In the scene, one of the characters looks out his office window at the streets of the city and ponders what he sees in relation to the big attack that is taking place about 200 miles away.
In the original version, the streets are empty--everyone is staying home. All along, something has bothered me just slightly about that scene, though, and yesterday I realized what it was.
I changed it tonight; instead, the streets are bustling, full of business as usual. The character, instead of thinking disgustedly about how people will be watching the skies, exposing themselves to danger, is instead thinking about the lack of concern the people show, how they're not watching the skies, but instead worrying more about their daily lives than a war which is far away.
There's nothing like experience. This is why they always advise people to "write what you know".
Looking at my coworkers, at the people around me--none of them seems concerned about the stolen election, the gangsters banding together to disenfranchise a nation, the patriotic invasion of the Capitol, the treasonous attempts to unseat the President. Of course it's politics, which is a touchy subject, but I haven't heard anyone even mention it. No one has even said something like, "Man, that crap in DC--"
Even myself, when having a light chat about the new year, sidestepped the subject. "Polite company" and so forth, you know? I could sense that the other party in that conversation was waiting to see if I said anything--this was all in the context of 2020 having been a crappy year, so it would have been perfectly natural for one of us to say, "Yeah, and it's looking like 2021 won't be any better!" But neither of us said it.
And like my character, I find myself marveling at it. "Don't they understand the danger?"
Richard Feynman talks about watching people going about their daily lives, having been one of the select few Americans to witness the detonation of an atomic bomb, and he talked about how crazy he thought they were, to expend all that effort doing the things they were doing, when it was all just going to be blown up in a nuclear war, sooner or later; but at the end of that bit, he admitted that they had been right and he had been wrong.
The day-to-day business goes on. People need to eat. They need to pay for food and shelter and clothing, which means they need to go to work to earn money, and who's running the show, a thousand miles away from here, is virtually irrelevant. And so the smart ones are the people who go to work and do their jobs and come home and hug their spouses and follow their normal routines. Because regardless of how this thing turns out, most people aren't going to notice--much--that anything has really changed.
* * *
I vacillate between optimism and pessimism. Too many of my posts of late have been pessimistic, so let's look at this optimistically for a moment.
Let's just start from the premise that the Democrats are successful in their attempt to steal the entire government. The simple fact is that America is a large nation. It's huge, and it's full of individualists, people who only really want to be left alone to do what they feel like doing, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone.
When I consider it, I don't know that they can do what they want to do, not really. I mean, they can pass laws, but what if the states decide not to listen? Do the Democrats have the capability to enforce federal laws on unwilling states?
All the Democrats could do would be to send in troops to arrest the politicians of those states and install a junta. I don't doubt that they'd do it--but what would be the result? The first time, maybe the second, possibly a third, they'd get away with it...but as they kept doing it, sooner or later the people would balk. And would the first state knuckle under, or would they meet the troops with troops of their own? In which case you have an actual civil war, a shooting war. Are they confident that the people won't resist? Are they confident they could win such a conflict every time (which is what they'd have to do to maintain their power)? I'm not convinced they could even win the first one.
The Democrats can certainly stack the deck against challengers. They're going to pack the Supreme Court, they're going to make DC and Puerto Rico into states, they're going to shove Green New Deal and ObamaCare-MAX8 down our throats, and they're going to ban guns and curtail freedom of speech and tax churches and do everything else in the leftist playbook. (I'm certain that a lot of them are furiously masturbating over the idea right now, in fact.)
But can they enforce it? Can they make a nation obey, which saw half of itself so callously disenfranchised?
Their power is centered in a very small area of the country. They have an army, but that army cannot take and hold the vast area which had its votes flushed down the toilet. The spirit of the American people is such that if they try the usual leftist horseshit, I don't think it will work.
To borrow a phrase, they can stomp on some of the faces all of the time, or all of the faces some of the time; but they cannot stomp on all of the faces all of the time. The army would have to grow to ten--twenty--times its current size just to keep a lid on "flyover country", and I honestly don't think they could manage it even so. And they can't get there without conscription, which means drafting people aged 18-25, which pushes a hell of a lot of people into the "who do these fuckers think they are?" camp.
I have lost all faith in our government; it's been seized by gangsters. I've lost faith in the political party that I formerly supported, to the point that I believe I'll take the step of changing my party affiliation (to "Independent") because it, too, has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is composed wholly of gangsters.
But I have not lost faith in the American people. Ultimately the nation is its people, not the criminals and lunatics who seek to run it. In truth, they cannot put us all in jail, and if seventy-four million people disappeared I do not think the remainder could fail to notice, and grow concerned, about it.
If they anger the enormous area of the country which did not vote for them, can they stop them from acting? Can they keep the power and gas and food and materiel flowing into the blue strongholds, when it must pass through vast stretches of red territory? When, indeed, much of it originates there?
I don't think they can.
I think the American left has made a grievous error in planning their strategy. They think that because the right has not acted, that it won't act. They think that because an escalating series of provocations--including tearing down statues--did not elicit a response, that the right wing is unwilling to respond, that it's too weak to respond.
They have mistaken forebearance for weakness.
That's why the legislature was frightened out of its wits on Wedesday. They saw the gathering of Trump supporters and dismissed it: "Ahh, those pussies again. Ha! What are they going to do?" They were not laughing after the patriots entered the building; and as they cowered under their desks while the patriots walked between velvet ropes, took selfies, and chanted and cheered, and while their hired guns murdered a young woman in cold blood, they struggled not to piss themselves. They were frightened out of their wits that the patriots had done something they did not ordinarily do.
And having been given a mild taste of it, they still don't understand that if--when!--the right wing reacts, it will not be a calm and measured response. It will not be proportionate to the provocation. Some time in the next few months--if Trump is cast aside and Biden installed, if Trump does not pull out a victory--then there will come some provocation from the left, and the right will annihiliate the agents provocateur.
There is still time to stop this, of course. Any moment up until the beginning of the inauguration on the 20th, the left could stop this by admitting their misdeeds and calling for a new, honest election, where everyone must submit a photo ID to vote, in person, on paper ballots. There would be a lot of people going to jail but the American left would survive to fight another day, though it would be the undoing of decades of work and a huge setback for them.
But they think total victory is in their grasp, and seeing it so tantalizingly close, they now are disregarding the greatest dangers, right under their noses. They think they have won when they are merely close to winning; and that arrogance may cost them everything they have worked for over the past century.
I believe President Trump has a plan, that he had one all along, and that everything that is being done was expected (in one way or another) and accounted for. The fact that we have heard little to nothing from him is not worrisome, because at the moment there is nothing he needs to say. The time for talk is over; now is the time for action.
And remember: the Democrats are not confident. They are frightened to incontinence by the idea of Donald J. Trump remaining President for even a few more days.
Take heart in this. Our watchwords are Courage and Faith.