What Did You Think was Going to Happen?

by JC Schildbach

Following the “events” at the U.S. Capitol on January the 6th, I kept thinking of Ed Norton’s character The Narrator in Fight Club (yes the film that introduced “snowflake” into the popular lexicon, but not quite in the way it’s used now) saying, “You morons. What did you think was going to happen?”   

You’re running around in ski masks, blowing things up…

Yes, what did you (Trump, Trump-supporting politicians, ‘news personalities’, radio hosts and ‘influencers’) think was going to happen when, for months, you repeated the falsehood that the only way Trump was going to lose re-election would be if the election was “rigged”? 

What did you think was going to happen when Trump lost, yet you amplified the idea that there was election fraud, based on nothing but fabricated tales of ballots thrown out, dead people voting, and machines switching votes, among other lies?  

What did you think was going to happen when Trump’s legal team was bringing evidence-free lawsuits into court, based on wild claims of voter fraud, yet wouldn’t even directly answer the questions of judges, so as not to perjure themselves, all the while Trump-supporters were led to believe that judges “throwing out lawsuits” meant the judges had refused to look at the evidence?  

What did you think was going to happen when Senators and Representatives signed on in support of Trump’s unhinged and delusional ranting about a ‘stolen’ election, just to score points with Trump and his base, all the way up to, and even after, the insurrection?  

What did you think was going to happen when a rally was held immediately before the storming of the Capitol with the President, his son Donald Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and many of those same Senators and Representatives, calling on Trump supporters to ‘fight’, ‘be strong’, ‘take back our government’, ‘stop the steal’, ‘kick ass’, and engage in ‘trial by combat’?

“What did you think was going to happen?,” The Narrator in Fight Club asks his followers after one among them is killed while carrying out a ‘mission’ The Narrator has personally given them, The Narrator being completely unaware of the role he played in directing the mission, because (spoiler alert for a 20-year-old movie) he doesn’t realize his cool new, charismatic, and violence-prone friend, Tyler, is actually a suppressed part of his own personality.

As much as President The Donald would like to pretend (and has pretended) he knew nothing about his role in what went down at the Capitol, while also occasionally pretending he acknowledges it was kinda bad, but he ‘loves’ the ‘special people’ who broke into the Capitol screaming for blood, he doesn’t have the same almost-impunity that The Narrator in Fight Club does. The Narrator struggles against his most anti-social and violent impulses in the person of his alter-ego, Tyler Durden. President The Donald does not even acknowledge that he has anti-social and violent impulses, in spite of daily ‘tweets’ and comments and rants to the contrary.

One big problem with President The Donald’s insincere flip-flopping is that either he is fully aware of what he is doing/what he did, and is loving it; or he is completely disconnected from reality and has no idea how he’s involved at all in the violent insurrection he spurred; or perhaps he doesn’t think anything he has done is wrong at all, but merely that he gave a rousing speech that resulted in a desired ‘show of support’ by ‘enthusiastic patriots.’ But, really, which possibility is better or worse than the others?

Democracy overwhelmed by the miasma of too much “information” and too little understanding.

To those that took part in the insurrection, what did you think was going to happen, when you shared the evidence of your crimes with the whole world via social media?  Perhaps, like President The Donald with the many crimes he’s committed, you thought all you would have to do is deny it and create further distraction and the world would just move on, especially since you were so sure of your righteous purpose that you knew you couldn’t help but emerge triumphant from your mad rampage.

So to close with another quote from Fight Club for the treasonous mob, “How’s that working out for you?”

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