• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    HerStoryRepeating on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    William on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    riverdaughter on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    Beata on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    jmac on The Plot Against America Is Ve…
    eurobrat on “Critical Race Theory…
    William on “Critical Race Theory…
    Beata on “Critical Race Theory…
    Beata on “Critical Race Theory…
    Beata on “Critical Race Theory…
    Beata on “Critical Race Theory…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on “Critical Race Theory…
    jmac on “Critical Race Theory…
    Beata on “Critical Race Theory…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    September 2021
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Nightswimming
      Great version of the R.E.M. song. Jason Isbell, Bela Fleck and Chris Thile:
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • How To Predict If The Shortages Will Be A Priority To Fix
      Covid has not been a priority to fix in many countries for a simple reason: it’s making the rich a lot richer. U.S. Billionaires have seen their wealth increase by 70% during the pandemic. Man, people dying and getting sick and having to buy much more online is good for Billionaires! What a time to be a peon! So, as for the shortages, the question is how muc […]
  • Top Posts

Donald Trump and His Followers, Finally Unmasked?

So we find out that President Trump was literally a madman, the most dangerous one on the planet. We always sensed it; one does not have to be an expert psychologist to have done so. Incoherent ramblings, the absolute incapacity to tell the truth; the fury, the bellicose rhetoric, calling people names. Some of these characteristics are worse than others, but all are bad, particularly in the person who is in control of the country. And we all knew it years ago, at least as far back as 2015; and for others close to him, far back into his past.

The crucial point is, how did this person get anywhere close to the presidency? In past eras, the party system weeded them out. We had bad candidates, and some bad people, but not a raving lunatic. So how did this happen?

Well, there could be a ten-volume series about this. But to try to crystallize it, it is because of the almost total devolution of the Republican Party, a process which was always in progress, but really accelerated about the time of Gingrich, DeLay and Armey in the 1990’s and 2000’s, and then the Tea Party in 2010 and beyond. The Republicans turned into a party of anger, bellicosity, trying to win at all costs,; bringing down the hammer on Democrats, never ceding an inch to them. Cheating in elections, trying to stop people from voting, demanding that the right to abortion be taken away. Networks which preached, and tried to convert others to, a doctrine of racism, contempt for the disadvantaged, stealing money from anyone they could; lying at all turns, threatening in all contexts; buying a new gun any time they felt upset or impotent, and not caring how many people got shot by their gun-hoarding disciples.

Do you notice how many Republicans in office, not to mention those on the radio or TV shows, local or national, are full of absolute anger, and appear ready to strike or even kill anyone who disagrees with them? Remember Greg Gianforte, running for Congress in Montana, body-slamming a reporter? Paul Lepage of Maine screaming obscenities at the press? Corey Lewandowski accused of battery for grabbing a female reporter and bruising her? I am sure that there are other examples. Republicans, mostly men, of course, out of control, physically assaulting people they disagree with, or who bother them.

How are so many of these people not only Republicans, but actual officeholders representing that party? One assumes it is because their voters do not care a bit, and that they revel in these people doing what they would like to do to people they do not like, or who infuriate them by passing laws, they are taught not to want, or requiring adherence to health and safety rules.

How many people trying to enforce rules about masks have been shot and even killed by Republicans who not only cannot accept anyone having different views than they have. but actually want to murder them? Although they would not call it murder, they would call it standing up for their rights, or the pursuit of liberty. These seem to be people with an urge to kill. All those “stand your ground laws” which proliferated in various states, were essentially a license to do what these people wanted, which is to kill anyone who annoys them in some fashion.

This all didn’t just come out of nowhere. Donald Trump didn’t create these people, they were already there. They loved him, and still do, because he talks the way they like to talk, and gives them license to kill people at political events and marches, try to assassinate the governor of Michigan, storm the Capitol Building with weapons intended to kill political leaders of the other party. Trump praises them, says he loves them. This is what they have been looking for all their lives, someone who understands and encourages them to hate and attack, and even kill. That is why they veritably worship him, as the brownshirts worshipped Hitler.

