So there we were, the good ol’ USA, cruising along at a nice, progressive clip. Folks were, for the most part, relatively civil and sharp. Politeness and respect were common.

Then a new sheriff came to town. This guy changed the rules. It’s now okay to do many things that were generally considered not okay. An incomplete list:

Be misogynistic

Wired to respect women? Screw that! Now you grab all the pussy you want. Are you a white male? Bonus points! If a woman ever calls you out on anything, just cry and call her a lying whore. Objectifying and being rapey are the new norm.

Be racist

Come on, you know you hate anyone who doesn’t share your ethnicity. Let your Nazi and KKK freak flags fly high. And you’re good people — the sheriff said so. Remember: racial slurs are cool!

Be xenophobic

You no longer have to contain your unmitigated rage against those damned foreigners. Keep ’em the hell out and make ‘em stay the hell out (except white people who speak English). That wall must be built before the criminal drug-carrying rapists get you.

Name-call

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” HA! Goodbye class, hello wicked insults. Slam people to your heart’s content. The sheriff recommends defamatory nicknames like “Crooked,” “Cryin’,” and “Non-Pussy-Grabbin’”.

Be ignorant

Remember when people used to care about knowing things? Yeah, you don’t need to do that. Ignorance is now mainstream. The sheriff loves the ignorant. Stand next to a friend who’s wearing an “I’m with stupid” t-shirt!

Bully

The sheriff’s wife has a crusade against this, but the sheriff just wishes she’d shut up and stay in the kitchen (see “Be misogynistic”). It’s kosher to intimidate those weaker than you. Bully away!

Use poor grammar and spelling

Actually, this was always kind-of-okay, but the sheriff often doesn’t write so good, so it’s now acceptable to write however you want. All caps and lots of exclamation points is completely acceptable.

Be divisive

You must have an enemy. It’s all Us vs. Them. There is no middle ground. You’re either with us or against us. “Owning” the other side should give you great joy. The sheriff is a master divider.

Be in a cult

This used to be a big no-no. Remember Jonestown? Ever heard the Scientology horror stories? But now it’s fine to follow an insane megalomaniac, never questioning anything he says or does, slavishly devoting yourself to him wholly and fully.

That’s it for now. Whew! Thanks, sheriff. We can all be truly awful people again.

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