Friends like these

JULY 28TH, 2016 — POST 206

Okay, okay, another day, more Trump, yeah, yeah. Got it. The DNC are a bunch of side-talking snakes, out to ruin their own, who needs ‘em? It’s good the Russians were man enough to expose them. We know there is a rotten core in the Democratic Party. Crooked Hillary needs to be investigated for treason, all that email stuff. She needs to be locked up. Oh, what? You think she should be lined up to be executed by firing squad? Yeah, sure. Whatever. Fill your boots. But wait, let me get this right. Now you want the closest thing we have to a global supervillain to commit espionage resources to exposing Clinton’s 30,000 deleted emails? You want Putin on your side? Hold up, tell me that last bit again.

This week we were already living in a world where the possibility of another government interfering with the democratic process of the United States of America. With WikiLeaks publishing emails from the DNC, allegedly obtained by state-sanctioned Russian hackers (two seconds, Jerry Bruckheimer is calling), we’ve come to accept that apparently the U.S. election is as blob of clay to be shaped by foreign powers with vested interests. With Democrats on the perpetual defensive from media scrutiny, Republicans have mostly stayed quiet. It’s not really a good look to be riding the coattails of a security hack by foreign operatives — even if we’re not sure it was the Russians, best we stay out of it.

But, never to let an opportunity go unexploited, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did have some thoughts on the matter overnight:

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

It might seem like this is just Crazy Ol’ Donald doing Crazy Ol’ Donald — remember last year when he kept talking about walls?! — but most are united in the opinion that Trump might have finally crossed The Line™. Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence has already expressed that Russia ought to face “serious consequences” should they be discovered as being involved with the DNC hack. The Republican Party are not going to have the democratic process so wickedly manipulated. The U.S., the official line goes, is not the marionette for a foreign oligarch. So the division between Trump and the Republican Party more broadly is evident. But, really, that’s nothing new. Even though what Trump is calling for is itself unprecedented, the place that it’s coming from has, until now, remained well-concealed.

Trump’s rise has been attributed in large part to his capacity to give voice to the silent majority: he’s said what everyone is thinking but which no one — crippled by leftist political correctness and minority “microaggressions” — has been able to say. The core of Trump’s base are seduced by a leader willing to be a racist, a sexist, to be shamelessly old, white, and male. Trump is the Viagra-supported erection for a swath of the population who perceive their status challenged when those that are non-white, non-straight, non-male are treated more equally. You thought we’d gone all soft, that you could walk all over us? Look how hard we can get! At first it was troubling to realise just how potent Trump’s rhetoric was, but we’ve come to learn that — given his base — it’s understandable. Trump is a symbol, a mascot, that people can get behind.

So it makes sense that Trump should attack Crooked Hillary over her emails. It makes sense that, with the DNC having been hacked, Trump wants to lubricate the neural pathways of his base to fold the DNC leak onto Clinton’s email scandal. But it fundamentally makes no sense to call for Russian espionage to be the force of heroism in Clinton’s crucifixion. The same people that can get behind bans on Muslim immigrants, on walls on the Mexican border, on Clinton’s indictment simply cannot get behind that. For a campaign that has tried to capture Reagan’s America anew, the invocation of the exact force that was feared, fought against, and conquered has to be enough to turn people away. Sure, it would be horrifically unprecedented if Trump called for any foreign espionage force to “get to the bottom” of Clinton’s emails. But fucking Russia?.

Cynics will say this changes nothing. This is Trump being Trump and that his followers will follow him all the same. But to me at least this just feels different, incongruous, completely out of step with everything the silent majority has shown itself to be interested in protecting. The gun-toting, Malboro-smoking, jerky-chewing Good Ol’ Boys of Trump’s America can’t for a second support the commies getting their grubby red hands on Our Freedom.

Or at least that’s the hope.

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