Now Trump is not really one of them. He has contempt for them, as he has contempt for almost anyone who is not extremely wealthy, or who can pour money into his coffers. But he will use them as his weapons, and also to fill the absolute void at his center. Brutal strong men have always had followers who would kill for them What the followers get out of it, is a sense of purpose, of thinking they are being praised and even loved by the leader, who has chosen them above all the other people that they hate and feel inferior to. It is a perverse symbiotic relationship which recurs in various eras and cultures. It is really nothing new, but the human race should have progressed past it, but obviously cannot. Tyrants offer their followers escape from freedom, from having to make choices, or achieve something in their life. Freedom from what the 19th century sociologist Emile Durkheim called “anomie,” a sense of not belonging, an alienation and rootlessness.

Trump has not one admirable or even creditable characteristic. He has no friends, he never did. He welshes on all debts. He tries to ruin the lives of other people for fun. He is utterly sociopathic. He is also very stupid, but with the cunning to be able to cheat and con people who are as stupid as he is. So they all fit well together.

And then the people who should have been able to have stopped him, did not. These are the Republicans, many holding high office. Some of them ran against him, but quickly fell over themselves to support him, This is because, since all Republicans have devolved to only care about gaining more money and power, Trump was welcomed as someone who could give it to them. And they feared his mob of followers, who would vote against anyone who would not fall in line. And almost none of them possessed the courage or decency to stand up and tell the people how absolutely dangerous Trump was and is.

And we saw the kind of slavish obedience which we imagined existed in the days of ancient empires. Anything Trump did, they defended, said it was nothing, or that he would learn from his mistakes. They have evinced levels of cravenness and obsequiousness that one could scarcely imagine. I don’t even know what goes through their heads, how they rationalize it.

Marco Rubio, who is about as pathetic a political person as one could imagine, the kind of person you might see in a social drama movie, obediently trotting along behind the bad boy whom he so desperately wants to be like, actually wanted to blame General Milley for perhaps trying to stop Trump from starting a world war which would wipe out most of the human race. Were Hitler’s enablers in Germany any different than Rubio? Does he not care about killing billions of people? If Rubio were in Nazi Germany, he would eagerly turn on the gas in the camps, and then say that he was just following orders. And yet people in Florida keep voting for him, because they have been taught to hate liberals more than Nazis. Some think Rubio is sort of pathetically amusing. I think he is horrifying. And he is not the only one.

And all those people in Trump’s Cabinet, why did they not stand up to him, when he was trying to extort world leaders, trying to overturn the results of he election, goading his mob to kill Democratic officials; and, if we are to believe the book by Woodward and Costa, attempting to attack China, possibly with nuclear weapons, so that he could stay in power as a dictator, undoubtedly living in some bunker below. Or maybe he just wanted to have his own cataclysm, his final Eff You to the world, blowing up everything around him. Insane men sometimes kill the rest of their family before committing suicide, or go to a public event with assault weapons, and try to kill as many people as they can before their suicide by cop. Was that what Trump was about to do? And now the insane patriarch who runs Fox News tells his underlings to call Milley a traitor for not letting Trump blow up the world? What kind of science fiction horror movie have we entered into?

And where has the media been in all of this? Covering the endless “horse race?” Reveling in the access which Trump would dole out to the ones who would parrot what he told them, and what they proudly would call “a source close to the President”? Feeling so important that Trump chose them to talk to? Doing their frat boy and sorority girl thing of mocking Hilary, writing inanities like “Hillary the Hawk, Trump the Dove,” or “Trump is wicked, but he’s wicked smart,” and then gleefully following Hillary around to laugh at her some more?

All a fun game, where they get to feel important, too? Their bosses telling them not to call Trump a liar, to try to always make it a “both sides” narrative? Where was their courage? Why did almost none of them speak or write forcefully when it mattered? Is everyone’s career and gratuities, and the illusion of being a big man or woman, so overwhelmingly important, that they would sell their soul and the lives of their fellow Americans for it? Is Trump’s utter contempt for everyone, his mafia-styled belief that everyone is corrupt and stupid and has a price, actually well founded?

