We are living in a very dangerous time because just when we need a well-informed citizenry more desperately than perhaps any time before in our history, we have a moron in the oval office throwing gasoline on the fire.
Trump’s rallies i.e. his non-stop public spectacles staged to boost his ego on his never-ending carnival of self-aggrandizement, are resembling more & more Hitler’s speech at Nuremberg. Of course, Hitler focused primarily on the Jews who were German citizens while Trump’s venom & vitriol is more generalized i.e. Mexicans, Muslims, women, or anybody not a member of the Duck Dynasty Klan.
What really troubles my soul is that this centuries-old tactic of blaming the victims of the elite continues to be effective & obviously Trump’s “base,” has no historical memory. The automatons who worship the ground that Trump walks upon are completely oblivious to his blatant manipulation of them. How in the Hell can they find “common cause” with a supposed billionaire—who refuses to release his tax returns because they most likely reveal what a charlatan he is—who has screwed thousands of people who have worked for him?
I believe a key insight into this dreadful phenomenon lies in the politics of resentment. What do I mean by this term? Quite simply that what unites Trump’s fan club is a hatred & burning resentment towards all who aren’t like them i.e. poor, white, working class born in America people.
You see, all dictators, oligarchs, demagogues, etc. throughout history knew that the best way to distract their citizens from the ugly realities of their lives was to blame the “other.” And again, the “other” can be any group you choose i.e. Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, Blacks, gays, handicapped, etc.
It seems to be almost axiomatic or reflexive for people to blame their fellow victims rather than the power elite who are actually the ones responsible for their deprivations. I have been observing & writing about this tragic state of affairs for decades now & I never will understand it. I guess it must be human nature to deny or ignore one’s own responsibility for not informing oneself & participating in the democratic process & to blame those even worse-off than yourself for your inability to feed your family, have adequate healthcare, put a roof over your family’s head, etc.?
I am continually baffled that my fellow citizens can’t seem to comprehend the obvious fact that it is the rich who pass things like NAFTA which rewards the corporations for closing down their plants in the U.S. & going overseas where they can pay workers far less than they have to in the U.S. i.e. minimum wage which is an employer’s way of saying that they’d pay you even less if they could but the law requires they pay at least the minimum wage (some rap artist pointed this out).
Naturally, but sadly, the overwhelming majority of Americans allow themselves to be buffeted back & forth like a cork floating in the high seas. The 1% own the mass media & have been manipulating public opinion for decades i.e. the liberal bias in the mass media—common sense tells us that those who own the media aren’t going to allow serious criticism of their propaganda to be heard on the very stations, magazines, radio, etc. they own. Why? Because this would threaten the very power structure that helps keep them in power.
And yet Donald, the Magnificent is a master at using the media to sell his brand i.e. himself, to the world. He got something like several billion dollars of free advertising as he campaigned to become president while Bernie Sanders received a small fraction of the media’s attention. Why? Because Trump is basically a “shock jock” and knows that the more outrageous, nasty, racist, etc. he is, the more attention he’ll get. And the kicker is, after getting so much free publicity from the national media, Trump turns on his benefactors & calls them “fake news,” etc. Where would Trump be if it weren’t for the so-called fake media?
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see Trump’s game plan, and his smug mug & Cheshire Cat trademark smirk says it all i.e. you really are a nation of rubes & oh so easily duped by my huckster rap. This is a good place to share a quote from the great Bertrand Russell with you;
“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth — more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid … Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”
Take a few moments to really chew this thought over if you will. To my mind, this quote encapsulates the core of the problem we’re all facing whether we acknowledge it or not. As long as we remain apathetic or unwilling to expend the energy to inform ourselves, the rich & powerful will continue to have their boots on our necks.
If you expect to be treated fairly without being willing to do your homework i.e. inform yourself, you are asking for what never has been nor ever will be. All of human progress in terms of lifting up the lives of ordinary men & women has only come about due to serious & prolonged struggles against the wealthy. They clearly enjoy their status, privileges, & wealth and will not willingly or easily give these “perks” up.
