Wednesday, November 29, 2017

This is fine.

Trump's behaviour is baffling. It can be explained by either vicious malice or psychotic stupidity. Either way, I think it is dangerous to assume that the situation is being handled by the system, that justice will be served, and that Trump's missteps will be his downfall. They may be in the end, but look where we are at present: Trump has not had to pay for any of his crimes. He's still in power, and he's still propped up by rich people and their subservient politicians. There are looming investigations, but no indication of any specific punishment that anyone is planning for him. If I had to guess, I think the most likely outcome is that Trump will leave office in disgrace within a year, but he will be allowed to do so painlessly (resigning instead of being dragged out in cuffs), and instead of any criminal punishment or jail time, he'll be given opulent severance and be allowed to line his pockets in all sorts of ways. Rich people simply receive money as a natural process. He'll also go out tweeting lies and bile, getting off easy while making sure no one else does.

His disgusting behaviour can partly be explained by the fact that it's worked so far, and he hasn't suffered for it. Might as well continue doing what works. The sad new reality, since Trump's election win, is that opinions are just as important as facts, and the opinions of royalty (or "alternative facts") are more important than the facts of hundreds of millions of plebs. Trump pounced on Al Franken for an inappropriate lewd joke photo, letting his opinion trump facts by saying, "Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?" His narrative about what may have happened is just as important as facts, or evidence, or lack thereof. Lack of evidence no longer matters, since a negative opinion is enough of a fact for the new America. However, Trump got into trouble by endorsing child-molester Roy Moore. The narrative was changed to accommodate: This is fine because Moore denied the claim. This sets a dangerous precedent, going against decades or centuries of common practice, where remorse and confession lead to lighter criminal sentences. If the new reality is that "I didn't do it" is a valid opinion, even if it is a lie and counters facts, and that such an opinion is treated as evidence of innocence, AND if admitting any fault is grounds for punishment, then why would anyone ever again admit to any mistake? The new reality is, if you commit a crime it's okay as long as you maintain a lie about it, no matter the evidence (though maybe only if you're rich and white). Perjury used to be an offence, now it is an accepted defence.

But this is still a problem for Trump, since he himself has admitted to sexual molestation. In the Access Hollywood tape Donald Trump said, "I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything." He then later excused his behaviour as "locker room talk" and admitted it was a mistake. That doesn't fit the narrative now being used, that denial is exoneration, so the narrative is changed: Simply deny the tape ever happened. Now Franken is bad because he didn't deny what he did, Moore is okay because he denied it (evidence to the contrary is meaningless), and Trump is okay because he has switched to now denying what he did and admitted to. That he previously admitted to it, that there's evidence on tape, that he has committed crimes, does not matter, because opinions are facts and so facts can change. Devaluing his apology by denying it doesn't matter; opinion is more valuable and repentance is worth nothing, or less. Change the story, lie, cheat, harm, succeed, and if you get away with it, do it again.

We have always been at war with Eastasia. It's not like the new power paradigm is to use Orwell's 1984 as a playbook, but more like they've combined 1984 with Huxley's Brave New World. A lot of people are complacent about Trump's lies (whether it's "Don't worry, I'll just make some popcorn and wait until Mueller fixes all of this, and I'll do nothing else", or "As long as Trump keeps upsetting people I don't like, everything he says is gospel to me."). This is the new reality. If it works, it is adapted for repeated use and becomes standard operating procedure. As long as Trump keeps getting what he wants (money, revenge, praise), he can continue being vile and psychotic, and no one will stop him, because they're too busy being shocked and bewildered to think they have to do anything. It's as if this is all too strange to be reality, so just do nothing and wait until reality corrects things by itself and things return to normal naturally. They won't, though, because the new insanity is being left alone to become the new normal. This is reality now. Nothing reasonable matters any more.

I think nothing will be fixed until after some great financial collapse that makes sitting back and waiting for someone else to fix the Matrix, no longer a comfortable option.

No comments: