Donald Trump: A Portent Of Things To Come
I could not help but think of my parents as I read Donald Trump’s latest statement about the comments he made (and then emphatically reiterated) suggesting that, since Judge Gonzalo Curiel is of Mexican heritage he must be biased against Trump because, as Trump puts it “I am building a wall.” In almost the same breath Mr. Trump goes on to observe that “I am friends with and employ thousands of people of Mexican and Hispanic descent.”
When I was growing up my parents had occasion to discuss people my father had dealings with who deployed some racially demeaning remark or racist joke in a situation where they thought it would give them the upper hand in an encounter with him. After my father finished recounting the episode, my parents would look at each other meaningfully and say, “but some of my best friends are colored people.”
My readers know that I think Donald Trump’s whole con involves projecting a caricature of what he and his elitist buddies seek to defame as the attitudes and views of the people he has gulled into supporting him. But in his latest statement the caricature is so obvious it would only pass for a good performance if he was appearing on ‘SNL.’ In any other dramatic context, it would come across as scriptwriting so bad that it punctures the suspension of disbelief. Perhaps it will do just that for some of the sincere, frustrated, angry conservatives who have thus far been taken in by Trump’s performance.
This is “Reality TV” so poorly staged your day job offers more believable entertainment. Surely Donald Trump is making fun of himself! But why would he do that in the midst of what’s supposed to be a serious campaign for the Presidency? Could it be “SAAAAAATAN”? I don’t think so. Satan’s no dummy. Unless, that is, Trump initiated the riff on racism to distract people from the more profound truth of what he’s really up to.
I explore that possibility in a column discussing Mr. Trump’s argument against Judge Curiel, published earlier this week. In it I conclude that “the real logic of the argument has little to do with race, and everything to do with mindless, passionate loyalty to Donald Trump. Its true implication is not racist, but political.” I carefully prepare and justify that conclusion in the column, which at this point may be of interest. Properly understood, the salient thing to take away from the whole episode is this: Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t about making America great again. It’s about making Donald Trump greater than that.
He’s a demagogue, seeking to rebuild the structure of America’s judgment and allegiance around a new focal point. It has been focused on liberty, justice, and the security of God-endowed unalienable right. From now on it will be focused around—Donald Trump. What Donald Trump is doing is the litmus test. People who support what he’s up to are fair, trustworthy, capable and intelligent; fit for citizenship, and fit for office. People who oppose him are unfair, untrustworthy and deserve to be called every name in the book.
I use the word “demagogue” because it links our discussion to the prudence of America’s Founders. It would be somewhat more immediately accessible for some if I said that Trump is building a cult of personality. That’s now-speak for a Machiavellian mockery of the charismatic success of Jesus Christ, focused instead on a simply human will and personality. For this cult, justice and right aren’t about what God has wrought (creation, Nature, human nature) they are about what Donald Trump (or some other ‘supreme leader’) has done.
In Trumps’ case we are even tacitly invited to assume that Trump’s words are of Divine effect. He is not proposing to build a wall. Simply because he says so, he is building it. He hasn’t proposed to ban Muslims from the United States. Simply because he says so, he is banning them. Since this is so, it’s logical to assume that the people he is excluding are now his enemies, regardless of their status at birth or their records as individuals. Their allegiance (or lack thereof) is summarily determined by the words of Donald Trump, which are deeds already perfected. He becomes the rubric for deciding what people are, where they stand, how they should be treated.
Once upon a time the allegiance that defined a people focused on the gods. But in the aftermath of modern man’s denigration of divinities, such idols were placed in the service of dukes, princes and kings. In the name of the Creator, God who transcends all such idols, a new era began, one in which a nation was defined by its common sense of right and justice, and its common will to do both, according to the Creator’s Will. But then they said that God is dead. Who are they? The very ones who ruled before God was held to endow all human beings with rights, and a sense of worth that impelled them to secure those rights.
Upon the wave of self-respect that such faith in God made possible, the people themselves rose to exercise the sovereignty His presence in their lives gave them the capacity to wield. But then elitist intellectuals condemned Being itself, in absentia (a sentence falsely ascribed to Kant, but actually imposed by his illegitimate intellectual offspring, who willfully misconstrued his judgment).
In consequence of this assault on reality itself, all religion, such worthies as Sigmund Freud declared God to be an illusion. If authority arose from Creation, only the only creators available were human beings equipped with the superior power required to accomplish it. And if the power to create escapes them, the power to destroy will do. And so it did, as in the last century cults of power destroyed people and nations on a scale unparalleled before in human experience.
This week we marked an important anniversary of the important part the United States played in thwarting the success of the elitist revolution against God. On account of the Allies’ D-Day heralded victory in WWII, the restoration of elitist rule was postponed; but only until the nation that disproved the elitists’ age-old slanders against Adam’s descendants (they will not reason, they will not work, they cannot rule) could be undone.
We are living now in what seems to be the culmination of that undoing. The cult of human personality is in full array against all the Persons of God. It has already put down roots at the pinnacle of America’s public life. Barack Obama was the seed. His successor (be it Trump or Hillary Clinton) will be the sapling. And the tree that is rising, its fruit portrayed as neither good or evil, will all the same spread darkness where there once were infinite shades of light.
How can you think this so incredible when we still live with the aftermath of a century in which this particular sleight of hand was accomplished, here and there, again, and again, and again? Who has told you it cannot happen here? Who has so blinded you to the oppression our nation helped to deter, that you succumb, eyes wide shut, to the illusion being carefully woven about you? The enemies of your liberty have not yet completely perfected their use of the power they amassed from you, yet you do their bidding—looking where you are told to look, seeing what you are led to see. There is a remedy for this, as Solzhenitsyn proved by his escape from the Soviet version. It begins when you return to God. That is not, by the way, the direction in which current political events are taking us.