Rethinking America

Reagan´s Executor: Trump and the ‘Complacent State’

There is something positively Lenin-esque in the Republicans´endeavor to slay the “monster” of the U.S. federal government. No wonder Putin loves Trump so much.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey Shutterstock.com

Takeaways


  • Trump constantly asserts that there is a “deep state” determined to conspire against his presidency. That is absurd,
  • Government officials continue to implement Trump’s policies, no matter how absurd or self-defeating they are when viewed in the context of the national interest.
  • Trump is firing top officials who he views as opponents, even if they are just doing their job and telling him the truth.
  • There is something Lenin-esque in the Republicans´endeavor to slay the “monster” of the US federal government. No wonder Putin loves Trump so much.

The United States is in turmoil, with evil taking center stage with two mass shootings.

The most immediate cause of all the distress, Donald Trump, is on holiday at his New Jersey golf club. Of course, that doesn´t keep him from avidly feeding his Twitter account with yet more bile.

In the midst of the American nightmare, Chuck Park, a 10-year career U.S. diplomat, announced in an article in The Washington Post that he has resigned from the Department of State because he could no longer go along with what he labelled as the “complacent state.”

Trump´s “deep state” sideshow

Park noted that President Trump and some of his White House cronies are constantly asserting that there is a “deep state” composed of government officials in the intelligence agencies and the State Department that are determined to conspire against Trump’s presidency. That is absurd, declared Park.

In reality, he argued, there is a “complacent state” at work. It features government officials who continue, come what may, to follow Trump´s orders and implement his policies, no matter how absurd or self-defeating they are when viewed in the context of the national interest.

And indeed, we are witnessing — credit be to Stalin — a true wave of purges. Trump is firing top officials who he views as opponents, even if they are just doing their job and telling him the truth. Key officials at the National Intelligence Agency and State Department have been ousted in recent days.

Silence

But don´t blame Trump for it. The core of the “complacent state” is to be found in the ranks of Republican Party officials. They have been silent as the latest chapter in Trump’s evil agenda has unfolded, even as its consequences are so clearly visible.

Increasingly, the famous “checks and balances” – the tools keeping the United States from sliding into authoritarian rule — are but a faint memory.

No less complicit in the silence that encourages Trump are the high-profile wealthy donors who support him. Last Friday, at the end of a terrible week for the nation, Trump attended a fund-raising event in his honor in the Hamptons on Long Island, New York. Tickets ranged from $6,000 to $250,000 per person.

In a remarkable display of what constitutes American dialectics, the host was billionaire Steven Ross whose diverse sports companies publicly market themselves as supporting equality for all – for gays and blacks and Hispanics – all the groups Trump daily vilifies.

Republican acquiescence

Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, steadfastly refuses to discuss Trump’s hate-talk. He also sees no need to call the U.S. Senate back from summer holidays to consider gun controls.

That´s par for the course, as far as McConnell is concerned. What´s worse, there is no evidence from within McConnell’s party of anyone challenging his decision or advocating for substantial gun controls.

Trump no doubt sees the silence from Senate and U.S. House Republicans as encouragement, especially as he daily tunes into Fox TV to watch his favorite commentators applaud his every action and Tweet.

Debasing U.S. government as we know it

Meanwhile, across the U.S. government bureaucracy there are surely more people like Chuck Park who believe that their participation in the “complacent state” is furthering the evil that Trump promotes.

They must be asking themselves how much longer they can just keep their heads down and do their work. This work, by direction from callous superiors, at times directly reflects not just Trump’s racism, but also his bizarre belief that his continuous efforts to attack immigration, including separating families, is good for his 2020 re-election prospects.

Conclusion

What is most troubling is to comprehend the long arc of this “Trump revolution.” After decades of talk about “the bureaucrats in Washington,” Ronald Reagan´s and the 1960s Republicans´arch-conservative talk about dismantling the federal government — “slaying the monster” etc — is finally coming to full fruition.

There is something positively Lenin-esque in that endeavor. No wonder Putin loves Trump so much.

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About Frank Vogl

Frank Vogl is co-founder of Transparency International and author of Waging War on Corruption: Inside the Movement Fighting the Abuse of Power. [Washington D.C., United States]

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