National Commentary

Just Keep on Digging, Mr. Mueller

Keep digging, Mr. Mueller. Keep digging!

With all the atmospherics. With the threat of a nuclear war. With the threat of a race war. With all this, the damning evidence that our nation’s president is a pliable and compromised de facto agent of a hostile foreign power remains the most important subject of the day, and, by the way, if Special Prosecutor Mueller does his job, it is that which may finally bring a merciful end to our ongoing collective nightmare.

Trump’s “altered consciousness” rant on Tuesday, the loud and endless defense of his white supremacist base called a press conference, was his latest rug-chewing diversion from the relentless digging, dig, dig, digging that is headed at the innermost chambers of Trump’s heartless heart. When Mueller and his minions of dedicated law enforcement specialists get there, they’re going to cast open the hollow tin door to that cold and clammy empty chamber, but after, of course, gathering up all the paper trails while getting there that could put Trump behind bars for life, a deserved fate to be extended and exceeded only by whatever lies ahead in his personal eternity.

This morally-empty vessel is a tool of menacing, hate-driven power centers in Moscow and other places who succeeded in planting their man in the White House by and through the process of fueling the kind of hate-filled racism and bigotry that was manifested in Charlottesville last weekend.

The rise of the new-Nazi fascist right must come as no surprise, any more than the election of Trump last fall. We’ve seen it coming and with Trump’s manipulated election, it’s been given an ample supply of bullhorns and blatant entitlements. It is not going to wither away. Because of Putin and those in high places here and abroad who’ve made their moral decisions to side with his global insurgency, we’re going to see a lot more of this.

History is not on our side, unfortunately. If you take the long view, mob rule and tyranny are more often the human race’s governments of choice, with smatterings of mass-genocidal wars mixed in. We’re getting big enough to actually kill our home planet now, something that will undoubtedly be viewed with sadness by our erstwhile allies out there in the universe. “They weren’t able to pull it together, after all,” they’ll lament as they see the last lights flicker out on Planet Earth. “We could have had such fun.”

History may not be on our side, but that spark in the human spirit that aspires for the good and the just — that’s all we’ve got going for us.

It took centuries from the early flickerings of the Golden Renaissance and centuries of subsequent repressions for an Enlightenment flame to grow that fueled a political revolution based on the radical ideas of human equality and a constitutional democracy in one corner of this planet. Great institutions were put into place and great ideals and motives were derived from them that, roughly speaking, brought us to this point.

The push back from men in power, operating out of greed and selfishness, has always been there. Now, they’ve advanced their juggernaut further than maybe at any earlier point since the Civil War in our national history.

The so-called “alt-right” is the creation of Putin and his ilk, set in motion when Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover cut the “detente” deal with the Soviets to allow tens of thousands of ruthless Russian thugs into the U.S. to take over the organized crime networks and marginal political movements formerly of the “left” and “right” variety, both. Their common theme was a heartless thuggery, a loveless, postmodern nihilist “no right or wrong, only power” operational ethic.

There became no organized “left” by 1980. What some thought was the left was really an agents provocateur “burn baby burn” anarchist phalanx. Labor unions were neutered. Self-serving amorality overran Washington under Reagan and Wall Street.

This was the world that raised Trump and guided his allegiances since the early 1990s with carrot-and-stick Russian money.

Anyone wanting to save the world from this has to assert a radical humanity, an unprecedented level of universal human caring and compassion.


Nicholas Benton may be emailed at