The Real American Carnage
(Graphic: Brian Covert / Photos: Getty Images, Sipa, Reuters)
The violent insurrection on the United States Congress a few days ago in Washington DC, urged on by no less than the Fake President himself, Donald Trump, intended to reverse by force a free and fair election. More than that, the insurrection intended to overturn the system of democratic government in a coup attempt. That attempt failed, though it could easily have succeeded under the circumstances.
It was nearly four years ago, on 20 January 2017, during Trump’s own inauguration at the very same location on Capitol Hill, that he spoke of a country devastated by inferior education, poverty, drug addiction, joblessness, violence and weak immigration borders after eight years of outgoing president Barack Obama.
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump vowed. “We are one nation, and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.”
In fact, the “American carnage” Trump cited was only just starting, not stopping. The carnage that Trump himself would go on to wreak upon the USA over the next four years would leave the country of “one heart, one home and one glorious destiny” deeply divided and literally at each other’s throats. His “allegiance” was never to all Americans — it was only to a like-minded minority of them. Trump’s carnage came to a crescendo on 6 January 2021, when he incited a large, angry and armed crowd to march on the Congress and take national election matters into their own hands.
The real American carnage that Trump inflicted on his country over these past four years looks more like this: He inspired a clear rise in white supremacist groups and hate crimes during his reign with his own personal brand of racism. He gave to the super-rich and took from the poor in his domestic economic policies, such as they were. Never a religious man, Trump found common cause with fundamentalist Christians and their adoration of him as a modern-day messiah, stoking religious division. He turned his back on extreme climate disaster victims and denied science at every turn. He claimed a free press was “the enemy of the people”.
Trump let the coronavirus spread like wildfire, never intending to do much about it. Of the estimated 89 million people in the world who have caught COVID-19, 22 million are in the United States alone. The death toll from coronavirus in the U.S. stands at about 370,000, as of this writing.
Trump, in his time as president, was nothing if not a master of demagogic deceit and self-projection: When he often spoke of “corrupt” and “weak” political enemies, it was to point the finger away from his own corruption and weakness. When he talked disparagingly of violent radical leftist anarchists, he was really catering to the neo-Nazi tendencies of many of his own hardcore supporters. And when he spoke at his inauguration four years ago that the “American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” he was really signaling his intention to get some extremist carnage rolling from Day One of his time in office.
The American carnage over the past four years of Trump just never seemed to stop. And the carnage isn’t over yet, with 10 more long days to go in his term as president. That carnage will be with the nation, unfortunately, long after Trump has left Washington and long after his own life ends someday. His political influence may or may not be on the wane now, depending on what happens with another round of possible impeachment proceedings and the deluge of lawsuits that will surely greet Trump the moment he leaves the shelter of his White House cocoon to become a private citizen again.
But one thing is certain: In the court of public opinion in the U.S. and around the world, Donald Trump stands accused, tried and convicted by his own words and past actions over these past four years. Fascist leader Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany succeeded in the 1930s in breaking the German parliament, destroying democracy and causing countless suffering in his day. While Trump failed in the recent coup attempt he started, the American carnage that he signed, sealed and delivered to the doorstep of the U.S. Congress this week will earn him, like Hitler, an eternal place in the hellhole of history.