“They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me.”George Floyd – his final words
Juneteenth and America riots in retaliation at the murder of George Floyd – an unarmed black man who died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes as he repeatedly choked “I can’t breathe.”
Love your rage, not your cage.
Monday June 1st saw security forces fire rubber bullets, flash-bang shells and chemical irritants to disperse peaceful protestors outside The White House. After a small blitzkrieg cleared his path, Trump strode to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church flanked by his henchmen including Army Gen. Mark Milley, the senior-most officer in U.S. military. The fact Gen. Milley wore his military fatigues, spoke volumes.
And like the coward he is, Trump waited until he was out of reach before declaring war on American citizens. Promising to unleash military support against protestors, and declaring that he considers anybody who disagrees with his fascist trope, a domestic terrorist.
Two nights before rather than address an anxious nation, Trump was holed up in his Führerbunker with the lights switched off. But with an election around the corner, he had to come out of hiding and appeal to his voters. His response? To launch a despotic assault on protestors, in order to stage an elaborate propaganda stunt.
As Washington burned, I am reminded of a quote (author unknown) “when fascism finally comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”
The Reichstag of 1933 may be closer than we think.
Hitler didn’t take power by force or just start off by exterminating Jews. Instead he combined rousing bombastic oratories with an us v them mentality. And Germany embraced him.
He pioneered the concept of Lügenpresseor or fake news and then drip-fed the populous a cocktail of propaganda, anti-semitism and xenophobia. And Germany saluted him.
In 2019 Trump described migrants seeking entry at the U.S. – Mexico border as an invasion, declaring it a National Emergency.
His re-election campaign referred to the “immigrant invasion” 2000 times in Facebook ads. His Twitter page overflows with dehumanising and nativist language, Trump’s rhetoric is the language of exterminators.
His disdain for immigrants has led him to suggest violent solutions to the problem. A New York Times report writes:
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.
During the Nuremberg Trials in a final bid for clemency, SS Officer and one of the major orchestrators of the Holocaust, Adolf Eichmann said that he and other low-level officers “were just following orders.”
Deutschland über alles– Germany Above All
When Trump hailed “make America great again” my reaction was visceral – because there was nothing about him I didn’t recognise from my past.
With Trump, the rules are different, you cannot normalise him, or try to understand him as you would a psychologically healthy human being. Of being POTUS, every precedent – take it and throw it out the window, because none of it applies.
Now I like to do a bit of digging, but with this, I went right down the rabbit hole – triggered and ripping the scab of old wounds.
The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
It was when my husband reminded me of the anecdote they use at work – of the Turtle in the Tree. Long story short – a turtle is sitting on a branch at the very top of a tree. Which then beggars the onlooker to ask “How the fuck did that get there?”
Turns out I didn’t have writer’s block, I just wasn’t asking the right questions.
But such as it is when dealing with narcissists, I let the gaslight fog my thinking. It was then I realised, that’s the whole point; his pathological, malignant narcissism is meant to distract.
The answer had been staring me in the face all along – I just couldn’t see the trees for the Trump.
Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.– Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Trump is merely a puppet, a blunt tool bank-rolled by dark money billionaires. The status quo had to be made white again. The rich men of the New Right hell bent on erasing the liberal, African-American legacy of President Obama’s administration.
If you have tried to rationale how this con-man rapist (allegedly) became the 45th President of the United States, read both Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. And Jane Mayer’s Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.
So let’s start with the 2016 presidential election and the most powerful people you’ve never heard of.
Donald J. Trump and Brexit – you can thank Robert Mercer, the reclusive hedge-fund tech billionaire and his daughter Rebekah for that. The morally-bankrupt Mercer was to become a major financial force behind the Trump presidency.
Propaganda is a truly terrible weapon in the hands of an expert– Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf
The Mercer’s political influence grew dramatically in the wake of the Citizens United verdict in 2010. When the US Supreme Court removed nearly all limits on corporations and individuals donating to politicians.
By 2011, the Mercers began attending seminars set up by libertarian industrialists and fossil fuel tycoons David and Charles Koch; better known as the Koch brothers. The Mercers have fed millions into Koch’s political organisation. This is when they also met Andrew Breitbart, media bad boy of Breitbart News. Such was Mercer’s loathing of the press, that with the help of Breitbart, he exploited America’s populist insurgency in a bid to not just wage war against, but supplant mainstream media.
