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The Boos at the Ballgame Were Just the Beginning, Mr. Trump

Photograph Source: daveynin – CC BY 2.0

The cry of the mighty who are falling is growing louder. In the case of the USA it’s a combination of angry accusations based on a confused bluster of humanity in the White House whose phalanx of fools exists so deep within its own perception of itself its members cannot conceive of their leader being booed at a national sporting event. Then again, neither can certain conservative pundits who do not like the man in the White House but slobber their servitude to the building’s presence as some monument of integrity and honor. Honor in DC is a presumption I won’t ever make, not even among those who are not thieves. I have more respect for the dope slingers and their customers, the hookers and their johns, and the panhandlers who sleep in places most of us never knew existed, than I do for the politicians and their paymasters. At least the former do a day’s work and rarely misrepresent their intentions.

In other nations, the streets are consumed with protest against the failed leaders whose ill-gotten riches are failing to protect them from the wrath of those from whom they were stolen. In the grand imperial capital however, the masses are silent for reasons not apparent but all too clear. Too many gringos think they have something invested in that which steals their savings and their futures. They cheer the death of a villain from Iraq who never would have become the villain if they hadn’t encouraged the military invasion and occupation that created him. There is no triumph in a human death, but the bloodthirsty insist otherwise. Those whose conscience is tied to the structure they exist in accept this manipulation of truth and cheer the death of a man whose demise means much less than the media would like us to believe. If the story is even true, that is. Fake news is not a new thing. It used to be called propaganda and we were told only the enemy would stoop to such methods. Of course, anyone with a critical mind unattached to the dogma of their particular State understands that all governments depend on propaganda to keep their populace informed in a manner that serves the ruling interests. Illiteracy is better, but misinformed literacy works equally well. It even provides an illusion of an informed populace.

This is a nation who considers the lousy actor and corporate shill Ronald Reagan to be one of its greatest leaders—the great communicator they call him. He was nothing but a racist shill with a withered peanut for a brain that confused television and the big screen with reality. The fact that Donald Trump, whose years as an asshole boss on the shaming exercise they call reality TV made him a household name in too many households across the United States, was elected president should surprise no one. The fact that he is losing his grip on both the office and his sanity reminds me of a Caligula reprise without the wine and togas. The sycophants he surrounds himself with are too self-involved to realize that riding on his train is not going to be the ticket to their version of heaven whether it’s in the sky or their bank account. He’s gonna’ take a whole shitload of filthy fools who are going along with his con down with him. That is, unless the genuine fascists in his coterie start getting real serious and bring in their militias and fans in the military.

The spectacle known as politics in the United States has become more spectacular in an atrocious way these past few years. Once the impeachment show hits television, it is likely to become even more so. The histrionics from FOXNews and various MSNBC commentators are likely to make a certain amount of the procedure into a partisan debate about Trump, emphasizing that which makes them worship or abhor him. The key to the viewer is to keep the eyes on the prize—Donald Trump’s departure from the White House and an exodus of his fascist and corrupt co-conspirators. Likewise, remember that those who expose his lies and abuses are not heroes, just players on a stage that demands they testify either as penitents or because they will go to jail if they don’t. The real crimes are the ones no president ever gets impeached for.

The cynic in me questions whether the impeachment trial in the Senate will ever occur. The parameters of the inquiry are quite limited and reek of the imperial state—a state the Trumpists want for themselves, yet cannot seem to control their leader enough to make it their own. The idiotic and even stupid actions of Trump may do in that section of the capitalist class he claims to represent. The robber barons and their representatives in Congress and across the nation hitched their wagons to the Trump train and are now concerned he won’t be able to bluster and lie his way out of this mess he’s gotten them into. The fact that some of his most vocal supporters in Congress are dumber than a box of rocks does not help their cause. It seems a critical mass of stupidity may have been reached and the fact of Trump’s departure before January 2021 may be realized. If so, the sinking ship that is this nation will not be righted but the captain and crew will be those who brought us to the Trumpist catastrophe in the first place—the neocons and the neoliberals. The warmongers and Wall Street thieves whose destruction of even the façade of a democratic republic created the cradle that birthed Trumpism and made overt racism and misogyny a way to win the White House again. The brash arrogance of Trump will return to Manhattan and Florida. The polished arrogance that kills foreigners with a smile and not a leer will return to the White House. The ghost of Richard Nixon’s petty-minded impeachable self will be replaced with the ghost of Richard Nixon’s grand and imperial self and Kissinger can die happy. I’ll just be happy when he’s dead.

There is a wild card in this prophecy, however. It is the phenomenon represented by Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Although unlikely he will get past the numerous roadblocks and hastily constructed fences put up to keep candidates like him far from the seats of US power, there is the ever so slight possibility that his supporters’ (who truly believe he can save this trash heap of a republic) optimism will sweep him into power. This is when this writer refers the reader to Bertram Gross’s 1980s tract titled Friendly Fascism, wherein he describes in terms still relevant today how progressive candidates who talk seriously about redistributing the wealth downward instead of upward are blocked. If all else fails, he writes, the assassins will take up their positions, aim and shoot or poison or blow things up or well you get the picture. The monied classes like their money more than they like people, democracy, freedom and each other. That’s why so many of them will put up with Trump’s crassness and crudity. He puts more money in their pockets and makes it seem like the moral thing to do, as if there’s anything really moral about accumulating wealth in the first place.

Many liberal and progressive pundits and their readers look into the nation’s past for comparisons to today’s situation. Of course, they exist: the 1920s, the gilded age of robber barons, Richard Nixon’s final rise and fall. I suggest they look elsewhere if they want a more precise template that Trumpism fits into. That would be the Nazi rise to power in the 1930s. A quick look at that history reveals the manipulation of fears created by a defeat in war, economic insecurity and inequality, liberals unable and unwilling to accept that the nazis were not a normal electoral party, an electoral victory achieved without winning the majority of the votes and a ruthless verbal attack on the pre-existing bureaucratic establishment coinciding with a takeover of most bureaucratic functions by Nazi party functionaries. I can continue: a capitalist class at first uncertain and even opposed to Hitler and his party which eventually supported the party and its goals once they realized how much money they would make. It didn’t take them long to realize that fascism was a great friend of monopoly capital and that its military and police apparatus would dispel those pesky people who believed in democracy. If Trump is not removed, the process his apparatus has begun could achieve a fascism that would put Hitler’s to shame. Remember, you don’t have to be Hitler to be a fascist. As for the neocons and neoliberals, remember that one doesn’t need to be a fascist to be totalitarian.

 

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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

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