Monday, June 29, 2020

Donald and Bill, In a Dark Room, Figuring Out the Right Side of History

It’s a big job and America is not very good at it. Bill Barr, the US Attorney General claims that history is written by the winners. That’s not a very original thought, but he’s not a very original guy.

He may be right. Certainly most authoritarian rulers would make that claim, but in the end, history is edited by moral truths.

Which is why America appears to be so desperately and completely unmoored at the moment.

Far too much on our plates right now, with a full-blown (or more frighteningly, a half-blown) pandemic underway, 40 million Americans suddenly out of work, an economy entirely untethered from the stock market, unending racial killings at the hands of police and a divider rather than a healer at the controls.

The wrong side of history runs like a madman through the streets and we’re left with too few weapons, other than the overwhelming knowledge that Bill Barr is wrong.

Institutional Washington, in which Barr is a major player, has forever been suckling at the breast of special interests. It hasn’t a clue about where all this anger comes from. We have a president born, bred and brought up on the wrong side of history.

How the hell could that have happened?

A nation doesn’t just suddenly find itself there It has to work at it and it takes time. In this case, it’s taken forty years and both national parties had an equal hand in the run-up, co-conspirators to chop-shopping America and selling off the parts.

Getting back to Trump, he’s sold out those to whom he promised a square deal, made a mockery of ethics within the Oval Office, provoked the latent racism of his base and represented our nation both here and abroad by childish tantrums on Twitter.

There is a marketing adage that “any attention, good or bad, is okay, as long as they spell your name right.” No one has ever tested that theory to such a great extent.

Trump has told 20,000 proven lies (and counting) in his first-term and expects a second. Race-baiting and name-calling his way through any and all resistance, he denies what he said even as he says it. But hang on, our president is currently appearing at mass political rallies in the midst of a pandemic in which his own administration limits meetings to groups of ten.

Ah well, he had a plan for that. In order to secure a place to scream alongside The Donald…

…attendees will be required to sign a waiver, absolving himself, his organizers, the venue and the city in which it’s held, from any and all legal responsibility.

They came, but not many. Presumably, they signed. And then they dispersed from Oklahoma and Arizona into the communities from which they came, ready, probably willing and certainly able to spread the coronavirus to all who associate with them.

Which brings up an interesting thought. Do you suppose The Donald has entertained the possibility in his “very, very large brain which also contains the best words,” that he may be culling his support base?

We understand how Covid-19 spreads and unprotected large groups are known to spread the disease before showing symptoms.

So, there is history and the winners who write history and those who ultimately edit history.

I suggest that we may currently be in a major editing mode.

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