Soon after they met with Steve Bannon – a Judeo-Christian; former investment banker; member of the new Tea Party Movement and boy-scout of the Alt-Right. Bannon would succeed Andrew Breitbart as Executive Chairman after his death in 2012. Turning Breitbart News into an 8Chan for the right-wing elements of modern America.
In 2012, Rebekah Mercer, joined the Government Accountability Institute founded by Steve Bannon. Around this time the Mercers become majority owners of Cambridge Analytica, of whom Bannon was a board member. Cambridge Analytica were tech consultants that used digital data and algorithms to tailor election propaganda to voters. Who, eager to sell psychological profiles of American voters to political campaigns, acquired the private Facebook data of tens of millions of users.
After Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016, the Mercers went all out to ensure his victory. Cambridge Analytica’s interference and blatant theft of personal data undoubtedly helped swing the results, altering the outcome of both the presidential election and Brexit. For a more in depth account, I recommended you watch the Netflix documentary The Great Hack.
After Trump won the general election, Rebekah Mercer, who’s contributions had surely bought her a place; then served as a member of Trump’s transitional team. On Mercer’s recommendation, Bannon, would become Trump’s Chief Strategist. Kellyanne Conway, initially his Campaign Manager, now a senior adviser. Conway, having played an integral role in Trump’s racist and misogynist agenda.
And then there’s Kayleigh McEnany – Trump’s latest Press Secretary. She may look harmless, but don’t let that all-American sweet as apple pie demeanour fool you. McEnany is as sour as they come. With the exception of Trump, I’ve yet to witness someone as adept at gaslighting.
However, the speed with which she went from denouncing his politics to steadfastly defending them is curious. One could almost be mistaken for thinking this plaster saint, like Pence, overlooks Trump’s sins in order to further their career. Regardless, her pious, unblinking fanaticism terrifies me – the KMac of the Academy of Holy Hearts has more than a whiff of Serena Joy about her.
666 Fifth Avenue
Speaking of women who don’t have your back – Ivanka Trump.
Daughter and the real First Lady to the President. In her role, Ivanka ‘focuses’ on the education and economic empowerment of women and their families. However, think more nation’s traitor and less national treasure. Unlike Michelle Obama, there’s nothing becoming about Ivanka Trump.
She and her Stepford husband Jared Kushner, the Anti-Christ with his pitchfork in many pies. An Orthodox Jew and the architect of Trump’s Middle East plan, gatekeeper to the Coronavirus Task Force Team and his 2020 campaign manager.
The golden couple of Slum Heights – who made a minimum of $82 million in outside income while serving as senior White House advisers during 2017.
Add that to the $90 million or so Cadre, a company Kushner part-owns, received in foreign funding. The money funnelled through a vehicle run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands; a tax haven that guarantees corporate secrecy. Kushner illicitly, kept a stake in Cadre after joining the administration to work as an international envoy for the US. Self-dealing and influence-peddling – it’s not just in Ivanka they share a common bond.
A childhood with a narcissistic parent evident because in Jared, Ivanka married her father. Kushner: A Portrait of Donald J. Trump – a corrupt property magnate with a skill for profiting from the misery of others.
When a father boasts “I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.”
Or as Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen noted when the President-elect once asked in an interview, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife? Trump was reportedly referring to his daughter, Ivanka, who was 13 years old at the time.
Meanwhile, doe-eyed she sits at his side, laughing off his remarks and the people vote him President. Hidden in plain sight, such is power of the sociopath’s persuasiveness – mention incest and it’s simply met with a shrug.
But incestuous remarks aside, Kushner might not be quite so popular with the ol’ daddy- in-law as the pandemic rages on, and Tick-Tock teens ensured Trump’s Tulsa rally flopped like a flaccid dick. But like Pence, its always the quiet ones you should keep an eye on. And I’m telling you that Kushner is worth the watching…the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
Speaking of dicks, back to Bannon. He would later fall out of favour with Trump, and the Mercer’s. After he turned coat for Michael Wolff’s tell-all book Fire and Fury, for which Bannon was a key source. Steve Bannon once praised the Mercers for laying the “groundwork” for the Trump revolution, stating that their impact was even bigger than that of the Koch brothers.
