Trump the candidate for president
said to the American people, “I could stand in the middle of
Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters,
okay?” That was to inform Americans that he was invulnerable.
The ensuing four years he showed that the power of immunity has
pretty much provided invulnerability for a white, orange-faced guy
with a big hair-do, Donald Trump.
never did shoot anyone on the street in New York City, but his
incompetence and malfeasance in office did manage to kill lots of
people as collateral damage to his rampant presidency. The general
damage he did to the nation and the rest of the world will take some
time to assess and repair.
a day out of office, he continues to play the victim, whining about
being blamed for the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Ever the
pathological liar, he denied having caused his supporters (more cult
followers than anything) to walk from his rally platform to the
Capitol and show the lawmakers what strength is and how it should be
used. And, wasn’t he going to walk with them? That’s what
he told them, at least. But, ever the coward, he set them onto the
Capitol and its denizens, elected officials doing the work of the
people by certifying the Electoral College votes in favor of Joe
Biden, and then he went back to the White House, and watched the
murderous action on television. He couldn’t even take the time
to march with them to try to overthrow an election that he lost by
about 7 million votes.
lame duck president, when he actually appeared in public for the
first time days after the Capitol debacle, repeated that “people
said” that his remarks were “appropriate” and that
he took no responsibility for the carnage at the Capitol, where the
mob caused the deaths of at least five persons. As usual, Trump takes
no responsibility for the destruction or the deaths. He doesn’t
take responsibility for just about anything that might be perceived
as negative, but he takes credit for just about everything else, no
matter who achieved it, as long as he perceives it as positive.
rioters took Trump seriously, as so many millions have, and wanted to
believe that the president was cheated out of a second term. It’s
what he said a thousand times. And that was despite many courts and
state-level election officials and workers finding no problems,
especially no systemic problems, with the entire presidential
election. His millions of followers were as if blind and deaf to
anything but what the leader said was true. In believing a
pathological liar, they were acting on a lie and would not have known
the truth on their best day.
involved in the mayhem, when interviewed by Max Blumenthal of the
Grayzone, didn’t quite know how to answer one question: What do
you want? Often, their answer was a nebulous, “Freedom.”
Of course, the follow-up question would be, “Freedom to do
what?” or “Freedom from what?” There’s
usually no answer. From his first day in office, Trump started an
attack on the “other,” casting immigrants and those
seeking asylum as rapists and thieves and carriers of disease. These
things he made up out of whole cloth, as he believes that what he
says is the truth, no matter how ridiculous or crazy. And his
followers believe him. The riot at the Capitol was the culmination of
years of lies that had become the reality.
the mob were there on that fateful Wednesday to “take back”
their country, perhaps to 1850, their flags and their words told the
world that they were doing it for one person: Trump.
there were stars-and-stripes American flags present, but it seemed
that there were more Trump flags, Confederate battle flags, and other
flags waving in the assault on the building, where the nation’s
legislators purportedly do the work of the U.S.A. For whom was the
mob trying to take control of the country? It seemed to be just one
man, Donald Trump, not the American people. Luckily, their rag-tag
effort lasted just a few hours, before reinforcements arrived to
assist the Capitol Police, who were outnumbered and overwhelmed (some
said it was bad planning, some said it was partly an inside job).
Whatever it was, it seemed to come directly out of the playbook of
historic proto-fascistic events, some of which ended badly, such as
in Germany in the 1920s.
working class men and women took the Orange Buffoon at his word, when
he promised them jobs, jobs, jobs, and that he would bring back
manufacturing that would make America prosperous once again. They
swallowed his lies, hook, line, and sinker. Even union members, who
usually are a bit better informed than non-union workers fell for the
big Trump lies. They voted in percentages similar to the “Reagan
Democrats” back in the 1980s. Even though union leaders told
their members exactly what Reagan and his supply-side, trickle-down
economics would do to them, most polling of the time showed as much
as 46 percent of union members voted for Reagan and he responded by
ignoring their issues and facilitated the flat-lining of wages and
income over the past 40 years for the working class. Although union
members showed slightly less enthusiasm for Trump than they did
Reagan, they believed Trump more than they did their own economists
and union leaders and they voted for the impeached one in
considerable percentages. Mainly, it is because the Democrats have
abandoned the working class over the past three or four decades. They
had their just grievances, but couldn’t see the danger ahead
with Reagan and Trump, who both lied big enough to be believed.
they can only hope that President Biden can pull their irons out of
the fire, and that depends in large part on whether the Democratic
Party is willing to return to its roots with the working class as its
base or whether it will continue to depend on the same big money that
the Republican Party has depended on for most of its adult life.
Whatever the case, the Democratic leadership will have to pay
attention to the black vote and minority votes of all kinds, because
those votes provided the edge in the presidential election and
allowed Biden to soundly beat the most destructive president in U.S.
if it’s called an insurrection or a murderous riot, the center
of it all was Donald Trump. The Capitol’s Jan. 6 was the
culmination of years of the big lie and the big con, and to all
appearances, Trump knew all along exactly what he was doing. He’s
crafty enough to have planned just enough ahead, through his words
and deeds, to have left himself volumes of “plausible
deniability.” Unfortunately for him, his plausible deniability
has been shot full of holes, because it’s all on the video
record. He is the perpetrator, he has done this, whatever it is
determined to be through the legal and political process of
impeachment, which, we expect, will identify the person or persons
who are culpable.
he refused to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, he
did on Tuesday afternoon give a video rendition of a farewell speech
and never mentioned Biden’s name. He ticked off a list of his
accomplishments in office that sounded as if he were describing the
administration of someone else. It was full of exaggeration and
dissembling, with his usual sprinkling of lies throughout. In other
words, it was a narrative of his perception of reality, which often
has been described as “unhinged.”
as I prepare to hand power over to a new administration at noon on
Wednesday,” he said in his farewell, “I want you to know
that the movement we started is only just beginning. There’s
never been anything like it.” If the nation is lucky, there
will never be another one like it.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, John
Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who
lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor
work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the
land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land
developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.