’s most powerful and unique impact on American electoral politics is his activation, inflammation, and manipulation of preexisting anti-establishment orientations for partisan ends.
Evidently, this shit has been in existence for a while, but not on such a widespread and riotous scale — study co-author Adam M. Enders, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisville, in an interview at PsyPost today said T-Rump just tapped into what was already there:
“Some of what we mistake for partisan rancor is really a blend a left-right political identities –– attachments to a particular group or side –– and a deep-seated antagonism toward and disillusionment with the established political order,” Enders told PsyPost.
“Historically, neither of these dimensions of opinion are new; what’s new is a mainstream politician intentionally activating and inflaming anti-establishment orientations, effectively blending these once unrelated dimensions.”
“On the one hand, this can be a recipe for electoral success: Donald Trump was able to mobilize people who hadn’t previously been voting because of their dissatisfaction with ‘establishment’ candidates. On the other hand, it can be a recipe for disaster: January 6th showcased the dangers of mobilizing people with high levels of conspiratorial thinking, Manicheanism, anti-elitism, and some of the other personality correlates of anti-establishment views that we find (e.g., support for violence, narcissism, psychopathy).”
The researchers also found that support for Donald Trump was positively associated with anti-establishment orientations, but anti-establishment orientations were simultaneously associated with reduced support for both the Republican and Democratic parties, a finding which provided a “critical distinction” about the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
“People espousing the most anti-establishment views are attracted to Donald Trump, the outsider, not Donald Trump, the leader of the Republican Party,” the researchers said.
“This simultaneous attachment to Trump and detachment to the Republican Party is best summed up by the rioters themselves: ‘hang Mike Pence!’”
As that lady in the store said: ‘He was saying a whole bunch of crazy stuff,’ and forever:
Here we are, once again…