Meanwhile Bannon, the champion of Trump’s “America First” has said adios, packed up his sacks and taken his right-wing roadshow to Europe; just as a new populist government takes power in Rome.
“I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David, for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”– Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
The Koch Brothers are unfathomably wealthy. David Koch died the eleventh richest man in the world to the tune of $51 billion.
Koch Industries, inherited from their father Fred Koch – a nazi sympathiser who made his fortune in the 1930’s with $500,000 received from Stalin for his assistance in constructing fifteen oil refineries in the Soviet Union. A couple of years later, he’d help the Nazis construct their third-largest oil refinery, which then produced fuel for the Luftwaffe.
Koch Industries is second largest privately held company in the United States. Its estimated annual revenue is larger than that of Facebook, Goldman Sachs and U.S. Steel combined. Producing everything from gasoline to nitrogen fertiliser to Lycra, paper towels, timber and windows. However, first and foremost, is the business of processing and selling fossil fuels.
But Koch Industries is a toxic empire and their climate denial is pure dirty self interest.
The brilliant Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power by Christopher Leonard will leave you in no doubt.
He writes “Koch Industries and their political network – has played an almost unparalleled role in helping to cast doubt on the basic science behind climate change; create doubt in the public mind that climate change is real; and particularly, most importantly, to cast doubt on the idea that government regulation can or should do anything to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to research from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Koch Industries is the United States’ 17th-largest producer of greenhouse gases and the 13th-biggest water polluter. They have committed hundreds of environmental, workplace safety and labour violations. A Bloomberg Markets investigation found that Koch Industries – in addition to using bribery to win business, sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran; and stole oil from Native American reservations. With their philosophy of ‘your half to me’ the Koch Brothers have systematically raped the planet with impunity.
Charles Koch’s libertarian ideology and political strategy can be traced back to one man- Nobel Prize-winning economist and architect of the Radical Right, James McGill Buchanan.
Borne from outrage at the 1956 Virginia State Brown v Board of Education that called for the de-segregation at institutes such as Bob Jones University. Buchanan taught Charles Koch that for pure capitalism to thrive – democracy must be shackled. Such was Buchanan’s disdain for liberal government “it could eat like acid at the foundations of civic life.”
Using their vast fortune, the brothers built a monopolistic yet shadowy network of political donors, think-tanks and fundraising institutions. Such is their influence they are often referred to as the Kochtopus – with its tentacles suckered fast to the heart of American Politics.
In 1980, David Koch was the Libertarian Party candidate for vice-president. But thanks to his extreme manifesto his political aspirations were short-lived. However, the experience only served to fuel their future political strategy. So instead they hitched their wagon to the Tea Party Movement. Recognising that a politician, even a President is merely a public voice; what they really needed were people on the inside.
“…the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one the most immoral of all, that is the one of vicarious redemption: You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating.”– Christopher Hitchens
Cue the two Mike’s – Pence and Pompeo, and DeVos.
All three are radical evangelical Christians, further more Pompeo is a Zionist – the tenet of Christian Zionism is that God’s promise of the Holy Land to the Jews is eternal. Pompeo is also Secretary of State and the President’s Chief Foreign Affairs Advisor.
Trump green-lighted the killing of Iran’s top military commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, after an orchestrated push from both Pompeo and Pence. In response, the Christian Zionist advocacy group Christians United for Israeli-Palestinian, of whom the two Mikes’s are major allies, emailed its millions of supporters in praise of Trump’s actions. The CUFI supports Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and the possible eradication of a Palestinian state. Furthermore, the organisation depicts Iran as an existential threat to Israel.
The Rapture invokes an apocalyptical Christian vision of the future, a final battle between God and Satan; and the second coming of Jesus Christ; when the faithful will ascend to heaven and the rest can go to hell. For many evangelical Christians, one of the key preconditions for such a moment is the gathering of the world’s Jews in a greater Israel.
In 2017, Trump announced the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. A year later, Pompeo oversaw the U.S. Embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
With the help of Kushner, January saw Trump unveil his vision of “peace” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which is essentially an Israeli tick list of long-held demands. All that’s missing from the accord are Palestinians. As the world focuses on the pandemic, Israel capitalise on the distraction. This week saw, like a sniper from the side, Israel implement plans to annex large swaths of The West Bank – the annexation developed by the Netanyahu government in conjunction with the Trump Administration.
