Trump’s Empty Never Mind
And The False Equivalence Of Hysteria
“Racism is evil,” Trump said in a statement from the White House. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”
The words spoken here are not your own. Mr. Trump’s ambivalence now, which emanates from a disordered and disturbed character, only proves further how disingenuous he can be.
Those words are not the type of verbiage that would come from Assistant to the President, Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor, Stephen Bannon neither.
These words are unimaginable coming from the likes of Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President and Strategist.
Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Policy, Stephen Miller wouldn’t dream of such rhetoric as he is charged with stemming the flow of immigration to suit only wealthy, English speaking, folk with skills that would make America great again.
Their foot soldiers were armed and ready for conflict on Saturday, August 12, 2017. This was their covert law and order operation designed and intended to assert the social hierarchy of a Jim Crow era revival while Trump and his flunkies vitiate civil rights laws and subvert democracy in their favor.
They were emboldened by that promise and when the Charlatan-in-Chief finally recognized the support of white nationalists would severely erode any credibility he has left domestically and internationally , the biased media and his incompetent republican party rebukes towards him began to register. As reported by the Slate however, “After Trump tweeted that “We ALL must be united,” former KKK grand wizard David Duke responded, “I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”
This drum beat against radical leftist can be heard through an article authored by Samuel Moyn and David Priestland in the Sunday Review section of the New York Times called “Trump Isn’t a Threat to Our Democracy, Hysteria Is”, published August 11, 2017.
Since Donald Trump’s election, the United States has been gripped by tyrannophobia. Conspiracies against democracy are everywhere; truth is under siege; totalitarianism is making a comeback; “resistance” is the last refuge of citizens.
As I tepidly got through a few paragraphs my facial expressions can be seen as akin to the caption below.
Trump is their leader, however, by our democratic principles and standards he has been elected to the highest post and therefore is representative of American values and spirit — by default, and quizzically Trump’s representation matters at the highest levels of said democracy.
In this context, by default, means through lack of positive action rather than conscious choice. I often wonder whether enough was done to disabuse ourselves of legitimating his candidacy, or did we simply just play into the alt-right’s illegitimate grievances and false justifications that became rationalized by false equivalences. A coup-like opportunity republicans found hard to resist in such a candidacy.
The sky is not falling and no lights are flashing red, but Americans have nonetheless embraced a highly charged, counterproductive way of thinking about politics as a “new Cold War” between democracy and totalitarianism. The works of Hannah Arendt and George Orwell have risen on the best-seller charts. Every news story produces fear and trembling.
Instead of condescending to readers with this mischaracterization of hysteria, one should try realizing that it took strong public outcries in reaction to this president from day 1. This sort of moral licensing from Samuel Moyn, a professor of law and history at Yale University, and David Priestland, a professor of modern history at Oxford University can be seen as contributing to perpetuating America’s divide with remarks like these.
If there is one lesson from the 20th century worth learning, it is that an exclusive focus on the defense of liberal fundamentals against a supposed totalitarian peril often exacerbates the social and international conflicts it seeks to resolve. This approach to politics threatens to widen the already yawning gulf between liberal groups and their opponents, while distracting from the deeply rooted forces that have been fueling right-wing populist politics, notably economic inequalities and status resentments.
Generally people do see sides here based on a disagreement of principles, but this is not about principles. There is nothing principled about racism and white supremacism fueling right-wing populism. While it was okay to act in liberal ways in the founding and transformation of this country, it became not okay to recognize the role of liberal inclusiveness in its union. This really is about the bastardization of democracy. If there is a side that needs reckoning then it is the side that is constantly finding ways to refute the American DNA that made it a multicultural society, not some white conservative society with illegitimate liberal misfits of color trying to claim their rights and prove their equality.