The Trump Gang is not Conservative

It is a serious mistake to consider the Trump-Pence-McConnell-Ryan-Tea Party gang “conservative,” as in just a more intense form of skepticism about the value of government action. This gang is not conservative. It is radical, breaking as starkly from the political and philosophical values of America since at least the time of Abraham Lincoln as the Russian Revolution did from the Czarist rule, or the French Revolution from the Bourbon monarchy. 

David Brooks has it right that this gang views political life as a Hobbesian nightmare, a zero sum struggle of all against all, in which the only morality is winning, defined as gaining wealth and influence. Forget about the equal worth of all people, or the concept of inalienable rights. The only right the Trump gang believes in is the right of the wealthy, powerful, and connected to pursue their self-interest without regard for the consequences to others. Hence the Trump gang’s admiration for brutal dictators who have murdered their citizens and its utter disregard for truth.

In their view, out of every 1000 American citizens approximately 10 are “winners.” Perhaps 200--mostly the owners of small business--are, in Lenin’s term, “useful idiots” who support the winners' dominance despite the harm their policies cause to their self-interest. Another 200 or so are dupes to be tricked with distractions and lies. The rest of us are enemies to be jailed, deprived of our vote, or otherwise nullified. 

The Trump gang aims for a return to feudalism, in which dominant barons and their families, plus retainers, lived vastly better than everyone else. Everyone else--peasants, serfs, and slaves--lived short, miserable, unhealthy, and unfree lives. Trump gang feudalism is based not just on the traditional sources of baronial wealth--land and plunder--but also business monopolies and privilege. And instead of small fiefdoms ruled by deadly force, they have gained and expect to hold power by duping voters in democracies-in-name-only. But otherwise, it’s the same world of virtually universal misery as the Middle Ages.

As to the Paris Climate accord, we mistakenly accuse Trump and his gang of denying climate change. They don’t have to deny it, they simply don’t care about it. As long as Koch Brother money flows, it doesn't matter to them If millions of Bangladeshis and islanders drown, hundreds of thousands of Americans lose their lives and/or property in tornados, hurricanes, and coastal innundations, and millions or billions of other people become victims of wars over water and other resources. The Trump gang, the Koch Brothers, and their retainers will be safe and comfortable in gated communities on high ground. 

In short, as they see it we are not in anything together; we are separate, rivalrous, and wolfish. They forget that in a feudal world even kings and queens had to live harsh, dangerous, diseased, and uncomfortable lives. But they never heard of Chaucer or Boccacio.

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