Columnist Joe Gannon: Look what we have wrought: A nation of snitches

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Published: 9/14/2021 3:50:34 PM

Twenty years after 9/11 look what we have become: A nation of snitches now spinning in a death spiral.

The Texas law banning abortions after six weeks, and, worse, its establishing of Posse Comitatus, or in this case Posse Asinus, of private citizens to snitch on and persecute those who seek abortions, even in cases of rape or incest.

It is all a part of the seamless descent into not lawlessness so much as citizen-lessness. What used to be the GOP has now devolved from Ronald Reagan’s “Government is the problem;” to the Tea Party’s “Government is the enemy;” through Trump’s “We don’t need no stinking government;” to today’s right-wing mantra: “There is no government except in my head.”

When it comes to evil you have to hand it to Texan right-wingers. They have removed government from the anti-abortion fight and put it in the hands of private citizens and bounty hunters who will hunt down those, it seems, who are even thinking about getting an abortion. And now in Texas, the next step on their Purge: Where we all go one, we all go all: Call 1-800-RAT-LINE.

My god, the orgasm of self-righteous dumbassery and misogynistic vigilantism that will be unleashed on women. A new lease on the undead lives of all those Karens and Kens who aspire to wannabe secret policemen. Can’t you see the pinched-faced peckerwood and his smirking wife just walking in a circle around a “suspicious” couple: “Excuse us folks, how are you? Having a nice day? We were just wondering, do you have any children .. proof of any? Just seems like you’re old enough to have had at least one, is there some reason you never did?”

And their evil smiling eyes will tell it all. It is all part of our devolution. It has become a must-play game in America: “Look at me! Look how persecuted I am!” There are the First and Second Amendment “auditors” — they stand around police stations filming or carrying their rifles so the cops will come out and question them so they can cry “Persecution!” and “What a hero I am!”

It is all fake bravura and bravery. Cosplayers, snitches, gun fetishists, self-appointed sheriffs, and, ultimately, cowards. They create fake trouble — doing anything while black — and are then automatically a fake hero or a phony victim. Either way they get to make someone else’s day as miserable as theirs was, or their lives are.

And this will obsess us, eat up all our oxygen, just as actual real-world events and calamities descend on us like a ... well, plague!

But nature is cruel, my friends. Mother Nature cares not for our fleeting feelings or silly quarrels. She cares for the whole, and it is time to ask, are we smart enough as a species to even live? Because she will not discriminate between believers and deniers, between fools and citizens. For Mother Nature really does mean: Where we go one, We go all!

And this “there is no reality but in my head” crowd is a global phenomenon: Bikers for Belisario in Brazil threaten mayhem if he does not win; in Poland and Hungary, the anti-LGBTQ governments use fear of immigrants to snub the European Union’s human rights laws.

And of course our cousins in Britain where Brexit is proving in almost all fields to be an utter disaster. But they will not reverse it, those Brexiteers, they will suffer and make the nation suffer because they feel it was right to hamstring their economy to appease their feelings that something wasn’t right!

Are we not like the dinosaurs watching that asteroid lighting up the sky, but turning away to argue over food and prey? You don’t have to be a Dr. Marty Nathan to know which way the climate crisis is blowing.

Except our asteroid is manmade, and we can do something about it other than chew our cud and argue over, well, nothing! The crisis is coming, and we cannot even prepare for the global emergency that will hit first. Or rather, as with COVID, we know the protocol we must follow now, we have that protocol ready. But we simply cannot agree as a nation to open the book and do as it says! No, no! Too much tyrannical expertise, too many details and small print to bother reading.

They are so maddened for revenge on some untouchable enemy, they prefer that to survival ... their own survival. And ours.

And after four years of dress rehearsals under director Trump, his minions can now auto-enact, just like al Qaeda. They need no leadership to show them how to obstruct our saving ourselves when it comes time to save ourselves from climate change and the next pandemic. They can and will go about their “jihad” in independent cells freed from central command.

And the Texas abortion law is the next step in that process — to remove civility, the rule of law and any sense of a shared nation by deputizing every Karen and Ken out there. We will fight it and can, but first let’s get that list of who voted in favor of the abortion law in Texas and as soon as the Snitch Hotline is open, let’s drop a dime on every one of them!

Joe Gannon lives in Easthampton, can be reached at


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