The Trump Depression: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery Part II | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The Trump Depression: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery Part II

Nothing that happens in the summer matters

Sep 18, 2020 By Steve King Web Exclusive
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Where to begin…? Well, hey! We’ve got toilet paper back! It’ll come in handy while we’re all shitting ourselves to death with existential dread. Whether it’s the virus, the president’s failed attempts to start a race war, the coming election*, Trump’s secret police, or an increasingly lopsided economy, there’s plenty out there to send you running to the bathroom.

Summer of every election year is traditionally Silly Season. It’s a stupid whirlwind, a good time is had by all and no one remembers. Only the vibe lasts. This one? Not so much. Here we are. 200,000 Americans are dead in less than a year. Millions have been infected.

Americans are on more antidepressants and anxiety drugs than ever before and some are washing it down with glasses of bleach. Who could blame them? The president wanted the economy to reopen, and wouldn’t you know it? Florida, Arizona, Iowa, and Texas smashed New York’s infection numbers.

Trump, for his part, has done as much as he is capable, like touring a cotton swab factory without a mask, requiring the manufacturer to then destroy the day’s output. Or like when he toured another factory to “Live and Let Die,” ...Swear to god. As multiple vaccines were being developed, Russia (of course) tried to hack the information, and maybe got it! Not too many people are itching to get to a Trump-approved needle in their arm. A Putin shot? Maybe…

Aside from the politics of death, conspiracy theories, Russian misinformation, chaos, school reopenings (why the president would want all schools to open with no restrictions during a pandemic mere months before an election, I’ll never know), the partisan fights over masks, the armies of zombie Karens and Kens in stores, there is the economic reality of a depression to think about.

Trump’s failure has added up not only to a staggering body count, but also 1930s-level unemployment in the tens of millions. Small businesses are going under. Some of your favorite local restaurants, shops, and stores won’t make it. Short term layoffs will become permanent, uncertainty and caution are our new currency, wages have been frozen, and the wave of foreclosures, evictions, and bankruptcies is about to crest.

Into a once-in-a-lifetime global viral outbreak stumbled America’s white supremacy. With the police killings of Breonna Taylor (in her bed), George Floyd (crying “I can’t breathe” in 2020 with a cop’s knee on his throat), and hundreds more a year, the Central Park Bird Watching Incident, the mystery lynchings, and the targeted killing of Amaud Arbery, the country finally exploded. Primed by hundreds of years of racism and months of stay-at-home orders, the fire was already burning. Then Trump pissed gasoline all over it.

It’s one thing to have Black Lives Matter protests during Obama, a man who dedicated his life reconciling race, but it’s a whole other situation when the president is an unindicted criminal who just so happens to be a loudmouthed, imbecilic Nazi. Americans are still being criminalized and exterminated for the color of their skin while a white devil rampages through the White House… That was just a bridge too far.

The George Floyd protests were the broadest in U.S. history and did not result in any mass transmissions of the virus. Red states loosening their restrictions did. What followed the initial 2020 Black Lives Matter protests was the beginnings of a radical realignment in race relations. Protests spread across the globe as riots broke out throughout the country. Confederate or slave-owner statues were toppled by citizens all over the world. Police fired rubber bullets at protesters and journalists alike, set brick traps for protesters, plowed their vehicles through crowds, and generally let the mask slip. Cops took or destroyed protesters’ water bottles. The Flaming Elmo meme became a real thing. Police in Cincinnati lowered an American flag and flew the Blue Line Flag instead… which is a technical desecration of the flag, but those are only legal terms. They were finally revealed to the rest of the white world what had been obvious to Black America for generations: that cops are no different than racist militias, armed gangs, or occupying forces.

Even as more Americans were staying at home and crime went down, police-involved shootings went up, and when the moment came to actually lead, the president reverted to his oldest sustaining ideal: racism. After cities, police precincts, and property burned, the simpleton president, in his finite wisdom, just couldn’t help himself. He instigated protesters. Because that’s the thing you do when you’re a politician who’s never won a majority. The protests eventually led to fires and chants outside of the White House, and the president retreating to the underground bunker. No, no. Wait. He was inspecting it. I swear. He actually turned the lights off one night like a shameful, legless turtle, rotting on the beach.

