Monday, September 10, 2018

Truest statement of the week II

The death of Senator John McCain was an opportune moment for the corporate media and bipartisan establishment elite to tighten their grip on public opinion and simultaneously attack Donald Trump, the man they can’t trust to do their bidding. It wasn’t difficult to do. White supremacy and the doctrine of Manifest Destiny never lurk far from the surface. It is easy to turn a white man into a saint when he is famous for dropping bombs on Asians who turned the tables when they captured and tortured him.
But there was clearly more than the usual white nationalism going on. Donald Trump is also at the heart of this story. As president of the United States, he ought to be the de facto leader of the Republican Party. But he eschewed their tradition of winks and nudges directed at their base of white voters and instead went straight for the racist jugular in his 2016 presidential campaign. He speaks to the nativist “America first” instincts with an occasional nod to their loss of status in a hyper capitalist economy. The very things which make him popular with white people make him unpopular with an establishment fearful that he won’t make good on the neoliberal and imperialist consensus of the duopoly. They are stuck with a president who may not do what they want.
Trump’s presidency makes one thing very clear about this country. Any crime, including war crimes, can be disappeared if the perpetrator follows the rules of decorum. Donald Trump is the graceless, boorish man who sees no need for a filter. He has no charm, no personal traits that give him an out. His persona clearly shows why he would separate families seeking asylum or let the wealthy pay fewer taxes.
Other presidents put on a show of respectability. They couched their evil doing in terms of humanitarian need, even when they were killing people. They understood the importance of being liked on a personal basis in order to have their crimes diminished or forgotten in the court of public opinion.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is easily conjured up by a gullible population with no class identity or true political ideology. Politics is treated like a kind of religion where key players are considered good or bad. If they know how to behave in public they can be considered good. The rehabilitation of George W. Bush and John McCain proves that the bad guys can be transformed into good if someone comes along who is thought to be worse.

-- Margaret Kimberley, “Freedom Rider: John McCain, Trump Derangement, and False Black Consciousness” (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).
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