Letter 2 America for December 8, 2020

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Dear America,

Finally, a significant percentage of the main stream media are paying attention to the portent of Donald Trump's megalomania and his dementia.  I have noticed in much of what I read and hear on NPR and PBS, see on the commercial station news and read in the New York Times that there is now a universal recognition of the man's psychoses.  His tacit endorsement of various conspiracies and his insistence upon proliferating and perpetuating this fantasy about fraudulent abuse of the election process by some monolithic liberal entity have sufficiently demonstrated the unreliability of his sanity that it is being talked about openly and in no uncertain terms.  But for the first time I am now seeing an acknowledgement of the distressing proportions of the subscription to his delusions in what has euphemistically been called "his base."  And as more notice of the magnitude of his following appears, a gradual awareness of the fact that this is no longer a joke seems to be dawning on those who have the platforms from which to speak about it.  This past weekend is the first time that I read more than one opinion piece on the subject, and also saw them laced with some statistical support for the fact that there is danger lurking behind the ludicrous text of Trump's message.  Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorable" are openly acting deplorably with threats of violence and actual plots to undertake it.  Sadly, I can't see that we can avoid at least one tragedy in the near future.  People have already been arrested for conspiring to kidnap officials involved in tallying the vote or certifying it, and it can only be a matter of time before some disturbed cabal escapes the notice of law enforcement and gets through to someone who is just doing his or her job.

But there is danger beyond individual tragedies, and it is only now becoming a subject of public discussion, and in only modest proportions at that.  I remember writing to you about my perception that Trump was on the same trajectory as Hitler was in the late twenties and early thirties, and thinking that perhaps that was too much.  Perhaps it was tantamount to the conspiracy theories of the reactionary conservative fringe, only perceived from the left of the political spectrum rather than from the right.  I was willing to entertain the thought that Trump's riposte to a crowd yelling "four more years" in the form of his taunt that they should ask for twelve was just idiosyncratic Trump...stupidity that could never be manifested in actions by him or his followers.  But now his designs on either retention or reclamation of power have been reified in the form of public fulminations and they have been endorsed by significant numbers of, in my opinion, deranged adulators.  And in furtherance of his delusions of grandeur, Trump has managed to enlist a cadre of coconspirators like Rudy Giulianni and his posse of legal nihilists, all of them bolstered by an astounding number of Republican poltroons who fear Trump's opprobrium enough that they have sold their souls to him out of an instinct for self-preservation.  The conditions are ripe for the subordination of democracy to a cult of personality that will ultimately tyrannize us all, even those of us who warned of its nascence in the form of the crackpot fringe that shamelessly fawns over a man who in any other time would be despicable to virtually all, if for no other reason than his moral and ethical bankruptcy. I would have anticipated his repudiation before 2016, but apparently, I don't know the American ethos as well as I thought I did.

There was a time when there was such a thing as secular virtue.  As a nation we respected such instincts as fealty to our fellows rather than vainglorious pride in a flag; generosity of spirit rather than boastfulness and avarice; mutual respect rather than ad hominem assignment of pejoratives to those we didn't like in lieu of legitimate disquisition.  But Trump personifies everything that we would have despised as a nation fifty years ago, or even last decade, which inspires me to wonder how our nation could have fallen this far this fast.  We are no better than what thousands of Americans ostensibly fought and died to extinguish in the world...to liberate our fellow human beings from. 

Trump has complained of every move against his peccancy, his meretriciousness and his shameless corruption in general that it was a coup in its essence.  Yet, here he is effectively plotting a coup in the open, and for some reason, the German phrase, "Bierkeller Putsch" keeps ringing in my ears.  So here's a stark warning, my fellow Americans.  The world has seen this before, and as one might expect, we are seeing it again in Russia.  The question for us is, do we want to see it here?

Your friend


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on December 8, 2020 12:39 PM.

Letter 2 America for November 19, 2020 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for December 24, 2020 is the next entry in this blog.

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