America, The Guy
For many otherwise well-meaning people, it´s tempting to dismiss the ascension of President Donald John Trump into our collective consciousness as some passing phase, a fever dream, a complete nonsequitur in the Story of our Great Nation. Please be informed that it has always been this way, at least for those of us forced to stare at the ass end of the process.
Trumpism is not only a natural progression of the culture we know, but the inevitable conclusion.
The incumbent, intransigent chief executive is as complete a single human embodiment of the United States of America as has ever walked this Earth. A perfectly preserved specimen, a shimmering, shit-filled exponent of the American ethos.
Look upon the nation´s 45th President and see the hideous fruition of a legacy.
The myopic hypocrisy that allowed a nation to found itself on the principles of freedom while maintaining the right to own human beings as farm equipment.
The open misogyny that for centuries denied even women in the ruling class a voice in government affairs.
The ¨Let´s Make a Deal¨ attitude that traded a century of domestic terrorism in the South for the tenuous stability of a negative peace in the bloody wake of Civil War. The opportunism that once looked at a threat to global society and a ¨Special Relationship¨ with England to see a once-in-human-history chance to expand US territory in every possible direction through the infamous Destroyers for Bases Deal.
The short-sighted lunacy that would politicize a global catastrophe for personal gain...whether that gain be funneling cash into the coffers of cronies or packing a secret warehouse party in the depths of a pandemic.
The tremendous entertainment value, a specialty in spectacle...gotta admit, it´s tough to look away from either.
The casual willingness to eat our planet whole to sustain the fleeting high of constant economic growth.
As the ancient Internet proverb goes, ¨here´s a guy who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.¨
A cursory scan of the national history will reveal to the decolonized mind that by an impossible to predict quirk of global geography--plus more than a little genocide--the relatively isolated United States of America eventually had the incomparable providence to end up the Last Man Standing in the World War Saga that essentially razed all of developed Afro-Eurasia to the ground.
Pretty easy to become the ¨world leader¨ in the years after France fell, most healthy adults in Russia died, and one place actually got nuked. After the war, they spent the next 70 years pressing this fortuitous development to the very limit, crushing entire populations beneath the weight of avarice and doing a damn good job of marketing along the way.
One day soon we will all have to reckon with the fact that American success, and in turn the viability of a man like Trump, has been a zero-sum game.
Every gain made has come at the direct expense, the acute exploitation, of another party.
One only has to look at the material riches of South America and Africa--precious stones, rare metals, vast tracts of land, the ¨lungs of our planet¨!--compared with their financial standing to see there is something significantly askew.
...or did you think it was some neat trick of planetary accounting that the most abject poverty ended up below the equator?
Yes, America and Trump are about as antithetical as a pea and a pod.
As you watch a man lustful for control of the world around him scrape desperate claws into every remaining resource just to keep the charade alive for one more day, cast an eye toward the darker shadows of American exceptionalism (which is a synonym for ¨white supremacy,¨ but maybe that´s another post).
Lavishly gilded, thoroughly bedazzled, and nearly worthless on their own objective merits, both nation and leader owe a nigh-incalculable debt to those ground into the ravenous gears of their dubious successes.
These are debts that will likely never be paid, as doing so would prove ruinous to the debtor.
This is what America has always been. This is how it could easily continue to be.
Ignore this reality at your own peril.