And this is what I am talking about when I refer to “post-literate America.” For example, I allowed myself to get sucked into the Facebook world even though my gut told me from the beginning that Facebook was basically a forum for teenage girls. I can’t tell you how many thousands of hours I wasted on Facebook writing lengthy responses & essays on many of the critical issues facing us in today’s world only to get a rare reply of a sentence or two. And once emojis were introduced, I didn’t even get a sentence but more often than not, a happy face.
Do you seriously think we’re going to mount a serious revolution for our freedom with emojis? In other words, if we can’t even be bothered to take the time to write a few sentences to each other in camaraderie or support of one another, what chance do we have of making any progress?
A couple of years ago, it dawned on me that since we’re clearly such a materialistic society i.e. we only value those members of our society that can prove their “worth” by pointing to their wealth, material possessions, celebrity, etc., quantification seems to reign supreme. So, it occurred to me that I should perhaps attempt to quantify my knowledge? By-the-way, before I met my lovely wife, Jeri, I had several relationships with girls/women whom I loved deeply & whom I believe loved me deeply but they invariably ended because they were afraid that I wasn’t “ambitious” enough.
This reflects just a part of the high price I’ve paid over the years. I too used to believe that the word “ambition” solely referred to how much money a person was “worth.” Then it dawned on me, Aha! True, I’m not “ambitious” in the usual sense of wanting to become financially wealthy but I am ambitious as Hell when it comes to becoming as knowledgeable or as wise as I possibly can.
Conservatively, over the last 30 years, I have spent roughly 50,000 hours reading the classics & modern classics in history, politics, philosophy, literature, etc. & unlike Donny the Liar & Denier in Chief, I can back it up. I have collected approximately 10,000 books in my personal library & have made copious notes in several hundred of my books. I have listened to radio programs on politics, collected thousands of articles, written a couple hundred essays, many of which are 20 to 30 pages or more, written a couple thousand pages on two major projects so far, read magazine articles, etc.
In the notes I have made in the blank pages of my books, I either copy passages that I feel are important, verbatim or I paraphrase them & often write someone’s name whom I remember having an argument with about the subject or whom I would like to show the passage to. I have also developed my own, crude symbology of stars, hearts, triangles, etc. in an attempt to show the value of said passage.
I hope that you, my imaginary reader, believe me when I tell you that this isn’t merely me imitating the braggart in the White House but my attempt to establish my bonifides. Continuing on with the twin pillars of this essay i.e. the politics of resentment & post-literate America, there are countless studies, polls, etc. confirming how anti-intellectual America has become over the past 50 years & even further if you read the classic by Richard Hofstadter, “Anti-intellectualism in American Life.” I basically dissected this book because I went through it with a fine-tooth comb so-to-speak, twice.
I went through this American classic the second time because I used it as a sort of skeleton outline in my on-going magnum opus; Truth Against the World. This project has become a work of gargantuan proportions & I’ve broken it down into three separate books. I still have a lot more to add but the first book in this series is titled; “The Christian Fundamentalists War Against Secular Humanism.”
Speaking of which, these so-called “Christians” personify a major portion of Trump’s & America’s politics of resentment. In a nutshell, these faux “Christians” are resentful & angry that they aren’t accorded the power & prestige as a sort of American Taliban. And to prove just how hypocritical they are, how else can you explain the fact that they staunchly support & defend Trump who is the embodiment of the Seven Deadly Sins? In brief, they prove how shallow their “Christianity” is & how meaningless Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” is to them.
We moved a lot as I was growing up but I always sought out & attended the local church wherever we went. I knew next to nothing about the differences between denominations. I simply enjoyed the experience & Sunday School. But somewhere around the age of 14 or 15, the hypocrisy just became too brazen. And at the risk of sounding grossly overly simplistic, I believe the Sermon on the Mount & the Commandment to do unto others as you’d have them do unto you, is all we need to practice.
Embarrassingly, we are known the world around as being one of the most illiterate nations on Earth, most notably among the so-called “advanced” nations. Many Americans openly brag about not having read a single book in the past year. Moreover, it’s become common knowledge that Trump won’t even bother to read the daily briefings that are so vital for the leader of the world’s most powerful nation.
