Real news flash: Trumpian partisans never let truth or civility impede their laughable, slanderous zeal. Gosh, how does the rock-solid, anti-Trump majority — right, left and center — respond to bizarre slurs we’re all unspeakably disloyal Americans? Actually, Trump lackeys “speak” about us all the time, competing in some weird olympics of mean-spiritedness.
But how could by any logic a healthy 55% majority — steadfast Trump defiers — qualify as “unAmerican”? Or did Trump secretly banish majority rule along with smart diplomacy? What clear majority doesn’t have the right to define a country’s core mission? Apparently, old time math, let alone grammar school logic, vanished with civility and truth-telling.
So not only is opposition un-American but “Ayotallah sympathizers” and Soleimani “mourners,” worse still, inciting crime and chaos with “treason, deceit and manipulation,” Trump’s exact recent rally words. Were mirrors in this White House, along with majority rule, all broken? Of course Trump (per this week’s Washington Post) impugns not only the anti-55% but his own military brass, slamming them as “losers” — a “bunch of dopes and babies.” That’s because the military can’t win unwinnable wars, nor do they manage our troops to make enough (Trumpian) “profits” on our global imperial “outreach.”
The impossible presumption
Obviously, the rabid right fabricates its own fake news, eviscerating opponents as not just short-sighted or wrong, but inexcusable, Fifth Column deviants. How nice fanatics presume the impossible: to know the total motivation of the opposition, tooth and nail. What remarkable savvy— to read with unerring certainty the brainwaves (and disloyalty) of tens of millions against them! Only the truly arrogant (spineless or suckered) refuse to acknowledge why anyone, let alone the majority, resists a wrong-headed blunderbuss of a president.
Strangely, I’ve never heard many, even overwrought voices on the left harangue rightwingers for “hating America.” Who bothers anymore to question the motivation behind the idiotic quest to “make America great again”? Can rational adults not disagree without being tagged as treasonous? Not for the Trump cult! Fantasies about an allegedly lost golden age (anything but golden for all but rich, male whites) is intellectual myopia, not unpatriotic wickedness. Trumpian, right wing fanaticism can endanger democracy without our invoking anti-Americanism. No small difference, morally or politically. Equating Trumpery with national ruination is quite different than impugning rightwingers as conscious, malicious anti-American agents.
Common ground withers
How does one admonish, let alone redeem such intellectual and moral dead ends? For three years we have endured a 40% minority living in its own self-deluded world. Whether on climate or fossil fuel subsidies, deregulation, regressive judges, or tax welfare for the rich, pro-Trumpers are genetically unable to question the “stable genius,” despite contrary evidence galore. How can they not see neither stability or intelligence when a blowhard equates his racist, uninformed bias with good policy values?
The best route is to keep harping on the tectonic disaster that is shameless, unapologetic lying. Nothing is more corrosive than the repeated, never corrected lie, as in preposterous bluster about Trump’s “perfect” Ukrainian shakedown misconduct. Perfection defies Trumpery. In fact, what’s distressing is that obstinate lunacy over impeachment increases, rather than diminishes the plague of falsehoods.
Language, not just democracy, is on the line. When the once-seemingly rational Nikki Haley slanders Democrats for “mourning” Soleimani, she’s forced to invent her own shameless definitions. “Mourning,” she fantasized, doesn’t mean grieving the dead but holding the irrational belief the dead are not dead, that is, preferring the dead not to have died. Those who commit (or excuse) abusive governance have no compunctions about abusing language, as if the 40% now rule all dictionaries, too.
Now the daily tragic norm, a typical Trump reversal surfaced when this overt climate (hoax) denier outrageously nominates himself “an environmentalist” — as he did a week ago. Clueless about what “environmentalist” means, Trump is either (or both) an epic fool and/or obvious knave. If the rabid right succeeds, they will engender a White House desk that rewrites every key word. And won’t that bridge the gap and widen communication between parties?
Thus Rep. Douglas A. Collins declared Democrats are “in love with terrorists, [who] mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families.” Mind-boggling to hear “Gold Star” families invoked. Recall how inexcusably nasty was Trump with campaign attacks on just such a (Muslim) Gold Star family (mourning a dead son).
Thus brace for more to come, as in Nixon-style demagoguery: a calculated, diabolically cynical Enemies List. That’s the logical outcome when partisans demonize sensible opponents as disloyal anti-citizens who practice deceit, manipulation and treason.
So, expect more knuckle-dragging, democracy-killing divisiveness: any citizens who don’t unconditionally toe the unhinged Trumpian line becomes a toxic, security-worsening traitor. Extremism, implicit from the start when Trump survived countless scandals, doesn’t get more heinous than that. If this fascist mindset is not wholly rejected in 2020, where is the bottom — rhetorically, politically or morally?
“Fascism” is the exactly the right term when any minority, with knee-jerk scheming, paints all opposition as outside the norms of patriotism. Perhaps yet there’s a silver lining buried in the swamp. Perhaps we should thank vicious rightwingers for now broadcasting what’s truly at stake in next year’s election. We wouldn’t want them or Trump to start obscuring who they really are, and what do-or-die political choices the majority faces.