Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Reign of Error

There’s an ancient curse, widely attributed to the philosopher Confucius. “May you live in interesting times.” Never have times been more interesting than they are today. And by interesting I mean terrifying. A reality television star is in the White House, and the day-to-day drama of the nightly news is even more incredible than the dystopian fictions of Anthony Burgess and George Orwell. It’s like some evil antithesis of Jeb Bartlett has crossed over from a mirror universe, like on Star Trek, only at least Martin Sheen knows how to act presidential.

There’s also a tired old cliché in political discourse, the ad hominem practice of comparing a political opponent to Adolf Hitler. But even that little boy who cried wolf was right once, and nobody believed him. For once, the shoe actually fits!

History teaches (at least it did when I was in school) that the Führer rose to power riding a wave of rampant, unchecked nationalism. He solidified his base by giving them an enemies in their midst to hate and vilify, and by discrediting the Lügenpresse (the lying press) when they tried to talk some sense into these deluded sheep. You know the rest of the story. At least I hope you do. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for Hitler or Germany.)

Trump has followed the same playbook, almost to the letter. He stirs up crowds with his pretended patriotism and taps into their fears and hates. He gives them enemies in their own midst — mainly Muslims and Mexicans — and screams “fake news” at anything he disagrees with. It’s only gotten worse since his inauguration. He’s already campaigning for re-election, inciting crowds of idiots, and his speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree sounded more like he thought he was addressing the Trump Youth. And yet the ignorant masses still cheer him on!

Trump isn’t Hitler. He’s a bad impression of Hitler. At least, to my knowledge, Hitler never gathered his top advisors together to gush about how great he was for the media.

Nor did Hitler collude with a foreign power to influence the German election that put him in office.

How the fuck did this happen in America?

Here’s how it happened. The Republicans learned that they could use people’s fear and hatred as a motivating force that amplified the national PTSD that followed the September 11th attacks. They embraced a message of fear, making the ignorant masses afraid of the monsters under their beds that would kill them in their sleep, and only the Republicans could save them. They welcomed the hateful and imbecile into their ranks, because at the end of the day they’re just votes. Meanwhile, they decimated public education so there would always be a constant, renewable supply of imbeciles and haters to vote for them.

It was a nefarious scheme… and it backfired. Bigly.

The G.O.P.’s mistake was letting too many stupid people into their party. As a result, they nominated one of their own, and with a little help from his droogs, the sonofabitch won.

We’ve elected a stupid president.
Donald Trump is a disgrace, not only to the presidency but to America in general. His arrogance and narcissism are without precedent, and his stupidity is likely to start a third world war. The rest of the world is laughing at us, but it’s a nervous, uneasy laughter. His defensiveness in regards to any investigation of his personal finances or international collusion is a red flag in and of itself, a beacon screaming that he’s certainly hiding something. His actions are not those of a rational man. It is imperative that he be removed from office, before he gets us all killed… or worse.