Of course, one good turn deserves another. So as Israel began preparations for a new settlement in Golan Heights – just in time for Trump’s birthday – Netanyahu unveiled plans to develop a plot of land next to the small settlement of Qela. The new settlement will be named Ramat Trump, Hebrew for Trump Heights.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is viewed as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements – as well as the planned annexation – illegal. The consequences of such appropriation could be catastrophic.
It is clear Pompeo’s religious doctrine directly colours world views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and influences attitudes towards Iran and the broader Middle East. This is no Tom Clancy novel though, these fanatics do present a clear and present danger. Zealots with their finger on the button, all the readier to push it if it were to bring on Armageddon.
God, Grant Me the Confidence of the Mediocre
Pompeo is best described as mediocre, with little in the way of political acumen. However, it was as a congressman, where he cemented his relationship with the Koch Brother’s. He owes them his political career, so in return he gave the brothers a way in. You scratch my back and we’ll give you your Holy War.
Betsy DeVos is Trump’s Education Secretary, DeVos’s family have been aligned with The Koch Brothers for decades, and are billionaires in their own right. And like the Koch’s, have significantly bankrolled the rightward march of the Republican Party. As Education Secretary, DeVos wants to use America’s schools to build “God’s Kingdom” and teach Creationism as science.
Like Pompeo, Pence was an ineffectual congressman, but a longtime ally of the Koch Brothers. Securing his allegiance by signing a “carbon pledge” circulated by Americans for Prosperity Foundation – Koch Industries Climate Denial Front Group.
Vice President Pence may have a wholesome mid-western demeanour but when it comes to Pence, Trump is the absolutely the lesser of two evils. It would be extremely dangerous to overlook Mike Pence.
Pence is an extremist who has spent his career leading efforts to restrict reproductive and LGBTQ rights – first as a member of Congress and later as Governor of Indiana. Pence’s policies before and during his time in the White House have systematically worked to deny sexual and reproductive health care to and take away the rights of immigrants, people of colour, and LGBTQ people.
This is a man who is apparently a fan of anti-gay conversion therapy; whose wife teaches at a school that bans homosexuality; thinks only married women should be allowed access to birth control; stated “safe, legal abortions would end in his lifetime” and considers the death penalty fair recompense for abortion; legislated for employers to discriminate against LGBTQ and unmarried pregnant employees; worsened an HIV outbreak to epidemic levels, by denying clean needles; imposed the Anti-Muslim Travel Ban; and according to Trump when it comes to Pence and gay rights “Don’t ask that guy — he wants to hang them all.”
In The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence journalists Micheal D’Antonio and Peter Eisner write “With his oath of office, Vice President Pence became the most successful Christian supremacist in American history.”
And, the authors argue, in pursuit of his lifelong ambition to become president of the United States, Mike Pence has abandoned the values he claims to hold dear. “Although Pence presents himself as a deeply moral man,” they write, “his record indicates both a ruthlessness and a comfort with aggression that belie this pose.”
Thus, he is willing to tie his political future to President Trump, “a man whose immorality in the form of lying, cheating, and deceiving in every aspect of his life, from his marriage to his businesses, had made him a living exemplar of everything that Christianity and conservatism abhorred.”
So the obsequious Pence bites his tongue, launders Trump’s sins and waits it out. For he has every reason to be patient, because like The Blues Brothers minus the soul, he is on a mission from God. With a divine determination to bend and break the nation to the shape of Margaret Atwood’s Republic of Gilead.
It was with creeping unease I read the latest news that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Trump administration regulation – one that lets employers with religious or moral objections limit women’s access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The Little Sisters of the Poor, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.
Secondly, the Supreme Court ruled to strengthen religious protection and shield religious institutions from job discrimination lawsuits. Nor can States exclude religiously affiliated schools from state scholarship programs. Both rulings will extend religious freedoms and narrow the gap between the separation of church and state. Furthermore, the rulings widen the “ministerial exception” in employment discrimination law – which could potentially weaken the rights of LGBTQ against workplace discrimination.
The God Whispers
The only God the Mercers and the Koch Brothers worship is money.
