I woke up this fine morning to a post titled, Trump’s Plan to Divide America. There were a few criticisms in the comments — the author used false equivalences, etc., but the flaw in this piece, as I see it, is that the author addressed only symptoms of Trump’s “plan” but never turned the rock over.
In an analogy that we all understand, I doubt that Reagan schemed to co-opt evangelical Christians until Jerry Falwell presented the notion. Similarly, I doubt that Nixon had previously planned to dogwhistle whites by engaging a Southern Strategy until it was cooked up by Lee Atwater and Karl Rove.
It’s true, Trump has always had political ambitions, primarily to satisfy his Thanksgiving Parade float-sized ego. But Trump’s greater fault is that he’s so easily manipulated by flattery. Putin saw it, to be sure, but in the U.S. every bank and developer knew that Trump was nothing more than a gold-plated fraudster. He was a pariah in NYC real estate, couldn’t borrow a dime for decades.
This brings us to one of two scenarios:
Putin explains to Trump he would make destroying the American democracy a very profitable venture. An alternate narrative might be that when Trump sputtered his ambitions in 2012, he became Putin’s Golden Boy. Either way, Trump was destined to be groomed to serve both Putin’s needs and (the likes of) Robert Mercer to divide and destroy all resistance on the path to plutocracy.
I call this the Chaos Doctrine.
Under the Chaos Doctrine, the means isn’t as important as the end: complete control of power and commerce in the U.S. and the West. And it’s very easy: all one does is divide the opposition. Khrushchev didn’t even hide the fact that America could be destroyed without firing even a single shot. All they needed to do was create division — and communism proved the perfect bogeyman. It wouldn’t surprise me if the only thing keeping communism alive was its effectiveness in dividing Americans.
Look, folks, January 6th was never going to change the outcome. But it never was the intent. January 6th was a thermometer inserted up America’s ass to determine the Chaos Doctrine’s success to that moment.
Similarly, Trump’s so-called “legal team” filed all those lawsuits, we know there was no expectation of winning. But they kept filing and filing, they kept turning up the heat, and creating more…
Again, the means of application of the Chaos Doctrine don’t matter. One method can fail and another can be measurably successful. How amazed do you think they were when they saw how easy it was to turn Democrats against each other on social media? I got bad news for y’all: Cambridge Analytica (CA) existed before Trump did.
That’s not actually true: CA came into existence right after Trump aborted presidential campaign in 2012. We can’t know whether Trump’s non-candidacy was intended only to gather data for use in a more serious campaign in 2016 but CA’s very existence was for the purpose of dividing Americans against each other to serve the needs of whoever stands to benefit: billionaires and politicians in service to them. I should mention that CA was not alone — the Internet Research Agency in Russia, many independent operators in Central Europe, as well as the Alex Joneses and Rush Limbaughs of the world were all in on it. Even that meeting in Seychelles was specifically to coordinate Russia’s involvement.
This brings us to the question: why don’t the super-rich care about our democracy? The answer is that they never have, imo. Democracy dies the minute you expect quid pro quo for a political donation. Politics and democracy are essentially a chimera behind which the dirty dealing of money and politics (forgive the triteness) operate and in a post-capitalist world, once enough capital is cornered by increasing wealth inequality, capital simply picks up and leaves.
Is money in politics any different than a heroin addict who will do literally anything for the next fix? We’ve moved beyond Republicans like the rich to You’re being hired specifically to serve us.
Fascism? How quaint. Government’s entanglement with corporations is done: now the corporations own government.
I think we forget that authoritarianism doesn’t really involve the people other than its utility in gaining power. Those idiots going to prison for January 6th? Suckers. Millions of people that voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020? Suckers — suckers who will be shat upon by those they put into power.
“When will these people realize how they’re being manipulated??”, we ask ourselves. The answer is that as fast as people are figuring it out, a new crop of suckers becomes voting age even faster.
I don’t mean to cast shade on that other post but ffs, we can whine about Can you believe what Mitch McConnell said today???? but if we don’t understand that those who control the Republican Party DO. NOT. CARE. about the preservation of our democracy, we will never ever be able to stop it.
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