With each passing day the Trump White House Reality Show Saga staggers forth, drowning the public arena in plots and events which would leave a Brazilian soap opera in the dust of absurdist improbability. Each day the various spokespersons emerge to spew ridiculous lies, one after the other, with seeming shamelessness. Nearly each day Herr Trump emits a sequence of Twitter enuncios, often mangled in misspellings, grammatical knots, and, yes, the invariable Everest of lies which seem to be his singular reason for being. This grand drama has carried on ever since his highness descended the golden escalator of Trump Tower, greeted by a large gaggle of paid actors, and announced he was in the ring, running for President. It was in more ways than one a real class act.
He’d laid the groundwork for this grand Guignol theater with decades in the trenches of the New York real estate biz, and then the tinsel glamor of casinos, draped with gambling’s usual cast of thugs and local Mafia which, in fact, was not a great change from NYC’s corrupt building industry. And then, having failed in both these endeavors, with a trail of bankruptcies to show for it, he moved onto TV’s reality-show sewer, and ever greater fakery.
As with his businesses, so it was with wives. Failing with one, he dumped her and moved to the next, littering the way with a string of children, the last of whom is named after the fake PR agent which Trump himself used to play to pass along juicy items to New York’s yellow press. Barron was his name, and he’d call to let the world know of Trump’s latest conquests in the field of fucking. His son now bears this albatrossian monicker. Lucky him.
And now looking more haggard with his vast comb-over and sagging flesh, eyes peering out from their odd white sockets from the fake tan skin job he applies to himself, The Donald is able to command the world’s attention, his stubby fingers but a code away from incinerating the whole globe, should the corrupted American system comply with a demented order from The President. Thus far the theoretical “checks and balances” of the Founding Fathers scheme seem to be faltering seriously.
All of the above is appalling, and sadly true. The Rosebud of Trump’s psyche is clearly hidden in the massive chip on the Queens kid’s shoulder. Bruised with a silver spoon up his ass at birth, and apparently a harsh unloving father and mother, The Donald took his million buck wad from his father, moved into the Manhattan real-estate racket, and pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, a real Horatio Alger American success story. Well, not quite. Hobbled with a bone spur in one of his feet, he forgets which, Donald blazed a pecker-track trail through the decadent Manhattan party scene of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, emerging, so he says, unscathed with STD, his own private Vietnam, risking AIDS with each psycho-sexual battle. Along the way he blew his million buck starter kit, had some bankruptcies here and there, and built a reputation as a scam artist, from high to low. He moved on to Atlantic City casinos, and gambling there, lost again. His dad bailed him out with a legally dubious multi-million dollar purchase of casino chips. The Trump Taj Mahal recently shuttered its doors after being sold to another sucker. Along the line The Donald learned that old PT Barnum maxim, there’s one born every second.
Failed but famous, he saw his name was the best product on offer, mystical and golden. Trump Steaks! Trump National Golf Courses! Trump Vodka! Trump University! He built a tower on 5th Avenue, asserting it was 68 floors when it was in fact 58. He installed a private Versailles on its top floors, a garish palace of fake Louis XIV and hauled his third wife up there to spawn his 5th child, dear Barron. And yet, despite all this, the Manhattan elite never accepted him and his brash, crude and rude ways, and the best tables at the classy restaurants were not reserved for him. In fact the boys on Wall Street finally declined to bank with him, and he turned his sights to other funding sources, and, along with other New York real-estate moguls, Trumpworld became a money laundering machine for Russian and East European dirty money, carefully funneled through an arcane web of off-shore shell companies and banks.
This fantastical story is no fable, but rather the unhappy truth, a real American novel writ large if crude.
Though the still more fantastical story – no fable – is that this one could never have been lived if it were not for the world in which it has been played out: America, circa now. In an America where corruption on a vast scale is the norm, though not so long ago we primly lectured the world on probity. Where the once staunchly proper Republican Party lies supine, awaiting Donald’s allegedly very little dick, for a daily reaming. Where a party of pious moralizers about women’s bodies turn utterly silent when the most obvious of liars occupies the White House in their name, and tramples daily on the “values” which they once harped upon so loudly. The hypocrisy is so vast as to diminish the word “hypocrisy” to nothing. It is something else. It is something which has incrementally entered the American body politic in ways that, as ever in hindsight, seem so obvious now, though were invisible as they entered the bloodstream. A stealthy terminal cancer which does not reveal itself until it takes your life.
Today the liberal world of Democrats is still in shock, unable to believe their most worthy candidate actually lost to the uncouth bullying braggart which Donald John Trump is. At the outset of the campaign they were salivating at the obviousness of their win, it was a no-brainer no-match. They’d take the Senate, clean up in once Red States, and waltz happily from the wonders of a black President to smashing the glass ceiling of sexism, and have a woman in the Oval Office. And, in a manner they did: 3 million more votes went to Madam Clinton than Mr Trump received, just that, in the arcane electoral scam world of America, they were in the wrong places. Firm in her belief that certain fly-over zones, traditionally Democratic, were hers for granted, she declined to campaign in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and missed out on noting the collapse of these realms which Don the Con so expertly gamed into his head count.
