The Aftermath of a Desecration (Updated)

Within hours of the breaking news that the FBI had raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, I watched a short clip of Steve Bannon speaking to Alex Jones, whose Infowars nonsense Bannon described as “one of the major news sources for the MAGA movement.” During this clip, Bannon declared, unprompted by his host, the professional conspiracy theory entertainer, that he “wouldn’t put it past them” to have planted evidence to frame Trump, and, even more provocatively, that this raid was all part of a deep state process aimed at — yes, these very words — “the assassination of Donald Trump.” 

Bannon made these comments immediately after the raid, which is to say without any information or evidence to justify any sort of assessment at all, and yet his assessment was not merely disapproval, which would be understandable from a political point of view, but rather the most incendiary claims that anyone could possibly make — planted evidence and an assassination plot. In other words, he used language designed to drive angry and confused Trump supporters into a frenzy of fear and fury, the sort that entrenches people in irrational certainties and stokes violent protests. And he did it without an ounce of logic or material evidence to support the claims, just as his dream of an American Mussolini, Donald Trump, did on election night in November 2020, when he declared the election stolen and himself the victim of historic fraud without an iota of evidence. Notice a pattern? It is not a pattern of principle, courage, hard truths, and honor in the face of opposition. It is a pattern of manufacturing the most extreme and outrageous lies to save oneself from defeat, in the hopes that if the lie is big enough, and shouted loudly enough, the angry mob will be swayed into certainty and action at the expense of all sober reasoning and dispassionate analysis of evidence. This is demagoguery of the most naked and brutal sort, demagoguery at the moment when all bets are off, and the lust for power and personal glory — power and glory protected by a shield of mass ignorance and promoted by invocations of mass violence if necessary — is the only motive left.

In that same two-minute interview clip, clearly having carefully planned the full MAGA message regarding the Mar-a-Lago raid for the easy consumption of impatient cultists, Bannon repeatedly refers to the raid as a “desecration” of Mar-a-Lago, feeding the cult with imagery of plunderers committing impiety against the holy temple of Donald Trump. Could any language be more directly indicative of a complete rejection, on Trump’s behalf, of the American republican principle of all men being equal before the law? 

Bannon then drives home the point already implied by all the rest: “The FBI and the DOJ are essentially lawless, criminal organizations.” That, in case you needed one, is a textbook example of projection. 

The Trump world is going bananas right now trying to annihilate Liz Cheney. But would eliminating her and her activities entirely from the past year of life on planet Earth change anything substantial here? Would it make Trump, Bannon, and the rest of these cretins anything better than they are? Is it not apparent that the vehemence of the mass hatred directed at Cheney is nothing but a measure of the desperation in the Trump cult to hide from the shameful truth of what they have fallen for, what has been done to them, and what is now crumbling around them? 

Something almost sacred is indeed being desecrated here, but it is not Donald Trump’s house.

Update: Liz Cheney has been destroyed, annihilated, blown out of the water I tell you, in the Wyoming Republican primary. Wahoo! Her career is over, mangled, crushed under the boot of Trump’s nine-dimensional chess genius! Ha! That’ll show the old hag what happens when you…when you…dare to disagree with the party leadership and put your beliefs above your career. God knows we can’t be having a party made up of people prepared to lose for the sake of truth. MAGA. (sigh)

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