The way out of this, if there is one, is to realize how dreadful the Republican leaders are, and that Democrats cannot trust them on anything, much less protecting the health and welfare of American citizens, or even those anywhere in the world. Trump may never run again, or maybe he will, and maybe the Republicans will eagerly support him again. But even if he doesn’t, how much better are Abbott and DeSantis and Kevin McCarthy and Pence and Cruz and Hawley and the others? Not very much. They may not be clinically insane like Trump, but most of them are sociopaths, cruel and angry people who want total power to force everyone else to submit to them.

This is what the Republicans now “offer” to the citizens of this country. Trump was a horrible manifestation of it, but we cannot be foolish enough to think that he and the Republican Party are not both exemplifications of each other Will enough people finally wake up to the reality of what Trump always was, and is? And that what Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and Tim O’Brien, and David.Cay Johnston and Mary Trump always said about him, was the real truth, and maybe worse than even they had imagined? If not now, at last, then never. In most of the great novels, the progress is ultimately toward the light, towards insight and realization and epiphany. It is long past time for it, with regard to the truth about Trump and his enablers.

11 Responses

  1. time of Gingrich, DeLay and Armey in the 1990’s and 2000’s

    William, no argument with these three, but IMO, Limbaugh needs to be there, he was not only the amplifier, he was the originator of some of this codswollop. And, of course the groundwork for all of this was laid by Reagan ‘government is the problem’ in the 80s. Just look at where they are now, a full 360 from government is the problem, to TX GOP (for now, soon all of the crazies) getting into your business and paying your neighbors to spy on you.

    • jmac, the rise of right-wing talk radio certainly was a major factor. And yes, some of those radio people actually invented the lies and propaganda which was picked up by the politicians. And Fox “News,” of course. The Reagan era was where much of it started, but the accentuated belligerence and conspiracy nonsense really picked up when Clinton became president, because it had a focus. And the media got worse, maybe because the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated under Reagan’s FCC picks. And then the social media accelerated it even more, until we have about 40% of the population which cannot discern facts from hate-filled propaganda, and politicians who seemed to emerge fully formed from it, like the creatures in horror movies which grow out of the fetid environs.

    • I think that would be a 180. 😉

  2. Great posts and comments.

    I always thought that one of the reasons the media hated Hillary was jealousy and envy. And of course that she “did not know her place.” She has always been smarter, harder working and more ethical than they are.

    You might find “They Thought They were Free” by Milton Mayer of interest, which includes his interviews with Germans after WWII. I suspect we have thinking like this among the former President’s followers.

    • djmm, thank you. Absolutely, jealousy and envy. She aspired to be an ideal person, and they did not, and they resented her for it, as if she were judging them. The book sounds very worthwhile.

  3. Off topic: Check out Arkansas Rocks for The Magical Mystery Tour program at 7 PM and Beaker Street at 8 PM.

    IIRC, I can’t post any kind of link, even misspelled, on William’s threads, but maybe this cockamamie comment system will allow that simple message through.

    If you don’t already know the website, just feed “Arkansas Rocks” into your favorite search engine.

  4. When I heard Trump wanted to ‘bow out’ by starting a war, possibly a nuclear war, I was surprised (to say the least) that this wasn’t headline news. Such an act should be the final blow to Trump’s political career, yet it seems to have barely caused a ripple. That’s horrifying.

    • I felt the same. I thought it would be given dominant coverage, but it was not. It is almost impossible to understand.

      • Why is it difficult to understand?

        If a horrified white America turned against the GOP en masse, then the Democrats could take full control of the elected branches of the Federal Government, and the Federal judiciary soon after. The Democrats might, just might, then choose to raise taxes significantly on the media corporations, and on the corporations that advertise in the media organs, and on the owners, executives, managers, and higher-ranking staffers, of those media and non-media corporations.

        So, the Media Lords don’t want to risk horrifying white America into accepting higher taxes, and especially into accepting higher taxes on their alleged betters, merely to avoid the death of civilization.

        Our Alleged Betters can just keep on doing what they do best, because there will always be a General Milley to save their greedy domineering arses when needed, right?



        My fellow non-elite white Americans need to wake the fuck up, grow the fuck up, and start voting their actual self-interest instead of their vacuum-skulled prejudices.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: