Whether you or I tend to identify with the idea of Liberal or Conservative, we are each trapped by historically mythological American concepts. The Left claims loyalty to the mythology of identifying with common-folk workers, the Right to the mythology of identifying with entrepreneurial capitalists. At least this is a rough way of describing the American political situation.
But, surprise! Oh ho! What’s this?
Mr. T just upended the Liberal Left, capturing the presidency by cleverly courting a coalition of poor common folk. Just stole part of the allegedly liberal Democrats’ core constituency right out from under them. He positioned the Democrats as being the static state of capitalist affairs and himself as the avenging savior of the underdog. Him: one of the slipperier and wealthier of our entrepreneurs.
That’s a pretty slick smoke and mirror job. You’ve got to hand it to him. However, if you are not enamored of his true political, philosophical, and social tendencies, his accomplishment plops you into a contradictory thicket of thoughts. As just one example, he never once mentioned the tens of thousands of homeless, including substantial numbers of veterans, roaming the country. Essentially, he convinced his selected voters that they were members of a group abandoned by all the rest of us.
That’s right. He divided us to conquer. He’s still doing it. He keeps promising his core group he will save them if they will continue to support him. That gives him a temporary tool to maintain his illusion of political solidarity. It empowers him to talk about “Fake” things without bothering to provide supporting factual evidence. It allows him to pit his underdog group against the rest of us (plus a bonus of the entire journalistic community), which rewards his core followers with a sense of intellectual heft.
They don’t characterize it as such, of course. They simply accept his description of all us others and our “Fake” journalists, as being true. It’s a theft by him of their common sense. They are indeed underdogs, but not necessarily for the reasons Mr. T proposes. Frequently, they are geographically located where circumstances have stolen their incomes. Or they are ideologically petrified, emotionally vulnerable, and easily deceived.
Mr. T gives them a straw to grasp: himself. He is not totally unlike the famous European leader of yore: Napoleon Bonaparte. Although Napoleon was born relatively poor and Mr. T was born wealthy, T and Napoleon share at least two traits. Both possess, and wallow in, massive egos – providing them limitless self confidence; and both position themselves as saviors of their countries.
Bonaparte did not, at least, invoke the favor of god upon himself. He was a pure military man, a proved genius on the battlefield. Mr .T’s genius is on the battlefield of mass media. Bonaparte over time actually created many valuable things for France: a national bank, health improvements, roads, bridges, a system of laws still guiding France, numerous other political and social niceties. Mr. T has, of course, not had time to prove if his media genius can step beyond publicity games.
Interesting that his first major spending bill is to enlarge the already gargantuan US military. Also interesting is that many of his advisors are military men. Napoleon consolidated his power by actually winning expansive wars of invasion. Whether Mr. T succeeds in only bettering ISIS will be a telling factor in how we judge him. But quite clearly he is aligning himself with the country’s military, while financially handcuffing our diplomatic capabilities.
That heads him toward his most troubling behavior. An egocentric, self-confident media manipulator leading the world’s most immense military is a man to watch. Very carefully. He wants to increase our nuclear capability, he says, because, “The World” has not yet seen itself fit to do away with nukes.
He disregards the obvious: that as the world’s most powerful nuclear leader he is surely the only person on the entire planet who could conceivably lead an effective international geopolitical coalition of leaders in eliminating nuclear weapons.
But, he passes that buck to the nebulous “World.” Not his job. His task is to build more of the world-threatening devices. Bigger and better! Onward and upward! What a heartwarming and comforting thought that is.
A comprehensive coalition of international forces brought Napoleon down. Do you suppose a comprehensive coalition of international forces might possibly check Mr. T’s apparent self-assessment that he is a budding nuclear military leader?
An international coalition is required to defeat ISIS. If it were even conceivably to believe nuclear weapons a rational tool to fight a guerilla-like ISIS, Nukes would have to be used worldwide. We’d all get a taste of them.
Therefore, if that potential international coalition simultaneously faces a burgeoning US nuclear force, will it not find itself in an immensely delicate diplomatic position relative to The United States of America? Where will that then leave the U.S.?
Excuse me for bringing up such a troublesome question.