In this section, we almost
get some plot.
But then Glenn Beck's ghostwriter decides to give us more characters making long speeches filled with conspiracy theories and other nonsense instead.
Noah finally goes inside the bar, though it takes him a page and a half. This book is even more overwritten than Trigger Warning
Once inside he finds -- oh, this is a shock -- that the crowd is not the redneck mob of "old white people of limited intelligence" that "the media" had led him to expect.
Instead, what diversity!
[It was] a mix of
everyone—three-piece suits rubbing elbows with T-shirts and sweat pants,
yuppies chatting with hippies, black and white, young and old, a
cowboy hat here, a six-hundred-dollar hair- cut there—all talking
together, energetically agreeing and disagreeing...
This is the same drum J.A. was banging in Trigger Warning
. Liberals are the real racists, conservatives welcome anyone, conservatives don't care how rich or educated you are, blah blah blah.
And maybe MAGA Americans even think that's true, because (after all!) they have black friends, and they have a gay cousin, and there's even this old Spanish guy they talk to sometimes, sits next to them at the football game, he's as nice as anyone!
But while MAGA Americans will accept people who aren't like them, and even become friends with people who aren't like them, they're still racist and prejudiced against those people in the aggregate.
It's like a friend of mine tells me, about her conservative father. He's hired black people, and worked with them. But those people are different, he tells her. His black people are good
black people. Not like those criminals and lazy takers, up there in St. Louis!
I don't hate women, conservative men will tell me. Didn't I marry one? But those Feminazis, they're cancer.
My gay cousin is fine. But LGBT people in general? They're freaks!
Back in the bar, Noah notes that a folksinger is playing, up on the stage. Some "1960's era folk song," which Noah sees as a good PR move, since how could they be racist or violent if they were singing the same songs Martin Luther King Jr sang?
This would work better if we knew what song the folksinger was playing. Possibly Glenn Beck's ghostwriter doesn't know any actual folk songs.
Noah runs into Molly -- literally. We learn for the first time that she has a "slight Southern accent." Also, she notices that Noah is wet from the rain, and immediately devolves to caretaker mode, as your good woman will. She takes his coat, finds him dry clothing (yes, in a bar), and introduces him to a "gentle giant" named Hollis, who I hope will be a main character, given the amount of time we spend with him.
Hollis is also from the South, is wearing working class clothing, and has "perfect etiquette' and stereotypically terrible grammar. (None of them working class southerners know proper English.) In these chapters, by the way, we'll meet five people from this political group. They're all white and all of them except Hollis are middle class, and not noticeably educated. But so diverse.
Nothing much happens in this chapter.
More time in the bar, and Noah talks to Molly. We find out Molly doesn't drink (because she's a good woman), and Noah is a 'human lie detector.' Okay, bub. There's a scene where he points out someone who's spying on the group, I guess for the eeevil media, though that's never made clear.
This spy is white too. So diverse.
Also, we meet Danny Bailey, a YouTube star who is here to get a speech. Hollis says he's trouble, Molly says he gets people "fired up" about the wrong things. Certainly the speech he makes in Chapter Eleven is full of silliness.
Danny is also white.
But first Molly's mama speaks. We don't find out she's Molly's mother until later -- it's a Big Reveal. We do hear that she's about 55, and that the "honest beauty" of her younger days has "mellowed and matured." That's all we're told about her, because whether a woman is pretty or not is all that really matters.
She gives a long speech explaining how certain people (progressives, as she reveals) have hijacked America and are "perverting" it, replacing "equal justice with social justice," those bastards.
Also lobbyists. They're evil.
Also, America was founded as a "representative Republic," but no one is representing the people in this
bar. (Wild applause.)
Also, the Founding Fathers meant us to get along with just the Constitution, and it's only 14 pages long, but look at these law books! Full of so many laws! And so complicated!
Also, too many taxes. The IRS is exactly the same as the Gestapo.
Also, Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't interested in Social Justice. He wanted equal justice.
This seems to be the big point Glenn Beck is trying to get across, that Martin Luther King Jr. would have been with the MAGA Americans, not with the progressives. All that tells us is that neither Glenn Beck nor his ghost writer knows anything about Martin Luther King Jr.
Molly's mama calls for them to "transform" America, but not with violence. Peaceful means only, she declares. Hmm. Does the NRA know about this part of her argument?
This argument, though, is not aimed at MAGA Americans, who believe all of their violence is perfectly legal and perfectly justified. They're
protecting their rights; they're
standing their ground.
