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American Carnage

American Carnage

Donald Trump, 2014: “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.”

Twitter thread from May 29, 2020

The outrage about Charlottesville should not have diminished the outrage over Russiagate. The outrage over Puerto Rico should not have diminished the outrage over Charlottesville.The outrage over the Mueller Report findings should not have diminished the outrage over Puerto Rico.

The outrage over suppressing the Mueller Report findings should not have diminished the outrage over those findings themselves. The outrage over the Ukraine scandal should not have diminished the outrage over suppressing the Mueller findings.

The outrage over the sham impeachment trial in the Senate should not have diminished the outrage over the Ukraine scandal itself. The outrage over lying about COVID should not have diminished the outrage over the sham impeachment trial.

The outrage over 100,000 Americans dying of COVID, tens of thousands unnecessarily, should not have diminished the outrage over the lies that led to that disaster. The outrage over the 100,000 dead should not be diminished by the outrage over 40 million without work.

The outrage over the economic collapse and the public health disaster should not be diminished by the outrage over attacks on free expression. The outrage over attacks on free expression should not be diminished by the outrage over racist police state threats about Minneapolis.

We must not let the fact that the president is a racist diminish our disgust that he is also a misogynist, that he is a traitor diminish our disgust that he is attacking our democracy, that he is weakening us around the world diminish our anger that he is strengthening our enemies, that he is unfit for the office diminish our anger that he is debasing it with his thousands upon thousands of lies, that he is the most corrupt president in American history diminish our fury that he is the worst president in American history.

Trump hopes the distraction from each successive outrage will diminish the feelings about his prior failures or hide his efforts to empower and enrich his friends, supporters and family. He hopes we won’t be able to keep up.

He hopes we won’t be able to see the historical catastrophe of his tenure in office amid the Tweets and the press conferences and the daily doubling and tripling down on the awful, the inane, the hateful, the dishonest, the traitorous, and the dangerous.

But we can and must do better than that. We must stop periodically and place each successive outrage in the context of the many that came before. See that they are all rooted in the same character flaws, the same authoritarian agenda, the same contempt for each of us.

The Trump legacy will not be any one of the horrors he has unleashed nor will it be dominated by any one of his crimes. Rather, it will be fabric of them all, woven together, seen as one piece…because that is what they are.

It is up to us to decide this November whether that fabric is to become a winding sheet for American Democracy and values as we knew them or whether it is simply the shroud for a presidency so repulsive and destructive that we must pray we never see its likes again. Vote.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Thank you for sharing this timeline of outrages. I’m stuck somewhat in my fury over trump’s solo Helsinki meeting with Putin and his whipped demeanor afterward. He sickens me as someone who took the oath of service and still take that oath seriously..

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David Rothkopf

David Rothkopf

David J. Rothkopf (born 24 December 1955) is a professor of international relations, political scientist and journalist. He is the founder and CEO of The Rothkopf Group, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a visiting professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and a prolific author.

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