Which then, of course, led him to one of his most craven, desperate, and pathetic displays of impotence so far in his political life: the tear gassing of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park. Watching it live took on an almost supernatural or profane air, made even worse by the fact that it was just a photo-op for the president to hold up an upside down bible, in a hail mary pass to shore up his slipping evangelical support. He later thanked himself on Twitter for his “overwhelming force.”

Anyway, Trump would then spend the summer advocating for the confederate flags and monuments, both of which he had never thought or cared about until 2016. But a traitor loves a traitor. He succeeded in getting K*nye W*st to violate campaign finance law, so that’s something. He’s really not even trying to hide the Nazi shit anymore. The First Lady was dressed up as a Nazi at the RNC, for fucks sake! He retweeted elderly people in golf carts screaming “white power,” and ran 88 jew-centric ads with 14 words in the first sentence; code for white supremacy and “Heil Hitler.” Because that’s exactly what the country needs right now.

It was a cruel summer. When the president wasn’t spewing slurred, mush-mouthed, racist tripe and casually endorsing the idiotic QAnon cult, or talking about how no one likes him, or soup riots, he was committing a felony in broad daylight by urging his supporters to vote twice in order to “test the system.” Kellyanne Conway and her husband were shamed out of politics by their own daughter. Even as the Conway family fell apart, Kellyanne still managed to spew some of the most vile, cynical, evil shit you’ve ever heard. Louie Gohmert almost infected an entire congressional committee. Smashmouth killed a bunch of people at Sturgis, no great loss. And the president cowered in a bunker Downfall-style. The Mercers pulled their support from Trump. He got into a fight with Sheldon Adelson. He’s running out of money. Trump was born just after the Nazis were defeated and entered politics as Osama Bin Laden was killed. He is a villain for the ages. The personal destruction he has caused can now only be measured by history. But… this is what happens when you elect a game show host as president.

With curfews imposed, American cities burning from coast to coast, and nearly 200,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, the U.S. has become a failed state, divided up by arbitrary factions, with millions unemployed, and deadly everyday interactions and an underlying hostility that overrides all other impulses of reason and moderation. America is a realm of madness in a permanent state of emergency. A failed emergency is the only state America knows anymore. Exceptionalism is dead and we’re finally just like everyone else. When President Trump is leaning on a monster like John Yoo for legal guidance, something has gone terribly, irreparably wrong. We used to say “the cruelty was the point,” but now that cruelty is seeking official legal cover. Fuck our lives.

The president does not deserve a second term but if we allow him to stay in office, we will. The summer of 2020 was a perfect storm. A confluence of unfortunate events that sent Americans into a convulsion of disruption not seen since the 1960s. We have reached the “fear and loathing” phase of the Trump administration. If we reaffirm this level of evil, then we have reached the point of no return. We will be a condemned people, living a twilight existence. How did we let such a stupid, silly person whip everyone into such hysterics?

As the country crossed bloody milestone after bloody milestone this summer, the politics of death has taken on a different tone lately. Not a different meaning, necessarily, but a strange tone. It was all rhetorical before. Now, it’s beating down your door.

When something resembling traditional campaigning resumed, the president was cheered by a crowd for successfully walking down a ramp and drinking water. He denied having mini-strokes that no one asked about and told a crowd he doesn’t talk about his own ass.

Sooooo…….. The conventions were weird. When Trump insisted on his White Power Hour Junetheen celebration, in Tulsa, of all places, and Herman Cain was straight chillin’ without a mask, then spent a month in the hospital and died, his undead web presence started telling people how totally not dangerous COVID-19 was. Trump killed Herman Cain and nobody batted an eye! Lol. Both were well-made conventions centered around two daffy sillypuss nominees. The use of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” during the RNC was not only tonally wrong, as long as the audience didn’t listen to the lyrics; it was a crime and a demonic bloody sacrament which will never be forgotten. Cohen died the same week as the 2016 election.