In aligning with the Evangelical Christians, both parties are self-serving. Trump’s faith is like his tan, a bit patchy, so he pimps his faux faith for votes. But despite his lack of piety, Trump and evangelical Christians have formed an unholy alliance. Given 81% of them voted for Trump in 2016 election, it was always going to be a quid pro quo. Hence why Trump’s administration is awash with radical fundamentalists. So much so, The White House now has more than a passing resemblance to The Westboro Baptist Church.
For the first time in one hundred years the White House has a Bible study class, hosted by Ralph Drollinger of Capitol Ministries – pastor, misogynist and homophobe. The study meets every Wednesday morning attendees include Pence and Pompeo, DeVos, Ben Carson, Alex Azar and Jerry Falwell Jr.
Tuesdays and Thursday, just in case folks miss out, Drollinger hosts Bible study at Capitol Hill, with at least 52 Republican lawmakers in attendance including John Thune, the second most powerful legislator in the Senate.
The lessons are tailored to conservative ideology, Drollinger’s study guides have provided biblical justification for the Trump administration’s undocumented immigrant child separation policies and argues in favour of lower taxes for the wealthy. The pastor also blames the gays, lesbians and environmentalists for the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Who knew a bit of same-sex loving and some tree-hugging would land us in this shit?
Next up, we have those that tell Cesar how to run Rome; the clandestine Evangelical Advisory Board – that Trump set up prior to the 2016 elections; which apparently doesn’t exist; but does consist of a mix of radical born-again preachers, televangelists and conservative political influencers. Members include James Dobson, who’s endorsement of Trump along with Frank Graham – Trump apologist and son of preacher Billy Graham. Jerry Falwell Jr. son of televangelist preacher Jerry Falwell Sr. and Paula White helped secure the Evangelical vote.
Dobson is a child psychologist, Zionist and one-time head of Christian ministry Focus on the Family. His psychological theory on child-rearing is simple: beat your dog; whip your kid; go to Heaven.
Next is Jerry Falwell Jr, billionaire and President of Liberty University, an evangelical institution (that amongst other things prohibits homosexuality) that he inherited from his father – the prominent televangelist and political advisor Jerry Falwell Sr. Who along with Billy Graham – possibly the world’s most famous pastor, would come to signify today’s popular style of evangelical preaching.
Cosying up with Ronald Reagan, Falwell founded the Moral Majority in 1979 as a conservative Christian political lobby group. Although the founding of the Moral Majority identified as an anti-abortion and pro-family, its real agenda was more insidious. Instead it focused on Falwell’s belief the federal government over-reached with its guidelines into how Christian groups maintained racial restrictions in their schools.
The Moral Majority was to become a powerful and decisive force within conservative politics and the Republican Party. This coalition of mostly white, male Christians which also included James Dobson came to represent the GOP’s “Religious Right.” Both Graham and Falwell were massively influential and were respectively, close confidants of Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan. It said that even Her Majesty The Queen had a soft spot for Billy Graham.
Falwell Jr is of the notion it is an angry God that has allowed terrorists to succeed because the United States has become a nation of civil liberties and secular schools; sympathetic Court systems; Pro-Choice, heathens and homosexuals. Which is interesting given his reported relationship with a pool boy, who Falwell tried to hush using Trump’s ex-lawyer and political fixer Micheal Cohen.
Jerry and his wife, Rebecca, befriended the pool boy Giancarlo Granda at the Fontainebleau hotel in 2012, and within months Falwell had set up as part-owner and manager of a $4.7 million South Beach Hostel.
The president of the world’s largest Christian university agreed to operate the Miami Beach hostel, considered gay friendly, in conjunction with Granda. One has to ask how such a shrewd business man would loan millions of dollars and go into business with a handsome, twenty-something pool boy who knew virtually nothing about hotel management?
This is a story of gay sex, threesomes, some very salacious photographs and wads of hush money. Which is all fine and dandy, each to their own – until you discover Trump appointed Falwell Jr. Head of his Education Reform Task Force.
Paula White – Trump’s longtime spiritual advisor helps Trump “hear what God has to say.”
It was she with no political acuity who advised Pompeo to transfer the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Who re-wrote the gospel in order to defend immigrant child separation policies. Stating that Jesus’ three and a half year exile in Egypt did not make him a refugee because he didn’t break the law.
