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Party of Apocalypse

I realize invoking the word apocalypse is a cultural malapropism, since it actually means “to reveal” instead
of the popular association to Armageddon and mass extinction. Mind you, I really, REALLY wasn’t going to
post this because…Internet. The shiver that could result from the pat-on-the-back self-congratulatory
achievement of “going viral” can be career-limiting in many fields. However, we’re on the verge of electing
a contrived fiction to the most powerful office ever created and give him the nuclear codes. I hear a lot of
millennials – one my own niece and her friend – who aren’t voting for either candidate. Rather than say
you should review “Schoolhouse Rock” videos and less “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” I’m going to
“keep it 100” and put it in terms you can all understand and hopefully act on before the country you take
for granted becomes your favorite dystopian movie. You can wait for the credits that won’t be coming.
The first night of the RNC convention could have been a success with the noted exception of Melania
Trump lifting whole cloth parts of now First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech to the DNC convention in 2008.
An out-of-work journalist was the first to catch and tweet it (a sad indictment of the employed journalists
ACTUALLY at the RNC convention) [1]. The last night of the RNC was like “The Dark Knight Returns”: the
world was essentially a shit show like Gotham, and Batman screamed for 75 minutes incoherent, semi
form, hand-tossed Word Salad anointing himself Bruce-Wayne-Almighty-Cheetos-Jesus savior of the
planet by the strength of his will alone (no cool gadgets – just a Galaxy Smart Phone and a twitter handle
he misspells as he jacks off on almost daily). The Bat’s bravery was previously demonstrated during his
selfless sacrificed Vietnam five deferments to let others more worthy die in his place.
My coworkers on the first night’s events had statements like: “that is not plagiarism” (it was); or “what
she said (Mrs. Trump) in her speech most people say in one form or another every day!”
38 hours later: a phantom ghost writer emerged – Meredith Melver, who apparently conveniently work
for a man that’s on record imitating his own publicist. [2] The name sounds suspicious enough with the
possibility of two plagiarisms vis-à-vis Mrs. Trump and his educational ventures. Trump Institute and
University lifted content whole cloth [3]. There are suspicions like his publicist, Ms. Melver may have been
a convenient creation, but it seems she’s legit [4].
But more importantly, the Meredith mea culpa was enough for my coworker Trumpism fans. Never mind
Mrs. Trump had previous revealed to Matt Lauer of NBC she had “written it all herself.” They pivoted to
the next talking point with the ease of any group studied by Leon Festinger.
Don’t know this guy? He studied an apocalyptic UFO cult in the 1950s – a precursor to the Heaven’s Gate
Cult of the 1990s. They were ABSOLUTELY sure the world would end and had a date. The faithful sold all
their worldly goods and waited for the apocalypse…and waited…and waited…
Some of the former faithful felt discouraged and left. Others felt their “vibrations” had saved the Earth
from destruction. [5] Simple Psychology defines it thus:

“Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This
produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to
reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc.
“For example, when people smoke (behavior) and they know that smoking causes cancer (cognition).

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“Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our
attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).” [6]

I have tread lightly at work because of the technical work I do, that part is enjoyable. My coworkers and I
probably have combined a century of experience in the semiconductor industry, my own experience in
process, device, manufacturing and product engineering; theirs in equipment engineering. We’ve done
experiments, qualifications, installs and upgrades. The typical generalization that racism involves a low IQ
is a general truism, but not absolute. These are very smart individuals, but my observation is they are
uncomfortable their assumed privilege is – in their minds – under siege.
I have grown quite aware that my coworkers are literally a part of a political party that can now be
described quite rationally I feel like a cult. Mike Lofgren wrote a now famous screed on the Internet about
it that culminated in a similar book [7, 8]. From Steve Hassan’s book: “Combating Cult Mind-Control,”
himself a survivor of recruitment by “The Moonies” (I horribly dated myself), points out cults can take
different forms: business/economic (think Multi-Level Marketing); religious and political (his example
Lyndon LaRouche (another example from back-in-the-day when the Democratic Party had its own
problem with a conspiracy theorist upsetting political order) [9].
It explains why there is nothing, NOTHING President Barack Hussein Obama can do to impress them. Kill
Bin Laden? “He didn’t do it, Seal Team Six did.” The DOW above 18,000? “That’s not real!” Unemployment
going from 10% to less than 5%? “What about the rest of Americans (like they ever cared)?” Insure 20
million with the Affordable Care Act? “It’s bankrupting the country!” (It isn’t.) My coworkers – I’ll use an
old expression – are selling “wolf tickets”: somewhere in a completely unrelated conversation, they’ll
throw in the exclamation “Black Lives Matter” to see my reaction. My only reply is: “where did that come
from?” It – whatever the zinger – is usually is blurted out, having no relationship to what was just being
discussed about, like you know…the business. There’s usually no answer, as I’ve called their bluff. I include
and record these in texts to my wife I’ve titled to her: “from the Den of Iniquity” (exampled later).
“Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our
attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).”
Think about it.

