Donald J. Trump and The New York Times; Symptoms and Diagnosis

“TRUMP: What I’ve done is, I have [sic] absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter.”
Donald J. Trump to the NY Times yesterday.

Kids, move the hand on the “All Bets Are Off” Doomsday Clock to one second before midnight.

This is not Constitutional. It is an authoritarian, fascistic belief that Trump has concerning the US Presidency: The executive is a dictatorship.

Many people here have the same notion – the presidency of the US is a position of “absolute power.” A dictatorship, in essence. So, the voters were happy to elect a nihilist and autocrat. He has no belief in “limits” which are exactly what definitions are, standards are, and moral values are; and it is the substance of law in a liberal democracy, a republic such as ours.

This man – I use the term both loosely and in its worst sense – believes “the law is in his mouth,” to paraphrase King John just before the English aristocracy forced him to sign Magna Carta — you recall, to limit him and protect themselves.

Trump’s mouth, in turn, is slave to his desires. His empty desire for desire’s sake, what I kept describing [in 2016 essays] as the “empty hole” at the center of his (paradoxically) weak ego, a weak sense of individual identity. His very existence is defined and constituted by “getting his way,” by external praise, adulation, fame, accumulation of things that will pass and go like Nineveh and Tyre. His identity is provided from the ever-shifting, frustrating external world, demanding its – and your – worship and loyalty and submission to his will. A will he does not, probably cannot by this point, master; yes, this is the definition of slavery – to be ruled by the world and desiring whatever one desires.

He – Trump – cannot accurately sense where “he” ends and “the world” or “reality” begins; he is in solution, like salt in warm water, if salt were half-conscious.  Reality is an extension of him and vice versa, in practical terms (note how often he refers to himself in the third person, for example: his self-alienation is astounding).  Reality should obey his desires and satisfy them as quickly as he waves his hands.  Anything else is frustrating.

As “my circumstances,” and yours, and his as well is not “I.” I belong to it and it to me within my life, but it is different than “I.”  It resists as well as cooperates with my desires and plans.  Mostly, it resists and I plan against the resistance, such as my depending on the floor to resist well enough so that I can walk across the room.

While Trump doubtless has habitually accepted such phenomena – he can walk – much of the rest he misidentifies and misinterprets in the crudest of ways.  When it comes to people, it is a matter of time, apparently, before he intends to force those who disagree with his prejudicial desires and beliefs to toe the line he has randomly drawn, or else.  He, after all believes he has the “absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”

Extend that by implication to the military (which he worships and identifies with) and police forces and legislators and the courts.  Do you see what I suspect about that Doomsday Clock?

As this is his “identity,” he is as deeply hurt by any slight, insult, perception of disapproval (which is always taken as personal), as he is overjoyed by any sort of praise and flattery, no matter how false.  As long as it sounds “good” and can be repeated endlessly he uses any fragment of a message as self-advertising, an addition to his fame.  He IS his fame.

Doubt that his fame is founded in veracity or is not valuable in itself must be punished.  Right now, verbally. But he has an “absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department[…]” and anything else, I fear.  That is his belief.

If I must interpret further: He is saying aloud that the Justice Department is his personal Gestapo… he’s just not chosen to use it that way… yet.

Yet.

[There is more to say.  Others will say it better, if they are not afraid to do so.  Self-censorship in the USA is rife.  So I will continue to explore this later, though I’d rather do other things and people will largely ignore this.  Who am I, after all.  As an educated citizen, though, I am that much.  So I have responsibility to speak and speak accurately, sound alarms, bark a warning at what’s emerged from the darkness and lumbers towards the city gates.  Whether others do anything about it or go on sleeping — I cannot do anything about that.]

29 December 2017

Richard Van Ingram

Click on the image to read excerpts from the Trump interview at The New York Times.

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“Follow The Leader”

Stephen Miller – neo-fascist, racist follower of Jeff Sessions, AG, architect of the racist immigration policies, likely to run the White House Press Office soon.

“Trump TV” as a thing is actually up and running – state sponsored propaganda for The Leader, our Big Brother. Don’t know German? “Führer” means “The Leader,” “The Guide,” the only person with “the real truth” – anything to the contrary is a lie, aka “fake news,” even if absolutely true. Because “real truth” is what The Leader says and expects and demands – and you’d best conform to.

