There’s a guy I met a few years ago who, it turned out, had worked with some people I’ve done business with in the past. We shared a few war stories and have since had lunch together on a few occasions. Last month he called me with a business proposition and invited me over to see his new place and the ongoing projects there. After putting him off for as long as could be considered polite, I called him last week and we met at his house.
After the normal bullshit and small talk he told me his plans had changed and we wouldn’t be working together. I told him I didn’t care one way or another and it was good to, at least, see the new place. Then, after seeing some of the improvements and hearing about his current and future projects, he said: “What did you think of the Mueller report? I have a feeling you might see it differently than me.”
Actually, that turn in our conversation took me by surprise. Or, rather, perhaps I was merely surprised I didn’t see it coming. In truth, I had hoped to avoid politics. Yet, as soon as he asked me the question, I knew he was libtarded. In retrospect, I think I always knew. And, from the first moment I saw him standing in the doorway that day, I could tell he was agitated. Of course he was all smiles and laughter right up until he broached the Mueller report, I could see beneath his salesman’s shtick, that his eyes were angry. It could have been from anything. But just then it became obvious.
I paused for a moment, sizing him up. He was middle-aged. Caucasian. Buzz-cut, but mostly bald. A little shorter than me. Stocky like a bulldog.
I replied: “It all has a sense of theater, don’t ya’ think?”
And then the rant started.
I listened but, inwardly, did have a feeling of schadenfreud-esquesatisfaction. Even so, there was no way in hell I wanted to actively red-pill the guy. He was too far gone and it’s too late for him anyway. Or maybe I just didn’t give a shit. I’m still not sure.
So my mind wandered as I looked out the large windows feeling a little like Freddy Krueger on Friday the 13th or Michael Myers on Halloween. Or maybe Chucky at a toy convention. Before long though, his voice pulled me away from my rosy reveries as I heard him say, “But you don’t care about that, do you?”
“About what?” I asked.
“Russia. You don’t care that Trump is controlled by Russia. That doesn’t bother you at all, does it.” In looking at his intense frown, and since his intonation descended on the word “it”, I knew it wasn’t a question.
Then, it hit me.
He was trying to red-pill me! In his own way, that is. I mean, in his mind, all of those DNC inspired “red-alert” e-mails and Rachel Maddow could not have been wrong over the last two years, right?
Now it was getting fun. I said, “Trust me, Bud. Trump may be controlled but it ain’t by Russia”.
“Who’s controlling him then?”
Almost as an afterthought, I near whispered the following:
“Well, you know…., Dwight Eisenhower warned about the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell speech and JFK spoke of the secret societies before he was assassinated. You know… Carrol Quigley wrote about the round-table groups in his book ‘Tragedy and Hope’. You know… the global financial elite.”
He studied me with a puzzled look on his face. Then, as he walked over to pour himself some more coffee, he said, “But what about Trump. What do you think of Trump?”
“I think he just might be a distraction,” said I.
“Like watching a movie on plane that’s about to crash. Or maybe like a reality TV show.”
“Well Trump would be perfect for that, wouldn’t he?” he exclaimed.
“Hey listen,” he added, “I’m not trying to be jerk here and I’m not challenging what you believe because I don’t even know what you believe. I’m not sure where you’re at with all this.”
“I’ll tell you what I do know,” I replied. “We’re a nation divided. I mean, if you watch MSNBC and Fox News on any given night it’s like two trains going in opposite directions… and a divided nation won’t stand.”
He was staring at me intently, so I continued. “There are those on one side who desire one world under dreams of peace and harmony and others who value their nation, their culture, and their flag.”
As soon as I said flag, his face puckered a little, like he ate something sour. Then he said:
“But we are a racist nation. Racism is still a huge problem in America.”
At first I thought about mentioning Oprah Winfrey and Jussie Smollett, as well as Tiger Woods’ recent win at the Masters, but decided it might appear to him as being condescending; like when rednecks talk about having black friends. So I went in different direction instead.
“That’s the thing…,” I said, “I’ve always been for the working man. Main Street over Wall Street. Trump was for the working man, right? But the Democrats, now they’re only interested in genitalia and skin color. It’s all about identity politics nowadays, ya’ know?”
He looked at me and quipped, “You may be right about that”.
