Wednesday 12 October 2016

From the Mailbag: "But Trump must be real!"

Yes. Trump and Santa Clause. My letters are a rarity, but here's one:
How can you witness [Trump's] unhinged attacks on [Clinton] and still maintain that he is a plant? He's actually claimed that the election is rigged (if he loses) and most recently called for her imprisonment [for christ's sake]! Say what you will about [Clinton] but it is hardly credible that her campaign would risk the instability of the entire country to achieve victory in the election. If [Trump] was still only making racist and sexist comments, sure. But he is behaving like an insurrectionist.

This is a fair question. It's also not something I haven't considered. Just to get it out of the way, however, let me state that I am not married to my theory that Donald Trump is a willful participant in a charade to get Clinton elected. And I wouldn't call it my theory except that I came up with it independent of others, and that the others who weren't just entertaining idle thought experiments have either failed to expand on the idea, or as convenient as the winds of their mood forgotten it in subsequent electoral analysis, or abandoned the idea altogether. I, on the other hand, have not forgotten that he's a fake and can see it at every seemingly twisted turn.

That my theory rests on no provable ground is not something I am unaware of. Aside from their past relationship (cozy, convenient and/or coincidental) or their mutual acquaintances (of shared interest or inconsequential), I have little to indicate they have mutually agreed to set this thing up. Moreover, circumstantial evidence would seem to hint as much to a one-sided arrangement – from former President Bill Jeff Bubya's encouraging Don to run, to the more recent revelation that the campaign sought to bolster him at the expense of most of the others in his primary.

In fact, much of my suspicion is based on my perception that an extremely well-known carnival-barking snake-oil salesman has arrived in town to run for mayor of Chi-ville when it just so happens that his rival — a barnstorming, former carpet-bagging Senator of State, come home to claim her birthright — is the most unpopular candidate in these parts-, well, forever, but one who just happens to have the deep-pocketed support of everyone from the Beheaders of Wasteland to the notoriously corrupt Chi-ville Combine of Mayoral Engineering.

That the huckster used to heap praise on his opponent for her job as both Senator and Secretary of State, has donated to her family 501-see-thru, and has shared an affinity with her husband for the Island Village of Child Rearing is the tail-side of the coin — their private position, barely but decisively buried beneath their campaign against each other, which is the very public one. That he wouldn't know her ascendancy is assured more with him than without is inconceivable to me.

I have no problem with those who just don't see it, though I can't take them seriously if they don't recognize how much Trump's candidacy bolsters not just the Clinton campaign but also, by counter-default, advocates for the American position versus Russia in Syria, and renders invisible the US carte blanche behavior in the war on terror.

It's somehow typical yet bazaar that the world in which the billions in American-made killing machinery that continue to contribute to US war crimes (most recently, there's an admission by default in Yemen) is just a footnote to the 24/7 coverage of the former host of The Apprentice.

Less serious, however, are people who say they think Trump is a plant gone rogue, which to me means they're too polite to call the theory bunk, while still wanting to have a reason to fear the rightwing reaper so as to be with her. Which is why I say it's only by the wildest stretch of the imagination that Trump is the worse of these two evils, and that this wild stretch is the purpose of his campaign.


In the minds of many merely casually acquainted with it, conspiracy theory lurks in the lair of the likes of Alex Jones. Its ridicule manifests in pithy sentences conflating a one-size-fits-all potpourri of insanity with an unspoken understanding in spite of all evidence & even the occasional media coverage that the US does not have a heretofore unbreakable alliance with the world's biggest financial & theological supporter of the terrorism it claims to be fighting. In spite of even the Congress' recent override of a presidential veto, potentially to hold Saudi Arabia legally accountable for what happened on September 11, 2001 – the mockery of the "9/11 truther" and a failure to find solid logic in US foreign policy reside on the same intellectual ground.

In Alex Jones' fashion, Trump has been helpful here, too, by saying ISIS was created by his opponent and the current American President. Now, if you're sympathetic to the idea that the US has indeed helped create the problems it battles, unintentionally via blowback or what have you, it is nevertheless not entirely likely that you'll recognize the partial-truth through the absurdity of Candidate Trump's utterly un-nuanced assertions. He discredits opposition to the status quo. Why – one might ask sarcastically – would a billionaire want to discredit that opposition?

At the end of the day, I say it doesn't matter if default shillers are, as well, willing shills. The effect is the same. Still, I maintain that Don knows what he's doing. After watching the last debate, it is clear that his experience has made him a pretty plausible actor. Better than Clinton, at any rate, who, thanks to Don's dramatics, only has to react. You can't ask for a better scene partner.

He could tell all kinds of truths out of turn and still be called an incoherent liar. She could tell an occasional truth and remain one, even in the back of the minds of many of her supporters. She'll win that game. He points out how she supported that which has allowed him to avoid taxes for years. She calls him a liar, and whether or not people believe it, it is plausible he's a tax cheat and she's an experienced politician. Game Clinton.

His accurate assertion that the Sanders' candidacy was seriously undermined if not destroyed by the DNC comes off like a desperate afterthought. She says "everything he said was a lie" and it doesn't matter if one of them is lying where the other is not. When they both lose she wins the point.

