Quote: Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly as ravening wolves (The Bible, Matthew 7:15).
Definition: Perfidy,; betrayal of faith, trust, official responsibility. (mentioned once in the US Constitution)
In the news: Trump faces pressure from Republicans to drop “corrosive” fight to overturn election (Miranda Bryant, The Guardian, 11.24.20).
In context: Times change but core principles don’t. Gravity may be defied in space but it’s still gravity that draws the vehicle back to earth.
Likewise, humans can choose to abandon moral standards but the social drive is toward evolution. That overrides revolution and even more fiercely, the devolution that goes backwards.
Donald Trump captured the US Presidency in 2016 with qualities that left much to be desired for human development in a world growing global. He was angry, spiteful, derisive and downright cruel. He mocked both social heroes and those defying limits of physical challenge. While repugnant to most in the world, those qualities resonated with enough American to win him the 2016 election even if only on a technicality.
Trump’s relish for airing crude impulses was considered refreshingly honest by core supporters. Reprehensible qualities were dismissed as insignificant relative to his role as leader of the country as he promoted himself. Opposition of any sort was seen by fans as an attack on a rugged individualist fighting for the cause of all malcontents similar to him.
For three years the bond between Trump and his base deepened as he shattered Constitutional norms. That agenda won help from career politicians for whom Trump was a meal ticket. The media was crucial. As a reliable source of scandal, Trump maximized the earnings potential. . When the Covid pandemic hit as the next election year began, the dynamics of the Trump machine shifted into high gear.
The basest instincts emerged in Trump when Covid threatened his smooth ride to re-election based on a vibrant economy. Never a leader and ever the solo autocrat, Trump by-passed national plans, downplayed danger and delegated responsibilities to 50 state Governors while withholding aid. Predictably enough, utter chaos ensued and redoubled over time.
As the virus mushroomed across the country, Trump milked the political opportunity. He ignored, contradicted or undercut scientists and public health officials. He mocked containment measures and branded masks as symbols of affiliation, supporting either Trump the US President or the anti-American infidels.
That message came through in the media at large, powered by the rowdy base commanding attention. Noise and outrage were fodder. and the Trump political allies rode the tidal wave. Thus Trump the maverick warrior drowned out the common sense that a viral pandemic warranted.. .
Only Trump with the Presidential bullhorn could have convinced followers to ignore science and believe his assertion that the pandemic would just disappear. Once ignited, the catastrophic momentum shot out of control..
Nearly the entire world was afflicted by Covid and global astonishment barely registered in the US. Yet social media undertones confirmed the disbelief that the majority of Americans said outright.
America, the wealthiest, most powerful country on earth, was leading the world in the number of contagions and deaths, When it became clear that federal assistance was stalled beyond an early thrust, when armed resistance to containment measures was encouraged, then the world came to a devastating conclusion. America was unwilling to help its own.
Skyrocketing death tolls, health care burn-out, unemployment and looming homelessness unemployment made headlines the world over. It was a side of America the world had never seen.
America, once known as the global friend, was now the pitiable poor cousin. To all countries rich or poor, whether democratic or despotically ruled, the greatest sin was to abandon its own people as a whole. With all its resources, America was morally bankrupt. The insight was confirmed when Trump lost the election and the country turned rabid.
The virally contracted rabies is commonly called “foaming at the mouth.” Passed from animals to humans, rabies affects the brain and central nervous system to expel water, a vital physical component. Extreme aggression is a symptom. The term was applicable to the base when Trump lost an election they fully expected him to win.
Tuned into warrior Trump, the base had rallied in his style throughout the campaign. They showed up when summoned, cheered when directed and booed agreement when Trump mocked his opponent Biden for abiding by Covid guidelines. When the term “super-spreader” was attached to the events, fans signed indemnity agreements against lawsuits if illness ensued.
Proving a correlation between Trump “super spreader” events and contagion took time. By then, Trump was in full campaign mode against “sleepy” Joe Biden who made few but targeted appearances.
As election day neared and polls showed Biden in the lead, Trump ramped up the rhetoric about election fraud. The message was fueled by obscured information about state variations in voting systems, tailored to account for the Covid epidemic. Obstruction of the Postal Service played a major role in both delivering the Trump message and eroding faith in the voting process. Then when Trump lost the election despite all that cushioning, neither Trump nor his fans had any basis for believing the outcome.