The pastor also preaches “prosperity gospel” – a theology where financial prosperity is a sign of God’s approval – which holds that faith and donations to religious causes will boost adherents’ financial wellbeing as well as their spiritual health. White encourages members of her congregation to send their first month’s salary to her ministry to enjoy God’s blessings. Clearly he approves, her Florida ministry and televangelism made her a multi-millionaire with a private jet – one that took her all the way from trailer park to White House. And if that wasn’t enough, she now holds the keys to the administration’s Faith and Opportunity Initiative.
Like all powerful organisations commands filter from the top down. The Don in this blest business was Doug Coe, head of the family; a clandestine Christian sect and the most powerful man you’ve never heard of and The Family.
Better known as The Fellowship, albeit not as amiable as Frodo and his merry gang, they are both fans of hearty breakfast. Specifically, the National Prayer Breakfast, which Coe founded in 1969 – an annual invitation only powwow that has been addressed by every president since Dwight D Eisenhower. The NPB is a three-day event where world leaders and dignitaries come to pray…and network.
In The Power Worshippers: Inside The Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism Kathrine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. This is a political movement that has turned religion into a tool for domination. That seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America’s religious nationalists aren’t just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy.
The alliance between Trump and the evangelical community is a marriage of convenience: he needs their votes, they need someone to carry out their agenda. What Trump has achieved is the merger and consolidation of white evangelicalism, white supremacy, and Republicanism into a party that simply is all about racial identity. The only difference between Trump, Nixon and Reagan – is Trump doesn’t try to hid his racist beliefs.
– to play a trump; a valuable resource that may be used, especially as a surprise, in order to gain an advantage.
It should come as no surprise nobody likes Trump. It’s well documented his staff, including the two Mike’s loathe him, but David Koch despised him.
However, the conspirators knew Americans love an outsider. Furthermore, that Trump’s narcissism played right into their hands; someone they knew to be egotistical enough to believe their ideas where his ideas; who is gormless and completely clueless as to how government works.
Christ, the man can’t even spell Nobel and recommends you drink bleach. He claims the Bible is his favourite book, but given it has no pictures, and some really big words, I doubt it. But even so, Billy Connolly did say “never trust a man who’s only read one book.”
In him they had found their Narcissus – a man-child so grandiose that he is blind to all things bar his own reflection. Trump was the perfect means to their end.
Appeal to a narcissist’s gargantuan ego and you will have them eating out of your hand. So they massaged his affections and whispered in his ear that he is the Chosen One. They stoked the flames of his bigotry and blew the smoke up his arse; and like a slack jawed redneck at Sunday Service, Trump bought every word.
And as a nation raged, posturing with Bible in hand, Trump informed the people exactly where his priorities lie.
However, Trump is a symptom, not the cause. If America were to hold up a mirror would it not see him staring back? Modern evangelical support for Trump cannot be separated from the history of evangelical participation in and support for racist structures in America.
We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, my brothers and sisters -Plymouth Rock landed on us.– Malcolm X
The United States was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, and that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights.” That is unless you are a minority, female, poor and of colour and then those rights roll over white.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, twelve Presidents, some of them Founding Fathers, were slave owners. Of these, eight held enslaved people while in office.
White Christianity was pro-slavery and much of early American Christian identity rests on a theology rooted in slaveholding. Ironically, it was immigrants who introduced this doctrine to the New World; brought over from England in 1600’s, while fleeing from persecution and searching for religious freedom.
In addition, the Pilgrims and Puritans brought radical religion, the Manifest Destiny (the belief America is a nation called to a special destiny by God) and a biblical justification for slavery. Some theologians and Americans believe slavery was a gift, and it was Divine providence that brought Africans to America as slaves; thus enslavement would safe their eternal souls.
Despite airbrushing the archive, chattel slavery started far earlier than the history books suggests; in America it began in the fledgling New England colonies. Before they started burning witches not only did some colonists import African slaves from the West Indies, they enslaved and exported Native Americans. I’m pretty sure they don’t celebrate that with the turkey on Thanksgiving. Christianity was not only fundamental to the development of slavery, but complicit in the evolution of modern racism.
When it comes to money, everybody is of the same religion. It’s why evangelicals choose political power over Christian values. There is power in politics but money gives power…a run for its money.
The real origins of the Religious Right? The evangelicals would tell you it was in response to Roe v Wade and the sanctity of life. But history tell’s it differently – it was segregation first, abortion – an after thought. The movement was born out of a desire to defend racial segregation at places like Bob Jones University and Jerry Falwell’s Sr. Liberty Academy. Turns out the “moral majority” weren’t quite so moral after all.
