Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Trumpocracy: The Viper That Unleashed a Hornet's Nest

Trump is the viper that unleashed a nest of hornets, and angry ones--as was evident in yesterday attack on the capitol building. Trump had a choice. He'd either go the domestic or international route (say like precipitating a showdown with Iran which he still could do right before Inauguration Day, btw) to upset the confirmation proceedings. Choosing the former, he correctly decided would create a more reliably incendiary situation. Try disturbing a nest of hornets or killer bees. The incendiary Trump speeches before crowds of cheering and jeering followers in the hinterlands was an awakening to the fact that racism was alive and kicking. If there's a silver lining to the horror of what's occurred, it's the revelation of the extent of the venom within the hornet's nest, in particular the reality of systemic racism. Had you thought American society evolved from the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Acts of the Johnson era, you turned out to be sorely mistaken. In fact racial and economic inequity have both gotten demonstrably worse due to the suffering and disenfranchisement of a whole generation of white working class males. Atul Gawande’s New Yorker essay/review "Why Americans Are Dying From Despair"(3/16/20) based on Angus Deaton and Anne Case’s Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism locates the source of the enormous misery that fuels the roaring crowds. It’s no coincidence that these are the demographics which describe Trump’s base. It’s the same kind of mass outcry against the essence of Western humanism that motivated the roars of Seig Heil in another era. The despot represents in both these cases a kind of Second Coming. the anti-Christ of Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor who ends up putting Christ himself on trial. In fact, the current unwavering and value-free devotion to the cult of Trump does smack of the Inquisition itself only here instead of people, it’s democracy that’s burning at the stake. You can understand why a hornet whose nest has been destroyed becomes an angry and sociopathic pest. You may even empathize with its suffering, but that doesn't lessen the fact that it's a hornet with a dangerous sting.

Read "Trumpty Dumpty's Great Fall" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

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