In the lucrative shadow cast by the Microsoft corporate campus and a burgeoning Google hub, Kirkland, Washington, once a bedroom community of beaches and summer recreation hugging the shoreline and emerald waters of Lake Washington, is a mere 20 minute ride across the 520 bridge (without traffic) from polarizing Seattle, and eons away ideologically, until now.
The affluent suburb of quiet family neighborhoods, boutique shops, and treelined public trails, represents a expansive territory of America, that until recently, was inadvertently detached from the vitriol and the violence fueled by the urban corridor protests to the murder of George Floyd. While the Democratic majority of Kirkland residents trend into the vortex of the solid blue politics, a phenomenon explained by a twenty year infusion of tech employees and H1-B workers representing a comprehensive tapestry of global diversity, the populace faces the challenge of a looming election and public incidents testing the resolve and challenging the patience and virtues of the residents.
The first week of June brought a peaceful aspect of the violent looting and destruction to private property which occurred in neighboring downtown Bellevue and echoed the chaotic insanity of the Seattle occupied CHAZ or CHOP autonomous zone, as shopkeepers and citizens prepared for the worst. Businesses on the main thoroughfare of Lake Washington boulevard took preemptive actions, by boarding up their storefronts in preparation for a potential hurricane of chaos which never materialized. Instead, large groups of students and young people marched through downtown under the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter movement without incident and escorted by the Kirkland police department. The peaceful protests openly defied a strict order by Washington state Governor Jay Inslee to not congregate in large groups in response to the Covid-19 epidemic. Mandate aside, the traditionally resort sleepiness of the city, received it’s initial taste of a polarizing and emotionally charged environment, as swarms of individuals collectively exercised their First Amendment rights by parading past the iconic waterfront.
With the energy from the lingering enthusiasm of the demonstrators resonating, the community is now at the threshold of an ugly and nasty political battle, as elitist leftists have savagely locked horns with stubborn traditionalists. Vile and intolerant displays of opinions flooding social media have led to divisiveness and class warfare straining the founding tenets of free speech boiling over into real life. The political posturing is at the frontline of a horrific environment of fear forged by the ominous presence of Covid-19, and the relentless debate of “to mask or not to mask” only adds kindling to a sweltering inferno of discontent and unpleasantness meant for the hell fires eternally consuming the banks of the river Styx.
Like an AI regimented self-propelled timepiece device, the moment of inception was impeccable for the initial rallying cry of grassroots community activism marinating in liberal guilt, and searching for conflict. Sure enough, a radical progressive went berserk and collided with the organized efforts of a private event celebrating one half of the idealogical ledger. The result of the self-driving vehicle fender bender was prophetic if not hilariously unsettling in the presence of two primal and misguided forces of visceral energy.
An extremist miscreant of the left-leaning persuasian decided to crash a front yard Trump rally and anti-mask barbecue Sunday. In other words, presumably, an overeducated suburban dog mom insufferably insolent and sanctimonous to the point of Tesla delusions of grandeur and toxic battery delights of the enviromental movement vehemently forwarding an overbearing agenda in a pure display of an either/or existential crises misinterpreting subjectivity in a law enforcement defunding scheme of anti-gun hypocristy, encroached upon a gathering of delightfully misguided patriots still working to sharpen their influential voice of consensus. Take a breath.
The ridiculous self-serving driver accosted the late afternoon cocktail party at the infamous MAGA house, a residence that has become an icon for controversey and an outlet for barbs from both sides leading to multiple instances of petty vandalism on the property, as a result of the political paraphanelia and signage predominately displayed in overwhelming support to the Trump campaign. Prior to the altercation, the owner of the home reported to police multiple Trump/Pence yard signs stolen, and an adjacent “Maga” perenial flower bed arrangement repeatedly vandalized. According to Washignton state law, the unauthorized removal and destruction of political signage is a misdemeanor, while destruction of property can earn a felony, depending on the level of damage.
The weekend incident between the masked marauder, who temporarily removed the facial covering to berate party guests with a flurry of choice words and residual spittle, before exiting post-tirade only to attach the mask once again upon entering her vehicle, marks a Hollywood style sneak preview of coming attractions as to the mere tip of the iceberg of what is in store for the entire country. Before and after the titanic meltdown, the dissenter was invited to join the group and offered hospitality. If it can happen in mellow Kirkland, it can and will happen anywhere. The anticipation of the Presidential election is beginning to morph into pure hysteria. Of course, the entire tantrum of Trump slurs berating conservatives and anti-mask shaming was caught on multiple smart devices, and prompted a local television station to send a reporter and crew to the location.
Though series of events pale in comparison to the raw violence sweeping across the country, the extremist lobby reaching into the sanctuary of the suburbs is more than disconcerting.
While the loony and obviously paranoid activist should be lauded for actually transcending the keyboard warrior status of social media and putting her money where her mouth is, both parties failed on some fundamental level to process the significance of the scuffle. The theatrics provide a potential glimpse of a dubious and disturbing future of impassioned and superimposed value telegraphers sparring with the slightly reckless caretakers of inalienable rights in a brawl where there are no clear-cut winners. In a thermodynamically careless display of out of control histrionics, was wasted energy, Al Gore indirectly netted a small residual.
If anything, the unproductive bitching session beautifully illustrates a broad generalization of the competing factions. In one corner a contender nervously strains affixed with self-righteous scowl and desperation for ironclad control in micromanaging the nation, while the opponent graciously gracefully wallows with a sanguine and confident demeanor, a pleasant mood that can very easily change for the efficient worst through the constant hectoring from across the ring. A contrived and manufactured rendition of the past customized to support of a specific agenda, is pitted against a deep understanding of human nature and an affinity for history. The natural conflict between revisionists and capitalists simply assumes modern labels
The assorted chain of seemingly insignificant events between neighbors is just a kickoff of what should be a memorable three months, and at the cleft of a social revolution left uncheck, has the potential to spread like a virulent political pathogen. As everyday life has been altered to a point where there is no reasonable outlet for wounded feelings which results in an infected mass of a decaying decision making tree compromised by emotion, nightmarish consequences are a frightening possibility. This is no different from the philosophical overreaction rebranding a virus, and the subsequent panic pandemic ultimately results in mandates which serve an ulterior motive.
The micro-conflicts and controversy within a wealthy suburb of Seattle are an early warning bell to a nationwide tidal wave of civil unrest, though not as elicit or eloquent as Paul Revere’s alert system. In a discombobulated public theater of desperation and unwavering fear, the bold will become bolder, and the entitled and impassioned will blindly lash out at serenity and peaceful intentions, as accountability is overwrought by unencumbered activism sparked by relentless propaganda.
With law enforcement currently hamstrung by the bandits of free will, it is up to the person and like-minded individuals to legally celebrate the basic liberties and embrace the community through living life and deterring the temptation to succumb to the lowest common denominator of pretended strife and snarky unpatriotic sentiment.
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