It took them a full six years after Roe before evangelical leaders got on their anti-abortion high horse. Seizing on abortion not for moral reasons, but as an attempt to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because his anti-abortion crusade was more agreeable than the Religious Right’s real motive – protecting segregated schools and their tax exempt status.
Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth– Lucy Parsons,
Slavery gave America an unshakeable fear of black people, and an appetite for violent punishment. After the Emancipation Proclamation numerous laws were enacted in former Confederate states. Known as Black Codes these laws were implemented to guarantee the continued supply of cheap labour; and to ensure freed slaves still had little or no rights. There were vagrancy laws which declared a black person to be vagrant if unemployed and without permanent residence; a person so defined could be arrested, fined, and bound out for a term of labour if unable to pay the fines.
Apprentice Laws provided for the “hiring out” of orphans and other young dependents to whites, where they were often returned to their former owners. Some states restricted the type of property African-Americans could own, and in other states black people were excluded from certain businesses or from the skilled trades. Former slaves were forbidden to carry firearms or to testify in court, except in cases concerning other blacks. Legal marriage between African Americans was provided for, but interracial marriage was illegal.
Anything that challenged the racial hierarchy could be treated as a crime, and punishable – from lynchings to incarceration. This not only nurtured a mindset of black people as criminals but it fostered tolerance for employing any level of brutality in response. The recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery, case in point – a black jogger who was chased down and shot twice in chest. His murderers, a father and son who were arrested two and a half months later, only after there was a nationwide outcry. The father Gregory McMichael, a former police detective and son Travis were initially excused on the basis it was self-defence.
I implore you to read Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law – a powerful and disturbing history of residential segregation in the U.S. I guarantee you will never look at America in the same way again.
Rothstein details the ways in which Republican and Democratic politicians alike imposed and enforced racial segregation across the U.S. throughout the twentieth century, from explicit racial zoning to state-sponsored violence and blockbusting. How federal, state, and local laws worked in conjunction to restrict Black people’s options for housing nationwide. It was this deeply flawed urban planning that intentionally created the inner cities and impoverished ghettos. Furthermore, it exposes how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to black families in white neighbourhoods.
The devastating truth hits you like a punch in the gut – African Americans have never been free; and the Emancipation Declaration isn’t worth the paper it was written on. Moreover, Black Code, Jim Crow and de jeur segregation made the criminal-justice system central to new strategies of racial control.
The United States has the highest rate of imprisonment of any nation on Earth. Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative writes “we represent 4% of the planet’s population but 22% of its imprisoned. In the early 1970s, our prisons held fewer than 300,000 people; since then, that number has grown to more than 2.2 million, with 4.5 million more on probation or parole. Because of mandatory sentencing and “three strikes” laws, I’ve found myself representing clients sentenced to life without parole for stealing a bicycle or for simple possession of marijuana.”
For a glimpse, I recommended Colston Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys. A haunting fictional account inspired by the true story of Florida’s Arthur G Dozier School for Boys – a brutal reform school where boys were seen as an expendable source of free labour. Disciplinary methods included sexual abuse and horrific beatings with often culminated with boys, usually Black disappearing after being taken “out back.”
“Their daddies taught them how to keep a slave in line, passed down this brutal heirloom,” writes Whitehead. “They waited for wayward boys in need of an attitude adjustment. They wait still, as long as the sons – and the sons of those sons – remember.”
The school closed in 2011, despite numerous reports of abuse there was finally an investigation. A subsequent excavation revealed a series of unmarked graves- it is estimated 81 boys were murdered there.
And They Say Crime Doesn’t Pay?
Authors Stanford University economist John Donohue and University of Chicago economist Steve Levitt took new data and run nearly the same model they used in their influential and controversial 2001 analysis published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, where they first suggested an association between abortion and crime.
In the paper, they found that legalised abortion appeared to account for up to half of the drop in rates of violent crime and property crime. They also predicted crime would fall an additional 20% over the next two decades. Levitt featured the research in the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics:
“The thing that’s most interesting about the [new] paper is we simply repeated the regression process we went through 20 years ago with more data and the results got even stronger,” Donohue says, referring to the statistical method researchers often use to study relationships among variables “that was a pretty interesting and powerful affirmation of the original hypothesis which was initially proposed.”
