Daniel’s Journal #9 – Another Day, Another Shooting

I woke up today to the news of another mass shooting, just eleven days after the one prior. Is this the new normal? Am I supposed to get up, see the headline, shrug it off and say: “Oh well. That’s life in America.”

No. I’m not.

John Oliver from HBO’S Last Week Tonight has a saying, though I doubt it’s 100% attributed to him: “This is not normal.” Well, when does this become normal? When does any of this? How fucked up have things become where reading that twelve people were killed isn’t at all surprising anymore? I said in a normal conversation after the Pennsylvania synagogue shooting that we’re not really safe anywhere. You can be grocery shopping when your local psycho decides to grab his gun and fire some rounds into a bunch of civilians.

And that definitely should not be fucking normal.

Let me pause to say I’m not here to politicize anyone’s death. I’m not arguing about the second amendment or America’s gun laws (though it’s a conversation we need to have if the men and women in charge can act like mature adults and have a dialogue instead of a fucking debate about it). I just want to know when enough is enough. I don’t want American complacency to turn what’s going on in my country into the new normal.

The left blames the guns. The right blames the individual. That’s over simplified, I know, but the solution lies somewhere in the middle, and the people who can make the change that will start to heal this massive problem are too busy fighting along party lines instead of reaching over to help each other fix anything. The narrative will never change because no one is willing to change it.

I’m going to back up slightly. Remember the MAGA bomber? You know… He was the guy sending pipe bombs to CNN and Trump’s biggest critics. We stopped talking about him. Granted, a lot has happened since his arrest, but what he did shouldn’t be swept under the rugs in our minds.

This is the product of a nation at its own throat. Politics has always been an us vs us game. That wasn’t a typo. I refuse to say “us vs them”, because they’ve pitted us against one another, and they did so masterfully. Our sitting president is great at it. He’s an artist of pitting people against themselves. Right vs left, Democrat vs Republican, friend vs friend.

The MAGA bomber became politicized, like all things do. He was called a product of Trump’s anti-everything rhetoric. He was called a hoax perpetrated by CNN and the left. He was called a random nut with a penchant for making bombs. Was it one of those things or a combination of two or all? Don’t ask me… I just work here. But I saw the van, and I’m smart enough to make my own conclusions.

How much blame can we put on Trump for all this, really? From where I sit, quite a bit. There have been lone nuts with guns and bombs for a long time, but now they’re feeling organized, purposeful, ready. There’s been an energy in the American air since before the 2016 election. All the tinder needed was a spark, and what it recieved was an inferno.

I want to talk about Jim Acosta, the CNN reporter who stood up to Trump when he avoided questions and bleated like a fat, orange, tantruming baby. A woman tried to forceably remove the mic from his hand, and he held firm, wanting his questions answered.

What was the response? Trump gave his normal “fake news” response, berated him verbally, and threw some jibes at the Democrats. Acosta later had his privileges as a White House journalist revoked, and statements were made saying it was because he “assaulted” the woman trying to take his mic.

I saw the clip. I saw the close-ups of the mic grab. If Acosta assaulted the woman, I’d be the first to condemn him. I don’t play on a right or left side. I play on my own side as a semi-rational human, and I’m not going to argue based on political party. So when I say that I saw no reason for the White House’s outlandish response to Acosta’s question, I fucking mean it.

And don’t tell me Acosta was being a jerk to Trump. I don’t care. He’s a reporter. Sometimes they have to be jerks to get an answer. Sometimes my daughter’s doctor has to be a jerk to give her cranky ass a shot, and I don’t condemn him either.

And yes, I just compared our president to a screaming toddler who doesn’t want a shot.

But I jumped around more than I meant to. The point I’m trying to make is that Trump acting out the way he did is just Donny being Donny, another new American normal.

This is dangerous for our country. A reporter can’t disagree with the president, a position that should be for the people, without having his entire career and reputation immediately shat upon. This is why a crazy bastard thinks it’s ok to mail CNN bombs, and this is why the climate in America is reaching its fever pitch.

Trump sees himself as a dictator, not a president. I don’t know if he even knows the difference at this point. I do know that I’m an excellent judge of character, and I really believe that Trump believes he’s doing the right thing and everyone is against him and he’s the best president America has ever had. He’s megalomania incarnate, and we’re strapped in for the downward spiral.

I know Trump has his support, and I can even understand why some wanted him in the first place. But he’s proving to be insane, and he’s taking the whole country, not just the right, with him. At this point, impeachment or indictment is just more gas on the tinder of a bonfire that’s ready to blow this country a new Trump-hole.

But standing on the edge of death, civil war, and complete chaos is normal now.

-Daniel Aegan
11/8/18

P.S.

Please excuse my typos. I make mistakes when I rant.

P.P.S

I left out the Kavanaugh portion of this post for the sake of my readers’ and my own sanity.

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