Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump's Goal Is The End Of Our Democracy

What does President Bannon want? He wants to destroy our system of government. He wants to fulfill what Grover Norquist wished for some years ago, to degrade and weaken and diminish government to the point where he can drown it in the bathtub. That’s what he outlined in his speech to CPAC the other day. He sees Trump as his vehicle for destroying our democratic form of government, our government by the people and for the people, as Lincoln described it.

Bannon sees structure and rules and systems and fair play and good government as evil. The only government he wants is government by him or someone he can manipulate. This is why there's so much admiring talk about Putin. We may learn, if the Republican Congress doesn't manage to cover it up, that Putin is operating Bannon and Trump. Like puppets, as Hillary pointed out and Trump lamely disputed.

Bannon's speech reported in the Washington Post

Many of these antidemocratic and unAmerican ideas have been there for years, spoken out loud by Republicans. Take the famous 1980 speech by Paul Weyrich, one of the architects of the Reagan Revolution rubbishing the idea of letting all Americans vote and deriding “good government” as a kind of evil delusion, what he called “GooGoo.” They thought and still think democracy is a nuisance, democracy is childish, democracy is foolish and evil. They are now closer than ever to achieving their dream of making America a white Christian (sic) authoritarian state.

Video of the infamous Paul Weyrich speech is on YouTube and it is chillingly prescient.

Masha Gessen wrote an article for the New York Review of Books shortly after the election in which she warned about the ways an autocrat degrades democratic norms. She’d seen it in Russia under Putin. The playbook looks very much like the playbook of the Trump/Bannon White House.

Ron Rosenbaum, one of the best analysts we have of the psychology of the Nazi regime, wrote an equally sharp warning about Trump in the LA Review of Books. I urge you to read and share both articles.

Both these articles warn that what a determined tyrant does first is discredit and destroy the news media, beginning with the journalists who don’t take dictation but actually analyze and criticize what he is doing. Which is what journalists are supposed to do. Without journalists reporting the truth we are powerless.

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