Posted by Thersites on  UTC 2020-07-20 07:13

Most of us right-wing thugs (RWTs) have our own individual pot-pourri of reservations about Donald Trump as President of the USA. Among them might be his nepotism, his inability to choose and manage subordinates well and, of course, his rambling incoherence when not reading from an autocue.

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All images in this article: ©The White House.

But there is no alternative. For the coming election, the RWTs have to get behind him; it may require clothes-pegs on our noses, plugs in our ears, blindfolds over our eyes, four month's worth of diazepam and an occasional whack of ketamine to get us over particularly bad patches, but there is no alternative – or, more accurately, the alternative (utter insanity) is too awful to contemplate.

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Even if Donald Trump does somehow manage to get dragged over the finish line, the job is only just beginning. That job involves nothing less than the cultural renewal of the USA. The scale of the task is evident when we consider a recent speech he made.

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This is the much lauded speech he gave at the foot of the Mount Rushmore monument on 3 July this year. It was a blinder of a speech which received praise in many right-wing quarters, even from many of the doubters. The left-wing media ignored it or gave it grudging notice – no surprise, since the setting for the speech was a deliberate Trumpian provocation.

The short 'mood video' issued by the White House, from which most of our images come, was part of that political provocation:

The vandals at the gates

In his speech the President reasserted what we might call the core values of the traditional USA, a concept which we should sanitise for the sake of argument as the 'canonical' culture. These values were 'American' and represented the 'real America' (paraphrasing), which was currently under relentless ideological and political attack from its enemies.

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Trump's viewpoint here is a simple duality of light and dark: the canonical culture of the USA versus the attack on it from the left.

And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.

Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

Well, that's one way of looking at the situation, but it is a way with great limitations. If only the matter were so simple.

In fact, the situation is complicated because both the light and the dark belong to the USA. It is not a case of the USA versus something else. The something else is as much a part of the USA as the Mom's apple pie of the traditional canonical culture. The 'merciless campaign' was born in the USA, just as much as the canonical culture was. The wild things of the non-canonical culture are Americans, too: born, bred and educated in the USA.

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The state of the nation

The USA is a fractured jumble of cultural division, a collage of contrasts and juxtapositions as crazed as any of those which appeared in Germany during the turmoil of the Weimar years.

If we leave aside all the dark dissent and examine just the canonical USA we find so much that is broken and in desperate need of repair. Even the most benevolent eye sees this and even the greatest patriots have to admit that this is the case.

We don't need to go hunting for empirical evidence for this proposition: President Trump's own election platform is an admission of the existence of these problems.

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It is fuelled by the ambition of recovering the golden age of the American century and doing this by 'draining the swamp' – shorthand for repairing the current broken state of the country, which would then Make America Great Again. The current defects are plain to all those who care to look.

The educational system of the country is off the rails at every level, elementary to university. School systems cannot achieve their basic educational goals for many children within the period of mandatory education. Money is thrown at post-school schooling for the underclass. Higher studies have become pathways to unrepayable debt.

The administration of the country – the land of the free – is a bureaucratic nightmare without its equal in the western world (including even France, who gave the world the word 'bureaucratic').

Politically, government is layered and replicated from Hicksville to Hicks county to Hicks state; each layer has its own legislature and executive and administration. On top of it all sits an immense federal political bureaucracy. The layers of the cake are glued together by huge amounts of cash and the corruption that goes with it.

The general infrastructure of the country is falling apart, whilst pork-barrel projects wallow in money which seeps untraceably away. Let's not even mention the drug pandemic or inner city desolation or the rust belt.

The spongy layers rest on a thick biscuit base of lawyers and court systems which feed on an immense and impenetrable codex of law. This in turn claims its ultimate authority from a constitution, the precise meanings of the main points of which are still a matter of debate and interpretation. Even the court which is responsible for that interpretation is split into factions in a way that effectively negates its legitimacy.

Skin in the game

President Trump may pick out the noble things, but the canonical situation will not improve unless its defects are remedied. The defects mentioned so far are all bad enough, but the main motor of the division between the canonical and the non-canonical USA is race.

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The USA was already seeded with unresolved problems of slavery and racial prejudice at its foundation; chiselling 'all men are created equal' so prominently onto its foundation stone was – then as now – Enlightenment satire of the highest order.

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These problems have festered over the centuries and have never been resolved: they have just metastasised in number and complexity. The racial equality and integration which was at the heart of the civil rights movement – at least at first – was forked into black victimhood, black exceptionalism and black revenge. Integration and racial peace is no longer on the agenda.

A fine mess you got yourselves into, Dwight, Jack, Lyndon, Richard, Gerald, Jimmy, Ronald, George, Bill, George, Barack and Donald!