Attuned to the loud, rollicking Trump message divorced from fact, Trump fans saw a Trump win as preordained. The actual outcome made no sense to them. Biden hadn’t even campaigned. He couldn’t have won. It was a real perception and a sure sign of a toxic investment.
Believing in Donald Trump took a lot of effort. He sold easy solutions to complaints but the assurances failed to materialize. Disappointment was conquered by a renewal of faith, either by overlooking the let-down or by assigning blame for the failure to others. The emotional investment in either case was substantial. Compared to all that work, the easy Biden win could have been the result of nothing other than a scam.
Toxic relationships take many forms. All are characterized by harm to at least one person involved. In the case of Donald Trump, the injury to his base began when he descended the golden escalator and denounced Mexicans as drug runners and rapists.
The rhetorical device of generalizing sparked an outsized emotional response in fans that stemmed from many streams. Once tested to find traction, Trump fanned the toxic love affair with his base. It spread like dry rot as Trump tested and affirmed base reliability at critical junctures.
The Hollywood Access tapes were one. The Mueller Report was another, followed by Impeachment. At each point, the base bought into the Trump contention that a witch hunt was being pursued, that Trump was being hounded and vilified by political opponents and the media intent on taking him down. The Covid pandemic was the final exam. “Super-spreader” rallies in rural areas proved that the base was eager to even die for him.
Sure of his base after the loss to Joe Biden, Trump retreated to plan next steps while the base carried on the noisy display of resistance. But as he failed to find affirmation in one court challenge after another, the Biden alternative racked up momentum.
Low-key, seasoned, utterly human an moral, Joseph Biden was the ultimate contrast to Trump. He needed to do nothing more than present the character that America had lost since electing Trump..
As reality sank in, Trump grew frantic like a lover knowing he was losing his once-smitten captive. He redoubled on tactics that had first worked but the contrast with Biden was glaring. Despite the awesome presidential powers in hand, Trump was a mere dark shadow of a leader that America wanted and desperately needed in its war on the global pandemic Covid..
Donald Trump was literally AWOL from duties as US President after his loss to Joe Biden. He continued to exercise privileges to a potentially criminal degree, but he wholly abandoned the responsibilities he had never assumed in the first place.
When inaugurated, Trump had sworn to uphold the Constitution but he had already violated the emoluments clause regarding business conflicts. He backed that up with a very public show of indulging the nepotism prohibited by the Constitution. A wholesale assault on Constitutional norms followed, stemmed only by the 2020 election indicating that the majority of the country had had enough. That left the minority base still mired in a toxic love affair that had started with lies and false promises.
Reason and logic don’t work on a victim trapped in a toxic relationship. That is especially true when nonsense noise was the main attraction for an adrenalin rush delivered to those stuck in the ditches of a changing world. Detoxing the base will take time but the rewards will be inestimable to a global world because of their strong passions.
The year 2020 will go down in history as a globalizing world ravaged by Covid due to mismanagement by an isolationist American conman who never intended to be President. He merely played a game that he kept winning until he lost to the reliable American trusted the world over..
Whether or not he wanted the position, Joe Biden has been conscripted to salvage a country transitioning in a globalizing world. Climate change impacting migrations and immigration bear a direct correlation with pandemics like Covid.
Meanwhile, national issues call for redress, as racial injustice in the US. However much the base still loves Trump, such wide-wide spread concerns just can’t be addressed by the 3660 characters allowed by Twitter.
America deserves a debriefing after conman fleecing the land of opportunity for personal gain. Joe Biden has emerged as the detox guide He has nothing more to do than be the leader that he has trained to be. As the quintessential American he is the eternal silent Sphinx, The North Star that has guided sailors throughout recorded history, the motherboard for American ingenuity solidly grounded in history.
“Rules are made to be broken” seemed the Trump motto. The notion was was first stated by Douglas MacArthur, a four star General from the time of the Second World War. He lost in a run for the White House against Dwight Eisenhower, in part because he held that atomic weapons should be used during the Cold War.
The Presidential powers of the US are awesome. They affect the world. They call for a steady hand, not the blowhard fake rhetoric of a conman full of “sound and fury, signifying nothing,” as American William Faulkner would have said, drawing on the Brit William Shakespeare.