JAZZMAN CHRONICLES IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: JANUARY 2018.
One of the worst things about politics in the age of Trump is the loss of objectivity. We cannot have a constructive dialogue about economics, foreign policy, history or democracy without slipping by raw instinct into tribal politics.
If you stand with the president you necessarily believe that climate change – aka global warming – is a hoax. You believe that God stands unconditionally with Israel and therefore America must do so as well. You believe that a wall must be erected to protect us all from swarms of lowlife Mexicans and terrorist Muslims. You believe that military commanders and billionaires in general are superior beings whose dictates should be followed without question. You believe that police officers are under siege and have no need of citizen review or procedural reform. You believe that white privilege is an appropriate response to decades of affirmative action.
Trumpeters have proclaimed the right loudly and boldly to declare their own facts, their own truths and to create their own realities. Their opinions are convictions that cannot be challenged. They have no use for science or history or knowledge or expertise. The most fundamental laws are subject to arbitrary denial. Those who would stand for facts or scientific theory are declared elitists and discarded outright.
Those who stand against the president and everything he holds to be true and right believe the president is bat shit crazy with the knowledge base, intellectual standing and emotional balance of a kindergartner and no amount of rational discussion will convince us otherwise.
It is hard to reconcile the uneasy fact that outside the state of California a majority of voters preferred Trump to she who will not be named for president of the United States of America. For god’s sake, how pissed off and alienated do you have to be to rise up from your cozy couch, drive on down to your local precinct and cast a vote to elevate an obvious racist, misogynist, blatantly dishonest con man to the highest office in the land? Granted most of us don’t have go anywhere to cast a vote these days but we do have to fill out a ballot and send it in. It does require an affirmative action. It does require a conscious choice.
Do we deserve what we get or is there in fact some rational lesson to be learned from this deeply embarrassing choice in leaders? Is it a joke that most of us don’t quite get and can’t quite reconcile with the universe of reason? In moments of lucidity I do recognize the genius of Donald Trump. He pulled off the penultimate con of the century and he did it by breaking every damned rule in the political handbook. He took disasters that would have destroyed any other candidate and tossed them over his shoulder like dust in the wind.
You can grab ‘em by the pussy and they let you do it; because you’re a star they let you do it!
Forget about it. It’s just locker room talk. Boys being boys. Men being men. Freaking morons being morons.
Not even the Donald expected to win. Faced with the prospect of bankruptcy, a crumbling financial empire, loss of credit and a mounting debt, he parlayed a reality television show into a successful campaign for the White House.
The man wanted a loyal following of fifty million pissed off Americans. That’s it. He wanted to rebuild his financial base and cancel some Russian debt along the way. Winning was the last thing he had in mind.
What do you have to do? Shoot someone on Fifth Avenue?
Well, Donald, maybe that would have turned the trick. Maybe not. That’s how pissed off the American people were and likely still are. That’s how sick and tired people were of the Bill and Hillary Clinton show. That’s how weary Republicans were of Lying Ted and Little Marco and Low Energy Jeb and politics as usual. Sixty million people would have voted for a can opener.
Now the president and his chaotic White House is under siege and any other president would be hunkered down in the basement working on his exit strategy. Not this president. He continues to tweet daily in defense of an alternative reality where it is not only legal and acceptable to conspire with a foreign adversary to defraud a presidential election; it is in fact strategic, bold and wise beyond knowing. One man’s treason is another man’s vision.
Don’t think for a moment he can’t win this thing. He is winning. This is a man who admitted up front to obstruction of justice. He openly stated that he fired the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop the Russia investigation in its tracks. He conspired with his son and others to issue a false and misleading statement concerning the infamous Trump Tower meeting with campaign representatives and Russian operatives.
The party in control of both houses of congress should have issued articles of impeachment on the spot. When the GOP balked, Trump grabbed them by the balls. When you’re a president they let you do it! It was shockingly easy to transform the party that obstructed legislation under Obama to the party that willfully participates in a conspiracy with the chief executive to obstruct justice. Every weasel conspirator from House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes to Senator Lindsey Graham should be indicted as traitors.
We are only beginning to see the audacity of this congress. They will demand an investigation into the investigation. They will hold endless hearings on the betrayal of Christopher Steele – the author-investigator behind the Dirty Dossier – and the politicization of the FBI. They will tie it into the Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s emails and the great Benghazi cover-up.
If Trump gets his way the truth will be so obscured you won’t be able recognize it as it slams you over the head with the force of Thor’s hammer. It will fall to historians to rectify the harm, to sort through the obfuscation and misinformation and locate the stone cold truth: Vladimir Putin orchestrated the election of an American president and got away with it.
So which is it? Is Donald Trump the moron that so many – friend and foe alike – say he is or is he the greatest con man the world has ever known? Is it possible that both could be true?
At a time when global warming threatens hundreds if not thousands of species including our own and nations are collecting weapons of mass destruction with renewed vigor, we don’t really have time for political bullshit yet here we are. Once again we are confronted with a critical election and we don’t know if Russia will be a major player. So far we’ve done less than nothing to stop them.
If we don’t elect a Democratic majority to both houses of congress, there is very little chance that we can stop Trump. Even if we do, there is the troubling matter of Mike Pence.
We keep fighting the same fight – Democrat against Republican – knowing that it probably doesn’t even matter in the end. After all, asking the Democrats to save us is like asking a convention of anarchists to help you put out the fire.
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES, VOLUMES I-X (CROW DOG PRESS 2015), WASICHU – THE KILLING SPIRIT, HARD TIMES – THE WRATH OF AN ANGRY GOD AND PAWNS TO PLAYERS – THE STAIRWAY SCANDAL, A MATCH FOR THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE PUTIN GAMBIT (CROW DOG PRESS). HIS FIRST NOVEL GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION WAS PUBLISHED BY DRY BONES PRESS (2000) AND RE-ISSUED BY CROW DOG PRESS (2017).