In Praise of Bastardry
Trump did what was necessary to survive the idiotic gotcha system of American politics.
A certain number of people in the USA clearly see that we are at a crisis in American history. This is no longer the faux ballet under which we have suffered since 1966, the completely false paradigm of “right versus left,” which has diverted us if we are shallow, or absolutely infuriated us if we are deep. Over the last year the veil has been torn. We can clearly see the lineaments of the imperial monstrosity which is the real center of power in the US, a conjunction of state and corporate power which is not elected, and has no limits circumscribed by the Constitution. Call it the deep state, call it whatever one wishes, the principle fact is that it is totalitarian, and it has complete contempt for the citizenry.
History is not made by nice people. G.W. Bush was, perhaps, a pleasant enough person, but he was surrounded by ruthless bastards. Cheney was probably the biggest cynic in American politics until recently. I am not going to waste time deploring the real power in the Bush 2 regime. They were what they were. Representatives of the real power in the country, not us. The Obama Device was even more clever. The ostensible eloquent reincarnation of Martin Luther King, the well-intended crusader for political rights for black people. In fact, he was as cynical as Cheney. He arrogantly pitted a substantial number of people against a diminishing power bloc in America, the whites. He created the “race war,” as a beautiful diversion from his real agenda which was to prosecute covert wars, destroy enemies designated by the deep state, enhance the oppressive powers of the government, and enhance the surveillance of the citizenry. The yawning gap between the pretend wise leader and the autocrat made him far more sinister than G.W. Add to this, he continued the work done by the odious Clintons in placing operatives throughout the government to execute covert policies after he left office.
Let us not be confused. Trump’s win was not necessarily a victory for the “Mr. Smith’s.” I absolutely believe Trump was astonished to discover how little power a president has. He was merrily lambasting the CIA, decrying our militaristic foreign policy, and declaring he would use diplomacy and deal-making to chart a new course for the country. There has been precious little diplomacy. He is smashing the restrictive trade agreements. He is decidedly a nationalist. He is putting the nation first. But I see no end to the militaristic foreign policy of Obama/Bush 2 which established us as the chief wrecker of the Middle East, and extended our military deployments to eastern Europe.
I believe he saw the power of the unelected government, and discovered (very likely to his chagrin) how powerless even a president is against the state within the state.
Unfortunately, the country is now a rat’s nest of organization men and women and courtiers, military and civilian, who are more loyal to their careers, their salaries, their bribes, and the real power than they are to the Republic and its Constitution. I imagine they think believers in the old Republic are quaint and amusing because they are the ones mainlined into real power. They are realists. Yes, they are, indeed, realists. They are also degraded and repulsive regardless of rank whether it be head of the CIA, FBI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, cabinet officers, or functionaries in the system. They are traitors, and a resounding copulate with yourself to them. In a just world they would be rooted out, disgraced, sacked or prosecuted.
They disgust me. They disgust me not because they are not idealists, I have little patience for idealism, and not because of their money or power. They disgust me because they are shortsighted. A system which has hopelessly broken down into Hobbes’ State of Nature, “the war of all against all” cannot endure, and, in fact, is doomed to degenerate into chaos, as ours is today. What held this republic together for most of two centuries was a belief in the genius of it. The seeds of this chaos were already in place by WWII, but the war generation still believed in the republic, as attenuated as this belief became up until the present day as most of them die. They have been replaced by cynics, many highly educated, and highly rationalized in their behavior. But, Lord, are they shallow. They are deep as petri bowls. The examples are legion. You meet them in government offices, in the military, in the private sector, and in daily interaction. They are Clintons, McCains, Obamas, Romneys, Bushes, tech billionaires, newspaper people, bankers, businesspeople, religious leaders, academics, entertainers, artists — they are everywhere.
Trump seemed to be a blitzkrieg on the phoniness of what we have become. He is an Everyman, he is not an elitist. I suspect he was as astounded that his wild torpedo run succeeded as we were. He is now the nominal, but not real head of the government.
The real fight, though, remains in the hands of the ever diminishing believers in the Republic. And, the odds are against them. Their enemies are powerful and fell.
History is not made by nice people. Clive conquered India whacked out of his head on opium. There are no prizes for being nice in the stern accounting of history. Winston Churchill was not nice, he yelled at his generals and admirals like they were schoolboys. He badgered the bureaucracies with an incredible production of memoranda on every subject imaginable. He shut down papers which annoyed him. He threatened editors. He burned to death thousands of human beings in one of the most ruthless campaigns in history. FDR used people shamelessly. He was centered upon the vast project for the nation, and for good or bad, he succeeded. He put a stamp on the country. His successors were largely midgets. We could use a strong dose of his will.
The battle won’t be won by Trump. It’s in the hands of every citizen of good will who has not become an automaton, a device to be used for the delectation of those who have power.
History is in motion in this nation like no time since the Revolution. The Civil War was a gentlemanly spat compared to what is now happening. This is the state versus the citizenry, not states versus states. Have no illusions, this is what it is all about. The secret government did its best to crush Trump all year. The fight is not over. In many ways the battle has not even been joined yet.