Burning Down the Country to Save Himself: the Götterdämmerung of Trump’s Final Days

 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

President-Elect Biden is continuing to prepare to assume the office he has been elected while President Trump refuses to concede and endangering national security, our economy, our lives, and our entire system of government in a desperate effort to retain power.

Today he “terminated” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper who refused to allow Trump to use Federal Troops under the Insurrection Act to attack demonstrators following the murder of George Floyd, and supports renaming Army Forts named after Confederate leaders.

Trump continues to utter falsehoods about the election process in order to undermine it and our faith in that process, sending out teams to create chaos in ever state that flipped to Biden.

He continues to flaunt the reality of the Coronavirus 19 Pandemic, and even with nearly a quarter of a million Americans dead from it holds parties and rallies, and conducts business so slovenly that many of his own closest supporters, cabinet members and staff are becoming infected.

In this campaign to burn down the United States in order to save himself he is being supported by Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and a host of other elected Republicans and his cult like army of illegal militias, White Nationalist paramilitary groups, Christian theocrats, the QAnon cult, and more than likely with the help  Russian agents.

Vigilance is the watchword today for Trump’s Götterdämmerung, his Twilight of the Gods is upon us. Volker Ullrich in his second volume of his biography of Adolf Hitler wrote:

“I know the war is lost,” admitted a deeply depressed Hitler in early January 1945. “The [enemies’] superiority is too great…I would like to put a bullet in my head.” But he immediately pulled himself together: “We will not surrender, never ever. We may go down but we will take a world with us.”

Today Trump aide Jason Miller said “The word concede is not in our dictionary.” I think that they will hold onto that as long as they can. It is possible that eventually Trump will issue a grudging concession, but then it is possible that in his last days he will do everything he can to destroy the country on his way out.

Anyway, as another reminder, something I wrote on 18 May 2017 about Trump, his followers, and enablers in the GOP. It was originally given the title Trump’s True Believers: Why Removing Trump will be Harder than it Seems. 

On to working on the book,

Until next time,

Peace,

Padre Steve+

Trump’s True Believers: Why Removing Trump will be Harder than it Seems 18 May 2017 

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

For those rejoicing in the continued revelations of President Trump’s malfeasance and incompetence hoping that this will soon trigger his removal either by impeachment or the use of the 25th Amendment be assured that unless something totally unexpected occurs that this will not end soon, nor well.

Dona;d Trump is a unique creature in American politics, he has succeeded in establishing himself as the center of a political cult that has taken over the Republican Party. Despite his overall approval ratings consistently being below 40% with terrible numbers pertaining to his basic character and trustworthiness, well over 80% of Republicans in every poll continue to support him. They reject any fact that is contrary to what they believe about their leader, and they tend to support the most unconstitutional aspects of his ill-defined political ideology, which more resembles the Nazi Fuhrerprinzip than anything from the American political tradition. They abhor those who raise objections of any kind based on fact so much that they have gone resorted to repeating what they sometimes refer to as alternative facts or alternative truths.

Guided by an uncompromising propaganda network of talk radio and television hosts as well as internet based organizations they have little loyalty to anyone but the President. This mass movement supported by such propaganda is well described by the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer who wrote:

“All mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.”

This is the world of alternative facts, and the prelude to dictatorship if the trend is allowed to continue. Likewise the true believers, those who follow the President as if he were some sort of Messiah intent on destroying the old order and establishing a new will not stand easily aside. Their support for the President is much deeper than normal political attachment, he is an extension of them who gives voice to their innermost fears, passions, and insecurity. They are defiant in their stand against those that he is against. Historian Timothy Snyder wrote of how the language of their leader and his propaganda works in the minds of the followers:

“Victor Klemperer, a literary scholar of Jewish origin, turned his philological training against Nazi propaganda. He noticed how Hitler’s language rejected legitimate opposition: The people always meant some people and not others (the president uses the word in this way), encounters were always struggles (the president says winning), and any attempt by free people to understand the world in a different way was defamation of the leader (or, as the president puts it, libel).”  

