James Howard Kunstler -- World News Trust
March 13, 2017
Let’s take a breather from more consequential money matters at hand midweek to consider the tending moods of our time and place -- while a blizzard howls outside the window, and nervous Federal Reserve officials pace the grim halls of the Eccles Building.
It is clear by now that we have four corners of American politics these days: the utterly lost and delusional Democratic party; the feckless Republicans; the permanent Deep State of bureaucratic foot-soldiers and errand boys; and Trump, the Golem-King of the Coming Greatness. Wherefore, and what the fuck, you might ask.
The Democrats reduced themselves to a gang of sadistic neo-Maoists seeking to eradicate anything that resembles free expression across the land in the name of social justice. Coercion has been their coin of the realm, and especially in the realm of ideas where “diversity” means stepping on your opponent’s neck until he pretends to agree with your Newspeak brand of grad school neologisms and “inclusion” means welcome if you’re just like us. I say Maoists because just like Mao’s “Red Guard” of rampaging students in 1966, their mission is to “correct” the thinking of those who might dare to oppose the established leader. Only in this case, that established leader happened to lose the sure-thing election and the party finds itself unbelievably out-of-power and suddenly purposeless, like a termite mound without a queen, the workers and soldiers fleeing the power center in an hysteria of lost identity.
They regrouped briefly after the election debacle to fight an imaginary adversary, Russia, the phantom ghost-bear, who supposedly stepped on their termite mound and killed the queen, but, strangely, no actual evidence was ever found of the ghost-bear’s paw-print. And ever since that fact was starkly revealed by former NSA chief James Clapper on NBC’s Meet the Press, the Russia hallucination has vanished from page one of the party’s media outlets -- though, in an interesting last gasp of striving correctitude, Monday’s New York Times features a front page story detailing Georgetown University’s hateful traffic in the slave trade two centuries ago. That should suffice to shut the wicked place down for once and for all!
The Republican Party, to avoid going full-Whig and sliding down the laundry chute of history, made a bad deal for a new figurehead who is liable to make the party look way worse than it could ever accomplish on its own. This golden boy has dragged the party poobahs to the put-up-or-shut-up room of our nation’s capital -- the place that Senator Rand Paul was searching high and low for last week -- where they are charged with reforming the country’s health care racket. It looks for now like they will cook up a toxic farrago of new giveaways to their patrons in the hospital cartel, the insurance companies, and pharma. The voting public already detects the odor of 30-day-old carp in the first tastings of the dish. There’s a fair chance that the recipe will end up getting tossed in the capitol dumpster, and that in itself could finish the party because there’s little question that the current system known as ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act (not) is something like a fatal tumor in the nation’s craw. If the effort to fix that fails, the Republicans complete their transformation from the Party of No to the Party of Just Go.
The Deep State seems eager to sever its connections to both putrifying parties and attempt to run the groaning colossus of government ad hoc if necessary. The military and intel chains of command remain intact, along with their “assets,” and one can easily imagine anxious meetings of scenario-running in the back rooms of the Pentagon and the Langley frat house. What if... ? “What if we just smoke the fucker?” an old Agency warrior remarks offhand, and the roomful of colleagues pause in their cogitations to weigh the notion. Some of them nod and make a moue, and others just cough into their sleeves. One young striver in the back mentions “a little something” they’ve been working on that involves hairspray and a neurotoxin derived from the Gaboon viper….
And then there is our President himself: Donald J. Trump, in the awesome solitude of his Twitterverse dome. A strange destiny brought him to his place in history thus far, and many of us surveying the scene lo these many months kind of get it: the festering disgust with the other three corners of American power; the dismal fall of the middle class into a purgatory of repossession, idleness, opiates, and tattoos; the accelerating purposeless of the dwindling consumer economy; the matrix of racketeering that systemically drains everyone’s financial mojo while adding humiliation to the shoddy service it delivers; the pointless, costly wars in faraway places and their conversion into permanent shit-holes; the disgraceful disfigurement of a once grand national landscape into a wilderness of dying malls and freeway ramps.
So, onto the scene strides The Donald, a giant among the squalling midgets of our time, with his promise to bigly re-greatify this suffering land. I suppose he means well in his torturous way. So did a lot of other figures in history who found themselves at the top: Idi Amin, Uncle Joe Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, King Leopold of Belgium, Adolf You-Know-Who, Pol Pot. The list of the well-meaning is very long.
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling -- A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.