What’s Going on Here? At the White House, I Mean

This essay from the New York Times explains clearly what is going on with the fevered support for President Trump by his core supporters, no matter how hard he tries to turn the presidency into a dictatorship. They want him to keep trying. The all-powerful leader at the top of an organization is the only model of power he has operated within. Many of Trump’s supporters have merged politics and religion into this form of total authority. Stewart and Frederickson in this essay look at Attorney General Barr’s words and actions to explain what we’re seeing in national politics now.


One Response to What’s Going on Here? At the White House, I Mean

  1. George Chigas says:

    The relationship between Barr and Trump described here recalls how people often described the relationship between Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rove and GW Bush. In both cases, the POTUS was a puppet of greater forces pulling the strings. In the GWB case, 9/11 created the necessary context for enacting the Neoliberal grab of global oil reserves to restore “American supremacy”. Now, according to the article, Trump is used by Religious Right for a similar power grab.

    It seems to me that the common denominator in both cases is a public/electorate that is sadly but not inexorably vulnerable to manipulation; in the first case from fears for personal security, and in the second from feelings of disenfranchisement. Historically, in times of insecurity (social, political, economic, etc) people have gravitated to charismatic demagogues and dictators (and their deft Cheney/Barr handlers) who promise an immediate and painless return to a golden past that never was.

    After reading this article, I would place greater emphasis on why people are so prone to manipulation at this particular time, rather than who is doing the manipulating and why. As we begin to recognize and accept the severity of the problems we confront today, we have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked into believing we are powerless to solve them and need a strongman to save us. We need to change this because we all know it is the opposite. When the people believe in their individual and collective capacity to bring about change and organize and act accordingly, it’s the strongmen who dissolve into thin air… like what Dorothy and her pals did when they doused the Wicked Witch with a pail of water. At that point, we can get down to business and start to put things back on track again…