Contranym Times™

by Gallagher and Schleicher 

With no safe (i.e., non-Russian) COVID-19 vaccine expected until year’s end at the absolute earliest, there’s another shot we urge you get in the meantime. It’s the 75-day vaccine and it’s meant to get you through now until the election. Without it, you can be expected to experience severe symptoms of chronic burn-out-and-give-up-and-tune-out-osis. Not to mention at least low-grade depression.

There are the three key ingredients among the antigens, adjuvants, preservatives, and stabilizers comprising this 75-day vaccine:

First, spend zero time arguing with or otherwise trying to convert Trump supporters. If they don’t yet realize the threat he poses to our democracy and have tuned out the voices of the many Republicans and other conservatives who have rung the fire alarm, you’re not going to persuade them. Even with the cleverest of your Facebook posts or tweets. Respond solely with a meme or one-word rebuttal (e.g., “enjoy that Kool-Aid,” “snowflake,” “sheeple,” or “#sad”). The Cult 45 deserve no more than that and offering more will only end in frustration for you.

Consider the other times in history when an authoritarian was in the process of taking over. Do you imagine Mussolini’s supporters might have changed their mind if only they had one additional piece of information? A profoundly overwhelming election defeat provides the only chance the Trumpists will reconsider and, even then, they can be expected to continue to hold on to their paranoid conspiracy theories, distrust of science, and deep-seated dislike of those who look different than themselves. His faithful do not, and will never, actually care about what concerns you or why. Seriously.

Second, don’t give up. On the surface it may appear the Democrats can do nothing to stop the destruction of our nation’s values—whether the caging of children, demonizing of other religions, fanning of the flames of racial animosity, or assassination of the U.S. Postal Service. This fails to take into account the slowing and obstruction of Trump’s devastation that have been accomplished by the electoral victories of 2018.

Democrats and their allies proved they could win an election—Russian interference notwithstanding—and throw some major wrenches in the Trump machinery. No federal law can pass now without Nancy Pelosi’s approval. And let’s not forget the impeachment asterisk that will forever accompany Trump’s name in the history books.

Given an electoral victory, the Biden/Harris ticket will be the one who selects the next two or three Supreme Court justices, who can reverse with a single proclamation every Executive Order that Trump has issued, and who can halt the misuse of federal law enforcement to serve as the President’s personal secret police.

Tune out prematurely and you likely hand to Trump the power to name Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s successor. One more reliably pro-Trump vote on the Supreme Court would make a difference in your life on numerous issues. If he’s re-elected and one-third of the federal judges are his appointees, even a future President AOC would not be able to turn the country back from its hard right bent toward unquestioning corporatism and unbridled kleptocracy. It would also be goodbye Roe v. Wade, among others.

Third, make your plan to vote now. If you can, vote early. If that option is unavailable to you, request an absentee ballot, or decide when and where you’ll cast a ballot in person. Write to and call your Congressional representatives and insist they save the mail, even if that means they have to go back to work early. Ask five friends to do the same.

This is not a drill. Watch what’s happening in Belarus if you want a trailer for the Trump-Pence 2020 feature – you can bet they’re both paying very close attention.  We too may well have to use our constitutional right to assemble and demonstrate by the millions. But for now, let’s use our time and energy wisely, and focus on where we can best defend our republic.

 

David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London and tweeting at @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is an attorney who represents U.S. federal employees worldwide and Texas business/non-profit clients. You can find their earlier and future columns at www.ContranymTimes.com. To receive their free columns via email sign up here or email them: ContranymTimes@gmail.com. Visit/Like on Facebook via this link

 

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