While scouring the dump of the hacked email archive of a senior State Department Russia officer, I came across an email – a private letter forwarded by a friend to said officer – that left me speechless.
It was written on February 26, 2016. It predicted not only Trump’s ascension to presidency (others publicly did that at that moment in time, too, myself included) but all the ancillary, irreversible systemic collapses that would accompany it.
I wrote to the author and asked permission to publish the hack with attribution. In the meantime, I am breaking a few journalistic principles and publishing it anonymously, as I think it’s one of the most insightful things I have read and I think it would benefit everyone to read it.
February 26, 2016:
Are we worried yet? Trump will win the Republican nomination, and maybe the Presidency? Is the world actually ready for this?
Christ, how did this happen? Washington Post ran this excellent piece from Robert Kagan, very much a conservative of course (Brookings etc). A case of all the GOP chickens coming home to roost, minus brains. It’s also entirely symptomatic (in my view) of a world in which long-term strategy or planning has been dumped at all levels for political and economic expediency (read ‘power and profits’), and Trump has long been the flag-bearer for that opportunistic camp. So should anyone be that surprised? I guess not. New York friends have been telling me for decades how bovine Americans are generally, and now they’ve found their true leader. (One told me his daughter graduated with high marks from one of the best colleges in the country and couldn’t point on a map to where Utah was…) Of course the blue-collars and the red-necks believe they have plenty to complain about, so they’re looking for a saviour. And now they’ve found one, and he’s also funny. Two buttons at once.
One can’t help recalling Peter Cook’s brilliant line that his Establishment Club in London would be a satirical venue modelled on ‘those wonderful Berlin cabarets which did so much to stop the rise of Hitler and prevent the outbreak of the Second World War’.
All the goofy gags and send-ups of Trump are actually playing into this holocaust.
The Game of Thrones send-up done for ABC’S The Insiders has gone viral globally and even made the front-page of the NYT. Which makes it official that Trump cannot be sent-up negatively because he’s already the king, he’s acting like he’s already there and America is acting like he’s already there. His ‘thing’ has developed a life of its own, outside traditional circuits of media analysis and even normal satire, which is supposed to make fools of its targets. Almost nothing can hurt his bid from now on, because he’s setting the terms.
Prediction: this will be when the world looks back and declares this was the moment when traditional ‘legacy’ media died, along with its hand-in-glove crony traditional political structures, and social media and the power of immediacy took over the entire game. There will be no return to the old ways.
What’s weird for me, on the Croydonia front, is that Trump is starting to make Vladimir Putin look like a sensible, rationally-minded leader.
Trump ‘admires’ him, not least I suspect because Putin’s got 80%+ approval ratings with the population. Ironically of course, Putin is anything but a ‘populist’ in that barnstorming American way; he’s cold and private, as befits a Kremlin occupant. One can only imagine Putin watching Trump on TV and thinking, ‘What a fucking buffoon. What a fucking dumb country. First they elect a guy who’s so nice and sweet and relaxed that I can walk all over him, invade Ukraine, take Crimea, steal the agenda in Syria, and now they use their so-called democratic system to elect a ranting dumbo who says he actually likes me because I’m a hard-nosed dictator. Mmm, let’s see – how can I use this to my complete advantage?’ Trump is of course at heart an old-fashioned isolationist, so goodbye Europe, but with a ‘new’ twist – he’s got those wonderful nuclear toys to wave in their faces. And China? Them too! Diplomacy? What’s diplomacy ever done for America since 9/11? You can write the script now…
Anyway, Kagan’s piece, short but very effective: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-is-the-gops-frankenstein-monster-now-hes-strong-enough-to-destroy-the-party/2016/02/25/3e443f28-dbc1-11e5-925f-1d10062cc82d_story.html?postshare=3251456435249855&tid=ss_fb
Blame the GOP? If you’re a Democrat. Blame America? Not if you’re American. I know, BLAME CANADA.