Friday, July 7, 2017

Trump Is Just The Headache

Don’t focus too much on The Donald. He’s just one aspect of our doom. And it’s a bad doom, is what it is.

Why, it’s enough to make one nostalgic for the days when all we had to worry about was slowly losing our constitutional rights, our freedoms, and most of our prosperity to the machinations of a cabal consisting of the national security state, big industrialists and billionaires, compliant politicians from both parties, miscellaneous financial mischief makers, and our newly militarized police forces. That was a slow descent into mediocrity that we got used to over the last thirty years, the way that a frog in slowly boiling water gets used to the temperature change.

At least that outfit left us some table scraps. At least they believed that we had the power to generate wealth for them, bless their hearts, even if they wanted almost all of that wealth for themselves.

Now we should be begging that good old cabal to save us from an Orwellian nightmare that is already well underway. The new bunch consists of the worst among the above mentioned actors, along with militant Christian reconstructionists and undiluted fascists. The middle has been scooped out and discarded, and the left is down to platoon strength against an army of many divisions. All that’s left is the right, so to speak. All of the poisons that dwell in the earth have hatched out, as Claudius said in another, similar context. They are all thriving in our current milieu of profound ignorance and rampant greed.

See what I mean? Herr-President-Would-Be-Fuerer-Drumpf is just a side-show. In four years, or, God forbid, eight years, we can forget about him. The entire universe of grief in all of this exists quite equally well with or without The Donald. He’s not the dangerous psychopath, he’s just the enabler. If it were not him, someone else would fill the role.

So, that’s choice one (the old cabal), and choice two (the new bunch). Will it be Scylla or Charybdis? The rocks or the whirlpool? The devil or the deep blue sea? In between the eyes or in the teeth? Name your poison! Our only hope is the best of this bad, bad choice. Choice number one offers only slightly more hope and a bit more prosperity, based on a somewhat greater understanding that our prosperity contributes to that of the bosses. Choice number two, to be honest, they seem content to sacrifice some measure of their own mega-prosperity for the supreme pleasure of reducing the rest of us to penury and debt-slavery. 

They seem downright cruel, don’t they? Whether they grind us down for religious reasons or out of shear viciousness will make little difference to us when we are begging our more fortunate brothers and sisters for food and shelter.

The only other possible fates waiting in the wings are even worse. Nuclear war is back on the threat horizon after a welcome absence of a couple of decades. Total environmental collapse is an up and coming possibility. Name your poison! Gosh, these are exciting times. And there are no White Knights out there on the horizon that I can see.

Death Watch

We live in the age of the death of dreams:

The Greeks’ dream of democracy;

The Romans’ dream of a republic;

The Renaissance dream of dignity and prosperity;

The Enlightenment dream of the rule of reason;

The American dream of freedom;

The dream of every family in the world to be treated with respect and allowed to live in peace.

We have been watching the assault on these dreams for decades now, and the forces of this evil are so close to their goals that I may live to see the day of their victory myself.

The entire world is in a plenty big mess, just look around, and America is now like a man who is bleeding out from a severed femoral artery and unable to breathe due to an obstruction in the windpipe but who seems most concerned with getting rid of his goddamned annoying headache.

Trump is the headache.


The big question is: are we already there?

As with environmental collapse, the triumph of totalitarianism has a tipping point beyond which a return to the status quo ante becomes impossible. Nor will there be any “Fortress of Democracy” to save the day this time. I don’t see anyone out there. Who would that be? Canada? Denmark? What about France? They’ll be lucky if they can avoid the worst of it themselves. I’m not expecting any cavalry to ride over this horizon to save us. Flip us over, boss, we’re done on this side.

It’s almost too terrible to consider, but the entire world could be reduced to the level of the old-fashioned Soviet Man. Dependent on handouts and subsidies; desperate to seize onto any small advantage; and only pretending to work, because they only pretend to pay us.

Trump’s Legacy

President DJT is too mediocre and lazy minded to actually exploit the chink in democracy’s armor that he has discovered. His lasting legacy will only be that he pointed it out to other, more talented would-be dictators.

All such unspeakable snakes in the future will follow Trump’s model:

Shout loudly and crudely how much you hate the things that most low-information voters hate;  

Make the lowest and most numerous groups in society think that you are one of them;

Condemn and demonize anyone and any group of individuals who know or understand pretty much anything at all;

Use a very simple vocabulary of mostly repeat slogans over and over again; and

Promise everyone exactly what they want, quickly, easily, and simultaneously.

You can’t lose! Go for it! And if you do your homework, not like this sleepwalking Bozo, your picture will hang in all of the temples forever. Your name will be the last name that we are required to learn.

Good luck, boss, and please be gentle with us. 

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