This is a moment of high passion and righteous calls for justice. Good time also to think about the history of advances in rights, and the outcomes of previous movements – so we can incorporate lessons about strategy – and make sure this justice energy isn’t wasted, coopted or thwarted, by evil but politically skillful gamesmanship.
Sadly, many people who consider themselves ‘serious’ opponents of the right have worked very hard not to learn anything at all from the last disastrous election. Trump is not a Russian plot – no intelligence service would ever recruit someone so completely unstable, unreliable and unpredictable. The Russians definitely do enjoy watching him damage the national interest and take a giant dump all over the American brand, in the eyes of the world, but to suggest he is controlled by them is like saying George Soros is in steering control of every charity group to which he has ever donated money.
This class of ideas is a common, but still silly and paranoid form of tribalist thinking I’ve addressed before.
What Trump is, especially to almost all politically and historically interested people outside of America, is the most completely American president there has ever been. Some Americans love to use him to point out things they don’t like about their nation, as if they started just recently – but what makes this fellow unique is not his malicious intentions, for which there are long precedents, but only that he is a really transparent liar, and so naturally boastful that he frequently forgets when he is supposed to be lying, for the sake of national security, and just calls out secret evil policy directly.
And not only is he shockingly honest about very old games that Americans traditionally prefer to lie to themselves about – he is also the exact sort of personality the CIA has so often installed in foreign countries by force or trickery, when their democracy was getting too close to representing the interests of the people who elected them, instead of the interests of American and trans-national corporations.
If there was (and/or is) a populist coup in Washington, it wasn’t via facebook, and it wasn’t an evil Russian plot.
Many observers around the world assume instead that it was something a lot more like some small Wall Street club, inspired by the still unrepudiated Dulles brothers and Kissinger, who got together and decided it was time to try a little taste of Condor at home.