The establishment Left labors under the delusion that Trump supporters, if confronted by facts, would simply drop their guns and renounce their Orange Savior. Thus they churn out ham-handed editorials and think pieces with such scintillating headlines as “Why Trump is Wrong on Jobs” and “How Trump Lost the Debate”. As usual, they are pontificating in a vacuum, where any real critiques of their own class are drowned out by the drone of the political machines that manufacture consensus on this point. Notice it’s always the voters who are to blame for the defective candidates that this infernal machinery produces, rather than the monied interests who fan the flames of social and environmental upheaval, creating the perfect storm that resulted in Donald Trump and pandemic alike.
They would do well to remember that fascists, like farts, don’t come out of nowhere. Both are the cumulative outcome of a system in distress; a noxious mingling and buildup of toxic gases that seek release, eventually escaping into the social sphere with unpleasant consequences for all. “Stand Back and Stand By”. There is no shrewder political operative on the campaign trail than Trump’s own sphincter. Unlike its rivals, it doesn’t try to determine which way the wind blows, it creates the wind. It was this force of nature that blew Joe Biden off the debate stage.
The bland punditry of the ‘The Resistance’ misses the mark entirely, as it lays the blame squarely on an underclass too stupid (in their view) to comprehend algorthim-derived data sets presented on a bar graph that prove that Trump’s job numbers are as accurate as his attempts to navigate his urine stream inside the toilet bowl. Adding further insult, they are now acting all surprised that the peasants are greeting their neoliberal overlords with racial slurs and assault rifles on one side, and demands for racial justice on the other. Never mind, either, that that their “scientific” polling data handed Hillary Clinton a “slam dunk” in 2016, only later to re-define the phrase to mean “a cannonball nosedive into the drained side of the swamp”.
Trump meanwhile, promises his “useless eater” base deliverance into a giant, revolving steakhouse in the sky, where everything is fancy and nice, especially the chocolate cake . . . And the ruling class’s stenography pool still wonders why they are failing to convince the rubes that Joe Biden – a thin slice of veal served on a single, wilted lettuce leaf – can compete with “donkey sauce” slathered on aged and burnt Black Angus sirloin. Trump is the dead man’s boner booster. Biden is a boner killer full stop.
American elections offer no more than chain restaurant menu items that diners know will never live up to their glossy photos. Still, voters like any customer, remain convinced that they have made an “autonomous” and “rational” choice, when in fact, they have been steered towards a mirage ideal imbued with the notion of ‘change’, rather than change itself. Just as “Hope” bamboozled the electorate in 2008, a return to its undelivered promises is touted as a revolutionary act of “Resistance”.
“Greatness”, as Trump embodies the term to his low-rung spear carriers , is less a marketing pitch than a ritualized tilting at wind farms as a means towards an orgasmic, End Times finale. Within this sphere of ‘action’, the players are the rogue pawns of the elite, easily identified by their visible butt cracks and MAGA hats. Here, they are content to operate inside power’s circus tent – a safe space, if you will – where their “rights” are protected under the rubric of the ruling class, just as campus ‘safe spaces’ are allotted broom closets within a power structure, rather than an area outside and independent of it.
In contrast to this cynical non-solution to the problem of “democratic” electoral politics-as-usual, fascism provides a wrestling ring where the self can be fully expressed within this sphere of violence. According to Adorno, “Fascism is itself less ‘ideological’ in so far as it openly proclaims the principle of domination that is elsewhere concealed”.
Under Biden, authority would present itself as a DMV ‘diversity’ hire telling you to take a number before taking away your driver’s license, and your second amendment rights. Trump offers the mouth-breathing segment of his base a false reckoning with past “injustices” (black people jogging, picnicking, and birdwatching . . .) even as he remains barricaded in his golden throne room, issuing dog whistle from his Twitter account – “all sound and fury” signifying flatulence and racism. The alternative according to the DNC isn’t much different, only quieter.
The promise of ecstasy is more joy-inducing than its actual fulfilment, and the nihilistic buffoon-in-chief offers death as a means towards achieving eternal life at a casino buffet table with donkey sauce on tap. The end of the world promises endless possibilities to those on the bottom rungs, its continuation only guarantees more misery. Contrary to prevailing conventional wisdom, the problem didn’t start with a game show host in the White House, it began when capitalism absorbed all matter into its collapsing death star and commodified this now nothingness into nuggets made from the suggestion of chicken, conceptualized from ‘poultry’, and atomized through billboards, cathodes and pixels as “buffalo wings”.
By this process, a “new and improved” detergent or a foreign policy position is born from this self generating media kaleidoscope. Special effects replace the physical battlefield, while permanent war is waged on everything outside a narrow lens that offers a view of a meaningless assemblage of detritus packaged as ‘spectacle’. After a while, familiar patterns of propaganda emerge in this shifting, but ultimately unchanged cultural landscape, assembled from an imaginary past that has undergone the same processes that turn an egg into mayonnaise (and even its non-egg alternatives). Eventually, mayonnaise becomes donkey sauce; a jizz elixir accompaniment to a cheese burger, signaling gluttonous, sated masculinity riding roughshod over the electorate on a golf cart.
Eggs, in other words, are so alienated from their true function and meaning under capitalism that they become a distant cousin of an image of a McNugget inside a fiber optic network. Politicians, too, now undergo the same abominable processes that turn animals into ‘livestock’ and livestock into synthetic pink sludge shaped into a real estate tycoon, or a Senator from Delaware – light years removed from actual human experience and struggle, embodying opposite principles of both. Inevitably, ‘morbid symptoms’ appear: A pox on chickens and the body politic alike, or a virus derived from gene-spliced rodents with buffalo wings.
Just as the Soviet Union dissolved into a slap heap of neoliberalism before emerging as the steroid-driven fiefdom of a former spook, the US has tasked its own spy agencies with preserving its “democracy” against a president that was installed by its own oligarchs, and soon to be removed by its own military bureaucrats. The “civil war” that pundits warn is imminent is already being waged at the highest levels of power, but not fought between its non-rival factions. Regardless of the outcome in November, it will be a bipartisan coup d’etat against the people celebrated on both sides as a victory against them.