The Gaslighting Tag Team

Tag Team Wrestling. Credit.

The one presumes to be a member of the organization
Without doing what the members
Are all supposed to do.

And you’re not supposed to notice
Not supposed to call them out on it.
And when you do, here comes the other.

She shames you for pointing it out,
As if the fault and the problem and the burden
Must all be the result of something twisted
In your own imperfect soul—something that somehow
Got “triggered” by the innocent, no-fault way
In which the events of the Universe
Just happened to unfold.

She will pretend that what’s wrong with this world—
What really needs to change—
Is you and your conviction that people ought to do
What people ought to do.

And both of them are the anti-conviction,
Anti-responsibility tag team that defies
What is excellent and just,
Even extending the defiance
To the very Golden Rule itself
Feeling quite entitled to have
Their own seat at the table,
Even though they know full-well
They are not committed to the rules
Or the best practices
Or the very spirit of the thing.

They do it in politics and religion and family.
They do it at school and in the organizations
Of which they are members.
They do it to themselves.

And whether they would say it out loud or not,
They consider themselves, pretty much,
The rightful champions of this world,
As they continue to douse the fires
Of wholehearted excellence.

And I should mention before I go
That you’ll find these people
Also among the factions,
Where they do take a stand against
One camp, in favor of another,
And yet presume themselves into that favorite,
Along with the counterproductive habits
I have described herein.

They are many in number,
And if tolerated,
Are the reason
We can’t have
Anything nice.

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