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22.3.16

The Giant Stirs

So, I've said my piece on Donald Trump - the candidate - now I want to say something about the Trump Phenomenon.

What the world is witnessing in the US is nothing short of a revolution.  No, the shooting hasn't started - yet - but I suspect that the trip wires are set and temperaments are leaning solidly in that direction.

As I stated in The Trump Card, there is no logical reason to select Trump as president.  He has no political background, obviously little diplomatic ability and is really not even an individual, but a brand.  Yet, he is drawing unbelievable crowds, record turn-out at the polls and a following that crosses all demographic boundaries.  Beyond that, he has so rattled the ensconced powers that they will do anything to stop this man from taking the oath of office.  They are so rattled that they have spoken openly about assassination, meaning there would be little room for "conspiracy theories" if that were to happen.

Both my grandfather and father told me for years that a revolution was coming to America.  It was inevitable.  Since the dawn of the 20th century, the power structure in the US has so grossly abused its position that at some point, the masses would finally be fed up and clear the table.  Had Ron Paul been just a bit more charismatic, we would have seen this scenario played out four years ago.

If you want to understand what is happening in America, there is a fun activity you can do at home that perfectly models this year's election.  Take some sticks and put them in the freezer.  Then take a pan of water and heat it to almost boiling.  When you get there, start stirring in sugar until it just won't dissolve any more.  You now have what chemists call a super-saturated solution.  Now take your chilled sticks and put them into the solution for a few minutes.  Right in front of your eyes, big, beautiful crystals of sugar will start growing on the sticks, and viola!, you have rock candy.

For a century now, the American cultural climate has been slowly heating up to just near the boiling point.  The political elites have been stirring in racial and class tensions, profligate spending, wars and "police actions," assassinations, and all sorts of mayhem, to the point where one suspects they have either completely lost their minds or are just suicidal - or maybe they have a back-up plan?

Along comes Trump.  Let's think of him as a chilled stick.  It's not really who he is, but what he represents that matters.  Before our amazed eyes, all the crap that has been stirred into our pot of hot water suddenly congeals around him: fear of losing jobs, fear of uncontrolled immigration, fear of economic Armageddon, fear of attack by (insert enemy du jour).

Trump is a catalyst for a chemical reaction that was slowly happening all over the country for the past 100 years.  He was just the right person who stepped onto the scene and said the right things and instantly, the chemical reaction accelerated without any signs of abating.

If we switch to a medical metaphor, Trump is a symptom, but not the cause.  Treating the Trump Phenomenon will not stop the disease, and may, in fact, cause it to quicken.  The "establishment" are like ignorant doctors (or are they?); unable to understand why the disease is happening, they desperately attempt to alleviate the symptom, only to make matters far worse.  For the moment, let's assume that this has not all been intentional - that's a different article.

It appears, for all intents and purposes, that Trump will now face off with the Democratic choice in the fall elections.  At this point, the "establishment" have no real choice (in their minds) but to actually kill Trump to try and save their hides.  The problem is that making this choice, as they did with the Kennedy brothers, will likely bring the country to full boil, where the Kennedys turned up the heat.  For them, there is no smooth path out of these woods.

It is absolutely fascinating to watch this.  It is an historic event not at all unlike the environment surrounding the US Civil War.  A large and powerful block has been disenfranchised by the "establishment," and both sides now walk a very fine line to avoid all-out war.  All that is needed is a modern-day Fort Sumter, or to use another US revolution, another Lexington and Concord.

To my mind, Trump does not seek violence, but will not back down because of it.  He strikes me as one who fights fire with fire.  On the other side, the "establishment" are so terrified that violence is increasingly the only viable option they perceive.  The Big Question is, what price are the "establishment" willing to pay to keep their privileged positions?

The "establishment" has already shown its willingness to do whatever it takes to attain their goals and maintain their positions: violate the sovereignty of nations, fabricate evidence, commit acts of terror, round up citizens in concentration camps (American Indians, Japanese), commit treason, stir up internal strife to foment "regime change," and a whole list of crimes and misdemeanors.  Are they willing to shit in their own sandbox?

If history be our guide, the answer is "yes."  We must assume that if Trump continues to pose a threat to them, whatever that threat may be, the "establishment" will risk open war within America in order to protect their precious and privileged positions.  If the Bush family buying 100,000 acres in 2006, in Paraguay is any indication, the "establishment" has been preparing for this eventuality for some time.

The American Founding Fathers intended for the electoral process to be a form of peaceful revolution every four years.  It was a means to vent popular concerns, though the system was set up to buffer mob rule.  The "establishment" learned from Josef Stalin that 'he who counts the votes runs the country,' and it has worked for 100 years - but the jig is up.

The American people have often been compared to the proverbial "Sleeping Giant," slow to rouse but unstoppable once mobilized.  One senses that the Trump candidacy has awoken that giant, and the absurd fear and loathing demonstrated by the "establishment" makes it quite apparent that they are aware of the situation.

Whether or not you like Trump, or desire or fear his presidency, the larger issue is what he represents.  The long-simmering super-saturated brew that is American culture has reached the point where it can no longer absorb what it is given.  The process of crystallization has begun and there is likely nothing that can stop it, except to let it run its course.  We can speculate till the cows come home what America will look like at the end of a Trump presidency, but it seems rather certain what will happen if this process is aborted.

Yes, there are a great number of parallels with Germany at the moment the Brown Shirts began to rise, but I hardly find Trump to be another Hitler - different culture, different times, different person.  If anything, there is a stronger resemblance between the "establishment" and the Nazis, than with anything Trump represents.  I believe that what we are seeing now is actually what would have happened if Hitler had won the war and 70 years later, the German people were ready to change course.  Now there's an interesting thought.