This is what evil sounds like, folks
Go ahead and tell me, as I’m sure many readers will want to do, that I’m too “obsessed” with my “irrational hatred” for President Trump. Go ahead and tell me I should stop focusing on his bluster, and look instead at the “booming economy.”
In fact, I am not obsessed, and I do not hate Trump. But I know what evil sounds like. It is not a grand, bellowing, mellifluous voice from the depths of Time. It is not the cunning voice of an otherworldly Iago. Those are symbolic representations of evil, and poetic embellishments of the nothingness. For that is what evil ultimately is, my friends: nothing. It is pure privation devoid of potential, emptiness without desire. And if wisdom is the good, then evil on Earth is the embodiment of ignorance.
Evil, in short, is stupid, and specifically a stupidity that has invested itself in the service of inhumanity and falsehood.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post urging my Trump-weakened friends to come to their senses, especially in light of Trump’s latest moral equivalency in refusing to condemn China’s crackdown on Honk Kong citizens as they protest to preserve their independence from the Communist Party’s talons, I offer the following extended clip from the same interview in which he claimed to “stand with President Xi.”
Listen carefully, if you want to know what evil really sounds like:
— HKDemocracyNow 🇭🇰 (@hkdnow1) November 22, 2019
Here are the statements I wish to highlight, spoken seconds apart, and as part of one continuous stream of consciousness:
…but I’m also standing with President Xi. He’s a friend of mine. He’s an incredible guy….
I stand with freedom, I stand with all of the things we want to do, but we also are in the process of making the biggest trade deal in history, and if we could do that, that would be great….
…and I will say this, if it weren’t for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now, and you wouldn’t have any riots, you’d have a police state. But thousands of people — the only reason he’s not going in is because I’m saying “It’s going to affect our trade deal, you don’t want to do that.”
President Xi is an incredible guy and a great friend of Trump’s. And this incredible guy and great friend would have gone into Hong Kong and killed thousands of people, but for his desire to make a deal with his great friend, Trump.
Do you have any great friends, or know any incredible guys, who would unblinkingly slaughter thousands of innocent people if they thought they could get away with it without harming their financial prospects?
Trump does. In fact, he has several of them, and he boasts about his great friendships with those people all the time. And he backs up the principle described here on many occasions. For when he does not have any personal interest that might stand in the way of his various great friends’ desire to kill or oppress “thousands of people,” he steps aside quietly and lets them do it without a peep, and without a moment’s second thought about these great friends’ incredible guy-ness.
This is who Trump is. Xi killing thousands of people would not matter to him in the least, except that he was hoping they could work out a trade deal, and he, like Xi, knows that the optics of such a deal would be bad if he went ahead with it while Xi was in the process of a major military aggression against a tiny, peaceful city. So for the sake of the deal — i.e., economic advantage — those expendable thousands were spared for the time being. And Trump declares this completely cynical and conscienceless act of pragmatic sociopathy as a personal boast — “if it weren’t for me.”
Notice, too, that he refers to the protests by the potential victims of his great friend, the incredible guy Xi Jinping, as “riots.” That is, he demands that we view the situation through China’s lens, with the Hong Kong protesters being nothing but an angry and unruly mob, “rioters,” who are being spared death by the thousands and the imposition of a “police state” only by the distracted and self-interested positioning of these two great and incredible friends, striding above us all like titans of the art of the deal.
And we must all meekly thank them for the mercy of not killing us by the thousands and enslaving us by the millions, due to the grace of their sheer self-absorbed, god-like neglectfulness.
This is what evil sounds like, my friends. Stupid, incoherent, self-contradictory and self-revealing. Wormlike and gruff, pragmatic and self-congratulatory, illiterate and proud. Donald Trump.
I do not hate Trump. Nor am I obsessed with him. But neither am I prepared to lie to myself and hide from ugly facts merely because doing so would be more convenient, comfortable, and even commercially efficacious for me. That, after all, would make me exactly what Trump is, and as Marcus Aurelius teaches, “The best revenge is not to be like him.”