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I listen to Joe Madison on Urban Talk Radio. This morning wasn’t unusual in his “raising hell” style delivery.
He pointed out how hypocritically the right was “outraged” at Michelle Obama’s bared arms in a dress,
yet “that’s alright” regarding Melania posing nude. One of my coworkers says “she was a model,” not
acknowledging the irony of being a part of a party that identifies itself with “family values,” and that porn
on the republican platform is a “health crisis” more so than say flying lead!
I Facebook messaged the following to Mr. Madison:
Joe: I was driving to work this morning, and really enjoyed your show. I will be brief: 1. The "Christian Right" is neither.
Like you said, faux outrage over FLOTUS Michelle Obama's bared arms in a dress, but Melania Trump's nude photos:
crickets! The hypocrisy is palpable. 2. Just what has President Obama been "disastrous" over? If this was a McCain or
Romney administration, they'd be added to Mount Rushmore! The disaster is "narrative": we weren't supposed to play
professional baseball well (Jackie Robinson); we weren't supposed to be smart enough to quarterback a football team
(Doug Williams). Every time we penetrate an area of science, sports and politics where we're NOT supposed to be;
and NOT supposed to do well, it's a "disaster" to the narrative of white supremacy and privilege, Congressman Steve
King the most recent and vocal proponent and the rise of Trump. The only logical conclusion of the "Southern Strategy"
is Donald Trump.

The disaster is and always has been narrative, the internal need to exercise “an inner drive to hold all
[their] attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).”
My sports analogies could be extended to Selena Williams in Tennis, Tiger Woods in Golf. Examples
abound in Science and Engineering that don’t get nearly as much airtime as negative stereotypes.
Hollywood generated the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite because of the lack of diversity on stage. The RNC
convention has 18 African American delegates out of 2,472, almost as pitiful as Speaker Ryan’s intern
selfie. [10, 11]
My coworkers are simply avoiding dissonance…like cult members.
My thesis is quite simple. The Grand Old Party is acting like a cult. It stopped being a functional party long
before Donald Trump. Using the backlash from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965
and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, the Party of Lincoln clung to the history of they being the party of
emancipation and the Democrats (the original conservatives) being the party of slave owners and slavery,
and made a political Faustian Compromise with Richard Nixon in 1968. The Southern Strategy was

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supposed to be subtle. Lee Atwater made it about as subtle as a piano falling out of a high story window
in what we’d now call a hot mike incident. When you recruit Dixiecrats cum racists to your party, you’ll
likely get racist policies. You can call it by its dodge names: fiscal conservativism, limited government, free
enterprise or in Barry Goldwater’s case, opposing the Civil Rights Act on “free market, libertarian
principles,” the effect as Atwater stated was the same: it hurts black Americans.
Cult (Meridian-Webster):
Simple Definition

: a sm all re ligiou s group th at is n ot part o f a larger and mo re accepted re ligion
a nd th at h as belief s regarded b y man y pe ople as extre me or d an gerou s
: a situat ion in wh ich peo ple ad mire and care about someth ing o r so meon e ver y
much o r too mu ch
: a sm all gro up of very de vote d suppo rters or f an s

