Volume 34, Number 1

It is Long Past Time to Be Over You-Know-Who

Fred Schepartz

Giant Baby Man has been living rent free in our heads for eight years now.

There, I said it. Well, someone had to say it.

It has been that long. What an appalling, what a horrifying thought.

Not that we really had any choice. That said, it saddens and angers me to think of all the mental, emotional and psychic energy we have collectively wasted on this utterly wretched poor excuse for humanity.

But just to back up for a moment, we did not really have a choice. We had to resist, and we did.

Think back to the 2017 Women’s March that drew way more people than GBM’s inauguration. That was a very proud moment for all of us, and there have been many more.

It is long past time for GBM to retire quietly to some golf course. It is simply time for him to go away. I sincerely hope this is the year it will happen.

Yes, he is attempting to stake a claim for the 2024 Republican nomination for president. But he is a tired, bloated shadow of himself. His rallies don’t draw the way they used to, and his message is old and tired.

Yet he continues. And why not? It was, is and will always be nothing but a grift, and the grift is getting progressively more ridiculous all the time. Sure, he raised a quick number of millions with his so-called NFT scam last year, which just goes to show how stupid and gullible his base is, especially the hard-core portion of his base that actually has money.

Let us hope that finally the grift will present serious consequences this year. And I think the chances are more likely than not that those chickens will finally come home to roost.

Maybe it’s espionage and obstruction of justice in the case of the classified documents, especially if it comes out that he actually used those for nefarious purposes.

Maybe it’s sedition involving his role in the Capitol Insurrection, where not just rank-and-file were goaded into storming the Capitol but also included organized efforts, at his behest, of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers.

Maybe it’s attempts to overturn the Georgia results of the 2020 election. Maybe it’s the widespread attempt at fraud in the case of the fraudulent electors in seven battleground states, about as widespread a conspiracy as I have ever seen in this country.

Or maybe it’s just some good, old fashioned fraud and corruption in New York City.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that GBM will be indicted in some jurisdiction later this year. Will he stand trial? I hope so. And I hope he does time. When it’s all said and done, he’s nothing more than a spoiled rich kid who’s gotten away with everything his whole life. This would be the ultimate end to the ultimate reality play where a narcissistic psychopath finally gets his proper comeuppance.

Well, a kid can dream.

Again, I do think it’s likely he’ll get indicted. He will probably still run for president. He could be in prison and still get votes and still even get elected.

I am certain that an indictment would lead to violence among his most extreme neo Nazi white supremacist followers. But perhaps, those slightly to left of those parties might hit the pause button.

But Giant Baby Man needs to go away. We are tired of wasting our energy on him. We are tired of seeing him inflicting damage on this country all because of his vanity and fragile small-dick ego.

I am reminded of something James Carville said on MSNBC in the lead-up to the 2020 election. He said that we need to not only defeat Trump, but we need to defeat Trumpism.

Sad to say on the latter point, Trumpism is probably stronger than it’s ever been. This manifests itself in so many way, but the worst symptom I see is that neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Christian nationalists are actually more mainstreamed than I have seen at any time in my lifetime.

And subsequently, anti-Semitic violence is up as is violence against Asians and all communities of color. Increasingly, we’re seeing violence against the LGBT community where paramilitary groups show up outside drag shows and threaten violence, which in and of itself is a form of violence.

As I have said before, the Republican Party gives its tacit approval to all of this hatred and violence. The new leadership are election deniers and white supremacists.

My last editorial addressed the history of whiteness in this country and how it was originally an artificial construct used to divide and conquer us. And here we have a Republican Party that not only steadfastly refuses to admit this truth, but actively seeks to whitewash history. This is the party of Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida whose executive order would prohibit the teaching of AP history courses that cover Black history.

This poison is buried deep in the psyche of this country. We have one party that actively fights against it, and we have another party that actively denies its existence.

Sadly, this is a poison that will always find its way to the surface.

Consider Tyre Nichols, who was horrifically beaten to death by five Black Memphis cops. Memphis had actually implemented measures in 2021 to increase transparency in an effort to address racial disparities in policing. They did in fact find that such racial disparities exist. Tragically, this did not lead to any meaningful changes in outcome.

Racism exists institutionally at a cellular level, and it takes a fundamental change to reverse that DNA. Merely hiring more Black offers is not necessarily the solution.

Tyre Nichols was murdered by members of the Scorpion Unit, an elite force created to attack crime in neighborhoods. But if that meant in Black neighborhoods, where there is a well-founded distrust of police, it is clear that bad things could and would happen.

Residents lived in fear of the Scorpion Unit, who quickly built a reputation for heavy-handed tactics and violence. This kind of militarized notion of policing is a universe away from the models of community policing that were more in vogue decades ago.

A reasonable person does have to wonder why such a unit was doing a traffic stop.

The unit was disbanded a few days ago, but not before they killed Tyre Nichols.

To circle back, we have Trump living rent free in our heads, but maybe not for long. We have the lunatic fringe running the Republican Party. Maybe we take back the house and then the extremist get sent back to the back-benches. These people are always in our minds. We fight these people as we should, but every day they are invading our thoughts.

Do we give the same thought every day to the racism that is embedded all through the fabric of this country?

We have work to do.