For the last few months, I have been mulling over a new debate tactic: agreement. Yes, you heard that right.
But not just agreeing; agreeing with the far-right and then turning their own conspiracy theory on its head.
Let’s take gun violence. The shiny, new MAGA Speaker of the House Mike Johnson says that gun violence isn’t due to guns. Forget Occam’s Razor! It’s because of legalized abortion (e.g., “When you break up the nuclear family, when you tell a generation of people that life has no value, no meaning, then you do wind up with school shooters”). Or teaching evolution (e.g., “Because we’ve taught a whole generation — a couple of generations now — of Americans, that there’s no right or wrong, that it’s about survival of the fittest, and you evolve from the primordial slime. Why is that life of any sacred value? Because there’s nobody sacred to whom it’s owed”). Or no-fault divorce, which apparently leads to mass shootings where AR-15-wielding young men head “into their schoolhouse and open fire on their classmates.”
Well, if coincidence implies causality, I know the real reason for mass shootings! Obviously, it’s the twice-divorced, adulterous, criminally-inclined Donald J. Trump!
Haven’t you, too, noticed that mass shootings have increased geometrically since Trump descended the golden elevator in 2015? When you have a leader (surely, he must be the Beast of the Apocalypse, no? After all, isn’t the MAGA cap the mark of the Beast?) who eschews any independent sense of right and wrong, what do you expect? You have millions of people for whom life has no meaning other than the welfare of Donald J. Trump, for whom nothing else — not children’s lives, not the lives of the immunocompromised, not the lives of the elderly — has any sacred value.
Is it any wonder that troubled, impressionable young Joe Rogan viewers will shoot up malls, schools, parades, maybe even bowling alleys? Trump has created the sort of amoral morass in which such violence can breed. And it’s not as if God Himself hasn’t given us a hint as to how He feels about the disgraced former president; after all, the Almighty sent a literal plague to smite America during the Trump presidency. You can’t show your displeasure in more a direct manner.
So, when Thanksgiving and Christmas rolls around, have fun with this line of argument. And the upside is that, if they fume, you can look wide-eyed and innocent and say, “But Uncle Festus, I’m agreeing with you about amorality! Geez, you’re never satisfied!”