Post-Election 2016 — a look back
The early days of Trump’s rise foretold the hate and disorder to come (Updated from Nov 23, 2016)
(this article updates the November 23, 2016 article)
The Nazi Germany invasion and takeover of France in 1940 has many parallels to America when it elected Donald Trump in 2016. According to Caroline Moorehead in her book, ‘A Train in Winter,’ when the Nazis took over the city many of the famous French intellectuals fled south to a free zone in France. Some Parisians stuck around and some had no choice as they were part of the establishment.
On the other hand, the far right, the conservatives, many of whom were also in fear as the Nazis approached, returned to the city, ready to accept the benefits and perks of Nazi power. A fascist dictator who was breaking all sorts of acceptable norms had taken control of a solid piece of the country and the right was perfectly fine with throwing the left and liberals into the Seine. Equality, ethics and morality were bullshit ideas.
So it was also here in America on some level in the aftermath of the election of 2016 with Trump.
Here is what Mitt Romney said about Trump during the campaign in 2016:
“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud…His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”
Yet despite this statement, Romney was Trump’s #1 choice for Secretary of State and almost got picked. His failure to maintain his disdain for Trump is about as valueless as a can of soup with mold in it. Even though he voted to impeach Trump (there was no chance Trump would be impeached), he still voted for most of Trump’s agenda the last four years. And today, Romney re-asserted his devotion to right wing ideals as Biden is set to take office.
Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina, also did not like Trump during the campaign. Yet, she eventually became mesmerized by the guy’s chatter. She served in the Trump administration and rarely criticized the dysfunction and hate Trump promoted for 4 years.
Paul Ryan, the House speaker, would not even appear on stage with Trump but because Trump agreed to support his Ayn Rand agenda, he endorsed Trump eventually. Ryan got his huge deficit ballooning tax cut for the rich in 2017 and then went back to Wisconsin. Maybe, he was ashamed.
In other words, as Trump rolled into the capital, he had assistance. He had right wing support. He enjoyed it for four years. Dissent was meek. The opposition was non-existent. If Trump had won this election, they would be getting behind him right now despite the fact that his policies are killing people.
This is the state of affairs in the U.S. How can anyone or any of these folks support a person who was elected in the manner they were elected with hate, bigotry, racism, patriarchy, misogny, Islamaphobia and disorder? How can they continue to stand with a guy who is responsible for the continuing spread of deadly virus across the country?
To go back to the Nazi takeover in 1940; Hitler killed 100,000 people on the way into Paris, thousands more were imprisoned, and the very fabric of French life, was flipped upside down. Yet, the far right was OK with all of that. They got in bed with this craziness.
Nothing at all different here. The far right conservatives supported their guy for four years, protected him, supported his unqualified judges, regressive tax policies, but most of all, they were prepared to let what happened in France happen in the U.S.
The Mystery of the Crying Frenchman * harbel photograph
For many years, I have loothe famous war photograph that shows the profound sadness and despair…
The four years since Trump made it into office says a lot about the history of the U.S. Soon we will know the gravity of the unholy alliance struck by the Republicans and conservatives and the damage done. Soon we will know the last four years have been tossed into the fire and will have to be fixed. Soon we will be playing John Lee Hooker all day and drinking whiskey to kill the pain.