originally written on 12/23/2016
Since it’s beginning to look a lot like our new President-elect has no problem allowing Vladimir Putin to use him as a pawn in his quest to start a nuclear war with China and achieve Russian world dominance, my sincere wish for Xmas this year is that we get to have another few Xmases in the future.
Yesterday, both Trump and Putin announced (in similar terms, less than 24 hours apart, and get used to them being in lockstep with the goosestepping) their intentions to reawaken the arms race and begin to stockpile more nuclear weapons. Sarah Kendzior has a great breakdown of the ramifications of this announcement from a global and nuclear standpoint here. I recommend reading it. This interview from 1987 shows that for 30 years now at least, Trump has had it in his mind that the US and Russia can dominate the world together through nukes, bullying, and thuggish intimidation. But Putin doesn’t want a partner, he wants a puppet. Trump is a spoiled rich kid to whom we gave our lives as a toy. Putin will play him like a fiddle.
This is Trump in 1987:
“Most of those [pre-nuclear] countries are in one form or another dominated by the U.S. and the Soviet Union,” Trump says. “Between those two nations you have the power to dominate any of those countries. So we should use our power of economic retaliation and they use their powers of retaliation and between the two of us we will prevent the problem from happening. It would have been better having done something five years ago,” he says. “But I believe even a country such as Pakistan would have to do something now. Five years from now they’ll laugh.”
[interviewer] “You think Pakistan would just fold? We wouldn’t have to offer them anything in return?”
[Trump again] “Maybe we should offer them something. I’m saying you start off as nicely as possible. You apply as much pressure as necessary until you achieve the goal. You start off telling them, ‘Let’s get rid of it.’ If that doesn’t work you then start cutting off aid. And more aid and then more. You do whatever is necessary so these people will have riots in the street, so they can’t get water. So they can’t get Band-Aids, so they can’t get food. Because that’s the only thing that’s going to do it—the people, the riots.”
That last part is important. The idea that riots and total civil collapse are necessary before real change can happen is central to Trump’s worldview, at home and abroad. Here he is, more than 25 years later, on Fox and Friends in 2014 talking about economic problems here in the US:
“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell, and everything is a disaster, then you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be, when we were great.”
When you realize that the first step in making us great again is getting us to total hell, with disaster and riots, the administration’s antagonistic stance toward its critics, nightmarish appointees and hires in its ranks, and general air of disregard toward the people it claims to represent make all that much more sense. Among and possibly chief of those nightmarish appointees is Steve Bannon, White Supremacist…er, I mean, Chief Strategist. Lots of people like to call Bannon a populist or a nationalist, but those words don’t really mean anything anymore. What’s more, Bannon’s rejected them in the past. Here he is in 2013 being interviewed on his own worldview. See if this sounds familiar.
Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.
Shocked, I asked him what he meant.
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
So if it starts to look to you (as it will if you pay attention) like the Trump administration is actively trying to screw the country up so badly as to cause economic collapse, societal breakdown, and civil war, it might not be (just) total ignorance and incompetence on the part of the President-elect and his staff. They’ll blame it on liberals, protesters, and terrorism, but it won’t be because of that either. It might be because the destruction of society is their goal. Trump has stated this before, been consistent on it over decades. His Chief Strategist has espoused the same idea. Why not take them at their word?
Please pay attention. Happy holidays.