If this traitorous bastard is not standing at that narrow bridge over the Rubicon, he has already crossed it, leading probably half or more of U.S. Americans with him by belief, fear, apathy, or inertia.

A propaganda arm of any government turned openly and with full force against its own people to keep the Leader in power, to bypass free media inspection and reporting, is, by definition, an active symptom of tyranny – at least in the making.

You thought I was joking when I wrote my parts of “GOP NAZIS” and all the essays over the years before Trump and afterwards. Or you didn’t look and see what I said at all. Which is fine – I’m not the best messenger. Certainly, I’m no one, and not famous so why would you, in this age of celebrity, have known what I said or given a damn if you’d heard it?

But I am one messenger and one last vestige of an American citizenry that had faith in that Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, Human Rights, and their expansion and protection – the protection of actual human beings, all of us.  I’m what a “regular” U.S. Citizen used to sound like.

This present “tissue of bullshit,” to quote William S. Burroughs, is not that (protection of our rights and liberties) at all. And it deserves no better than utter contempt and condemnation. The use of the values of liberal democracy to undercut and destroy liberal democracy and its values always was the weak spot in our form of government and society if enough people lost faith in our form of government and could care less about “society.”

Postscript:

“Enough,” more than enough people in the USA and Europe have lost faith in liberal democracy and civil society; it hasn’t ever been a stable thing in the US.  We went through a Civil War over it; a hundred years of Jim Crow “laws” and lynchings, bombings, the KKK, an American Nazi Party, various white nationalist/separatist organizations, domestic terrorism, mass xenophobia before and after 9/11… all alongside small steps in the direction of a genuine and humane civilization: universal suffrage for men and women from any and all backgrounds, public education, free speech and privacy expansion, LGBTQ rights, the recognition of black and Latino people as actual human beings, open borders, refuge against tyranny and violence, a decline in anti-semitism, destruction of “laws” against “race mixing,” and so on.

We almost had a public health care system for a moment.  Just a moment.

For every advance, a reaction in the opposite direction until, now, a major attempt to roll it ALL back, even the notion of liberal democracy and a republic itself, res publica, the “public thing” that benefits all as an ideal, even when not fully a reality.

THAT decline did not happen in a vacuum.  That happened because enough people lost faith in such – and don’t even understand what these things are, how precious, how delicate, how easily ruined from within.

In fact, I don’t doubt 9/10ths of Americans reading these words (if they bother to read anything) even give a damn to find out what they mean.  They (we) are angry and emotional, passionate, enthusiastic people and such people as that do not think; they act. And when they act, they destroy.  Because creation and preservation can only arise from a calm, thoughtful, care-full consideration as a pre-occupation, pre-activity, a guide for reasonable, self-restrained action later.

If I am doing anything, as I’ve often observed, it is this: Watching and commenting and theorizing for people who are not yet here.  People who may find something, anything of worth in the debris of my thoughts as I have little hope for the people presently in the grip of self-imposed or self-accepted delusions. And none of this will survive if you do not remember it and repeat it to others later, by word of mouth, and discuss these ideas.  My words will go away soon and my name is written on wind.

These, my countrymen, are not a people who will turn inward and doubt themselves and their beliefs for one moment as that requires effort and results in wonder and not a little fear and humility and a search for solid, rational answers, not the ready-made answers floating in the culture or subcultures that misguided them to begin with.  That fed them lies and tribal, parochial myths in place of truth… which is always cosmopolitan in character… that makes one a citizen of the world.

I don’t live in such a place and time.  I’m just leaving fragments of a map that might allow others, one day, to go search for that place and moment themselves.

6-7 August 2017
Richard Van Ingram

Links to some evidence:

“Trump TV” on YouTube

Keith Olbermann Predicts Trump TV, 11/3/2016

Sinclair Broadcasting Becomes Trump TV

Stephen Miller In Running For White House Communications Director

#Trump #TrumpTV #propaganda #authoritarianism #fascism#WelcometoAbsurdistan #Putin #media

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