Full Definition

1: fo rm al re ligiou s ven eratio n : worship
2: a syste m of re ligiou s b elief s and ritual; also: its bod y of adhe rent s
3: a re ligion re garded as un orth odo x o r spu rio us; also: it s bo dy of adhe rent s
4: a syst em fo r th e cu re o f dise ase b ased on do gma set fo rth b y it s
p romu lgat or < he alth c ult s>
5 a: gr eat de vot ion t o a pe rson, id ea, ob je ct , mo vement , o r wo rk (as a film o r
bo o k); e s pec ially : su ch de vo tio n re garded as a literary o r inte lle ctual fad b : the
ob je ct of su ch d e votion c : a usually small group of peop le charact erized by such
de votio n

Here’s an actual exchange dated August 1, 2016 as I type this essay. It was a text I sent to my wife that
I’ve weaponized for this writing. I’ve excluded the name for privacy reasons:
Unsolicited, _____ raised the Khan family's feud with Donald Trump, saying "it's their own fault" that this has
become political. Since when is grieving the loss of a child political?

Also, the New York Post Melania Trump cover: it's "art," happened in '95 (before meeting Donald and wrecking
his 2nd marriage) and "nothing's wrong with it." When I pointed out the GOP platform said pornography was a
"health hazard" (over say, flying bullets), his retort was "so is homosexuality."

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To recap:
Grieving families should grieve in silence and not take part in the political process at ALL.

Michelle Obama's sleeveless dress with pearls an affront; Melania Trump in skivvies no problem! Somehow
porn is a big problem, right alongside homosexuality, but nude photos have now become evangelical high art!

Otherwise, it's Monday in the den of iniquity.

I want to leave out this well-worn cliché but I can’t: you can’t make this shit up!

The 2012 elections seem a lifetime ago, but Joe Scarborough and Nate Silver had a famous exchange that
encapsulated this mentality: Joe telling Nate (a statistician) how he doesn’t know his job; how anyone not
calling this “election close is deluding themselves.” I think he suggested they (meaning he) should push
away from their laptops. Silver predicted every state [12]. Karl Rove almost had an on-air heart attack,
and everyone – including the sexual harassing fired slug, Jabba the Hut Roger Ailes – remembers the
Megyn Kelly “walk” to statisticians’ row. It was like the rest of us followed things like math and statistics
and the GOP was following…Willow the Wisp? The Tooth Fairy? Megyn’s walk? [13]
At one previous job, the Admin sent out a web site from a Climate Change denier, no credentials, no peerreviewed articles or papers. I sent back – just to her – the web site of the National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration in their section on Climate Change. She then sent me THREE more conspiracy
sites! It’s the same mentality that denies the age of the Earth and the Cosmos (ATTACKED the Cosmos
reboot); the reality of Climate Change – Mike Pence is the VP nominee of Donald Trump who says he did
a “tremendous job” in Indiana, but the state has a different record [14] and the state GOP did NOT want
him to run for reelection [15]. He really had no choice – endorsing Ted Cruz in the primaries to accept the
2nd string position. Politicians like being employed too. I’m not saying the 16 or 17 other opponents Trump
vanquished were any better, as most of their solutions were parroted talking points from the supply-side
economics of the 1980s without much difference between each other. The Donald just said it with more
bigoted bombast, and wasn’t above tempting his opponents into his mud pit, and devastating them in his
hog pen. Once you see this as less a functional party and more a sophisticated religious cult now run by a
current strongman, things kind of fall into place quite well.