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Thus they cannot be convinced by normal argument or fact. Hoffer noted:

“The leader personifies the certitude of the creed and the defiance and grandeur of power. He articulates and justifies the resentment damned up in the souls of the frustrated. He kindles the vision of a breath-taking future so as to justify the sacrifice of a transitory present. He stages a world of make-believe so indispensable for the realization of self-sacrifice and united action.”

Even when everything comes apart around them and their leader collapses they cannot admit that he was deceiving them. At the end of the war a German soldier told Victor Klemperer that “Hitler has never lied, I believe the Fuhrer.” Snyder writes: “The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant.”

With that kind of following in the GOP it will take a while before this is finished as most GOP leaders, even those who distrust or oppose Trump on some issues are too afraid of the Trump supporters who now control their party to attempt to remove him unless those supporters turn on him. This is unlikely at least in the near future, and there is always the possibility that early some morning Trump will tweet them into committing acts of violence to crush dissent, even against Republican leaders who have the courage to jump ship and turn on the President.

The man is not normal, he is not stable, and he knows nothing but conflict. His followers believe in him almost as a Messiah figure who cannot be wrong and must be defended to the last and experience has shown us that some of would resort to violence to silence his critics.

Like Hitler and his most loyal followers, he sees this as a fight to the finish which Trump which he must win or be defeated. It is a zero sum conflict, and I do not expect it to end well, even if Trump is eventually removed by impeachment or the 25th Amendment.

So until tomorrow,

Peace

Padre Steve+

6 Comments

Filed under authoritarian government, civil rights, Coronavirus 19 Pandemic, crimes against humanity, ethics, History, leadership, Military, national security, nazi germany, News and current events, Political Commentary, racism, Religion, White nationalism

6 responses to “Burning Down the Country to Save Himself: the Götterdämmerung of Trump’s Final Days

  1. Dave M

    Prez Trump does not need your stinking votes. As Hitler declared himself the winner and took control, Trump has done the same. Trumps’ brown shirts(red necks) and Secret Service(ss) will defend my Constitution as Trump sees fit. Already sowed the seeds and the will bloom in spring. WWE WrestleMania 20 Jan for the Championship.
    Do Not let guard down.

    Would it not be dismissive if Trump did not challenge the vote count. Just take it at face value. US Elections have become somewhat of a joke, so why not continue with the show. Just to get it correct and protect future votes.

    Of course Russia, China, Iran, etc… have meddled in the election. Would be more surprised if they were not.

  2. On the somewhat brighter side, last night Fox News cut short a Mc-Inanity press conference, saying it couldn’t broadcast false claims “in good conscience.” I didn’t know the faux-news gang even had a conscience, but this cheered me up a little anyway.

    • padresteve

      That was Neil Cavuto who over the last few years become less than supportive of Trump.

    • My guess is after a bunch of protesting Dumpers were at the counting stations yelling “Fox news sucks” for their announcing the results for Biden like everyone else, they’re scrambling to save themselves. They’re now suddenly playing like a legit news org in hopes that they’re still relevant in a few years. But they initially and happily crawled down the outhouse hole after Dump and just figured out that the stink is gonna stay if they don’t try to get away.

      • Marty Carpenter

        Unfortunately, he has found another propaganda machine in Newsmax. There was a quote from the head (I think) of Newsmax asking what had happened to “fair and balanced” at Fox–although his kissing up to Trump shows that he doesn’t give a rat’s patootie about fairness (or truth for that matter).

  3. Been a while since I’ve seen the word fuhrerprinzip. Ended up writing a paper on it for one of my history courses. It’s so unnerving the parallels between Dump and Hitler as far as their megalomania, followers, adherence to rules, etc. All the years of studying up on the Austrian creep and his effect on the world just make my worst thoughts come out fast when Dump goes on the same path and I have to force myself to calm down and stay in the now. It got harder as the playbook got more similar.

    I get annoyed when i repeatedly read that it’s not fair to make the comparison. These are definitely folks in the “it can’t happen here” way of thinking. The trouble is, they don’t seem to know what “it” is in the first place, and would be damned shocked if “it” did come about here in the end (while the rest of us rolled our eyes and said “we told you so.”

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