Monday, May 15, 2017

In a thick German accent he rhapsodized about how great Trump is, and I could not sleep for a week

I wrote this entry in my journal back in March, and since then, several words have rerun in my brain over and over to the point I made the incident into a blog post. They are words I said to a Trump voter back in March 2017: 
'Your hatred for your fellow countrymen was So Bad that you let the nation be taken over by a hostile foreign power rather than let a 'liberal' win. Now this isn’t the USA anymore.' 
I wish I had added: "For cripes sake, I'm Not even a Liberal!"
*
By Kay Ebeling
When I came out from my errand, the driver of the senior van stood by his door listening to talk radio.   I recognized the voice of Michael Savage, one of the more influential talk show hosts who have droned an Anti-USA message into the heads of rural Americans now for decades. Dolf looked up and turned off the hate radio, saw I had heard it, and a flush of guilt came over his face.
GUILT
Quickly he returned to the persona he maintained as a transit driver for Route J but at that moment, when I saw he was listening to hate radio, I knew: This driver is one of the Fox News zombies. 
That day Trump had won the election but not yet taken office. The incident in this story was several weeks later. 
Dolf  lives in Nevada, and I live near Stateline, lots of Nevadans come to my California town. So I expected Dolf to be a right winger, but he was so kind natured, it surprised me that he also listened to hate talk radio.
But of course, everyone in rural America listens to hate talk radio.  It's almost the only message they've received in decades, with this coup that took over USA through our news media.
*
Today as I think back on it, as much as it bothered me that he was listening to hate radio, it bothered me more that he looked guilty when he realized I knew he was listening to hate radio. 
*
I had another informative encounter with a Tea Partier in this region shortly after moving to South Lake Tahoe when I broke my wrist and, since this is America, I had to ride for miles to find a doctor who would see me on Medicaid, and he ended up being in Nevada. It was 2015, before Trump was even on people's minds, but hate radio had been fillingthe heads of rural Americans with anti-American messages disguised as patriotism for at least the last decade.
The doctor made a comment showing he believed a fake news story and then laughed about it and I glared at him, which made him stop. 
“This all stopped being funny a few months ago,” I said in my Navy voice. 
He was taken aback, and again, for an instant, he knew what I was talking about, and just for an instant a glimmer of guilt
GUILT 
Guilt came over his face, but then he quickly returned to that smug smirk which tea-party Republicans always have around persons they perceive as "liberal" because our beliefs are humane.
When I moved here, I expected blue state neighbors, but soon learned the Nevada way of thought really dominates South Lake Tahoe, where many are apparently working class republicans who work in casinos and ski resorts for minimum wage and grovel in gratitude just to have a job. So by the time Trump got elected, I knew that most of my neighbors probably voted for him, even though I live in California.
So I'm even more isolated now than when I first moved here. 
Scared of my neighbors. 
*
The incident that runs over and over in my brain happened the day after Trump delivered his Feb 28, 2017, speech to Congress.  Around that time I was accepting that I can't run away to Canada right now, and instead finding ways to just secure in place in the woods while this coup takes place. 
In that March first speech Trump read a teleprompter as if he was a fourth grader getting special tutoring and was showing how good he could read now. Nothing he said in that speech came from his own brain, he was reading a script and not even doing a good job at it. It did not seem to me that he even understood what he was reading. 
Yet my Nevada senior van driver, at a time when all the rest of the riders had left the van and we were alone, out of the blue, though conversation had not been political on the entire six-hour long trip, started talking about how wonderful Donald Trump was in the speech last night. 
This driver had a thick German accent.  Hearing him wax on and on in a thick German accent about how great Trump was agitated and excited and BOTHERED me so much that I wasn't able to sleep for weeks.  

In a thick German accent he rhapsodized on Trump, and I could not sleep for weeks

It was as if he was in a trance. 
“Wasn’t that a great speech the President made last night?” he asked in a tone of voice like he’d been to the opera and heard such a mesmerizing performance he was still experiencing rapture at a level he’d have to wait for the return of Jesus to feel again.
"When President Trump said that about the fallen Marine, that he was looking down from Heaven.  Boy, that really got to me."
I looked up and did not say that I thought it was the most hypocritical thing I'd ever seen.  Not wanting this conversation to happen, I grunted a non-response, but he continued, "Didn't you feel it, the hope for the future.  If everything Trump said in that speech actually comes true, America really will be great again."
I glared at him and could be silent no more: "Trump is a member of the Screen Actors' Guild," I said.
"Huh?"
"He's an Actor.  He was reading a script"
"Yeah but what a script it was."
I shook my head and looked back out the window, but nevertheless he persisted.
"Tell me, honest, I want to know, what do you think of Donald Trump?"
The rage inside erupted and I lost control, responding in my bitchy voice:
"I think your hatred for your fellow countrymen was So Intense that you let the nation be taken over by a hostile foreign power rather than let a 'liberal' have any wins. Now this isn’t even the USA anymore. You ruined it, you bunch of conservative old white men who don't know anything about how the rest of us live, you ruined the United States and you don't even realize it yet."
*
Here is where the memory gets creepy.

