‘Merkin ‘Ceptionalism – An Experiment In Democrazy ► Another Manifesto

If we learned anything from The Roman Empire it’s that great civilizations can destroy themselves. Welcome to Emperor Romulus’ Trump’s 2017, aka An Experiment in Democrazy.

Unless Bob Newhart or Pam Ewing dreamed the whole thing, tomorrow at noon an unprepared, inconceivable, unpresidented [sic] tweeting, lying, braying reality show host, and bankrupt businessman will take the oath of office for — I still can’t believe I have to type this — The President of the United States. That says everything about the current direction of ‘Merka in the 21st century.

She’s swirling the bowl, folks, and only a industrial Roto-Rooter is going to get this orange piece of shit to go down the pipes of Democracy. This is why treatment plants were invented.

My treatment? I’m only slightly less contemptuous of Emperor Trump voters than those who are still defending him and the media outlets trying to normalize his behaviour. [I’m not even including anyone on his payroll or nominations list, because they’re clearly not objective. They’re whores.] Next up for my righteous condemnation is everyone who stayed home on November 8th. Then my disdain encompasses every Stein and Bernie Bro’ voter, who refused to see the threat of Demagogue Donald. You are all culpable as we watch the country go down the drain. I’ve no sympathy for any of you.

I do, however, empathize with those who voted for Hillary Clinton or actively agitated against this monster.  They saw this coming and tried to save the world.

“Every nation gets the government it deserves” is most often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), but was first said by Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821), who had the good breeding to say it in French: Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite. Yet, despite the fact that de Tocqueville plagiarized his countryman, he did originate the idea of American Exceptionalism, and he didn’t exactly mean it as a compliment.

Who else doesn’t believe in American Exceptionalism? Other than Stalin, I mean. Emperor Trump, that’s who! As MoJo‘s David Corn tells us:

In late April 2015, a month before Trump officially announced his candidacy, he spoke at an event called “Celebrating the American Dream” that was hosted in Houston by the Texas Patriots PAC, a local tea party outfit. The mogul sat in an oversized leather chair and fielded questions from Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a prominent local businessman. About an hour into the program, McIngvale posed Trump this query: “Define American exceptionalism. Does American exceptionalism still exist? And what do we do to grow American exceptionalism?”

Trump didn’t hesitate to shoot down the premise of the question, saying he didn’t “like the term.” He questioned whether the United States was “more exceptional” and “more outstanding” than other nations. He also said that those who refer to American exceptionalism were “insulting the world” and offending people in other countries, such as Russia, China, Germany, and Japan. It is “not a nice term,” he said, maintaining it was wrong to equate patriotism with a belief in American exceptionalism. He derided politicians who use the phrase.

Explaining his negative reaction to this idea long cherished and promoted by Republicans and Democrats, Trump said, “perhaps that’s because I don’t have a very big ego, and I don’t need terms like that.” Audience members laughed in response. Trump added, “I want to take everything back from the world that we’ve given them. We’ve given them so much.” He suggested that were he to become president, he would make the United States exceptional.

People wouldn’t even take him seriously back then. Yet, he was still elected.

Buckle up, Chicolinis. Here comes the “E” Ticket you paid for.

Lookit! I’ll admit that somewhere, in the dark recesses of my heart, I still choke up when I hear The Star Spangled Banner. Some patriotic displays will still make that muscle ache.  That’s where the Pledge of Allegiance can still be recited by heart. No matter what nationality I may have subsequently embraced, I am, after all, a born ‘Merkin. Naturally I received the usual indoctrination before I moved to Canada.

I suspect my feelings are not all that different from those of Leah Remini, who escaped Scientology to make a 10-part documentary exposing its secrets.

I had been brainwashed, just like in any cult. The childhood programming was powerful stuff, but 35 years in Canada (almost) completely obliterated it.  There I learned how blind ‘Merkins can be to their own foibles and colonialist misdeeds around the world and at home.

‘Merkin ‘Ceptionalism. Manifest Destiny.

One of the things I came to learn during my 3 and a half decades living outside ‘Merka is that elsewhere around the world all that jingoistic sloganeering and flag-waving was dismissed as manifestations of The Ugly ‘Merkin.

