May 8, 2020 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Trump Is Appeasing the ‘Invisible Enemy’
The enemy of the GOP's enemy is its friend.
On Monday, I talked about the GOP’s anti-American animus. For the Republicans, treason is always an option, because their greatest loyalty isn’t to the United States but to a nation within a nation, an “imagined community” in which the idea of equality is offensive to the “real Americans” chosen by God to rule a country given by God.
On Tuesday, I talked about the president’s belief in his “genetic superiority.” That constitutes a worldview in which Donald Trump is infallible by dint of being born with “morally good” genes. It’s in keeping with eugenics, fascism, white supremacy or “any political thought privileging the in-group for reasons made out of whole cloth, any rightwing movement rationalizing the out-group’s pain, suffering and even murder.”
The choice in November is less between two men than between two worlds, one of servitude or one of freedom.
Today, I want to connect these, starting with a reminder—that an enemy nation violated our sovereignty by kneecapping the Democratic candidate, thus aiding and abetting the president’s 2016 victory. A bipartisan Senate panel affirmed last month the truth of it, and in doing so, affirmed once and for all Donald Trump’s illegitimacy.
Therefore, an illegitimate president has installed hundreds of jurists, including two justices to the US Supreme Court, who will shape US law for a generation and more.
Therefore, an illegitimate president betrayed his own country by seeking foreign interference in the next election before getting away with it with the help of a Republican Party more loyal to a confederate nation within a nation than to the US.
Therefore, an illegitimate president now stands idly by while a deadly new coronavirus ravages the US population, killing more than 76,600 Americans so far—2,500 in the last 24 hours alone—and sending the real unemployment rate upwards of 20 percent.
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We need to understand, in other words, that the president of the United States is not a true president in any fully republican sense as much as he is a figurehead unworthy of respect except to a nation within a nation advancing an insurrection begun 40 years ago that does not seek political independence from the whole so much as domination of it.
As has been the case since the Civil War, when confederates talk about freedom, they mean their freedom. When they talk about rights, they mean their rights. When they talk about patriotism, they mean their love of a wholly imagined community, not the US. Your patriotism is not equal, because God’s chosen do not have equals. In speaking of their “American values,” confederates always speak in a zero-sum terms. In order to win, you must lose; to prosper, you must labor for pennies; to rule, you must submit.
The president and his confederates say the country can’t stop functioning in the face of a plague, and they are making economic arguments toward that end. But make no mistake. This isn’t an economic debate. It’s a political act. They are not fighting an “invisible enemy.” They are appeasing it. The enemy of their enemy is their friend.
The confederates are discovering a new and improved form of social control, a means of violating and suppressing individual liberty without appearing to do so.
A large majority of the pandemic’s victims are Americans of color residing in large cities or coastal blue states. As the plague creeps across the country, the confederates are right in surmising that its future victims will be akin even if they live in red states. They know “reopening” states will kill more people of color than white people, and they are moving along. The right to life does not apply to the body politic. The right to life applies only to the very few—the privileged few endowed by God to punish the deviant. Such was the natural order envisioned and enforced by slave regimes of yore.
Murder isn’t the goal, of course, because where would they be without cheap labor? Instead, the goal is domination. In choosing to jam Americans of all races and creeds between the need to earn a living and the need to remain healthy, the confederates are discovering a new and improved form of social control, a means of violating and suppressing individual liberty without appearing to do so. The choice in November is less between two men than between two worlds, one of servitude or one of freedom.
Mitch McConnell has said the decision of greatest consequence in his long career was the decision to nullify Barack Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court justice. Of equal consequence, but probably more, was his decision to look the other way while Russians attacked our sovereignty and violated the right of the American people to consent to Donald Trump’s rule. It was an easy choice for the Senate majority leader. His greatest loyalty, after all, isn’t to the US. For him, treason was always an option.
John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.