The trauma that was Trump never completely recedes. Every time the Democrats flub something, which happens often, the possibility of Trump’s return looms like an unwelcome visitor at the front...
The trauma that was Trump never completely recedes. Every time the Democrats flub something, which happens often, the possibility of Trump’s return looms like an unwelcome visitor at the front door – a visitor clearly determined to barge in on the slightest pretext. No student loan forgiveness? No Medicare expansion? That sprouts heaps of disappointed Dem voters, too let-down and lethargic to turn out on election day. A fiasco withdrawal from Afghanistan? Here comes Trump, bellowing that he could have done it better. Inflation? Trump lies and boasts that he has the answer. Immigrants entering from Mexico? There’s Trump, whipping up a nativist frenzy, no doubt bragging that his next secretary of defense won’t stop him from sending a quarter of a million troops to the border. And don’t get started on mandatory covid vaccines or masks. He holds whole rallies denouncing those.
Trump was bad enough. Efforts to dislodge him, specifically, the phony Russiagate fiasco, descended to shocking new lows. I get that Trump was a five-alarm fire and the bi-partisan war party was determined to put it out, no matter what. But sinking to ‘the Russians are coming?’ Or a bunch of ads on Facebook had somehow undermined our putative democracy, which had, in fact, succumbed to terminal oligarchic tyranny sometime back in the Reagan administration – this was opening a Pandora’s box and we are very lucky the supersonic missiles didn’t start flying. Trump was a lethal disease (once covid arrived, literally), but the Russiagate attempt to oust him was deadly medicine.
On the very unlikely chance that Trump regains power, how bad would it be? Worse than your worst nightmare. And that’s assuming the powers that be wouldn’t try to resuscitate Russophobia. First, covid would roar back, as Trump would dismantle the Biden architecture of mask and vaccine mandates. Second, he would strip government of career officials and pack it with fanatical Trump parasites, and he would do this at once, having learned from his presidency that he can’t run departments like Justice as his own personal mafia without ditching people marked by any modicum of integrity. Without doubt, he would assault the press in every way possible, up to and including arresting journalists.
Trump would also cripple social security by eliminating the payroll tax. Medicare would be in his sights as well. He would inflame his base with wild fibs about migrants, who, in turn, would be brutalized even worse than they are under Biden. Trump would do everything in his power to pollute the planet and make the climate catastrophe worse. We know all this, because he did it before. The ghastly list of Trump horrors is enormous. But standing at the head of it all, looming over humanity’s future like the shadow of death, is war with China. If the human race survives a Trump Reich without nuclear war starting in Taiwan, the only explanation will be divine intervention.
Which is not to rule out that explanation for why, against all odds, humanity hasn’t blown itself to smithereens and irradiated the planet in the decades since the first atomic detonations. As Biden bumbles around with China, loath to look anything but tough, refusing a clean break with Trump’s disastrously provocative policies, surrounding China with warships and planting U.S. soldiers in Taiwan, humankind’s supposed rationality seems an unlikely explanation for how it is that nuclear war has not erupted thus far. The supernatural view has much going for it. It may offend secularists, especially in the pentagon, but how else to explain our continued existence, with war maniacs in the military convinced a ‘limited nuclear engagement’ is winnable?
Excerpted: ‘The Rightwing Horror That Won’t Go Away’