The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump
Chris Hedges, Truthdig, 28-1-2018
The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites.
They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.
Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues.
Trump, backed by the most retrograde elements of corporate capitalism, including Robert and Rebekah Mercer, Sheldon Adelson and Carl Icahn, is the fool who prances at the front of our death march.
As natural resources become scarce and the wealth of the empire evaporates, a shackled population will be forced to work harder for less. State revenues will be squandered in grandiose projects and futile wars in an attempt to return the empire to a mythical golden age. The decision to slash corporate tax rates for the rich while increasing an already bloated military budget by $54 billion is typical of decayed civilizations…
The elites in dying cultures turn everything into a commodity. Human beings are commodities. The natural world is a commodity. Government and democratic institutions are commodities.
All are mined and wrecked for profit. Nothing has an intrinsic value. Nothing is sacred. The relentless and suicidal drive to accumulate greater and greater wealth by destroying the systems that sustain life is idolatry. It ignores the biblical injunction that idols always begin by demanding human sacrifice and end by demanding self-sacrifice. The elites are not only building our funeral pyre, they are building their own.
Trump, as Wolff describes him in the book, is clueless about what he has unleashed. He is uninterested in and bored by the complexities of governance and policy.
The faster Trump finds a member of the oligarchy or the military to take a job off his hands the happier he becomes. This suits his desires. It suits the desires of those who manage the corporate state. For the president there is only one real concern, the tumultuous Trump White House reality show and how it plays out on television.
He is a creature solely concerned with image, or more exactly his image. Nothing else matters.