AUGUST 18, 2017
Increasingly, though, one really must wonder if the arch-authoritarian racist idiot Donald Trump will make it to 2020. The supreme madness and evil of the rolling atrocity that is the Insane Clown Trump presidency has just now reached a new level of bizarre and scary-weird ruling-class dysfunction. Just last week, the demented, Twitter-addicted brute in the White House engaged in a reckless game of thermonuclear chicken with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un. The orange-tinted beast threatened “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Trump’s aptly nicknamed war chief Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis threatened “actions that will lead to the end of the [North Korean] regime and destruction of its people.”
So what if such outlandish bravado could trigger events leading to the deaths of millions on and around the Korean peninsula? Trump later told reporters that “maybe” his “fiery and fury” statement “wasn’t tough enough,” Herr Donald threatened “an event the likes of which nobody’s ever seen.” When asked what he might to do in response to North Korea’s defiance, the president said “Well, you’ll see, you’ll see.”
Statements of shock and concern over this Not Normal presidential lunacy came from both sides of the major party aisle. Speaking on CNN, the former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (of whom I am of course no fan) worried (all too reasonably) that Trump’s overheated rhetoric could lead the U.S. into war on its own accord. As Clapper told Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight”: “I do worry that this game of rhetoric chicken is going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy…It’s somewhat reminiscent to me of the history of World War I and how the world kind of blundered into that.” That was no joke.
Then, just as the Clockwork Orangutan seemed ready to radioactively enflame East Asia, Charlottesville happened. Without exactly saying so – but saying so saying so in “dog whistle” ways clearly understood by his many white-nationalist backers – Trump showed himself to be on the side of armed white-nationalists and fascists who marched with torches lit chanting “blood and soil” in defense of a statue of the top Confederate (Slave Power) military commander Robert E. Lee. Once again, top talking heads and politicos shook their heads and rolled their eyes over the Not Normal insanity of the President of the United States.
It’s not just that the madness of Herr Donald has revolted millions of ordinary citizens and people at home and abroad. His bigger and more relevant problem is that he has significantly alienated a rising share of those atop the nation’s unelected and interrelated “deep state” dictatorships of money and empire. Three days ago, the New York Times reported as follows on the “Widen[ing] Rift Between Trump and Business Leaders”:
“The chief executive of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, criticized President Trump in front of his 1.5 million American employees, widening a rift between the White House and the business community that has been growing since the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va. ‘As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,’ Douglas McMillon, the Walmart C.E.O., wrote in a letter to employees late Monday.”
“The rebuke from Mr. McMillon came as six other business leaders stepped down from presidential advisory councils — including two late on Monday, the C.E.O.s of Intel and Under Armour — citing their own values as the primary motivation for distancing themselves from Mr. Trump….The departures represent a rare spectacle in which prominent executives are looking for ways to pull back from an American president who campaigned, and won, partly on the strength of his pro-business stance. This has created an unusual calculus: Whether or not to stay on as advisers to a president, a role that traditionally is a coveted position with little to no attendant risk.”
Trump smells too much of neo-fascism – a clownish and highly venal version, to be sure – for the tastes and needs of the U.S, ruling class. He’s not how the American wealth and power elite rolls. If the U.S. is “fascist,” its fascism cooks on a low flame and small burner. It exhibits a distinctly “inverted” (demobilized and neoliberal, plutocratic, “market”-mediated and corporate-managed) form of the disease. To say this, however is not to praise to the contemporary U.S., with its vicious, eco-cidal ruling class and its reigning sociopathic institutions. Under the “inverted totalitarianism” (U.S. political scientist Sheldon Wolin’s term) that is 21st century America’s “corporate-managed democracy” (Wolin again), many of the basic objectives of fascism – the defeat of unions and the working class, the degradation of democracy, the enforcement of hierarchy and savage inequality, racial subordination, the marginalization of the Left, racial divide and rule, militarization of society, and permanent arms and war economy – are achieved without the discomfort and uncertainly imposed by barking dictators, and marching, torch-carrying brown-shirts. Chilling as it may sound to say, fascism would be redundant in the United States today. The U.S. ruling class doesn’t need it. It doesn’t need Dear Leader authoritarians even just of the dog-whistle variety. It gets the same results with a different – more atomized, privatized, apathetic, consumerized, and “inverted” – model of authoritarian rule, one that makes an insistent and deceptive claim to be a great force for modern Western democracy, Enlightenment values (even if U.S. presidents end every major speech with “God Bless America”), and freedom at home and abroad.
Please click on: Trump Gone Before 2020?