Many of the people I know -- not just here in this town but through other contacts all over the world -- did not want to know what Trump et al were up to and still do not want to know. They only need one of the three monkeys -- the one with the bag over its head. They got rid of the cooperatives because they were too much work and they sold the town waterworks (that was in Missoula) because it's smart to let other people do the work.
Now they confirm that Trump, as he boasts, could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it simply through denial.
We SAW what Mueller was documenting, possibly with videos but certainly with sound recordings and photographs. We SAW that Trump was in Putin's pocket. We SAW that his hairdo, even though cleverly devised is now growing almost too thin even for that and is sometimes dyed strange colors. We SAW how demonic his "angry face" is. We heard how his staff is afraid to tell him bad news because he storms and blames. Now we pretend we didn't.
Did all this drive the conscientious opposition underground? To some degree, I think the answer is yes, but they didn't have to struggle to do it with the people who didn't want to know, who didn't think anything would REALLY happen because all that political stuff is fake. For many years "politics" has been delegated to a class invented by money whose "price" is being labeled not wicked but sordid. Not just in Washington DC. And not suddenly.
I started out on the rez teaching, which was gerrymandered to prevent outrage, so that some students who could not meet standards for graduation were allowed to go through the ceremony, receive an empty box and a handshake, and then stand with the others for the gifts meant to congratulate achievement. There was little difference from the true graduates except the lack of education. This has progressed until a recent story was about several -- SEVERAL -- valedictorians of their class who had gone to college -- not Harvard but a state college -- and found that they couldn't do the work because they had not been taught necessary things.
In the Sixties I heard a state professor say in the face of criticism, that it didn't matter whether his "Indian" students learned anything because they would never get jobs doing anything but teaching other "Indians." People assumed because I (white) was teaching on a rez, I must be unqualified elsewhere. They might have been right, but plenty of "Indian" students just learned anyway. All the while schools elsewhere were being "normed" down, they were "norming" up.
But here in town (300 people) we had a mayor who won but couldn't remember the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. He was totally dependent on the clerk, who already had enough work to do. Finally he rather transparently moved his office into the Boy Scout room, saying he was willing to "share" and some people woke up. He moved elsewhere.
In other small towns across Montana the athletic program far outweighs the learning curriculum and the superintendent is well aware that only if the kids "take state" has he got a job. Not only that, but a cloud of monetary peripherals depend upon it: photos of the teams, expensive uniforms, highly technical helmets that don't prevent concussions, a floor for the gym that costs a fortune to maintain, hours and days of stressful bus travel to games across a vast state in weather that's sometimes as dangerous as outer space.
In Portland, OR, I've worked for the county and the city, in situations of high ris in the 70's, like animal control law enforcement or leaving City Hall after work into police roundups of drug dealing gangs who held the bus at gunpoint. Behind the scenes were accidents and missteps that were covered up. Little money- draining schemes and stress-produced violence or self-harm.
They tell me I'm too idealistic and out of date, so I went to seminary and became a minister. Another curtain. Skating on sentimentality and out-of-date beliefs, the ordained were siphoning money and sleeping around just like everyone else. If there were ever a hard choice, they slipped out of it. Or were sent on their way. I loved a few of them. Not the ones who made drunken confessions at national conferences, male or female. Usually about sex.
Trump is in their eyes despicable and corrupted in a laughable way, but they recognize him and his fragile alliance with Putin.
For twenty years I've had the privilege of living alone in a remote place so I could read and write without interference. This is because of the great good of Social Security (which Trump wants to cut) and a pension from the City of Portland so long as their investment scheme works. What I've discovered is that the world as we know it is arbitrary and often imaginary. I could see it coming and had hoped I would die before it got here.
But there are people re-envisioning some new way, which is sometimes a very old way. One of the hardest parts is building in the Internet into the rules of democracy, partly because it is fragile and hackable. But without it I would not be so vividly aware through lectures, documents, messages, of a horizon that few people I know can see past. Even in the most scholarly circles, it is necessary to rebuild the brain. I can't DO it, but I can understand the necessity. And I have read the steps to it.
Trump is a chump. He fantasizes that he was judged and set free. Neither happened. He's the same Adderall addict he ever was. (I looked up Adderall on Google and found it just now changed to sound safer than the earlier version.)