So how about Brazil, huh?
I was very poor growing up, in a relatively upper middle class neighborhood in a fairly affluent town. Don't ask me how my parents swung that, but the upshot of being so destitute was the other kids didn't want anything to do with me. And that's both the neighborhood kids and the ones at school. My mother, a sub-5' Italian woman who used to be very quick to anger, basically forced the parents on my block to make their kids play with me.
Despite all the things my childhood lacked, I had an incredibly huge ego and an overdeveloped sense of superiority. I was entitled as fuck, despite not having any of the things that make a person that way. The way this manifested was if we neighborhood kids were playing a game – Monopoly, basketball, video games – I was the best at it.
Was I actually the best? No, of course not. But that possibility never occurred to my unreasonably pretentious mind.
So the natural question that arises is: say the score was 4-2 in favor of the other team, how did I reconcile that?
Simple. I accused the other kids of cheating, threw the basketball into another person's yard, and declared myself the winner.
What a great way for an outcast to make a good impression, right? But my mother kept making the parents have me over.
If I lost at Combat, then the game was rigged and/or the other player was cheating. I turned off the Atari and threw the controller on the ground.
In my young mind, it was inconceivable that I could lose. Impossible. But the facts were that I did, indeed, lose. Throwing a tantrum didn't change that, it just meant my mother had to be a jerk to the neighbors.
Anyway, my "adventures" as an eight year-old asshole should sound incredibly familiar. Uncomfortably familiar. Because that's literally – not figuratively – how conservatives are acting. And not just U.S. conservatives. This post was sparked by the results of Brazil's election.
It was pretty clear early on that Jair Bolsonaro was going to cause trouble. According to some news reports (which I have no way to verify) there was a massive effort to suppress Brazil's liberal voters in the areas where Lula was favored. And, now that Lula has been declared the winner, the world will hold their breath waiting to see:
Will Bolsonaro contest the results? Will he claim massive voter fraud without a shred of actual evidence ala Donald Trump? Will he refuse to concede? Will there be a peaceful transfer of power to the incoming administration?
This underscores our elections next week. I think the most high profile example is Arizona, where Kari Lake has outright stated she won't accept the results unless she wins. It's puerile behavior, as I've illustrated above, and yet she'll get away with it (even if she loses and becomes just another voice in the "rigged election" crowd).
And the analog to my mother in this situation – at least, in the U.S. – is the Republican party. They have the power to take these candidates off the ballot or, in cases where they don't, they can refuse to endorse and run someone else.
But they don't.
They don't even really address the temper trantrums of people like Trump and Lake, and instead make us keep having to play street hockey with these fucking babies.
I don't have a good parallel for how to solve this, by the way. My life sucked until my parents finally got above water during my junior year of high school. I was a little piece of crap until then, and it's an honest miracle that was I was able to recognize my behavior, let alone act to prevent it.
I really don't know how we fix people older than me acting like I did when I was ten.