But those Black Lives Matter people, rioting and resisting arrest and shouting bad words, that's
just behaving like a mob.
Molly's mama finally shuts up (this is the second lengthy speech in the novel, and not the last) and Molly asks Noah what he thinks. He tries to be polite, saying that Molly's mama seems like she means what she says, but Molly insists on his real opinion. He says it just seems pointless, that politics never accomplished anything.
Molly demands he tell her why he's here, then. He admits he came because he wanted to get to know her. Then she tells him these politics here? Those are
her. And flounces off.
Way to win hearts, Molly.
Jake drinks a lot of beer. Hollis comes to sit next to him and cheer him up. Hollis also doesn't drink. I think that's code for Good Guys in this book. Bad guys drink alcohol. Good guys drink Coca-cola.
Danny Bailey gives a long and stupid speech. His basic points, the government is lying; unemployment is high; we're putting too many people in prison (hey, even a stopped clock); and there's an eeeevil plan to put certain people in 'military labor camps.'
What people? Danny Bailey explains that the eeevil government is keeping track of everyone who owns a gun, everyone who home-schools, all returning veterans, everyone who opposes abortion, everyone who opposes immigration, everyone who owns a copy of the Constitution -- all the right-thinking citizens, in other words. All of these people will be rounded up and put in work camps.
The government already has a plan in place, Danny Bailey insists. Executive Decision Number 51!
All they need is an emergency, a manufactured emergency, and the arrests begin!
But we can fight then! Danny says. We can win because our hearts are pure!
Noah scoffs. A silence falls, and everyone turns on him.
Dramatic chapter break.
Danny mocks our hero, calling him "Ivy League," and inviting him to get up on the stage if he has so much to say. Noah demurs, but you know he's going to do it. Deprive Glenn Beck's Ghost Writer of the chance to write another long speech? He wouldn't dare.
Noah gets up on the stage and says everything Danny and Molly's mama has said is true. Powerful Secret Cabals control the USA, Rich Men own the country and the government, the Bill of Rights is meaningless, and a New World Order is indeed about to be implemented.
But the people in this bar can't stop it, Noah says, because they're dupes, distracted by in-fighting and conspiracy theories. (The New World Order isn't a conspiracy theory?) Also, they've been infiltrated by agent provocateurs. He points out some in the crowd -- a guy wearing a "Born in the JewSA teeshirt," a white supremacist, a "Birther," a "Freeper," and a Holocaust Denier.
Those aren't real
members of this political group, see. Heavens, no. Conservatives aren't racists! These are false flags, they're infiltrators sent by those powerful cabals (run by Goldman Sachs and other Globalists, gee, I wonder why this guy was wearing an anti-Semitic teeshirt, no idea).
But because of these infiltrators, Noah says, no sensible American will join this crusade. Why would they, he demands.
According to the network news, you’re all
borderline-insane, ignorant, paranoid, uneducated, hate-mongering,
tin-foil-hat-wearing, racist conspiracy theorists.
Which obviously we're supposed to believe is not true. I can't think why, since everyone we've met so far from this group has been paranoid, uneducated, racist conspiracy theorists. (To be fair, I doubt that Glenn Beck realizes all his talk of Globalists and Seckrit Cabals controlling the world is a racist trope.)
Noah concludes by inviting anyone who wants to punch him outside for a fistfight. Okaaay, that's normal.
Before he can leave, though, Molly's mama stops him to tell him how wonderful his speech was. They have a lot in common, she says, they should talk.
But eagle-eye Noah (who I'll just mention does not even remotely
resemble the guy we met in the breakroom, hitting on Molly) notices that Bad Police Men are showing up at the doors. They need to get out of here, he tells Molly's mom. Bad things are about to happen.
Then one of the crowd (obviously an infiltrator) pulls a gun and shoots at Danny. Storm-troopers, I mean American Police Officers, rush in and begin hitting everyone with billy clubs. One pulls Molly's hair.
(Historical note: Back before Black Lives Matter started saying some police officers were dangerous and racist, and that their powers ought to be checked, Conservative Americans had no trouble criticizing the police. It's only since Ferguson that the police, as far as MAGA Americans are concerned, have become too Holy to criticize.)
One starts to bash in a Good American's head. But Noah reaches out and stops him. Because Noah is Ninja like that.
Seriously, has the ghost writer even met Noah? When did he become a Superhero?
Same time he became a powerful political speaker, I guess. When the plot needed him to be.
Noah gets bashed in the head.
Dramatic chapter break.
I hope we get to the damn concentration camps pretty soon.