Instead, Trump is noted for his watching television several hours per day & most conspicuously, “FOX News,” which any student of modern history knows should more accurately be referred to as America’s “Pravda.” (Russia’s version of the New York Times i.e. their paper of propaganda)
I must admit that I never cease to be amazed at the level of spectacular ignorance & utter inability to even formulate a single, coherent sentence by Trump. But somewhere deep inside I can’t help but wonder; Is this really a master act of deception on the part of Trump to distract us from his & his craven cronies consistent unraveling of our democracy?
In other words, is it humanly possible for someone to be so glaringly stupid in just about every sentence that comes out of his mouth?
In conclusion, I’d like to share with you a portion from a transcript of my favorite, alternative news station, “Democracy Now!” which I have been following for the past 20 years—nearly from its beginning. This is Wayne Barrett, who followed Trump’s infamous rise more thoroughly than any other journalist:
You know, he has made a career—when I say I don’t know why he’s never been prosecuted, maybe the prime time that he could have been prosecuted was at the time of his downfall in 1990 and ’91. Well, you know, the banks kept him alive, as he was too big to fail. So, they kept him alive. But I wrote in the book—he certainly didn’t sue when I said it—I didn’t say that he had made—submitted false financial statements to the bankers to get a billion dollars in personally guaranteed loans. I said he submitted fraudulent ones. Right? And I lay out a case for that in the book. He was engaged in completely defrauding the banks, and the banks knew it. OK? And they were giving him the loans anyway. So, they kept him alive. But even more so than that, the House Banking Committee wanted to do public hearings about it; the banks wouldn’t cooperate. The district attorney of Manhattan was a big friend of Donald’s. Donald was his second-biggest giver. Robert Morgenthau’s second-biggest giver was Donald Trump. Donald was the chairman of the Police Athletic League, which was Morgenthau’s biggest charity. So, he was extremely close. He hired—Andy Maloney was the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District. He hired Maloney’s brother. Right? Rudy Giuliani was the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, and we know how close they got. I wrote a whole story about how their relationship developed. I was at Rudy Giuliani’s first fundraiser when he decided to run for mayor, and there’s Donald at the main table. He’s the co-chair of the first Rudy Giuliani fundraiser for the mayorality in 1989. So, his relationships with prosecutors and the fact that the bankers—they were embarrassed by what they had done; they didn’t want any investigation of this. So, the combination of the two gave—gave them a pass—gave him a pass.
In brief, everything about Trump is a fraud and always has been. You could say that he is our greatest “flim-flam president.” And by “greatest,” I mean he represents the worst of the worst in terms of human qualities!
—Rob DeLoss, July 19, 2019 Gold Beach, Oregon
Clearly in a “culture” as post-literate as ours & in which many Americans brag about not having read a single book in the past year, some even boast that they’ve never read a single book in their lives, it’s easy to manipulate their emotions as Trump obviously does. And willful ignorance & violence go hand in hand when people are looking to blame others for their misfortunes. Personally, I believe that Trump’s walking dead knows that it’s the rich who have fucked them but they don’t know where to focus their anger towards the rich or it just seems so impossible to take them on & that too is why they prefer to blame people of color.
Moreover, people seem to have a penchant for violence & chaos and Trump allows them to vent their anger on a regular basis which is satisfying for those of low I.Q. So, a rightful resentment toward the 1% is transferred on to the poorest victims of our society & they don’t have the power to fire you like your boss does.
Trump is the most audacious liar I’ve ever heard of & he even tells his zombie followers to not believe their own eyes or ears or any of the media but only to listen & believe his lies. And what is truly frightening is the fact that this dunce has the power to start a nuclear war & denies the reality of climate destruction. Trump hasn’t “drained the swamp,” but rather he is tearing down the structure of our government with every person he has appointed in his cabinet & etc. So, when your Social Security checks stop coming along with your pension checks, & etc., remember, you asked for it with your blind submission to that vile creature in the White House who I’m sure will be crying crocodile tears for you as you seek shelter on our mean streets!
Yep! The world-wide economic collapse of 2008 which crippled the world & from which we still haven’t fully recovered was largely due to deregulation of the financial markets & Trump is deregulating everything he can get his hands on so as to further enrich himself & his butt-buddies. Oh well?