The Dialectics of Trumpism

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Trumpism is full of contradictions, not as the gradual revelation of its Absolute Spirit, like in Hegel’s philosophy, but as a product of dishonesty, incompetence and ignorance.  During the crisis following the assassination of the Iranian general Soleimani Trump praised the excellent work of US intelligence services, whose opinions he often discarded in the past in favor of the misinformation Putin had whispered in his ear.  Subsequently he demanded that NATO play an active role in the upcoming confrontation with Iran in Iraq, after practically having declared the alliance obsolete a couple of years ago.  In 2012 he said that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to get re-elected, a scenario he himself seemed to follow a week ago.  And Trump always criticized Obama for playing too much golf when he was president, something he said he wouldn’t have time for.  By now Trump has played golf 248 times, 2.6 times as often as Obama during the first three years of his presidency.  The president has also spent 33% of his time on Trump properties, wasting and pocketing so much taxpayer money that the Treasury Department is refusing to reveal the exact amounts before next year’s elections.

In his White House address on Wednesday morning, to which Trump emerged from the light like Superman from Krypton, he said that Americans should be ‘extremely grateful and happy’ because nobody had died in the Iranian attack he had provoked with his reckless actions.  Subsequently military leaders, probably already regretting that they had ever presented Trump with the extreme option of liquidating Soleimani, had the impossible task of proving that there had been an ‘immediate threat’ caused by the general’s recent movements in the Middle East, on what knowledgeable commentators called a ‘normal day.’  After the Pentagon failed to make that point, Mike Pompeo and VP Pence picked up the slack and tentatively started broadcasting that the killing had been a reaction to Soleimani’s past transgressions.  With such convoluted messaging it was not surprising that the briefings of Congress by Pompeo, Defense Secretary Esper and CIA Director Haspel were a complete disaster, not convincing anybody except for Trump’s most devoted sychophants.  When on top of this Senators were told ‘not to talk about it’ Republican Mike Lee freaked out and called the whole process ‘insane.’

If the president had hoped that the threat of a war would put his impeachment trial on the backburner he miscalculated, because with the current standoff with Iran the trial is front and center again, not in the least because John Bolton has declared his willingness to testify after having been subpoenaed.  Mitch McConnell is still planning to hold a quick bogus trial, but he will probably not be able to keep four or more GOP senators from wanting to call Bolton and possibly other witnesses, so that Nancy Pelosi can transfer the Articles of Impeachment in due time.

On Wednesday Trump lied that Iranian missiles were paid for by Obama, and during a presser on Thursday he blamed Nancy Pelosi for ‘defending’ Soleimani and emboldening Iran by discussing and holding a vote on a War Powers Resolution.  The president also blabbered that the General Secretary of NATO, Stoltenberg, was ‘excited’ about playing a role in Iraq, and proposed a new name for the alliance, NATOME, with ME standing for Middle East, if only because he is so ‘good at names.’

The delusional content of Trump’s teleprompter address was accompanied by his usual sniffing and a whining delivery, which makes him sound like a toddler who has barely overcome a stammer.  There is widespread speculation that the president is addicted to Adderall, an amphetamine-based medication for ADHD and narcolepsy.  It’s also an aphrodisiac, but that is tough with Melania’s bedroom door locked.

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