I have an interesting metaphor when considering the present political situation: Just as Sam Harris states our sense of self is actually something we manufacture, so to is our sense of country and all the bad that goes along with whatever good we derive from our nationalist identity. It may be the key to any real American Exceptionalism is the separation of church and state- and we have seen this divide compromised in recent decades. Trump pandering to the evangelicals and vice versa is a toxic relationship that is now seen for what it is with the nomination of a Christian fundamentalist replacement for RGB. There is little doubt Trump is hoping a conservative-packed Supreme Court will allow him to stay in office if he declares “the election was rigged.”
We have allowed the rich to convince us that money is all that matters despite the painfully obvious example of 1929 and the New Deal. That money is the god of this world is also a queer violation of the separation of church and state. White grievance and white nationalism has allowed this fool reality TV show host to become the most powerful man on Earth and now we just might allow him to destroy our democracy. Americans have been tricked into accepting individualism as the only good and anything collective as satanic communism. A queer reversal of equal rights and the rule of law as we finally lose the rights we have historically denied others and allow the king of red America to suspend any rule he wants. It is Orwellian that democracy is certainly a collective project while authoritarianism is definitely individual- and we have been brainwashed into thinking the opposite. What was left of democracy after the Reagan Revolution is almost gone. We landed on the Moon and now we cannot even run an election.
Is this the fall of the American Empire and the beginning of a new dark age?
Details were revealed today (27 September) concerning the tax audit on Trump that has been delayed 4 years. Trump may owe over 100 million dollars to the IRS. Not really surprising as he has gone bankrupt 6 times. “A stunning record of failure.” He owes 421 million dollars in personal loans. The President of the United States is in debt and likely will owe penalties totaling around a half a billion dollar dollars. The only business he has that makes a profit is his Florida Golf Club where foreign visitors and U.S. government employees now pay rates five times what they were previous to his election. Without his reality TV show earnings (ironically a “fake news” CNN executive, Jeff Zucker, is most responsible for this) Trump would have been out of money long before he ran for office. Trump says it is fake news.
In other words, Donald Trump the successful businessman was always the actual fake news. He is most accurately described as a failed rich boy and reality TV con man. This is particularly gut-wrenching to me because in one of the last conversations I had with my father he said he supported Trump- because he was a successful businessman. Now we all know it was simply lies promoting a chronic liar. Yet his cult still believes in him.
“Why is Trump so good to some countries and not to others?”
9 million dollars from a trade deal with the Philippines (where Duterte allows extrajudicial killings we do not criticize). At least a million from a licensing deal in Turkey (likely connected to our abandonment of the Kurds who had fought for our interests for decades- leading to the resignation of James Mattis). And…Russia, where an oligarch loses millions on the Miss Universe pageant, essentially paying money to Trump. In his first two years as president, Trump received $73m from foreign operations, including $3m from the Philippines, $2.3m from India and $1m from Turkey. In 2017 he paid $145,400 in taxes in India and $156,824 in the Philippines – but just $750 in the US.
How did Hillary lose to Donald Trump? How did the corporate democrats manage to lose to one of the biggest losers in America? Cenk seems to blame Jeff Zucker as one of the key factors and Maureen Dowd reported another media executive characterizing him as, “-a case study in the most destructive media executive ever to exist… You’d have to tell me who else has taken a once-great network (NBC) and literally destroyed it.”
From wiki: “During the 2016 presidential election campaign, a large focus was placed upon on-air debates between partisan pundits surrounding issues relating to the candidates (including, in particular, Republican candidate Donald Trump). In an interview with The New York Times, Zucker stated that aspects of its election coverage were influenced by sports channels (with the Times citing, specifically, debates between pundits reminiscent of shows such as ESPN‘s First Take, and large outdoor “pre-game” shows for the presidential debates), explaining that “the idea that politics is sport is undeniable, and we understood that and approached it that way.” In 2016, CNN reached a monthly average of 105 million unique visitors to its web and mobile properties.”
I think there is this illusion that celebrities and politicians are somehow not out for a dollar like the unwashed masses and above scrambling for some easy money here and there. And so it seems we have all these individual players trying to cash in on making politics a “sport” so as to gain some personal profit and by chance we end up with the worst possible situation and possible end of democracy in America.
“Manufactured garbage” that Trump is trying to steal the election? He is trying of course. Orwellian that so many million people will believe this opposite-of-the-truth con blathered by someone whose only trick is to talk fast with confidence and a female racist.
Truth is absolutely stranger than fiction.
One of my big worries is the white supremacists trying to start their race war- straight out of the Turner Diaries. If you want to know why these groups are just Nazis-by-another-name there are three books that need not be read, just the summaries understood: The Turner Diaries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turner_Diaries, Camp of the Saints https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Camp_of_the_Saints, and Atlas Shrugged https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged, instead of Mien Kampf, might be surprising, as Ayn Rand was a Jew, but the influence of the ideas in this science fiction novel on these extremists is obvious. Neoliberalism is the religion of Ayn Rand and along with racism the only ideology the white nationalists are interested in.
Exactly what violence these ultra-conservative groups are willing to perpetrate in the event the election is disputed is anyone’s guess. Based on this Portland rally it does not appear they are dedicated enough to go to prison or be killed for their cause. I hope not but I never forget the Oklahoma City Bombing and so they will always scare me.