When Did I Become Such a Mean Son of a Bitch?
by Joe Buonfiglio
“You really need to be a nicer person in 2017, Joe.” These words came across my phone’s speaker from one of my brothers today. “You’re way too angry.”
A scant few days earlier, my own beloved wife said, “Just give them the facts and let those facts speak for themselves. You can’t go around calling all of our Trump-supporting family and friends ‘Fascists’ and ‘dumbasses’ just because they voted for Trump.”
If I see Trump as much of a danger as Hitler and the Republicans as responsible for him as the Nazi Party was for Adolf in the ’30s and ’40s, don’t I have a responsibility to rail against them? Isn’t my anger justified?
So after blowing up with a few choice FUCK-based expletive interjections along the way that found me sleeping on the couch (yet again), I calmed my rather rotund ass down and pondered her point.
Had my “When they go low, I’m going lower!” approach rendered myself an ineffectual debater? Was I merely preaching to the proverbial choir; that may make me feel better, but it doesn’t really forward my cause by changing the “hearts and minds” of rural white America in the “flyover states.” Am I being as dismissive of their concerns as they are of the (majority of) Americans who voted against Trump?
Yes. I believe I am.
I do need to be a “kinder, gentler” Joe in 2017. I need to persuade my Trumpian opponents with cogent, alternative points that appeal to their intelligence, not attack the combed-over corporeal representation of their concerns in a contemptuous manner.
I need to be … well …. NICER.
There are a lot of angry white men out there. I should understand that. I’m an angry white man. I might just be the ANGRIEST white man of all. Although, I was smart enough to see through a P. T. Barnum con man like Donald Trump and not vote for the fucking sleaze-bucket! What kind of fucking moron do you have to be to be taken in by this fucking piece of shit?! Wasn’t the fact that every white supremacist group supported the same candidate as you any kind of a fucking red flag that maybe you were backing a fucking bigoted Fascist?! Or is that just the kind of wink-and-a-nod dog whistle you were looking for to join the other crackers in their Army of the Dumbasses’ coalition to bring American democracy to its knees in an all-out war against decency, you fucking—
Yeah. I know.
O-kay. Well, this “nicer” thing is going to be a liiiiiiiiiiittle bit harder than I thought. But to quote Samuel L. Motherfucker Jackson in Pulp Fiction, “But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.”
© 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.
All photos are © 2017 Joseph P. Buonfiglio with All Rights Reserved.