National Commentary

Trump’s ‘War of The Worlds’

nfbenton-mugDonald Trump’s appointment of Breitbart News’ Steven Bannon to head a presidential campaign whose wheels are spinning off signals something even more ominous than the frightening prospect that Trump might actually win this November.

Breitbart News is a tiny Internet-based operation to the right of Fox News with none of the constraints that Fox may occasionally feel to reel in the worst off-the-wall lies and exaggerations.
For Trump, the move demonstrates a recognition that by now Humpty Dumpty has already fallen and no legions of horses or men can put his campaign back together again. So rather than reaching out to experts on taping up eggs back to health, the move has been to gingerly walk away toward a something completely different, and uglier.

We can expect in the next few months to see the bowels of hell opened and vomited out over this U.S. presidential election. This is what the Trump campaign will become, or so these latest moves by the campaign can be assumed to intend.

Truth will take a flurry of big hits, one after another, and as much misogynistic bile as human sensibilities can tolerate will be hurled against Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton is no newcomer to this kind of thing, so while some of this may shake her simply because she is human, it will not deter her. Hourly, she is becoming more and more of a lock to win the November election. But with the Bannon elevation, we can now see where the Trump Machine, looking more and more like the odd, unbalanced, teetering tripods those plump, leathery Martians drove over the landscape in H.G. Wells’ novel, The War of the Worlds, is heading.

In short, it is heading beyond November. It is heading outside the electoral pathway. It is heading straight toward a mass-based fascist movement that will menace the nation well beyond this election.

The longer traditional Republican elected officials cling to this Machine, the more the GOP will be crippled, perhaps for generations, by such decisions. As this Machine strides right past November, such feckless Republican diehards will take scores of “down ticket” outcomes to the junkyard dregs with them.

Democrats may be shivering with glee at the thought of this outcome, but they definitely shouldn’t.

Catherine Rampell’s column in the Tuesday Washington Post, “Getting Fed Up With Democracy,” cites World Values Survey polling by scholars reported in the Journal of Democracy showing an unmistakeable trend, most pronounced among the young, for “authoritarian solutions” over messy democracy.

Those who believe democracy is “a bad way to run a country” grew from nine in the mid-1990s to 17 percent of the American electorate today.

This, my friends, is the context that Trump and his now empowered Breitbart co-conspirator have and will continue to foment, creating in their wake, for example, the likes of a shameless Hitler apologist who has formed a “Trump Youth” movement dedicated to rooting out “parasites” from among the U.S. population.

The worse the electoral outcome for Trump in November, the stronger will grow this new fascist movement, sweeping up the legions of democracy’s new skeptics.

Old school institutions based on a modicum of genuine elections will be cast aside as this new Machine will crush under its heel those who insist on democracy over unbridled social Darwinian free enterprise.

If anyone is shivering with delight over this, it is the scions of the nation’s ruling class, of its military industrial complex, of its top one percent of wealth holders who fight hard see their advantage maintained by such means. For most of these who’ve used undemocratic means to get where they are, anyway, there is only disdain for democracy, and while in the past when they’ve had to give grudging lip service to it, in this new dawn they won’t even have to do that.

Stopping this horrid trend requires a great commitment by the numerical majority in the U.S. to restore to our culture the kind of humanist values and compassionate morality that used to govern here. It’s the recent postmodernist cultural hatred of love, sympathy and solidarity that has been doing us in.