I was in a seat in the van, looking at the driver in the rear view mirror.
All I could see was the top of his face and a tiny part of his mouth.  
That mouth was twisted into a jeering grin, the victory of the ignorant.  He looked back at me and saw me become visibly shaken trying to express how frightening and horrible this new President is and he was laughing at me.  He didn't realize I could see his mouth in the rear view mirror but his lording-over-the-rest-of-us grin was so large it went way up past his nose and into the reflected image.
I held it together enough to get out of my tight lips: 
"Don’t you think it's strange that the first thing Trump did as President was start to dismantle the CIA and the State Department?  Who would want to do that?"
He looked back at me and the grin left his face long enough for him to say, "Well that is kind of unusual."

I interrupted, "Yeah, unusual, hah" and huffed and started shaking again. 
*
I came home and posted on my blog here 

"No one who ever did business with Trump supported him in the election, he didn't win his home city and state of New York. In L.A. people like me who work in TV production know what a con artist and thief he is, a pioneer in the field of wage theft. How many people did he con out of paying for their work to get as rich as he is, if he even really is rich, we really don’t know. He could and likely is in debt to the same foreign powers that are now taking over the U.S. government.
But, hey, wasn’t that a beautiful speech Trump made the other night?"
*
And then tried to put the incident behind me, but could not forget it. 
*
I did say to Dolf as I debarked the van, “You guys didn't win the election, so wipe that arrogant smile off your face.  You sold out the country so you could get a higher dividend check.  You ruined the United States.”
And then for weeks I was so embarrassed, I used the city bus when I could be using the much easier and more convenient senior van, just to avoid seeing Dolf. (not his real name)
Worst part was as I walked away from the van, he still had that stupid grin of victory on his face, on top of whimsy watching the old lady liberal lose her temper. 
I'm sure when he met with his breakfast group next morning, some old white men in Carson City Dolf meets with once a week to discuss politics, that he told them about the incident and they laughed about me, the broke liberal with teeth missing in her mouth.  I'm sure of it.
*
I tried to forget the incident.  But I can't.
Because of that German accent.
*
It's the German accent.  I was awake for two days after the incident before I realized the reason it bothered me so much.  My ancestors just two generations before me lived out the Warsaw Occupation in hiding when the Nazis took over Poland.  They weren’t Jews, they were intellectual Poles who refused to become Nazis so they had to spend the entire war, while Germans then Russians took over their country, hiding in a basement. Many of the Poles in the Resistance helped fight the Nazis. 
I wish I wish I wish I’d taken notes when my Aunt Celeste told me this story in one of the few times I was able to talk to her in my life. My family has been fractured for generations, we are people who think nothing of packing up and moving thousands of miles away, leaving everyone else behind and now we are all fractured and spread around the globe. 
She told me my ancestors hid in a basement throughout the Warsaw Occupation and resisted the Nazis at danger for years. 
So it's in my DNA to refuse to go along with dictators. 
Yet here was this man with a thick German accent willingly walking right into American Nazi takeover of our nation. 
*
It bothers me to this day that he waited until everyone else was off the bus and we were alone together before he brought up Trump.  He turned onto Tahoe Boulevard going towards my house, then interrupted the silence with, “That was such a wonderful speech our president made last night,” and I tried to tune him out and look out the window but he spoke louder.  He was almost in a trance, “If this great man is able to all the things he talked about last night, boy, this really is going to be great.”
I can't write here everything I said, except that I lost it.  I got red in face and said lots of stuff and all the time I could see him in the rear view mirror laughing at me. 
I could see the top of his face and just the top part of his mouth, his snarling teeth as he watched me get angry and laughed at it.
I should try to draw that image.
He kept at me and at me and said, well what do you think about this president and I composed myself enough to say
“I think your hatred for your fellow countrymen made you an open vessel for a hostile foreign agent to get to you and take over the nation and this isn’t the United States anymore.”
He responded with that laugh, that scoffing laugh of total disbelief that comes from teaparty right wingers these days, accompanied by a quizzical side look at me the “liberal” as if I were an alien species.
Oh come on, he scoffed, and said the whole Russian thing is a liberal myth.  
He's pissing me off. 
*
He's got this THICK German accent yet he claims he's lived here for more than sixty years, shares memories from his childhood in the Carson Valley. 
If he's lived here since he was a small child, why is his German accent so thick?
I used to work for NASA in the late 1970s when the KGB was actively producing misinformation but rarely being so brazen as to release it in the United States, because in the 1970s we had real news sources here that would shoot them down.