The president has committed many crimes against music but this was the most profane. To be honest, Biden’s Spotify list is not too bad. It’s definitely campaign music to fuck to. That might be that whole shaabang right there. Campaigns that fuck are campaigns that win! And while the 2020 RNC was a ghoulish spectacular Jonestown-style shitshow, it was still kind of cool to see a president give an acceptance speech at the White House. From a political junkies’ point of view, it was as cool as it was illegal. Ever seen a State of the Union speech? Yeah, presidents do whatever they want to the Hatch Act. I guess the RNC was convincing for the people that needed no convincing, but at least they didn’t try to hide it with some ridiculous accoutrement, like say… I don’t know… a party platform. But party platforms are for actual political parties. The Republican Party is a terrorist organization. I mean, when a member of the Bin Laden family endorses Trump, it’s a pretty good indicator of where things stand.

I’m excited to see the future of political party conventions, though. The 2020 DNC was a legitimate tear-jerker a couple times. Obama warned America again (!) that the roof was on fire. Biden gave a speech so good it slapped me in the mouth through the TV. And my cop-goddess and once, future, always queen Kamala Harris killed it dead. She helped Biden have the greatest fundraising month of all time and balanced his ticket with exactly what it needed.

Things couldn’t be more serious right now, and the president is talking up people who are into alien DNA and demon sperm, and coming up with Antifa Planes, as if any antifacist could pilot an aircraft, “dark shadows” (jews), coup attempts, and other things that “are under investigations.” The president then kinda sorta supported a kid who had just killed two BLM protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

All the president has left is to whip up the racism of his base and prime them for what they think is the coming second civil war. His record is disastrous. We’ve already seen the “Pop-up Civil Wars.” Trump is the Pandemic President. We were all waiting for that one big indefensible fuckup. And boy did we get it. Finally a stain that can never wash out. It’s just a shame it killed mostly minorities who definitely didn’t vote for him. But that’s the way evil works, right? When you call down the thunder, you have to deal with the lightning.

Biden’s heart may be in the right place, even if his head is up his own ass, but sweet jumpin jahosafat, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, this really feels like the end sometimes. Like we’re seeing clips of what the Before Times used to feel like. This is The End. The Bitter End. You cannot escape that feeling of complete bleak despair. We’re all burnt out beyond all recognition, scared, angry, cooped-up, and ready to fight and fuck. We know the president will try to rush a vaccine before the election. We know he will try to declare victory before all of the votes are counted. Professional sports teams are planning to turn their stadiums into voting locations. Militias will be patrolling others. We’re right on the edge of democracy.

That is the Trump Depression. Trapped in your home, scared to go out as the world is destroyed around you. The dread of knowing that if the election won’t just be hacked by Russians (they’re still playing with Americans’ minds, btw), that the president is actively trying to subvert mail-in voting, that there will be inevitable recount that results in near civil war, and the only thing that can make it better, or worse, will be a five to four Supreme Court ruling sometime in December. November, if we’re lucky.

John Lewis is dead. Chadwick Boseman is dead. All our heroes are dead and our enemies are in power. Labor Day marks the end of the summer and beginning of the end of the general election. This Summer of Evil can only lead to a Fall of Suffering. With an election in Scorpio season that falls at the end of mercury in retrograde, you better start getting scared right now.

We are in the nightmare scenario. The Attorney General is covering for the demented, racist, Nazi president as he prepares to cheat in another election, while at the same time sending secret police into protesting cities and snatching up demonstrators. Police are still killing unarmed black men, and when communities protest, the president then encourages militias and gun-humpers to attack the protesters. You thought you elected Heath Ledger’s Joker; what you got was Joaquin Phoenix. This is it. It’s almost over. Early voting has already begun in some states, the debates are within sight… it’s the end of summer and we’re running out of ice.

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