I continued. “Everything is now left-right … like a football game… red versus blue and blue versus red. They’re down on the field and we’re all watching TV and choosing sides. But you know who I’m looking at mostly?”
“Who?” he asked.
“The guys over on the side of the field wearing sunglasses and standing by the Humvee with the assault rifles slung over their shoulders.”
He laughed. “You know…, the way you were talking earlier I was thinking you’re a conspiracy theorist!”
I thought to myself: Just like clockwork. Every damn time. It NEVER fails.
And I smiled right back at him.
“But aren’t you the one who said Trump was controlled by Russia? Hell! Even Bob Mueller doesn’t believe that. Yet you do. So tell me, who’s the conspiracy theorist here?”
I could tell he didn’t like that direction in the conversation and he quickly changed the subject. “Who do you think will win the Democratic nomination? A lot of people think it will be Biden, but I hope it’s not him”.
“Do you think Biden will run?” I asked.
“Absolutely. I do. But I hope it’s not him or Bernie,” said he.
I laughed. “It would be fun to watch Trump run against either one. Not sure if he would have beat Bernie in 2016 though.”
“No way,” he replied.
In responding to that, I said: “And that’s another thing, it was like Hillary was destined to win the primaries, ya know?”
He nodded. “Yeah. I know.”
“Worst presidential candidate ever,” I added with a wry smile and watched his expression.”
He frowned. “But the thing about Trump is that he’s not presidential. He’s a con man. There’s so many better Republicans than him.”
“Yeah,” I responded, “But that’s kind of the nature of the beast, nowadays, huh?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know…, reality TV.”
“Oh. Yeah,” he mumbled.
I continued. “Well, I think we’re pretty close in age, so we both grew up at the tail end of Norman Rockwell’s America…”
Then, he interrupted me: “Actually, I think I’m older than you. How old are you?”
I told him.
He said, “Yeah, I’m five years older than you”.
“Really?” I replied. “That’s bizarre.”
“Why is that?” he asked.
I said, “Because you seem kind of immature.”
First, he frowned, before his eyes met mine and he seemed pissed. Then he burst into laughter, leaning his head back.
I was laughing too and noticed his eyes were smiling for the first time.
After a few seconds, he asked me: “You really don’t think the Russians helped to elect Trump?”
I responded: “No, I don’t believe it happened.”
At that, a shadow crossed his face. He couldn’t understand that. He shook his head, literally, staring at me like I was an alien life-form.
I said, “Look…, I realize many people believe that and Robert Mueller even said as much in his report. But, at the same time, there are many others who believe a sitting president spied on a presidential candidate. In fact, there is more proof of FISA abuse and the intelligence sting that was called ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ than Russian election hacking. And all of that makes Watergate pale in comparison.”
He simply shook his head and, with a dismissive wave of his right hand, he said: “Bring it on.”
“I guess we’ll have to wait and see,” I said. “Time will tell, right?”.
We bantered a little more and then I left.
At the time, it seemed right to go easy on him. There would have been no benefit to us yelling at each other that day and, besides, he wouldn’t have believed anything I would have told him and vice versa. Looking back though, if I could have done anything differently, I would have asked him how he thought the Mueller investigation started in the first place since no collusion was discovered by Mueller; even if only to hear his answer.
I’d also like to think it was a good start and that maybe more opportunities will become available in the near future to continue the conversation. But, at the same time, I don’t care either way. Because, honestly, we are on different tracks and traveling in opposite directions.
* * *
(That was the end until I added the following:)
A few days after our meeting, I began to recall how the dude was so upset that I didn’t care that our president was Putin’s stooge. Here this guy is flying upside down with his head up his ass and not knowing north from south. And he thought I was the idiot. Me.
And then I realized – when the economy crashes, this guy is going to believe Trump did it on purpose to take America down. What will our conversations be like then?
Now, a week later, I’m thinking to hell with that guy.
Then, today, I learned from Newsweek magazine how the longest-serving GOP member of the Iowa Legislature announced he’s changing parties to become a Democrat. Why? Because of Trump’s “unprecedented divisiveness”.
This, on the heels of Republican Senator Mittens Romney of Utah declaring he was “sickened” by the Mueller Report’s findings; and none other than Hillary Rodham Clinton informally advising the U.S. House on impeaching Donald Trump.
What is happening to our nation? It’s unexplainable.