Oh, what a week. What a world we’re living in. Could it possibly be any more fun?
A little NightMusic, perhaps? Ooh yeah, baby…listen to the music.
Here in America (or is it Amerika these days?) revelations over the past couple of days and nights concerning our illustrious ex-president’s penchant for all things Hitler have come roaring back into the light of day, all of which begs a simple question. Hasn’t all this has been “out there” for years, decades even, and if so, please, what’s the big deal? So okay, yeah, Trump kept Mein Kampf on his bedside table, along with a book of Hitler’s Collected Speeches, because, you know, every aspiring dictator needs a little inspiration before hitting the sack. Again, so what? The pundit class seems to be falling all over itself concerning these revelations, with all its various practitioners rushing about in breathless angst while relating “how close we came to a coup!”
Really? Well, pardon my French, but WTF! That is SO ‘five years ago…’
Anyone with half a brain (and yes, I know, this almost entirely precludes anyone in California born after 1990) could see dozens of emerging parallels between Weimar and the Obama years on the one hand, and Trump’s ascendence as an echo of Hitler’s rise. So, yeah, Santayana’s Maxim applies and we were doomed to repeat our past from the get-go. Doomed by ignorance and a stultifying political malaise much worse than anything Jimmy Carter ever bemoaned, but let’s not digress that far. Not yet, anyway.
A brief sidebar here. Have you ever watched Jay Leno walking around the San Fernando Valley asking mallrats basic US Citizenship questions? Instructive, to say the least. Ask a college student which came first, the War in Vietnam or the Civil War? Fail. Hold up a map and ask a housewife to point out Europe? Fail. Watch a few of these and a general sense of helplessness falls over you, and soon the experience feels like watching a python devouring a small fawn…you don’t want to watch but you can’t turn away, either. Until its too late.
And so now, here we are. Neo-fascism ascendant everywhere. The western one third of North America is on fire, while water reservoirs are at record low levels and power grids have been stretched to the breaking point, and often beyond. Yet New England, and even New Jack City, appear to be drowning, victims of the same sort of record floods that have been plaguing the Southeast United States for almost a month. Oh, and please, just ignore that hurricane that rolled through one month early…
So all the Neo-fascist climate change deniers are having a tough time denying things these days, but that sure won’t stop them from trying. Just turn on Fox News and cringe for yourself. But see, the thing is, this whole “hot weather thing” is happening elsewhere. Like Lapland (that’s in northern Finland, Valley Girl, and not that new strip joint over on Sepulveda Blvd.), and even in Siberia, where hundreds of thousands of acres of coniferous forest and arctic permafrost are on fire. Or talk to people in southwest Germany about rain and flooding this weekend and you’ll probably learn a thing or two about climate change denialism. And gee, just for grins, did you see the one about the Gulf of Mexico being on fire? I mean, really, can it get more fun than that? Oceans on fire? Whoddathunkit?
Sure it can get more fun, because it seems we have an endless supply of populist neo-fascists out there just waiting in the wings to supply us with endless mirth and merriment. From Brexiteers in the UK to AfD lurkers in Germany, our MAGAesque brethren are lining up everywhere to provide us one and all with more good times than any of us can handle. A van-load of heavily armed pranksters headed to Boston for the 4th of July gets stopped – accidentally – by troopers and they scatter into the woods, while another group of merry marauders gets arrested before they can plant pipe bombs at Democratic Party Headquarters in California. The MAGA faithful have been sending death threats to anyone who hasn’t fallen in line and preached the Gospel According to Trump, so surely you aren’t surprised when…?
A lot of breathless reporting on the left assumes that right wing media pundits are simple grifters, but I’m not so sure. Voices on the right are a little too strident and, to me, anyway, acting like veritable models of singleminded purposefulness to be a chorus line of simpleminded hucksters. Something just feels a little too “off” right now. Like the left is being used and they aren’t even aware of it. Yet.
So, think about it – the name of the game is chess. You got to look not one or two moves ahead, but ten or twelve. You’ve got to be able to see beyond the horizon, and while an understanding of the past is certainly a necessary precondition to succeeding at this game, to win you really need to be able to ignore the past. To understand the lessons of the past, but to not let those lessons keep you from seeing what’s happening right under your nose.
So, what happens if Trump finds himself indicted and doing the perp walk into a federal pen out in Kansas? Trump, in an orange jumpsuit, if you will.
Sound good? Too good to be true?
Well, ever hear of the Horst Wessel Song? Or Hitler’s arrest and incarceration? How Hitler monetized and radicalized huge segments of the German population as a result of his conviction and incarceration? If you are inclined to see Trump’s arrest as the end of this affair, you just ain’t looking far enough ahead. You ain’t paying attention to the music in the background. You know, the line that goes “all for freedom and for pleasure,
nothing ever lasts forever…”
Ever since the French Revolution, every time liberals have gotten a little taste of power they’ve soon splintered, breaking up into factions that ultimately went to war with one another. They’ve lost sight of their objectives in the process, in the end dooming their efforts – and the cause they’ve claimed to best represent. Right now, today, a Democratic senator, Joe Manchin, is headed to a fundraiser given to him by his Republican opponents down in Texas. The reasons why are a lesson worth learning, because they illustrate the failure of liberal policymakers generally over the past 240 years, but the last time liberals stuck together and got the job done was in 1776, in Philadelphia. Without the bomb, maybe Truman would’ve lost his way, but who knows…?
And yet, amidst all this clatter I recently heard a voice. “Buildings don’t collapse like that! This is America!”
Stay tuned. More to come.