Monday, January 18, 2021

Bidding No Trump

Caligula (photo: Louis Le Grand)

If you believe in Hegel’s world-historical individuals, otherwise known as the great man theory of history, you might cotton to the idea that Donald Trump literally changed the world, in this case for the worse. Countervailingly FDR could be said to have changed the world for the better, giving us the New Deal and the blueprint for all the entitlements that gunslingers like Trump want to do away with. Now Trump is plainly a product as well as a shaper of history. You couldn’t have a Trump, if you didn’t have a base. You couldn’t have had Hitler unless you had the conditions of Weimar Germany following the Versailles Treaty that left a large class of unemployed workers and army veterans, the lumpenproletariat (like some of the ones arrested for the attack on the capitol) who demonstrated an almost avian ability to tweet Sieg Heil in chorus. But let’s put the onus on Trump particularly around the subject of coronavirus since despite all the death, it’s the first disease in history that's been regarded as a political conspiracy.Trump’s mantra was “Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid.” After the election, Covid would disappear. But that’s not what happened. In fact Covid spiked. In the course of serving up the idea that Covid was created solely to foil his attempts at reelection, Trump was responsible for a campaign that did to the human race what the Ice Age did to dinosaurs—well almost. At least life has been forever changed. Once Americans are vaccinated life will not return to normal. “We are giving our children a different world,” one parent commented. Trump may not have been able to move mountains, but he will have moved cities, if boarded up storefronts and vacated skyscrapers (some with the Trump imprimatur) are the result.  "No Trump" is a bid in bridge, but it's also what a cry of protest. A destructive historical force is like a vector powered by inertial force. Then you have someone like Donald Trump. “The rest,” as Hamlet says, “is silence.”

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