On May 1, 2019, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff appeared on the MSNBC program The Last Word discussing Attorney General William Barr and mused, “Why someone at this point in their career would be willing to sacrifice his integrity, his reputation, everything in the service of this unethical president will forever be a mystery to me. But he’s not alone. Obviously, there are many others around Trump who are doing the same thing.”
Hmmm. With all due respect to Congressman Schiff, I don’t find it a mystery. But the subject he brings up is important. Don’t wander off, let me mention something else.
Over the last couple years Bill Maher has entertained and frightened us with his Dictator Checklist and all the boxes Trump checks. Since 2016 Maher has also been talking about what he sees as a slow-moving coup d’état being perpetrated by Trump and his gang of cronies and sycophants. There is a lot to be said for Maher’s theory. Especially in light of the afore-mentioned checklist and the actions and appointments of his administration.
So what if Maher and others are right, that Trump and his enablers are in fact deliberately undermining the U.S. system of government? Let’s be honest here, there is no shortage of people who would welcome, embrace, and help enforce the kind of intolerant, racist, misogynistic, trample-on-the-99% world Trump inhabits in his head. So, if you’re a Giuliani, or a Barr, or a Kushner, or anybody else who seeks to have power over the masses; and if you also are comfortable in the idea of a Trumpist homeland; why wouldn’t you want to be part of the power-grab. Of course you would want to be in on the ground floor. You don’t need to be part of a name-brand alt-right organization to want to be running the show in the kind of future they espouse.
If you are a Trumpist and you believe an authoritarian regime is going to take over, you will want to run the equivalent of the Stasi or the Gestapo or the FSB or the State Security Department rather than be a target of such an organization. You will want to run the War Department or the State Department so you can be an extension of the great leader’s will. It’s either join the regime or be crushed by it. And so, the Trump True Believers™ gather around their shining leader; excusing, defending, enabling, and empowering him; so that they can share in the exercise of that power over those they disdain and despise.
And that, to me, is the essential answer to Schiff’s mystery. Not a mystery at all. Just Trumpist assholes looking out for themselves and their ticket to giving the rest of us our marching orders.