The headline finding from the new paper works on the idea that, as the authors put it, “unwanted children are at an elevated risk for less favorable life outcomes on multiple dimensions, including criminal involvement, and the legalisation of abortion appears to have dramatically reduced the number of unwanted births.”
Forget the sanctity of life, or the Constitution, it is the brutality of racist capitalism that underpins the very foundations of the United States. The land of the free was built first on the theft of 1.5 billion acres of Native American land. The dispossession and brutal genocide (a narrative in its own right) of the First Nation People made America a transcontinental power. Combine that with the Institution of Slavery, Cotton and the Industrial Revolution; and you have the the birth of the American Dream.
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,– William Shakespeare, Macbeth
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Fast forward to 2020 and it’s is safe to say their scorched earth policy was going great guns, and as long as Trump could build his wall, they could keep him on a leash. But then along came Coronavirus and they discovered you really can’t have a narcissist running the circus.
Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
And as the pressure mounts, so does Trump’s paranoia – convinced everybody is out to get him. When he said publicly that Chinaaaa “will do anything they can” to make him lose the next election, I took it with a pinch of persecution complex. However, given all that I know now, as he shouts “infamy, infamy, they all got infamy!” I fear he may have a point.
For four years the world has fixated on his absurdities while Trump obsessed with getting people to applaud him as they had President Obama. So engrossed, we stopped paying attention.
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Like Trump, the Christian nationalist movement is defined by feelings of persecution and, to some degree, paranoia. During the Cold War, evangelical influence under the guise they were protecting religious freedom, convinced the world that the godless commies were the bad guys. Later, that radical fundamentalists are Islamic and Iranian; or that it’s just Muslims who are terrorists that believe in eternal life. Christianity on the other hand, wrap it up in white morality and suddenly any number of atrocities become palatable. A suicide vest or Bible?
I never could tell them apart.
But Trump’s administration would argue they are simply doing the Lord’s work.
So, to hell with them, and the Manifest Destiny.
In his 2016 election campaign Trump declared he would “drain the swamp.” But it’s clear he never meant the legacy of Mississippi. But America has a chance with Biden. Of course there is no such thing as a politician without a misdemeanour or three, nor a nation with guilt-clean hands. Hell, the British invented slavery, albeit the American’s perfected it, but rest assured racism is alive and well the U.K. Politics is a magnet for the amoral and the Oval Office has seen its fair share of corrupt men. But Biden can’t be worse than Trump – the bête noire of diplomacy.
We Go High.– Michelle Obama
However, the Coronavirus exposed the truth of him and it may just be the death of his Presidency. However, before then there are multiple worst case scenarios.
Trump’s narcissistic omnipotence has cost- to date – approx 130,000 American lives with an already beleaguered economy now on it’s knees. And like a turtle on its back; Trump is flailing. As his ratings plummet, the donors flee the sinking ship. A cornered narcissist who has lost face is a dangerous beast indeed. So gird your loins for yet another set of timely distractions. Anything to delay or disrupt the election campaign.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.-Matthew 7:6
Knowing narcissist as well as I do, they should never have given him an inch, never mind the White House. But you reap what you sow.
The Presidency is everything a sociopath could want. Worse still they indulged him, their greed for power feeding his own. And like a gelatinous orange slug, suffocating all in its path, devouring as it goes, Trump’s ego has grown gargantuan. They arrogantly assumed they could coral the beast, but I could have told them, there is no containing a narcissist.
I recoiled when I read the police statements – the age-old chestnut that George Floyd was a drug crazed negro arrested for possession of counterfeit $20 dollar bills. Personally, I couldn’t give a shit if he was printing them out in his garden shed. Not when Trump and his administration are the most voraciously corrupt government America has ever seen.
So, come November pour salt on that fucker.
For those that can, vote for those that can’t – solidarity is resistance. Do not accept inevitability. BLACK LIVES MATTER is not a symbol of hate. Do not mistake nationalism for patriotism.
Because George Floyd’s tragic death cannot be in vain – it has to mean something.
May his demise tear down every outdated monolith of enslavement – abandon the Confederate Flag to the Klan. For all those ripped from their homeland, take a knee and make his memory a monument instead.