During the election campaign, I wrote that Donald Trump is intellectually, temperamentally and morally unfit to be President of the United States. Nothing since then has changed my mind.
But it is not as if Trump overturned a well-functioning system. The United States was already committed to perpetual war and rule by Wall Street.
My friend Bill Elwell called my attention to an article by Tom Engelhardt, who wrote in part:
Odd as it may seem under the circumstances, Trump’s presidency came from somewhere, developed out of something. To think of it (as many of those resisting Trump now seem inclined to do) as uniquely new, the presidential version of a virgin birth, is to defy both history and reality.
Donald Trump, whatever else he may be, is most distinctly a creature of history. He’s unimaginable without it. This, in turn, means that the radical nature of his new presidency should serve as a reminder of just how radical the 15 years after 9/11 actually were in shaping American life, politics and governance.
In that sense, to generalize (if you’ll excuse the pun), his presidency already offers a strikingly vivid and accurate portrait of the America we’ve been living in for some years now, even if we’d prefer to pretend otherwise.
After all, it’s clearly a government of, by and evidently for the billionaires and the generals, which pretty much sums up where we’ve been heading for the last decade and a half anyway.
Let’s start with those generals. In the 15 years before Trump entered the Oval Office, Washington became a permanent war capital; war, a permanent feature of our American world; and the military, the most admired institution of American life, the one in which we have the most confidence among an otherwise fading crew, including the presidency, the Supreme Court, public schools, banks, television news, newspapers, big business and Congress (in that descending order). […]