When I see Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Stephen Miller, I feel that I know people like them. We've all run across them in high school, or college, or work. They are people with a huge, poisonous chip of resentment lodged deep inside their balls. They are not legion, but once in a while you run into one. A boss who sows chaos by ruling with contempt, people who thrive on division and disorder, backstabbers; in short, toxic human beings. In an unprecedented achievement, Donald Trump has recruited most of them for his Administration.
Take Kellyanne Conway. Her default mode is being on the defensive. Like her boss, she is the epitome of a sore winner. There is really nothing more base and disgraceful than a sore winner who cannot lead with poise and dignity, but who feels so insecure that they need to rub it in, even though they won. Conway deploys deliberate outrageousness so well, that she makes the newscasters who laugh at her ridiculous statements look bad. That's how insidious she is. Why not focus on the times Trump doesn't lie? she asks, treating journalists and the public as if we are morons. She has not shown a single moment of politeness, empathy, grace, or truth, for that matter. That absurd military/patriotic coat she wore to the inauguration tells us all we need to know about her: always be rubbing it in. Conway is dangerous precisely because people may not take her equivocations seriously. She fake smiles and does the girly thing to deflect the fact that she is lying. Woe to anyone who doesn't realize that she is very deliberately making our heads explode with "alternative facts".
So far, if the idea is to exhaust the American people, it may be working. As an effective communications strategy for an administration, however, it's way off the mark. Instead of bringing the media to their side, Conway and Sean Spicer are in a fight to the death with the media and currently suffering from a torrent of leaks and mediatic insurrection, not to mention general mockery. They don't seem to understand that the role of the media is not to fawn and parrot the party line, but to question and ascertain. They may be in power, but they don't know how to wield it, and they act like losers. All we know is that there is a constant shitshow brewing in the White House.
It's gotten so bad lately, it looks like keeping up with K.A.O.S. is taking its toll:
I found myself reminiscing almost fondly about back in the day when Dick Cheney was Satan and Donald Rumsfeld was Mephistopheles. But the difference between Cheney and Rumsfeld and Trump's advisors is that Cheney and Rumsfeld were never losers. They were alpha males who wielded power with supreme ease. They were not mysteriously resentful men with painful hidden complexes who are out for revenge on the world. They were insiders who belonged squarely in the corridors of power and, for better or for worse, spent their lives in public service. What we have now is a bunch of bitterly resentful outsiders running the show with mind-boggling incompetence.
The feeling I get when I read about Steve Bannon's worldview, and his mediocre agitprop movies -- a bunch of defeatist "Judeo-Christian" mumbo jumbo about how the world is coming to an inevitable clash of civilizations -- is that he's a deranged fanboy. Wasn't there a quote from a comic book villain in the "American carnage" inaugural speech, a speech so hideous only a delusional loser could have written it? They say Bannon reads a lot. Well, too much literature is bad for you if what you're reading are obscure Italian fascists and the writings of Charles Lindbergh.
It's like when people say Hitler was very intelligent. Sowing chaos, destruction and the murder of millions of people, including your own citizenry because of an ideological brain fart doesn't strike me as smart. Quite the contrary, it strikes me as the apex of human stupidity. People like Steve Bannon or Hitler are not intelligent: they do nothing of any real usefulness with their depraved thoughts.
Bannon is clearly out of his depth, a third-rate alt-media (all alt-media is third-rate) operative who has no clue of how government and the law are supposed to function. He may have done a good job convincing a bunch of ignorant yahoos and self-serving conservatives to vote for Trump, but that's not the same as running a country. If he's truly smart, he'll learn to use the system to his advantage, not make it explode in his face; if he thinks that he has anything to learn, that is. To judge from his past pronouncements about emulating Lenin and blowing up the world, he doesn't strike me as the sort who resorts to humility when the shit hits the fan. He may borrow from Charles Lindbergh, but Bannon is no Charles Lindbergh. He's a schlub.
People who harbor a passionate conviction for kooky theories, be they antisemitic, racist, or of world domination by others, tend to be a particular kind of loser. They may be right-wing nutjobs, or left-wing dogmatists who feel there is a Zionist Jew behind every conspiracy; in the end, they're all the same. They thirst for a power they feel is eternally out of their grasp and being hogged or abused by someone else (the media, the Jews, liberals, the government, George Soros, Wall Street, immigrants, Blacks, Muslims, feminists, etc). These people suffer from arrested development and do not have the emotional maturity to deal with reality, which requires the recognition of nuance, complexity, and compromise. They also have a misplaced sense of entitlement -- someone is always taking something away from them. They are small-minded, miserable haters.
