Earlier this afternoon, two miles from my apartment, at one of Miami-Dade’s largest parks, Trump supporters, most of whom, I assume, are Cuban American, waved MAGA flags, participated in a caravan, and encouraged the insurrections and rule-by-fiat for which they fled Cuba. On Monday morning, I overheard the library security guard snicker to an employee picking up books for interlibrary loan that, “Now they’re saying the president encouraged those Georgia people to find more votes.” The employee shook her head with a sad, weary smile. “They’ll say anything about him,” she said. Some of these people might even be uncles, aunts, mothers, and fathers of people I know.
The most oft-stated banality describing the DC insurrection — the culmination of Trumpism — obscures one chilling consequence of these long five years. Fascism. Riots. Treason. Sedition. Collusion. The outsized presence of Trump in our minds, the manner in which he took root in our imagination, has diluted my capacity to calling things as they are, for I reflexively imagine answering those uncles, aunts, mothers, fathers who no longer dare broach politics: their spurious, inchoate, and moronic arguments taxed my attempts at intellectual agility. This embarrasses a man who revels in arranging words. To care about words requires an equally devoted audience, however, and if conservatives since the Reagan era have pushed against Webster’s definitions; if they scoff at our attempts at precision; then my futility feels doubly poisonous.