My country, right or wrong! Love it or leave it!

I returned to the States 11 years ago with a jaundiced eye toward the country that birthed me. My time here has not made me feel any better about this place. I’ve had people say the most incredibly racist things to me unsolicited. They — somehow — automatically believed I belonged to the same White Skin Club™ because we had a similar pigment.

Then President Obama was elected and it only got worse. Only in a racist country would the first Black president be blamed for all the racism that reared its ugly head after he was elected.

After 2008 the number of people who felt they could get away with using the word “nigger” in my presence increased, as did my arguments with these people because I’ve never allowed racism to pass unremarked. But, of course, it’s all Obama’s fault.

Who can dispute this truth? At her core, this country is racist. It’s baked into the Constitution, despite the all men are created equal bullshit they shoehorned in there. The Founding Fathers declared Black people only 3/5th of a person; created the 2nd Amendment’s “well regulated militias” to guard against slave revolts; and birthed the Electoral College, designed to keep the hands of The Great Unwashed — Black and White — off the levers of Democracy.

While slavery is Lady Liberty’s original sin, now Emperor Trump has made a lie of her venerated words carved right into her base:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

In TrumpWorld — ‘Merka’s new Bemusement Park — this translates to:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

And, assholes voted for him. Some, I assume, are good people. But, yannow what? Who cares? He admitted to grabbing women by the pussy and people still voted for him!! He lied over and over and people still voted for him!!!

Over the MLK memorial weekend he was Twitter-hating on Civil Rights icon John Lewis. He’s losing supprt by the day. At last count almost 70 Democratic lawmakers have said they plan to sit out the urineation [sic] because of the illegitimacy of his election, with Russian fingerprints all over it.

Speaking of Stalin and ‘Merkin ‘Ceptionalism, in the longer article “A Lesson For Trump From Stalin: Lies Work, Right Up Until The Point When They Don’t” (it’s well worth your time to read the whole thing) Slate‘s M. T. Anderson doesn’t mince words:

It’s important to remember this: A regime can work a population so that they don’t object to even the most bald-faced lie. There is no safety in numbers, even vast numbers, if no one speaks up. Before we fall into the fantasies of liberal dystopia, however, it’s worth pointing out that Stalin had at his disposal an absolutely captive nationalized press. All information in print had to be sanctioned by the Party, which accommodated the complete pulverization of the real. There was a hoary Soviet joke about the nation’s two big papers, Pravda (“Truth”) and Izvestiya (“News”): “There is no truth in News, and there’s no news in Truth.”

It’s vitally important that this is still not the case in our American situation—though at the same time, we should recall that Trump has threatened the suppression of the press. Insofar as he has a plan for accomplishing this, it’s apparently through restricting official access, even within press conferences themselves, and perhaps more potently, plunging the press into financially exhausting litigation. Of course, any attempt to curb the free press would meet with stiff constitutional opposition. On the other hand, a captive press was not necessary to convince thousands of American leftists in the 1930s to take Stalin at his word and resolutely ignore evidence of the purges taking place within the USSR; nor has a restricted press been necessary to convince Trump’s followers to ignore fact in favor of slapdash fiction. (Recently, for example, more than half of Republican voters told pollsters they believed he’d won the popular vote in a “massive landslide,” though he lost by nearly 3 million votes.)

Putin’s Russia, meanwhile, still has one of the most stifled and policed press cohorts in the world. Putin’s regime doesn’t merely use the noose of crony capitalism to purchase and strangulate opposition; there is a terrifyingly high fatality rate among Russian journalists, and it seems likely that many of the contract killings, mysterious blows to the head, and spontaneous tumbles out of closed windows that they die from can be traced back to the regime. Trump has defended his pal Putin on this count, as on so many others. When asked to condemn Putin’s likely involvement in the killing of journalists, Trump essentially shrugged it off. He replied glibly, “Our country does plenty of killing also.”

And now Emperor Trump — not to mention the GOP — is siding with Vladimir Putin over their own country, which is a total reversal of how the Reich Wing behaved over the last 75 years.

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle
mérite
is the new Experiment in Democrazy.


Read my previous Manifesto: Not My President — Not Even My Country.


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Headly Westerfield
Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.