I myself did not interact with the KGB but several of my colleagues did, and often at the end of the work day, we'd gather in one of the offices and shoot the breeze, in fact a lot of hours were spent shooting the breeze in the 1970s at NASA.  One guy, James Oberg, was fluent in Russian and just starting a role for NASA that in later years became his career, appearing on national news shows as an expert on the KGB and Russia. But in the late 1970s when I knew him, Oberg was young, and he liked to hang out in Charles Redmond's office, which was 2 doors down from mine, so I often joined them.  
And Oberg would go on and on telling us about the tactics the KGB guys used, to make people believe their propaganda.
Tactics such as making a person feel like a fool for not believing what the rest of the crowd believes. The name calling, (like "Snowflake") and demeaning that was done publicly to anyone who tried to protest (like Judge Jeanine), the way the false story appeared in the news and then was repeated everywhere so no one could even see the truth, even if it was being told somewhere (news delivery in today's USA).
He told us of people who come up mysteriously dead when they don't cooperate, especially journalists. 
As a result way back in 2013, when I lived in Lancaster California and was first exposed to America's Fox News, Zombies who were reading and believing new websites such as Breitbart, I could see the imprint of the KGB in the fake news stories, way back then. I tried to write about it in letters to the editor in the local paper in the Antelope Valley, then realizing just how mesmerized a huge part of the population had become, I actually got scared and moved to Tahoe, because it just feels like it's harder for the bad guys to get to me here.
So I saw the blatant manipulation of the news that was going on years ago and I saw the KGB techniques at work all through the election and it drove me crazy the way So Many People fell for it, and still believe the false news filling our air waves today.
*
As we rode by the lake and my raging red face faded to pink, I stopped shaking quite as much but I could see Dolf's menacing grin of victory at the bottom of the rear view mirror again and his body shook also, because he was still laughing at me. 
*
I know from years of living around Tea Party people that they lump me into the category of people they've decided to hate called “Liberal.”  I voted for H.W. Bush and many other Republicans in my life, I'm really quite centrist when you talk to me and see the way I live my life. But because I did not jump on the hate wagon with this insane presidency, I get called “liberal” now, by people who look like they think liberals should be shot.
Now here's this bus driver from Nevada egging on the liberal from California so he can watch her get riled and laugh at her. 
I love living in South Lake Tahoe except for the Nevadans, who it seems are hostile to California philosophy while sucking resources off of us. I mean here is this German accented right-winger hating the U.S. government while driving a van where the U.S. Department of Aging pays his wages.
*
He told me earlier me that every Thursday he meets with his friends, “We're all Republicans,” he brags. They meet for breakfast every Thursday to discuss issues of the day.  He lives in that mess down the mountain that was once the Carson Valley but will soon be Uglier Than L.A., especially now that real estate development will be totally Trumpian, unmonitored and unregulated. They love those lawless governments, those Tea Party people, so the freeways are barreling through farmland and horse territory and no one is giving a peep of protest and Reno is about to go from being the Biggest little City in the World to the ugliest spread out replication of Los Angeles in the world. 
But I digress.

*
And I'm not using the senior bus anymore. 
I don't want that man to know anything more about me. I'm beginning to be suspicious of this guy who volunteers to drive the senior bus once a week even though he doesn't need the money and has to drive half hour up the mountain to get here. He often talks about the house he owns, the trips he takes, businesses he ran and sold, his children who've gone to expensive colleges and built careers: Why is he coming up to South Lake to drive seniors in California around on their errands? He sure doesn't need the extra cash.
I think he does the job so he can get anecdotes about broke old lady liberals who live in South Lake Tahoe, and laugh about us with his friends, our situations where we hide in shacks from neighbors who probably belong in prison, how we all have teeth missing in our mouths and bodies that obviously need medical attention. 
I think he's got some other motive for doing the part time job driving the senior van. Could be some of the old ladies have sex with him, I wouldn't doubt it.  Americans fuck like rabbits nowadays, even the older ones, a cultural change that happened to them at the same time I was becoming much more zipped up and private with my sex life.
He could do the job to get laid. 
Or he could do it so he can tell his Republican buddies next day everything he learned about the "liberals."
Either way I'm not taking that senior van again as long as Dolf is driving.
So weird, life in USA is getting so frigking weird.
.
By Kay Ebeling
happy to be in one place in USA that still has clean air

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