“Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle merite.” (“Every nation has the government it deserves.”) –Joseph de Maistre, 1811.
Lawyer and philosopher Joseph de Maistre, a loyal subject of the King of Sardinia, was advocating for hereditary monarchy when he coined the phrase that became popular in the 20th century in a slightly altered version: “In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.”
De Maistre, appalled by the violence and disorder that followed the French Revolution of 1789, favoured governments founded on a Christian constitution. As a Catholic and proponent of hierarchical authority, he supported the papacy’s hold on European monarchs.
However misguided his intention may appear through the lens of history, his words were never truer than in America in the time of the Mango Megalomaniac.
Out of a population in excess of 300 million, Americans chose as their Commander-in-Chief a pathological liar, a shallow, ignorant, thin-skinned bully, a con man who worships money above all else, a self-serving tax evader who avoided military service when his country called, a misogynist bigot, a mentally ill unstable opportunist. And they did so with their eyes wide open.
Donald Trump’s shortcomings have been on public display for five decades. His philandering, his bankruptcies, his stiffing of contractors and working people, his tacky taste and shallowness, his lying and conning (remember his election campaign vow to never settle the lawsuits over his bogus “university” scam), all played out in the media spotlight. He admitted to grabbing women by the pussy and called Mexicans rapists. He denigrated an American war hero for getting captured in the conflict he so deftly avoided and railed against a Gold Star family whose son gave his life for the country. He said it was smart not to pay taxes and called the political system that would eventually elect him rigged.
Knowing all this, Americans elected him as their President.
This should not have come as a surprise to the rest of the world.
The historical facts run contrary to the ‘alternative’ facts Americans ballyhoo while laying claim to being the greatest country in the world. America is a war-like nation founded on slavery and genocide. Conflict and violence have been its lifeblood, as evidenced by the ubiquitous war memorials in its capital. It maintains its standing in the world through military force.
The U.S. perceives its national interests extending into every corner of the globe. It is a country that sees enemies everywhere. The long list of direct armed conflict, meddling and fighting by proxy includes Britain, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Vietnam, Germany, Japan, Chile, Libya, China, Korea, the Soviet Union, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and even tiny Grenada, among many others.
When deemed to be in its national interests the U.S. government has supported despots like Sadam Hussein and the Shaw of Iran, supplied arms to mujahedeen fighters like Osama bin Laden and helped in the overthrow of democratically elected leaders like Chile’s Salvador Allende and Patrice Lumumba, the first elected Congolese Prime Minister, who was murdered with U.S. approval.
To deflect from investigations that could implode his Presidency, the beleaguered Bloviator-in-Chief ‘wags the dog’ by threatening to wage nuclear war against America’s old nemesis and newest arch enemy, North Korea, for wanting to arm itself against what it perceives as an imminent American threat.
Rest easy. Unprovoked, North Korea won’t be insuring its certain destruction by launching nuclear-armed missiles at the United States or its allies.
Like the Romans and other empires before them, what Americans fail to grasp is that the real enemy is the rot within. Military power aside, the U.S. is a country that’s world standing has peaked. It has been spiralling downward for decades while the top 10 percent get richer and the bottom 90 percent get disillusioned and increasingly bitter.
This so-called bastion of freedom imprisons more of its citizens than any other country, exceeding second place China by more than half a million inmates even though that country has a billion more people. Tens of thousands of Americans are shooting themselves or each other every year. Mass shootings are so common the national news media only focus on exceptional cases involving children, terrorism or racial motivation. Terrified police officers shoot motorists for reaching for a driver’s licence. An estimated 150 Americans overdose on opioid drugs every day.
American companies, with the First Family at the forefront, set up shop outside the country to increase profits on the backs of cheap foreign labour while companies that can’t pick up and move import foreign workers to do jobs they say Americans are too proud, lazy or soft to do.
More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. It is the only developed country that does not offer its citizens health care as a right. The United States is one of only three countries worldwide to opt out of the Paris Climate Accord.
Donald Trump has been a long time coming. He is made in America.