She claims she was using Lincoln and the Thirteenth Amendment as an example when she said that it helps for a politician to have two positions, one public and one private. The natural response is to think she is making shit up to cover her ass. When it is pointed out later that the analogy was in fact in the original speech, it deep sixes the vomit-worthiness of her having compared the tactics of getting slavery abolished with finagling for people of immodest means — in a $200,000 speech to their political action committee, no less — and makes Trump's successful point ("Now she's blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln."), subordinate to her winning the set because she actually didn't make something up.

And the main point is she's gonna win the match. The prevailing logic says that Trump knows he's lost. The only question in the minds of the pundits is what it is that is motivating him at this point.

Clintons in the Bushes
Republican policy positions have served to scare traditional Democrats into the fold for as long as I have been alive. It's how the two-party system functions. Even if it weren't by design, lesser-evilism would emerge from this system organically. But what is not hammered home enough still today in discussions of this duopoly model is the fact that it serves one real purpose in spite of its ego-driven opportunists who strive to rise to the top of their respective party orgs. No doubt some of the contestants believe in the cruciality of the contest. But at this point it still seems simpler to me that both Donald J. Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton are serving the monolith. That monolith has Her written-in as successor, and he's playing the role of Him to the rafters.

In the 1992 General Election campaign for President, when incumbent President George Herbert Walker criticized his opponent by ridiculing Arkansas' educational standing, there is no way he had forgotten that he'd given a plaque to Governor Clinton for his supposed successful efforts on education. His criticism fit what was to be the story of his campaign: That Bush, Sr. was out of touch. But there was no reason for him to lose to the Governor, save for H. Ross Perot.

Some people think Perot was acting to scuttle Bush's reelection effort. Whatever made him want to run, he made the Bush defeat more likely. In fact, before he'd dropped out mid-race, only to drop back in weeks later, his winning didn't seem out of the realm of possibility. Either way, Clinton wasn't going to get more than his 43% of the popular vote, and without Perot, Bush could have conceivably crushed him.

Perot claimed to have dropped out "because of Republican dirty tricks". He said he was contacted by unsavory characters who alleged to have compromising photos of his daughter. I recall reaction at the time as being largely dubious. Perot was popularly considered a bit nutty, though I have wondered if his claim was true. Either way, it's main function was to demotivate Republican turnout.

As I've said before, Clinton's victory was one that his main opponent supported. Bush and Bubba's overlapping policy positions — from NAFTA to Iraq, and their overlapping financial interests, cloaked in non-profit lingo purporting to help the likes of Haiti and other governments they assist to overthrow for the benefit of business-first policies that are often not entirely contrary to their non-profit cover companies' stated purposes — clearly demonstrate a single-mindedness when it comes to who occupies the White House.

In other words: that time around, Bush was his party's placeholder so as to enable the rise of the first Clinton. Look at it this way: a lot of people say that the country's leaders are united in looking after what they believe is in their country's interest. What's the diff? Would it not be beneficial to a duopoly serving monolithic interests that a back & forth of the duopoly remain standard operating procedure, even if in the eyes of the many who think their choices suck? Of course it does. As long as it's worth choosing one over the other for even the most desperately devised logic.

To answer the question: If you're a plant, why fight so recklessly when you got the nomination already? Why not just run out the clock with one classic absurdity after another? Why get your base all worked up and intimidating?

The answer is plausibility. Which is more important than quelling the feelings of overt bottom-feeding fascists (who are demonstrably observable by the covert fascists in official positions of the need-to-know variety). Do you really think a country that lets cops kill black people with near universal impunity gives a crap about White Nativists getting unruly?

Do you really believe that one of the two parties is adverse to employing a scorched earth policy of electioneering, especially if it seems that it keeps whatever few people motivated to go to the polls?

Just a few weeks ago, Liberal darling Michael Moore was openly lamenting to his fans that Trump was a guaranteed winner. Then, just a few days ago he started opining that he was throwing the election. This is prior to the release of Don's pussy grabbing remarks (made to a Bush, no less). What changed other than Moore's mood?

Moore's former position was unpopular, not just because his familiars didn't want to believe a Trump win possible, let alone unavoidable, but because, outside of this circle of paranoia, Trump seemed a likely loser. He'd already had tepid-to-grudging support from his own party, his financial backing was less than lagging behind his opponent's, the press was roundly against him, there were petitions circulating to get voters registered for the single purpose of keeping him out of the White House. A couple of them didn't even mention his opponent by name, but none of them even remotely alluded to voting for the Libertarians or Greens. Tacitly, I'd say, the point was to vote Clinton.

There's a theory backed by the Moore camp that says his one-time support of Ralph Nader for President in effect sent George W. Bush to the White House, which established the Patriot Act and dropped Americans into an illegal war with Iraq. It is said to be a lesson to never vote for a third party lest it lead to a Republican president. "Not now, not this time," is the quadriennial mantra.

This time it means that Trump is so bad, that the essential candidate is the one who also voted for the Patriot Act and that illegal war in Iraq, as well as others she's had her hand in getting started as member of the current government's Cabinet. But the Trump candidacy makes her the plausible better choice. Not in my eyes, but that's not the point. As long as he remains plausible to somebody, it makes sense that people will vote against him in precisely the way they're told is required.

So, suddenly, Moore states that Trump only ran to enrich himself, never having wanted the job in the first place. Well, this much is true.