And then of course there is the litany of GOP tricks of gerrymandering, of voting roll purges, and, so it seems, a bit of Russian cyber warfare to tilt the appropriate tables just enough to pull out a Trump Electoral College win. Such is the Dem lament. If, indeed, Putin had much to do with it (I’d guess he did, but the roots go far back into post-USSR oligarchic mafia money flooding into NYC and along the way bailing The Donald out of his business miseries), then in terms of grand real-politik, he’s already had an immense win: the USA is in severe internal turmoil, and seems headed towards a dissolution similar to that which the good old USSR went through.
The bottom line, which it seems Democrats are unable to comprehend, nor did their GOP counterparts, is that the USA is, socially, utterly corrupted, top to bottom, and only in such a situation could a Donald Trump emerge triumphant. With the GOP he acted like a juvenile delinquent, he huffed and puffed and called his opposition truly stupid bad names – and they all shriveled up and collapsed as they were nothing to begin with. And once he won, having insulted them all, they showed their true characters and value and went to suck his butt.
“We came, we saw, he died.” (Laughter.)
And while the Democrats imagine themselves somehow different, in truth it is their own corruption – for decades – which brought this debacle upon them, and upon the nation. For decades they have spoken nice liberal niceties, while wallowing in the trough of corporate malfeasance, and enhancing their personal wealth along the way. Clinton (both) did half-million buck speeches to Wall Street honchos and said no quid pro quo was involved, while they backed the corporately-written trade agreements that have decimated American labor. Obama, well-mannered Harvard-trained Step’n Fetchit did the Man’s bidding and let Wall Street off the hook for illegalities up the kazoo in the 2008 collapse. Ditto did he say he was “looking forward” and not back in letting Bush and gang off the hook for lying the USA into a disastrous war, the consequences of which are still being played out. One of the club. The list of Democratic dishonesty is equal to that of the Republicans, because, bottom line, they all belong to the same institutions and the same insider game. That is the corruption which blossomed over the decades as the few became obscenely wealthy, and the many fell ever further behind, and the social infrastructure was effectually let to rot while the liberal-left of America mouthed platitudes about race, sexual identification, “safe” spaces, and all the rest of the fake stuff of “political correctness” which invaded our public commons, while the invisible hand of the market consigned a vast portion of the country to Walmart and worse. While 22 veterans a day, left homeless, commit suicide each day – now far out-numbering those killed in combat. While meth and then opioids cut a lethal swath across the nation’s failing economic casualties. It is not as if these things were not visible, it is just that for the liberal world, the large mental “fly-over” country was dismissed as a yahoo red-neck Nascar wreck, unworthy of attention or care, and was left to Fox and friends to warp with 24/7 right-wing propaganda. All in plain sight, but until it came to whack them over the head in the 2016 election, seemingly unworthy of giving the time of day. And now the institutional Democrats are convulsed in an internecine war with themselves, fingers pointing blame at anyone but the person in the mirror: It was Sanders’ fault. It was the blind DNC. It was Clinton’s ham-handedness and arrogance. It was the Russians. It was…..
It was anyone and anything aside from the rotted corrupt society that is America today. A society in which corruption is such a norm that a great majority is blind to it, taking it as how the world is, and how it should be. Grade inflation in schools, from kindergarten to PhD’s in Harvard. Cheating as a necessary way to get ahead. A medical system which is little more than an extortion racket. Our vast and corrosive “entertainment” industry that feeds virtual death on a grand scale 24/7 – look at your TV and Hwd block-busters. Sports which are but a step away from Roman gladiators killing each other for the pleasure of violence besotted spectators. A military-industrial-media system that functions as a quasi-religion and contorts the American economy in a death-lock. Look almost anywhere and the ugly specter of corruption materializes: social, economic, cultural, political.
This should be no surprise in an imperial system which lies to itself, and has done so from its inception. The United States of America comprises 5% of the world’s population and consumes 25% of its resources. While America insists that it is “exceptional” and that this disproportion derives both from having a large landmass and brilliant creative entrepreneurial people, the brutal fact is that it has a vast military machine which enforces its economic sway on much, if no longer all, of the world. It is imperialism, plain and simple. But Americans, self-deluded, do not acknowledge it, just as they do not acknowledge that the US is almost always at war, supposedly defending “US interests.” In such a system the moral rot is innate: no one wishes to admit their wealth is ill-gained, no one wishes to really admit the history which is that of America. Almost no one in such a system will volunteer to relinquish 80% of their wealth to help even out the grotesque distribution of global wealth. And so lying and self-delusion arise naturally and “normally,” and with it a fertile ground for corruption of all kinds. And a hence, a field ripe for the emergence of Mr Trump and his cohorts.
“A candidate for public office…does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or count himself lost. All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”