Feb. 3rd, 2017 06:54 am (UTC)
It is quite dystopian, but you can thank Trump's obvious collusion with Bannon for that, which must've started sometime during the campaign, ie: Bannon: "You be the frontman with all the best words ever, dude, while I pull some strings behind the scenes to make a few things possible to get you what you need to do your job right".
I've warned people for months (months, mostly under lock, because I wanted to reserve judgment publicly in case I was somehow wrong) that Trump is actually pretty easy to manipulate, and even gave Bannon as an example of said manipulation (because Bannon has talked about how easy it is to wrap Trump around his finger, it was really hard to not point him out as Example #1 of Trump Acting Like A Fool).
Unfortunately, at the same time I was trying to tell everyone Trump is, like, ridiculously easy to push around if you just flatter him and make your ideas seem like his own, I conflated that with the idea that Democrats would also be able to edge their way in on him, so I had a hope I can't hold now that things would work out better than they actually are.
It was the only hope I had, really. And I was dead wrong.
What I missed was how quickly Bannon lassoed Trump in and nudged him into obeying his darker impulses, mostly to provide him ego gratification or personal gain. I'm not saying Trump isn't capable of acting on his own or acting like a normal or better person (though to judge by Trump's lifelong record, his performance in that regard is spotty at best and just awful at worst). I'm saying Bannon has thoroughly taken over (and maybe has something on him at this point to lock his own power into place for good).
Trump's spending so much time with Bannon's voice in his ear he can't think about anything except what this guy says, does and wants. Bannon is also said to be vindictive and nasty, so has already probably pushed Trump hard enough when they do disagree to make him realize it's just not worth it.
I don't understand their entire relationship - yet - but sussing out what I can from sheer intuition and what I've read about Bannon, he's basically glued himself to Trump and never, ever, ever stops talking his ear off. I mean literally never stops. Trump isn't a good listener so most of what Bannon drones on about probably goes in one ear and out the other or else straight over his head, but either way Bannon has and is holding that ear, even if we don't know why.
And whatever combination of flattery, suggestion, ego massaging, hand-holding and false conscience-rattling is being performed on Trump, we can see the result in everything from his last formal campaign speech about the "global conspiracy" (Bannon) to his depressing, ugly Inauguration speech (Bannon) to any pronouncement on Brexit, the EU, Iran, Iraq or China (Bannon)...it's Bannon's rhetorical fingerprints on everything. I can't figure out where Trump's frontman rhetoric ends and Bannon's takeover of Trumps' message begins but it's a dangerous mix, and probably cannot and will not end well.
Take today* for a perfect example (and hell, we're not even up to our Weekend Hate, the distraction of all distractions every seven days): Trump is on Twitter all "worst deal ever, waaah" ranting about Australia's refugee deal, which was initiated under Obama. Meanwhile, in the real world, terrible things are being done again: Trump has issued an EO reversing a law that kept coal mine waste from being dumped in streams, but before you can even get your head around that, he's on Twitter and his office is issuing a similar formal statement that Iran is put ON NOTICE over whatever they're up to (again, that's "hey Bannon, 'sup" right there).
The press is melting down over this "on notice" thing, saying it means Trump has to do "something". So yeah, now we either have to go to war with Iran or just whatever because before you even get to wrap your head around that, it's the Weekend Hate time again, and aren't we having that South China Sea problem, too?
But you're not supposed to be thinking about Iran, China or the coal waste; today's con was designed to get you arguing about Australian refugees while Bannon & Co. basically decided to half-ass declare war, dump coal waste in streams, make noises at China, and so on, all while we weren't looking because we got so darned distracted by Trump's Australia tiff we could focus on simply nothing else! Watch the showman perform again, while behind his back, Bannon quietly carries on with all his Vadering. Distract, divide and conquer.
I never spent a day on Earth before the last 12 that scared me as much. Extrapolating, realizing that's probably how the rest of my life will feel - at best, because this is all still relatively good compared to how much of a shitshow it can and probably will become - has been a depressing, almost mind-boggling realization.
*ETA: and I still
missed a bunch of things that went down
, mostly because I was too busy having a life to keep up. Mainly, EOs to let haters hate and deny rights to whomever they're hating (aka Religious Freedom Protection), to lift sanctions so Russia can buy our cyber-security tools, threats to make pulpit endorsements of political candidates legal and to pull funding from Berkeley if haters can't hate, because it's their free speech that matters, not anyone else's. It's like being steamrolled every single day. Even the most ardent Trump worshippers probably can't or don't even try to keep up.
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