Letter 2 America for April 24, 2024

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Dear America,

After years of coverage by the media, it is still difficult to categorize Donald Trump in such a way as to convey to his supporters what he is doing to them that precipitates their allegiance.  Lately, the media have seized upon the ostensible threat Trump constitutes relative to our democracy, but it is hard to evoke credence for the threat, largely in light of the improbability of success for a Trump-led coup like the one he attempted on January 6th.  There is too vast a federal establishment and too manifest an adherence to the fundamentals of our constitutional governance for one man to seize control in such a fashion as to render him an autocrat.  And as to the threats that the Republicans allege to be functions of control of our republic by Democrats, how do you convince a true-believer like a Trumper that inflation and illegal border crossings will not be eradicated by anything Trump could or would do.  The reality that no president can control inflation alone is incredible to his supporters, and Republicans see blaming inflation and immigration problems on Biden as a partisan winner, so they are never going to abandon the fiction that those things are Joe Biden's fault.  Preposterous as they are, attributions of fault to the programs initiated during the Biden administration to bring industry back to our shores and enhance our infrastructure...to make sure that small businesses survived the pandemic...won't dissuade his supporters from voting for Trump and Republicans running for congress.  While on vacation recently, I met a closet Trumper who insisted that inflation-causing federal budget deficits were Biden's fault.  He insisted that the Trump tax cuts, which according to the Congressional Budget Office resulted in just shy of three times the multi-billion dollar deficits that Biden's economy building programs did, were more beneficial to the population despite their orientation toward reducing the taxes of big corporations and the rich, neither of which included him.  He wasn't a stupid man, but something was blocking his application of reason to the issues we were discussing.

That is why we need to accurately define Trump's modus operandi in our efforts to make sure that everyone understands that he is a nefarious, lying, blathering megalomaniac, not a profound, incisive benefactor.  That is why we have to narrow our criticisms to describe his methods more precisely.  He is a monomaniac.  He is dumb.  He is sly and devious, and a liar.  But those are just criticisms that Trumpers will simply refuse to believe.  What they can't refute however is that he is a DEMAGOGUE.  That is the reality that we have to drive home.  I haven't heard that word applied to a politician since Ronald Reagan and his "there you go again" tactic for dismissing out of hand any criticism, which enabled his supply-side theory to mask his essentially caste-system socio-economic philosophy.  It's time to reintroduce it to the political colloquy.  Donald Trump is a demagogue.  He is a racist who pits closet white supremacists against people of color who are just sick of seeing their numbers die with knees on their necks.  When the death of George Floyd precipitated riots, Trump threatened to call out the military.  He said nothing about reining in police brutality.  When white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, he said that some of them were "fine people."  He never mentioned the violence they inspired or the death and maiming that one of them caused by running over their opposition in the streets.  And to drive his demagoguery home, he has now threatened to use the mechanisms of governance as a tool for retribution against those who have opposed and criticized him, thus characterizing them as adversaries of the American Way, not to mention the Trumpian Way.  Donald Trump's method of success is vituperation of his adversaries and vendetta with impunity that is often a consequence of fear, personal or political.  The very implacability that he evinces is something that his acolytes and subscribers admire, and for that reason, they never see that he practices those vile endeavors in furtherance of his demagoguery, not in pursuit of some sanctified truth.

Of course, even with this change of tactics in pointing out Trump's real malignancy, it will be difficult to drive the point home to those who defend him zealously.  The reason is that on a sub rosa level, they share Trump's belief in white supremacy and the dogmatic adherence to the notion that anyone who is less fortunate than they is a slacker and a national burden.  But if we keep on driving home Trump's true nature and tactics, maybe some of them will look in the mirror and ask themselves, "Does my fealty to Trump say more about Trump...or about me?"

Your friend,


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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on April 24, 2024 1:04 PM.

Letter 2 America for April 10, 2024 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for May 3, 2024 is the next entry in this blog.

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