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A paragraph revisit: After Barry Goldwater’s defeat in 1964, he’s quoted saying “you have to hunt where
the ducks are,” meaning southern white racist and resentment to the Civil Rights movement. The 1964
Civil Rights Act; 1965 Voting Rights Act and 1968 Fair Housing Act spurred an Exodus from the Democratic
Party (by Dixiecrats) to the Republican Party with the cool Ronald Reagan rejoinder: “I didn’t leave the
Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me!” Nixon culminated “The Southern Strategy” in 1968 and
Reagan did it up “on the slick,” a “wink-and-nod” in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1980 choosing to start his
presidential campaign literally blocks from where 3 Civil Rights workers were murdered for registering
black people to vote. Klansmen had taken off their sheets, flossed and brightened their smiles and use
Voter ID for nonexistent fraud, or close precincts in distinctly African American neighborhoods, in you
guessed it: M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I (NAW, it’s Alabama, but it’s close and I had you going). You could nice it
up as “Morning in America”; Michael J. Fox and Bruce Willis made conservatism all cool in prime time
(“Family Ties” and “Moonlighting”); the FCC removed the Fairness Doctrine and launches Rush Limbaugh
and right wing talk radio brainwashing/propaganda; Tom Clancy novels were the SHIT, “The Hunt for Red
October” with Alec Baldwin started a Hollywood hegemony of good-looking, white boy/tough guy “feelgood” post-Vietnam-guilt testosterone films – the same war Donald Trump filed five deferments to avoid
fighting. He hired a ghost writer to create his own personal myth in “The Art of the Deal” that writer now
wishes he’d never produced (and Donny according to the hapless author, has apparently the attention
span of Dorie in “Finding Nemo”) [16]. You’ve got entertainment, orthodoxy and self-deluding myth.
Stockholm Syndrome will get a few African Americans on your side (88 delegates at the 2000 convention
in Atlanta, Georgia; at least 18 by the current RNC convention count in LeBron James’ and John Kasich’s
Cleveland, Ohio).
“Festinger's (1957) cognitive dissonance theory suggests that we have an inner drive to hold all our
attitudes and beliefs in harmony and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).”
Do my coworkers “want their country back”? Perhaps the American Dream can be best understood as
cognitive dissonance: 240 years of practicing a cult called a democratic republic, born of the slaughter of
Native Americans and the kidnapping and slaughter of African Americans’ ancestors (who yes, BUILT the
White House). Land-grabbing kidnappers put together their own orthodoxy and belief system, we became
Winthrop’s “shining city on a hill” before Reagan ever mentioned it – a cultural effort to get over the guilt
of a crime. “In God We Trust” on our currency and the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance were both
inserted due to the fear of godless communism and the Cold War of the 1950s that with Donald’s petition
to Putin to hack a rival candidate for the presidency, we’re over that like evangelical skivvies’ selfies.

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Brown vs. Board of Education, Emmett Till’s execution and the Montgomery Bus Boycotts started to tear
down the white picket fences in “Leave it to Beaver-Ville.” Had to be a communist plot vis-à-vis the John
Birch Society (a proto Tea Party), not the 192-year blank check that bounced from 1776 in the form of
slavery, sharecropping, Jim Crow, lynching, red lining and legal segregation. A popular meme asks the
question: “Where was ‘all lives matter’ from 1619 to 1968”? Where is it NOW?

The 1960s further fucked up all that Ozzie and Harriet shit once future republicans discovered sex, drugs
and rock and roll (future disgraced House Speaker Newton Gingrich – post his pedophilic first of three
“traditional” marriages to his high school Geometry teacher, was a partaker of the hemp in his college
days, as were many other “Contract with America” aficionados). For the nostalgic, they missed the part
where their god Reagan planted the seeds of the beanstalk that would germinate into NAFTA [17]. Since
George Herbert Walker “Poppy” Bush couldn’t win reelection, the hapless hillbilly from Arkansas was the
best fall guy for the vehicle his newly rabid republican congress pushed for that would ship their
constituents’ jobs overseas, as well as the advanced technology coming that would eventually replace
skilled labor with robotics. For many that have always been at the top of the pyramid at least within eye
and earshot of the Eye of Horus due to inherited skin tone; laws essentially written for them as a “get out
of jail card,” evidenced by the “war on drugs” taking a turn towards therapy and understanding once
“Breaking Bad” merged with “Orange is the New Black” and emerged as life imitating art in suburban
America.
This new Maya Angelou-esque “Pulse of Morning” is uncomfortable for some. It doesn’t seem fair to those
who had it so good for so long – 1619 to the present – and took the good times of Melanin dominance for
granted, but every system – even a white supremacist one – experiences Entropy.

