"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, May 31, 2024

The Trump Trials - Laughter In The Kremlin, And The Emboldened Rule Of Putin, Xi, And The Ayatollahs

In the first of the Trump trials - the hush money cover up allegations - the former President has been found guilty on all 34 counts.  A case about $130,000, a porn star, and some creative accounting turned into a witch hunt, a transparently political move to disgrace the President and keep him sequestered and off the campaign trail. 


It was democracy at its best, said liberal observers, showing that no one is above the law; but most legal and governance scholars knew that it was anything but. On the contrary, said more objective observers. It was a travesty of the law, a mockery of the judicial process, and a humiliation for the United States.  

Added to the frivolous cases brought before the courts on matters of race, gender, and ethnicity - the rights of bakers to bake cakes, LaShonda Phillips' howling  charges of racism, endless streams of allegations of sexual abuse, ethnic slander, exclusion of the rosary, and gender reassignment, the American justice system has become a side show, a cheap two-pants suit, a fun house of grotesques - a silly, pompous, insignificant circus act. 

Of course Trump had sex with the hooker; of course he paid her to keep his mouth shut; and of course he finagled the books to keep the transaction quiet. Was this Nixon and Watergate, the former President's subversive campaign to steal proprietary information, raid private offices, and mount a campaign of disinformation and falsehood? Or the yellow cake plutonium casus belli fantasy of George Bush and the persistent lies and cover up the his administration's attempts to hide their deception? 

Or Ronald Reagan's Iran Contra Affair, in which the National Security Council became involved in a secret weapons transactions and other activities that were either prohibited by Congress or violated stated public policy of the government? Or LBJ's lies about the Gulf of Tonkin and the supposed North Vietnamese attack on American vessels, thus provoking Congress to declare and act of war? Or Nixon and Kissinger's secret, illegal complicity in the overthrow of Salvador Allende of Chile? Hardly. 

The Trump affair was no more than a smarmy relationship covered up and fiddled for political insurance. Strictly legal? Perhaps not, but something between peccadillo and error, nothing about national security or geopolitical influence.  It was to foreign observers as ridiculous a show of American exceptionalism as they had ever seen.  The whole Clinton-Lewinsky affair for which the President was hauled before Congress and impeached was nothing compared to this - a bald-faced, impossibly arrogant and self-assured move to neuter a man who was likely to defeat Biden at the polls. 

The Biden Administration has been a foreign policy disaster - its abandonment of Afghanistan, weak-kneed, make-nice negotiations with Iran, reflexive support for an unwinnable, costly war in Ukraine, and hanging Israel out to dry are only the most obvious failures.  What is equally dangerous and far more subtle is the erosion of American mettle. 

Not only is the fearsome power that pulled the trigger on Dresden, Tokyo, Berlin, Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII gone, replaced by a Neville Chamberlain-like 'peace in our time', faux international idealism, a hearts and minds approach to war, and a retreat from victory; but the country has focused on the most petty, insignificant, silly concerns. 


The halls of the Kremlin are echoing with the laughter of Putin and his generals each time the New York Times lionizes insignificance - a black lesbian who has fought her way out of a tarpaper shack to sexual freedom or the transgender firefighter who has exchanged helmet and boots for pinafores and high heels. 

While Putin restores the greatness of Russian Empire, acknowledging the political and cultural prominence of the tsars, and promoting the central, core values of patriotism, faith, and fidelity the United States topples statues of its greatest leaders, all thrown pele-mele into a scrap heap of discredited racist, misogynist white men.  Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, and George Washington himself cancelled, expunged from history. They never happened. 


President Xi of China has never forgotten the legacy of its Imperial past, the thousands of years of powerful Han dynasties, the center of the world, civilization at its highest and best.  The Ayatollahs remember the glory of the Persian Empire and hearken back to it, alloyed by the imperial expansion of Islam.  Erdogan of Turkey is unashamed of his Ottoman roots and imperial ambitions. 

Their palaces are all echoing with mirth and hilarity at the demise of the American empire and its fall into a small, petty, and unconvincing place.  It is a joke, a caricature, a comic strip, a vaudevillian show. 

Putin, Xi, Erdogan, and the Ayatollahs understand power, its use, and its permanence.  No civilization has expanded in influence, territory, and wealth through good intentions, compassion, or concern.  Genghis Khan, perhaps the best example of the inherent amorality of conquest, leadership, empire, and governance swept down from the steppes to the east and west, and left a trail of heads on spikes, savagery and total destruction in his wake.  

Never again, say progressive idealists; but history and the human nature that fuels it will constantly be repeated and renewed.  The Twentieth Century was as bloody as any, and the Twenty-First, despite Francis Fukuyama's infamous 'end of history' prediction - i.e. the end of the Soviet Union meant an everlasting Pax Romana - has begun inauspiciously.  There will be other Genghis Khans. 

Only America and the likes of President Biden think otherwise.  In their delusionary idealism, they believe that Utopia and the verdant, peaceful life it promises are indeed possible if only we work harder with more diligence. This ambition has nothing to do with geopolitical influence but the reweaving of the nation's fabric.  Eliminating racism by promoting black supremacy; removing homophobia by championing every possible sexual 'alternative'; promoting equality by limiting private sector individualism. 

Again, the halls of the Kremlin explode with howls of delight.  A nation of transvestites and ghetto pimps? Nothing could please us more, say Putin and his henchmen. 

Americans in their censorious cancel culture are uprooting the very foundational values of the Republic.  It is now a nation without a common ethos, a cultural center to which everyone adheres; and a nation without such a fulcrum, can only founder. 

The Trump trials are only the latest events to embolden the likes of Putin, Xi, Erdogan, and the Ayatollahs; but there will be more before America is removed from relevance. 

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