And what you might ask is a Zombie, exactly? Well, Merriam defines it thusly: “a will-less and speechless human (as in belief and in fictional stories) held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated”. So, “speechless” Hmmm. Not so much. “Will-less”? Hmmm, yeah, seems right. The main point, though, is the absence of thoughtful actions, people who seem to be no longer capable of independent thinking.
I recently looked at a little U-Tube video showing hordes of people running towards and jumping off a cliff into a raging fiery inferno down below. And that seemed a perfect metaphor for what we can see in America, almost every day. But why, what happened that caused people to rush headlong towards oblivion?
I have been around for a while, so I have seen America drawn to presidents who were less than perfect. George W. Bush??? Really people, we elected George W. Bush? But Molly Ivins used to have a lot of fun, making fun of Shrub. She even wrote an amusing book: “Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush”. Molly is the person who convinced me that comedy is the best approach to commentary on truly stupid politicians. Comedians, on average, seemed smarter than your usual Joe, and they “tell it like it is”, but we are able to laugh instead of crying. But, despite his less than stellar track record, Shrub is an intellectual dynamo, compared with Trump. Even Reagan looks competent compared with Trump. Ahhh, Molly, we need you.
But why, why do his supporters act with such rampant stupidity? I now assume it is a combination of power and stupid people. Apparently, when power is acquired by stupid people, they act stupidly, and commit destructive acts. Just note the reaction of Trump and his gang of thieves to the Pandemic. Did he/they stand up and mount a defense against the virus, so as to contain its worst effects? Well, no, they sat on their asses, played the blame game (it’s all China’s fault), and also Let’s Pretend (as soon as it warms up, it will disappear). They basically kicked aside all of the Nation’s expertise on this subject, as well as withdrawing from any international efforts—see the World Health Organization. As a result, the United States has one of the world’s worst records for containment. Over 200,000 people have died as a result. That’s the direct result of stupid people being in charge of a catastrophic event.
And then his supporters observe these effects, and do they withdraw? Hmmm, nope, they double down on their support. How/Why? Well, they assert that the pandemic is a myth, a fiction created by the Liars of the Left. “People aren’t really dying of COVID. They are dying of more ordinary conditions. People on the left are apparently lying about the causes of death. The COVID19 is just like the ordinary flu. Yeah, people will get sick, but thousands are not dying from COVID. That’s a Deep-State conspiracy”. They actually assert such stuff. Now to be fair, Trump says such stuff, so they can either believe him, or not. It’s the same with all of his 20,000+ lies. People have the option. Believe him when he lies, or ask yourself, “Why is he saying such obvious untruths?” I think, even when his supporters understand that he is lying, they still support him, because his statements are like slapping other smart people in the face. And that’s what they actually like. Turns out that thinking is often hard, and believing fantasies is much easier, and somehow more satisfying because you don’t have to do anything.
But how is all of this madness possible? It was not like this when Reagan was President, or when the Bushes were presidents. Even Nixon was more straightforward. And when Shrub lied about Sadaam’s WMDs, although he tried to escape, his lies eventually caught up with him. As I remember, his supporters didn’t gather and shout “Fake News”. Nixon was finally done in by his lies and ineptitude, as was Bush. Reagan simply timed out. He lied, he committed stupid acts, and then he left. But they were more ordinary corrupt/stupid leaders. They seemed not to be about destroying America, as is President Stupidhead. So, are Trump’s supporters actually all in line with destroying America? It would seem so. They maintain his greatness (“Best president we have ever had”) despite all the evidence to the contrary. Is it possible that Trump actually knew something, when he famously asserted that he could take a gun out on Fifth Avenue, shoot someone, and his support would increase? I now think he is right. His supporters would jump up and down with glee, and even more would be drawn to his side. The Zombies are apparently here in great numbers.
Thinking is hard and filled with consequences. Typically, when you think about serious issues, you are forced to actually have to do something. Maybe Vote, perhaps join a resistance movement, volunteer at some cause near and dear. But you may not be able to change a Zombie back into an ordinary, thinking human. Only they can do that, so perhaps stop trying to argue with your neighbor. Instead, buy him a beer, or a nice glass of wine and talk about how nice his lawn looks. Even Zombies like to be complimented.
So, however annoyed or amused you are, it is likely that you can’t really change the whole world of ZombieLand. The best you can hope for is perhaps to neutralize it. You can Vote. You can help at the Polling places, assuming you can stay safe (wear a mask). You can help an elderly neighbor to vote, either remotely, or by helping them get to a polling place. You can respond to folks who ask questions, but respond calmly and rationally.
Somehow, we all need to let go of the anger, because anger won’t solve our collective problems. Only thoughtful, rational acts can do that. So, remember, Be Kind. But always look for truth, and facts. Trust science, and behave rationally and kindly.
And have another glass of wine. Drink on me hearties!