A long, complicated, sordid tale

Dear President Trump,

Because there are so many steps involved in making a man, of sorts, into a President/King, here’s another installment of President is King and King is President…..

Once upon a longish span of time there lived a small handful of people in our land whose lives revolved around the making of men, of sorts, into Presidents. They fashioned these men, of sorts, slowly, inexorably, and by design to more closely resemble Kings who answered only to the king-makers than Presidents who answered to the people. This little group of king-makers (never queen-makers) was a patient lot, planning and scheming tirelessly, never giving up on the goal of installing men, of sorts, with a canny mix of pliability and ruthlessness that would ensure responsiveness to the cabal’s direction no matter how inane-appearing or cruel the tactics might be.

You might wonder why the king-makers don’t simply draw straws amongst themselves and take turns in the sacred oval office. Well, as alluded to yesterday, for most of the men, of sorts, who are tagged it, being President/King is typically a 24/7 job filled with briefings and meetings and tiresome functions that honestly aren’t that much fun. Some President/Kings, including the one currently assigned to the oval office, have managed to shirk most of those responsibilities so that their golf handicaps have not suffered. But the king-makers, those wise men, of sorts, don’t want to bother even pretending to care about the day-to-day details of the land so they stay in the shadows where they can move about freely and keep a close eye on their chosen tool.

Over the aforementioned longish span of time, the king-makers learned to exploit the rifts and divisions that had characterized the land for an even longer time. This task was made easier by the people’s disinclination to acknowledge those rifts and divisions and by the people’s propensity to stay in “their lanes,” “mind their own business,” and pretend that if bad things were not happening to them and their families, they either weren’t really happening or those who had the bad things befalling them were deserving of those bad things. Understanding the utility of these rifts and divisions and the attendant belief systems, the king-makers played up the people’s distrust of one another. They also gave the people slogans to say about reclaiming an illusory greatness that never was and songs to sing that told beautiful lies about the land being home to the free and the brave. For a time, the king-makers were able to get by with a combination of anthems, allegiance pledges, and promises of God-given blessings for those who hewed to the path of blind righteousness, all the while sowing division, distrust, and deep, twisted beliefs centered on well-honed narratives of hard work and sacrifice that only extended to those who looked alike.

However, as time went on, more and more of the people peeked out from behind, over the top, and around the walls their parents and grandparents had dutifully built to make their own lives more manageable. Many of these peekers realized that the people they had been taught to fear and loathe were actually just people. What’s more, many of these peekers ventured out past the walls of their youths and realized that even though the old anthems and allegiances and prayers still had visceral pulls on their psyches, they were increasingly able to exercise independent thought, something the king-makers knew to be an anathema to their goals and something that had to be stopped.

So, the king-makers consulted their oracles and reviewed their past playbooks, looking for clues as to how to contain the increasing threat of a woke populace, one where growing numbers of citizens were no longer driven by fear and hate, one that was no longer infinitely pliable. Lo and behold, the king-makers recognized that not all, but many of the people were increasingly enamored of the shiny little devices that they believed connected them to one another. Many were so enamored of these devices that they focused on them instead of the infants they pushed along the land’s sidewalks and trails and they focused on them instead of on the cars within a few feet of them in moving traffic. The king-makers reasoned that these must surely be powerful apparatus if they compel this sort of attention and inattention. So the king-makers brought in mercenaries from other lands, many with their own designs on our land’s riches, and sicced them on the populous through their fancy little connector devices with new-fangled invisible algorithms set to provide individualized fear-mongering messages in ways the populous had never considered possible and had no laws against.

The man, of sorts, who is tiring of the whole President deal and who is busily having the oval office measured for a dais upon which to install his new jewel-encrusted throne, merely shrugs, sneers, and sniffs when the few remaining elected check-and-balance officials who care about the danger to the land, raise the alarm about the mind numbing, soul sucking algorithms that are poised to steal another election. Meanwhile, the king-makers in the shadows are well-pleased with their handiwork and they rest easily at night knowing that their President/King is no more likely to support legislation to protect the people from conniving bad actors who mess with their minds through their beautiful little devices than he is to fly to the moon under his own power. The king-makers also happily dream dreams of their wildly growing riches with the full confidence that it is exceedingly unlikely that a critical mass of the land’s denizens will put down their devices or learn to use them in ways that safeguard their minds from the drips of poison that the mercenaries have prescribed each one.

It’s a long, complicated, sordid tale that does not appear to be heading to a “happily ever after” conclusion for most of the characters, but there is yet hope that the benumbed populous will shake themselves awake and dethrone the man, of sorts, who would be king before it is too late. We shall see.

May we be safe from complacency and brainwashing.
May we be willing to stop allowing our minds to be poisoned.
May we put up a healthy fight to preserve our democracy.
May we stop making peace with the manipulations and greed that are driving our politics.

Tracy Simpson

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