|Emboldened American racists feel free to act out and display|
antipathy towards those with dark complexions. The crowd
at the Make America Great Again rally in Minnesota on
June 22, 2018 joined the president in jeering and outrage.
Photo by Tom Brenner, the New York Times
Trump's asinine act is preceded by world criticism of the latest Israeli border massacre and the Israeli blood sport of shooting the legs off of Palestinian teenagers for laughs. The withdrawal also follows Trump's expansion of caging children and families and the United Nations calls for human rights for refugees seeking asylum in America, (Richard Falk, New York Times).
Since Trump began campaigning for president in 2015, his anti-Semitic tropes and myriad blood libels against selected groups have repulsed the narrow majority of Americans who can still be counted in the company of the decent. But the blood libel is escalating, (Krugman, New York Times).
Paul Krugman is alarmed:
The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages.
What’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it’s not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren’t happening. They’re just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.
And you know what this reminds me of? The history of anti-Semitism, a tale of prejudice fueled by myths and hoaxes that ended in genocide.
An open question is whether the logical extension of Trump's white supremacist blood libel — a Holocaust, a war — is on the horizons as Trump presents his evolving and incoherent warrant for genocide to American whites, Evangelicals, local municipal police and every Republican officeholder, all of whom comprise his base.
The former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper warned this week Trump's new and still-strong "zero-tolerance" policy is harming America's "international image," (CNN).
It's a ridiculous statement by Clapper who discusses moral atrocities by accessing effectiveness in transmitting public relations messages. Trump's detractors in the intelligence community are perhaps not the most effective human rights activists.
Trump's public relations messages at some point will not be enough for his base that will quickly veer out of Trump's control. The mindless mania of Trumpists require feeding, a blood sugar-high with screams, dismemberment and tangible displays of cruelty. Trump, from his perspective, was wrong to halt the emission of images of suffering and cruelty. His people love it.
Evangelicals and cops take to social media with malice, relishing the assaults against a black athlete like Sterling Brown with seven squad cars full of racist Milwaukee Police for a parking ticket infraction. Brown has filed a federal civil rights action against the cops and the city of Milwaukee, (Mal Contends).
Trump knows the appetites of his base and he seems to be enjoying the resulting spectacle of chaos and dehumanization that he daily feeds our country.
This is not the time to be on the sidelines.
History may show the Summer of 2018 as one of the most consequential periods in the life of America.
Trump's unite-the-right project has targeted human beings for banishment, imprisonment and extermination, no less.
The capacity of decent people, people like Steve Schmidt, to speak out, to act is the margin of mitigation and is necessary for the reversal of Trump's Make America Great Again (MAGA) project.
MAGA fascists are like Trump, a fearful people. Blacks, Browns, Muslims, anything different from their limited experience and alien to their closed minds are feared.
Attempts to study human nature to explain the human susceptibility to fascism and authoritarian political movements are doomed. Psychology as a discipline has not advanced sufficiently to address the human condition.
Each individual mind must access the bellicose and malicious and the condition of others and make a decision on the relevancy of human suffering to one's life.
Consider the words of the British thinker, Bertrand Russell, on the objectives of a liberal education, an endeavor feared by Trumpists and MAGA minds of all stripes:
"... to give a sense of the value of things other than domination, to help create wise citizens of a free community, and through the combination of citizenship with liberty in individual creativeness to enable men [and all genders] to give to human life that splendor which some few have shown that it can achieve." (Russell, Power: A New Social Analysis (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1938) p.319. Cited in Chomsky, Problems of Knowledge and Freedom, The Russell Lectures - (delivered in 1971), (New York: Pantheon Books, Random House) Introduction).
For a movement like MAGA dedicated to conquest and demonization following the worst traditions of America, human splendor, creativeness and liberty are to be feared in all realms of the human condition.