In 2010, Noam Chomsky, last seen in these parts dunking on Sam Harris, predicted the rise of a Donald Trump-like figure. From an interview with Chris Hedges, he says:
The United States is extremely lucky that no honest, charismatic figure has arisen…Every charismatic figure is such an obvious crook that he destroys himself, like McCarthy or Nixon or the evangelist preachers. If somebody comes along who is charismatic and honest this country is in real trouble because of the frustration, disillusionment, the justified anger and the absence of any coherent response. What are people supposed to think if someone says ‘I have got an answer, we have an enemy’? There it was the Jews. Here it will be the illegal immigrants and the blacks. We will be told that white males are a persecuted minority. We will be told we have to defend ourselves and the honor of the nation. Military force will be exalted. People will be beaten up. This could become an overwhelming force. And if it happens it will be more dangerous than Germany. The United States is the world power. Germany was powerful but had more powerful antagonists. I don’t think all this is very far away. If the polls are accurate it is not the Republicans but the right-wing Republicans, the crazed Republicans, who will sweep the next election.”
Silly Noam, he was off by one election. Sad!
Our luck has apparently run out. It’s pretty obvious he’s referring to the “telling it like it is” brand of honesty, and charisma is being used in a relativistic manner – I, for one, do NOT find Trump to be charismatic or honest. Qualifying what we’re soon to face as “more dangerous than Germany” is legitimately terrifying, considering the source.
Hedges wrote a piece on Friday which references Chomsky’s prior comments and outlines the fun times he sees in store:
The repression of dissents will soon resemble the repression under past totalitarian regimes. State security will become an invasive and palpable presence. The most benign forms of opposition will be treated as if they are a threat to national security. Many, hoping to avoid the wrath of the state, will become compliant and passive. We, however, must fight back. We must carry out sustained acts of civil disobedience, as many have done in streets around the country since the election. But we must also be aware that the democratic space allotted to us in our system of inverted totalitarianism has become much, much smaller.”
But sure Kumbaya singing motherfuckers on the left, let’s give him a chance.
I was under the impression the calls for unity were coming more from ReTrumplicans. Regardless, I hope Trump receives as much unity as Obama did.
I Have Forgiven Jesus says
Obama and Hillary, the two biggest names in the Democratic Party, have been obediently conciliatory. Not that that should be at all unexpected. Or a politician like Nancy Pelosi saying “I congratulate President-elect Trump and his family, and pray for his success.”
Also, I have in mind those on the left who have condemned the protests as “not helping” as well as Dave Chappelle’s comments on SNL this past weekend. HuffPo (which I don’t read but saw someone share in my social media network) posted this article this morning: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-taub/give-peace-and-donald-tru_b_12932068.html
But definitely there are others saying fuck that shit.
Jake Harban says
From what I’ve heard, the calls for unity are mostly coming from the right-wing Democrats who let this happen by forfeiting the populist banner— Clinton and Obama and their cohort.
We have two months to convince the Democratic Party to abandon decades worth of corporatism and actually form an opposition, and two years to get hundreds of liberal candidates running in 2018. I’m not counting on either.
In 2024 or 2028, the Democrats will be running a Trump-like candidate of their own while the Republicans have found someone even worse. And all the people who supported Clinton in 2016 will be supporting the Democratic Trump then and for all the same reasons— they’re the lesser evil! Don’t you see how terrifying the Republican is? There is a strict binary between deplorable people who ignore all the evil things the Republican did because they support those things and “reasonable” people who ignore all the evil things the Democrat did because that’s the only way to stop the Republican!