The Object of Power is Power
President Trump held another one of his pep rallies in Nashville yesterday. He was seething with another loss in the federal courts as two judges held up the new version of his immigration ban, which was set to go into effect this week. He was whipping the crowd into a frenzy with his own private recipe of jingoism and bullshit.
At one point he wondered aloud, in one of his ham-fisted attempts at humor, about the judges’ political ambitions. And the crowd was eating it up, totally ignoring the fact that they’re cheering for a modern day P.T. Barnum, who did and said whatever he thought would earn him votes. A man who, despite being a demonstrably rotten person, is now the President of the United States. Yet there he was in Nashville, teaching a Trump University class on political ethics and ambition.
Donald Trump did not run for President because he cares or because he had some grand vision. He ran because he wants to be loved. He wants to be revered. He wants absolute power.
“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship…The object of power is power.”
I know that I’m not the first (or the millionth) to draw a parallel between the Trump presidency and George Orwell’s 1984 (by the way, if you have Amazon Prime, 1984 is available on any device to “borrow” for free from Amazon’s Prime Reading Library). I thought, however, that the day-to-day work of governance would tamp the President’s rhetoric down a bit. Instead, he seems intent on ramping it up. Which shouldn’t surprise me, I guess, because doubling down is another page from his playbook.
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”
Throughout his career in business and into his campaign and now into his presidency, Donald Trump has repeatedly employed the tactic of just stating whatever he wants as fact, even when these statements are easily provable as false. And the people who support him just shrug these statements off and applaud his conviction for standing up for what he believes. Beliefs and convictions don’t factor into truths and facts.
“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
The President says they’ll be holding these pep rallies of his every couple of weeks. “We’re gonna have some fun,” he says.
I wonder how long it will be until attendance becomes mandatory?