How do I deal with this, you ask? First I got counseling, both psychological and spiritual. It helps first to
ascertain that you really aren’t crazy as you daily report to work in The Twilight Zone.
Next, it’s scary but cathartic when your 70-year-old pastor – a man with a mechanical engineering
undergrad, two Masters and two PhDs, who speaks five languages fluently, retired as head chaplain of the

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New York State Correctional System and clearly the word “CLERGY” on his license plates can get pulled
over at gunpoint by the police. It puts things in perspective.

Third, I use mental Jujutsu: I deflect and avoid. I end up going to the library – a lot. Studying for the Physics
GRE is easier on the blood pressure. Plus, I enjoy the blank looks I get when I tell them what I’m doing.
Lastly, I use humor as my pastor taught me. Things like “us white folks got to stick together” (that I say to
them), or the one he told a bigot who called him the N-word that “we had a meeting. We decided every
time you use that word; you’re acknowledging our superiority.” On the last one, I’m probably going to call
HR and a lawyer.
And there you have the modern Republican Party cum Tea Party cum Birther Movement cum Donald J.
Trump and how I personally deal with the genie that’s been released from the 2008 election of President
Obama to this current manifestation of backlash. It’s their demographic Armageddon, Boon Hill, Custer’s
Last Stand, the OK Corral; Ragnarok as the nation becomes browner. Instead of changing with the times
they’ve doubled-down. Instead of the wink-and-nod, they’ve taken off their three-piece Armani suits for
their previous white sheets. Instead of not shooting themselves in the foot, they’re admiring the new
demographic blowhole between their proximal and metatarsal toes as an accessory. Treat them like that
guy in the park who walks by himself grabbing his own crotch, and talks to people you can’t see: smile a
lot and don’t interrupt the conversation with facts and reality.
We will find out if we’re still a republic in November, or need the distinct modifier “banana” and UN
warning to the rest of globe as a failed state.
Lastly, if banana: The wall won’t be for Hispanics, Latinos or Muslims. It will be to enclose behind barbed
wire, closed circuit TVs and seismic motion detectors the previously known as feel-good illusion the United
States of America, soon-to-be-known-as: The United States Asylum. We’re weirder and more dangerous
than Arkham. After all, we’ve got semi form, hand-tossed Word Salad Batman (who true to character,
WON’T release his tax forms from the Bat-Shit-Crazy Cave) screaming at the top of his lungs like Biff
Tannen on steroids from “Back to The Future” HE ALONE CAN FIX THE PLANET, now known as Gotham.

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1. The Grio < http://thegrio.com/2016/07/21/melania-trumps-speech-the-guy-who-scooped-everybody/
>
2. Washington Post: < https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/donald-trump-alter-egobarron/2016/05/12/02ac99ec-16fe-11e6-aa55-670cabef46e0_story.html >
3. New York Times: < http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/us/politics/donald-trump-instituteplagiarism.html?_r=0 >
4. Snopes.com: < http://www.snopes.com/meredith-mciver-exists/ >
5. “When Prophesy Fails” Wikipedia <
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Festinger#When_Prophecy_Fails >
6. Simple Psychology: < http://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html >
7. Mike Lofgren – “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult,” <
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/3079:goodbye-to-all-that-reflections-of-a-gop-operative-wholeft-the-cult >
8. Mike Lofgren – “The Party is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the
Middle Class Got Shafted,” < http://www.mikelofgren.net/ >
9. Steve Hassan, “Combating Cult Mind Control,” <
https://freedomofmind.com/index.php/Media/bookCombatting.php >
10. Chicago Tribune: < http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-rnc-black-delegates20160719-story.html >
11. Slate: <
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/07/17/paul_ryan_posts_a_selfie_with_a_collection_of_
overwhelmingly_white_interns.html >
12. Politico: < http://www.politico.com/story/2012/11/my-semi-apology-to-nate-silver-084115 >
13. Karl Rove’s On-Air Meltdown: < https://youtu.be/9TwuR0jCavk >
14. Think Progress: < https://thinkprogress.org/indianas-economy-isn-t-the-conservative-success-storymike-pence-is-telling-a25ae94c73cb#.4ud8zwb42 >
15. CNN: < http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/07/politics/mike-pence-donald-trump-vp/ >

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16. The New Yorker: < http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwritertells-all >
17. About.com: < http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepolicy/p/NAFTA_History.htm >

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