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So there’s this 26 year old punk named Charlie Kirk, described as a “conservative activist”, which these days means he’s a lying, pig-ignorant, right wing reactionary and oh-so-fervent culture warrior. Back when he was all of 18 he leveraged his lifetime of experience and hard-won wisdom to found something called “Turning Point USA”, a student group set up to promote the Republican/Evangelical agenda on campus and fight the good fight against academia’s insufferable liberal bias, as reflected in the endless reams of left wing propaganda that get passed off as “history”, “political science” and “biology” at your average university. Over the years, the customary stink of controversies around racism, rabid conspiracy theories, anti-semitism, and, inevitably, sexual assault and harassment, has hovered over the group’s activities, the details of which you can look up if you care enough to get into it – I just can’t.

It seems Kirk first got his nose out of joint when his application to West Point was rejected, which to his way of thinking could only have been the result of brutally unfair affirmative action policies that forced the Army to choose a less qualified person of colour, likely a woman, and since then he’s been in a perma-snit about the Libtards and their famously relentless program to destroy the American Way of Life. Liberty University – the evangelical bootcamp founded by Jerry Falwell, from which Jerry Junior was just ejected for various forms of sexual impropriety – granted him an honorary doctorate in, well, in something, I’m guessing not particle physics, and lately he’s set himself up as the head of a new organization called Students for Trump, which aims to recruit a million Brownshirts students to work on Donald’s re-election campaign. This is him:

There’s gotta be some kind of grift going on with this guy, just on general principles, but he sure is White, so for now he’s a rising star, and he showed up last night at the Republican National Convention to help set the tone:

We may have not realized it at the time, but Trump is the bodyguard of Western civilization…Trump was elected to protect our families from the vengeful mob that seeks to destroy our way of life, our neighborhoods, schools, churches and values. President Trump was elected to defend the American way of life.

The bodyguard of Western civilization.

In the context of the shrill, shrieking horror of last night’s cavalcade o’ speakers, this was par for the course, even relatively mild stuff. I didn’t watch the festivities at any length, of course, but I gather from the post-game hi-light reel that the evening was dedicated to the following propositions:

  • The Democrats are Godless Commies.
  • Joe Biden is a senile tool of the Godless Commies who pull his strings.
  • The Democrats despise God.
  • The Democrats will assault all forms of liberty, free speech, and capitalist endeavour, while undermining the rule of law.
  • The Democrats will abolish the suburbs.
  • They’ll take your guns! They’ll take your guns!
  • It was Donald’s swift and decisive action which stemmed the tide of Covid.
  • Donald is the last bulwark between decent folk and the destruction of all life and personal property by rampaging mobs.
  • Joe Biden is a bigot who hates Black people.
  • Don’t even get me started on that Harris woman.
  • Donald loves all people of colour, which is why their lives are so much better now than when that Commie Obama ran things.
  • You will not survive a Biden administration. All of you watching will literally be murdered in your beds as America devolves into a lawless Hellscape fostered by Democratic Commies and their Commie ideas.
  • Hi, I’m Nikki Haley and I’m running for President in 2024.

One after another, they marched to the podium and screamed into the empty void, a few of them, particularly Donald Junior and his girlfriend, an erstwhile Fox News personality named Kimberly Guilfoyle, seemingly fried on cocaine and Adderall. Nobody could stop talking today about Guilfoyle, the evening’s undoubted star, whose show-stopping number was likened by the wags on Twitter to a comedy improv bit in which Cher played Eva Perón auditioning for the lead in Wicked. One of the MSNBC pundits cracked to Brian Williams that he turned down the sound and opened the window, the better to hear her screeching from where he sat, 1,500 miles distant. Have a look!

There are several more nights of this to go, until everybody named Trump has had a kick at the rhetorical can, and then follows what seems certain to be sixty-odd days’ worth of the most vicious, deceitful, excruciating and thoroughly disheartening political campaign in the annals of deranged demagoguery. That even one person in a thousand is enough of a brainstem to fall for this batshit craziness would be grounds to abandon all hope, and in America it’s ballpark four out of ten. The gleeful ease with which these charlatans and cheats manage to spoon-feed their poison to the eager masses, and the long line of them that cued up last night to do so, seems proof, at this point, that the fever won’t break just because Donald is laid waste in November, supposing he is, and supposing the Army sides with the Constitution if he refuses to go anyway. Trumpism doesn’t die with Trump. Nikki Haley will grab the torch, or maybe, God save us, Donald Junior will take a run at it, if Ivanka doesn’t have ideas of her own. Last night wasn’t about 2020, not really. It was about 2024.

Donald is just a symptom. Four years of Joe Biden, should we be lucky enough to get them, can’t possibly cure what’s wrong with America. If, somehow, despite the voter suppression, disruption of the post office, Russian interference, and general cheating, Trump does lose, the Republicans will just go back to the playbook from the Obama years, obstruct everything, thwart all progress, and prepare for the next round. Come 2024, they’ll sell the hoofed ungulates of America’s massive herd of gulli-bulls the old story that everything is the fault of the lousy do-nothing Dems, who are, don’t let’s forget, Godless Commies who hate freedom.

There’s what looks to be a bottomless well of atavistic terror and White grievance where the GOP can always go to dip its bucket and haul up the next load of fresh-faced Charlie Kirks. It’s not going to run dry in January 2021, regardless. It might take generations to win this fight. It may never be over, or maybe it’s over already and we lost. After last night, that’s about as optimistic as I get.

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