Most of these people tend to hide among us, nourishing their hatreds in secret. Once in a while, like in the case of Hitler or other totalitarian obsessives, they reach a position of power. But the cancerous chip on their balls remains firmly in place and metastasizes. All those impressive Nazi rallies were designed to hide the fact that Hitler was a non-Aryan-looking ugly little creep with a ridiculous mustache, greasy hair and boundless reserves of self-hatred. The rest of the nazis just hitched their wagon to his thirst for power; some adoringly, some resentfully, some cynically, some spinelessly, much like most of the members of the Republican party today. It's a good thing our nazis can't even muster half a crowd for their inauguration.
We all harbor prejudices. It is human and inevitable. But people who spend their energy being racist have a sickness. Sane people do not allow these ideas to become obsessions. We hide our racist thoughts in the back of our minds and feel a little queasy when we catch ourselves forming them. If we are self-aware, we may even get to question them, find them untrue and ditch them. The United States is the most racially aware country on Earth. If you are a card-carrying racist in the US, you choose to be purposefully so.
Stephen Miller seems to be a garden variety racist with a penchant for grandiosity. Even in high school, he was hateful enough to object to Cinco de Mayo celebrations and such manifestations of inclusiveness. I can understand people who have no patience for political correctness, because quite frankly neither do I, but someone who chooses to lecture his fellow classmates on Americanism in his high-school yearbook seems like they are under the grip of a disturbing obsession. Fast-forward to the same guy, now advisor to President Trump, speaking on national TV last week:
"Our opponents, the media, and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the powers of the president to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned."
Miller was blathering on network TV about how the judiciary usurped power from the president! Who does he think he is? Goebbels? Here he is, a 31-year-old, way in over his head, who reminds me of the Charles Atlas ads in the back of comic books. His performance at the news show circuit made him sound as if he was delivering a radio address in nazi Germany. He also is associated with the cruel and incompetent executive order banning travel from seven Muslim countries for refugees and people with valid visas and green cards. Miller really seems like a throwback to the glorious days of assholes like J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, and Roy Cohn. Make America Great Again, indeed!
I don't understand Nazi Jews. I don't understand when fear of persecution turns to hate and aggression and you forget that there but for the grace of God, or a humane and coherent immigration policy, go you.
Which leads us to Jared Kushner. The media pronounced that this handsome cipher might bring a semblance of moderation and professionalism to the White House and somehow save the day. Perhaps Kushner thought so too, in his ambitious naivete. There are reports, however, that he loves what Bannon is doing. So who knows? We're still waiting.
Kushner saw it fit to invoke his family who perished in the Shoah when his campaigning father-in-law was cozying up to antisemites, but Kushner uttered not a peep, let alone raised holy hell, when the Trump administration not only deliberately left Jews out of the Holocaust Remembrance Day presidential statement, but then mockingly gloated about it, appallingly, under the pretext of inclusiveness. "A lot of people were killed in the Holocaust", explained Reince Priebus.
Was Stephen Miller the author of such a revolting statement and its nauseating explanation? Was Bannon? Priebus? Kushner may not have been born a loser, but hitching his wagon to the Trumps has turned him into one.
As for the biggest loser of them all, the truth about Donald Trump is that our current nightmare may be the summit of a lifetime of accumulating slights and grudges from a guy who became president thanks to all kinds of suspect foreign machinations. That is, he is not legitimate and will never be. The approval he craves will always elude him. He will never be as rich as the truly capable billionaires of America, he will never be accepted into any of the elite inner sanctums he lusts after, be they social, political or showbiz, and he's always going to be the crass barbarian, conman, clown, and spoiled brat from Queens (no offense to the hardworking citizens of that fine borough). He may have convinced a segment of the population that feels forgotten and entitled to more by dint of being white by bullying everybody else, but we all know Donald Trump is nothing but a tool. A convenient puppet for Putin, for Bannon, for the Republican Party. We're all waiting to see when this bunch of cowards and traitors have enough of this dangerous farce.
|President Steve Bannon and Donald Trump in the Oval Office|