We, citizens of the US, have reached another threshold in the rapid decline of the American Experiment. As I’ve said repeatedly in the last year this was probably inevitable given the loss of direction over the last forty years and clearly inevitable with the paradigmatic shift in culture, communication, and social media based transformation over the last twenty. This managed to trigger a sudden lurch into fascism and despotism with the totally unexpected highjacking of the presidency by Trump, a very problematic asset of Putin’s Russia. We’ve been struggling with the reality of this all year. Much of the year has been taken up in hand wringing and self doubt. But that, I think, is coming to an end.
There has been a growing acknowledgement that this is even worse than we feared by the majority of the population. I thought that would happen much sooner but by summer it was obvious that normalization in conjunction with emotional exhaustion (both primary tools in the despotic conquest of states) was driving people into personal escapism. In any case the nature of narcissistic despotism finds supporters and never stops getting worse. These are, by nature, simple opportunists dedicated to self gain at everyone else’s cost so they continue to escalate their scams. The demand for ever more attention produces ever more distracting outrage and they have learned that this has multiple benefits in feeding their egos while exhausting their victims. Trump is a clear example of the mature version of this with little knowledge, limited intelligence, but a well developed instinctive feel for destruction that produces what he needs. Understanding this also made him such an easy tool for a trained operator such as Putin.
The new threshold has two parts, the first is, as stated above, that this is really bad and will not get better and the second is that this is the product of a minority that is shrinking. Detailed analysis is not needed for this as it must be understandable by great numbers of people based on simple but trusted information. The Trump regime is supported by less than 30% of the population and this is clearly visible in the precipitous decline of national approval numbers. But this is only a foundational piece that is important in conjunction with other, general, and trusted realizations.
That this is not only bad but will not get better is a product of events at a broad level. The fact that the Trump regime has no regard for law or constitutional standards has, effectively, been proven by Mueller and the long, careful and professional investigation that was silent for most of the year. The issuing of subpoena and the indictment and conviction of two high ranking Trump people revealing an incredibly crude and blatant lawlessness has completely changed the landscape. The integration of these events in the public consciousness is what has really changed. It is now clear that all of Trump’s people are probably corrupt, criminal and stupid. There is also no longer a question that Trump and his regime are guilty of using the Russians. The actual definition of collusion legally does not matter. Whatever actually happened they were trying to use Russian tools to win the election. I would say that the incredible professionalism of Mueller and his investigation as created is now the only point of trust left in the US government. This is the critical point on which the change hinged.
To fill in the canvas that has become or is becoming clear for the majority of the population, Congress is corrupt, the executive is criminal and under foreign influence, and the part of the FBI that is supporting Mueller seems legitimate and what we have known in the past. The outrageous tax bill extorting money from the middle class exclusively for the billionaires that support them and actively hated by nearly 75% of the population (obviously to most people the same split as the Trump minority) is the nail in the coffin. We needed a consensus of the majority to support the actions that need to be taken to remove Trump and to halt the corruption of the federal government. At this level the key is the general population’s image of the situation and what that will mean to them. The cobbled together travesty of a tax bill has destroyed the last vestiges of legitimacy of the Republican party and very nearly of the entier two party system. We will see how that develops.
You don’t need to do graduate level analysis to figure this out. The people involved have made it obvious. A critical characteristic of this threshold of attitude change is that it is self confirming. The frantic efforts of Trump, republicans in Congress, and Fox news to attack Mueller and shovel dirt on everything will not only fail but will confirm the popular realization. And this realization will turn to anger as Trump and his sad cohort become increasingly violent. I sense that the growing desperation of attempts to deny Russian involvement and to save Trump are making things worse as most people have now made a judgement on this.
The near constant, now, repetition of the Watergate analogy is accurate. Action will not wait for next fall’s election. Trump will need to be forced to resign, perferrably with his entire regime. I suspect that there will be a growing movement to reform the national political parties with the Republican party to be disbanded if not declared as a criminal organization.
Will this fix things? No, but it might buy some time for the larger changes to begin to work through as we literally restructure human society on this planet. The lurch into fascism in the US and elsewhere is very dangerous but is the short term result of a far larger change in how we manage ourselves and this planet. We need the time to change more rationally than simply in reaction to attempted despotic overthrow of the US.