Without confusing it for excusing or forgiving heinous actions, without losing track of the credit deserved by people who resisted or rejected the poisoned fruit from a similar starting place,

I do still think it’s worth stretching with desperate empathy to at least imagine: 1/
That the rank & file QAnoner/the casual redpilled “patriot” understands themself as standing in defiance of a profound and insidious—potentially ultimate—evil

That they are animated by feelings of fear & dissatisfaction, of overwhelmedness & incapacity to confront complexity 2/
That they fell to the thrall of simple explanations for complex problems

That they found comfort in a story that told them that they were, that they could be: special and good and important

That they were misled when they wanted answers, that they were lied to & trusted: a lot
That once upon a time they were, that perhaps someday again they can be, and that maybe just maybe even as they fuck up so so badly they are:

People, in way over their heads, trying their best

And their best isn’t good enough. Do not get me wrong! Humanity cannot tolerate… 4/
…such profound confusion. It cannot abide the enthusiastic destruction of facts & credibility. We can’t and shouldn’t just shrug and “move forward” together. We cannot unify yet

Truth & Reconciliation should happen.
After Truth & Justice.
But both must start with Truth.

5/
And while I still breath, I wish to say what I feel is an important truth:
responsibility sits with he who lies before they who believe

That a believer takes action upon their beliefs is neither surprising, nor—understood a priori to the consequences of their actions—despicable
Should those who did violence for Q, for Trump, face justice? Absolutely.

But I hope we may withhold contempt and vengefulness, from those whom were led badly astray

From those whose greatest flaw was weakness and a lack of empathic imagination

who could not face banal evil
And may we reserve our spite, if it must be, and certainly our vindictiveness

For those who lied, and knew it. Who released the banal evil within themself

For those who chose power and profit over truth. Who knowingly, callously, maliciously, malignantly abused public trust 8/
The water from a poisoned well cannot be safely drunk, but the fault is with the poison before the water.

And first and foremost with those who poisoned it.

And you shouldn’t let them near the well anymore! Certainly never alone with it!

Those who inspired evil action must go
Those who abused their power must lose it. And they cannot be trusted with it again.

Those who believed there were powerful evil people who could not stand unopposed must, to the best of our ability, be made to understand they weren’t wrong: just wrong about who, how, & why 10/
The evil do not seek the exaltation of the devil. They do not (for the most part) abuse children to bring about their ends. They do not hate you and explicitly wish you to suffer, be corrupted, die

Rather, it is all much less sadistic &
diabolical; much more callous & mortal 11/
They seek the exaltation of themselves and their kindred. If they abuse children, it’s for gratification. Mostly they abuse rhetoric, money, and trust.

They mostly don’t hate you, they just don’t care about you. If they disdain you, it’s cause it’s how they reassure themselves
They probably do not believe they are evil. Or they think everyone is evil and the best they can do is protect those around them from universal evil.

Over time, conviction you are opposing evil might be enough to understand yourself as good.

Without needing to know what good is
So I guess I’m hoping we—myself, my followers, progressives, Americans, humans— can avoid the same trap

I want us
To note hate
To keep fighting for, not against
To hold accountable, not punish
To care of ends and means
To not grow overconfident in our righteousness

Love always
NOT* hate

But we can note it too

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