Sunday, February 3, 2019

What's the Reverse of Loyalty?

     For the last several years, it's as if the ageless Tom Brady has had a standing invitation to the Super Bowl. This is, after all, the Patriots' third consecutive trip to the Big Game representing the AFC. And, as it so happens, a lot of AFC fans who didn't get to see their team go to Atlanta are squeezing their sour grapes and drinking its juice as they become Rams fans for one day only. Because it's not about seeing the Rams winning. The Patriots must lose.
     And we Americans are very adept at doing that- pretending to root for someone or something when what we're really doing is hating on someone else, however rationally or irrationally. This is why an incurious, ignorant oaf like Donald Trump got elected over two years ago- It wasn't so much pro-Trump votes as anti-Clinton votes that put him in a White House that he'd wasted no time calling "a dump."
     And now, those who'd voted for him, save for the occasional apostate who's profiled on Raw Story (You know the type- They lost their job or their land along the southern border because of Trump's ruinous, insane policies, are stuck making whiny excuses as to why they voted for Trump and now feel cheated while the rest of us point our fingers and say "Ha ha!" like so many Nelson Muntz's), will withstand anything short of personal ruin and sometimes will even withstand that and stick by their man. But for the 37% dead-enders, it's not about Trump or the welfare of the nation- It's about saving face by not admitting they were hoodwinked.
     Given proper incentive, such as hatred and a firm belief in old, discredited conspiracy theories, why, anyone will actually want to see what those in power want us to see or to at least distrust our very eyes. And if you squint hard enough, those Rams jerseys will begin to look like your team's, even if you're not so familiar with the names and faces. It's like Winston Smith on O'Brien's torture table at MiniTru. I want to disbelieve my eyes.
     As Trump himself had fumed so many times when one former staffer or another turns on him in a lurid, tell-all book, we have lost the value of loyalty and are, instead content to practice that pernicious analogue of it, which is reverse loyalty or more accurately blind hatred, even if it means shoring up that hatred with long-discredited old conspiracy theories, such as Deflategate and Vince Foster's murder. Hating on someone or something takes a lot less mental energy than supporting someone because, well, that would require mental energy and cognitive faculties that we're just not exercising, anymore.
     But, regardless of for whom you'll be rooting this evening, one fact remains clear-
     It seems more of us are more up in arms over a discredited conspiracy theory regarding deflated footballs than we are over a billionaire who cheated by colluding with the Russian government to win the presidency. And Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady aren't capable of starting a nuclear war or crashing the economy.
     And at least the Patriots earned every one of their Lombardi trophies.

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