Donald Trump is:
Old and delusional: Check.
Paranoid and narcissistic: Check.
Allergic to the rule of law and common decency: Check.
Messianic and mercurial: Check.
Volatile and bombastic: Check.
Petty and vindictive: Check.
Petulant and child-like: Check.
An enemy of books, history and the truth: Check.
Addicted to lying: Check.
Synonymous with corruption: Check.
Waited on by cronies: Check.
Surrounded and shielded by family: Check.
Hateful and ignorant: Check.
Yes, by any behavioural or temperamental measure, Trump is the classic personification of the head of a failed state.
To dispute this characterization is to dispute reality.
But too many Americans are not only prepared to scoff at this by now well-established fact, but to celebrate, even rejoice, like giddy cult of personality fanatics, at the happy realization that they are led by a transparently decrepit, dangerous and stupid man. Despite the cobweb-like fixations of cockeyed liberals, little of this is Russia’s doing. It is, rather, a reflection of the self-immolation of America by Americans who see in Trump a mirror image of their equally decrepit, dangerous and wilful stupidity.
Still, failed states are also sustained by illusions and the hucksters who sell those illusions to the gullible who, in turn, take comfort principally in the myth that one man, often a “strong,” uncompromising man like Trump, will right the litany of wrongs — real or imagined, at home or abroad — that fuel their seething resentment, anger and grievances.
Meanwhile, their cheap, sloganeering savior enriches himself, his family and his legion of disposable (turned convicted) sycophants, who play along with the grift as they count their healthy profits at the expense of the millions of marks who buy Trump’s trademark baseball caps and infantile, stammering rhetoric about America’s greatness and exceptionalism.
So, the uber rich become inconceivably richer. Rules to prevent the collapse of another Ponzi-scheme economy are erased. Coal is gold and represents the future of America’s energy independence. Climate science is a hoax because snow still falls while the earth warms exponentially as thousands of species hurtle towards extinction. War criminals in uniform are freed. Women no longer have agency over their bodies — evangelical Neanderthals do. White, tiki-torch wielding Nazis are fine people, while black citizens are systematically disenfranchised.
Such are the signature actions of a failed state that takes evident pride in championing these sham “ideas” with destructive and instructive zealotry.
Beyond the easy marks and benefactors, the heads of failed states usually reach their powerful zenith with the help of willing and witting enablers who elevate and bestow legitimacy on charlatans like Trump.
Compliant political toadies like Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lead the eager way. The Congressional equivalent of the Pied Piper is followed, of course, by a long train of deaf, dumb and blind lemmings in the House and Senate who are quick to excuse every Trump outrage and assault on civility because they’re party to the lucrative grift, too.
McConnell’s tag-team partner in enacting Trump’s self-serving, largely libertarian legislative agenda is a radically right-wing heavy Supreme Court that owes its allegiance to its philosophical patron rather than the Constitution.
Then, there are the suddenly enlightened corporate media types who were instrumental in fashioning the presidential version of Frankenstein.
Not too long ago, they treated Trump like an entertaining, if outlandish, circus act, who, ironically, challenged the legitimacy of another “incompetent” and “tyrannical” president repeatedly on an alphabet soup of TV news networks where wealthy, minor-league celebrities play journalists.
But it’s the so-called elite media that bear the most shameful responsibility for Trump’s ascendency as the head of a diseased and bankrupt failed state.
Trump is the natural, inevitable consequence of a stubborn, comprehensive loss of faith in institutional norms and practices whose genesis can be traced, in large measure, to the chorus of lies told on TV and in newsprint to launch never-ending, trillion-dollar wars that American soldiers still fight and die in decades on.
Is it any wonder that a rank, sputtering demagogue like Trump emerged from this toxic swamp of wars and lies with the stale promise of rekindling America’s lost standing? I don’t think so.
While America sinks deeper into the authoritarian morass, timid Democrats dither and debate like bickering school children about whether to impeach the idiot King. No doubt disappointed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to strike the lethal blow, choosing instead to invoke Department of Justice rules and the Constitution to justify his equivocation on charging a sitting president, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has turned to God and possibly Jerry Springer to save America from Trump and the “anguish” of impeachment.
At a press conference after she witnessed America’s head of state lose his head once again, Pelosi said she was praying for Trump and pleaded with his family to stage, I suppose, a reality-TV-like “intervention” to persuade their dad that he isn’t well and needs a long, perhaps permanent, golfing vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
To compound this farce, Pelosi appeared on a late-night comedy chat show recently to reiterate — in lieu of a stroke of divine or terrestrial intervention — her reluctance to impeach since that “path” could be “divisive.”
“We have to try to bring people together,” Pelosi told host Jimmy Kimmel.
I’m left to wonder whether Pelosi has just emerged from a self-induced coma when she suggests that politicians are capable of bringing America’s entrenched, ideological tribes “together,” and that these same warring tribes are, allegedly, “on to [Trump.]”
To his credit, Kimmel replied: “Oh no, they’re not.”
Indeed, if a recent spate of 2020 election models is to be believed, Trump appears poised to be re-elected next November.
If that horror movie-like sequel happens, Pelosi and her ambivalent Democratic supporters inside and outside of Congress will have squandered the opportunity, and I dare say, their constitutional duty, to deliver a guilty verdict on impeachment since Trump will argue that he has been “acquitted” by the American “people” — at least half of whom detest him.
Pelosi’s passivity in the face of the real, present and undeniable danger Trump embodies, is further testament to the failed state America has become since this foul president has evaded, yet again, any accountability for any egregious aspect of his foul administration.
In 1973, John Dean, Richard Nixon’s White House lawyer, warned the president that there was a “cancer within, close to the presidency.”
Under Trump, that cancer has returned with a disfiguring vengeance. And, according to Nancy Pelosi, it’s inoperable.