Friday, February 10, 2017

A President Who Doesn't Believe In American Exceptionalism?

When told by O’Reilly that the Russian leader is a “killer,” Trump replied that the U.S. has killers too. "What do you think? Our country's so innocent?"

While the Donald Trump media circus rolls on, the benefits of Trump instead of Hillary Clinton being president continue to mount. This latest benefit may be the most significant yet.

The sentiment quoted above by Trump is that there's a moral equivalency between the US and Russia, between the way the US often pursues its self interest with violence just like Russia does, and it's truly remarkable for a US president to publicly state this as a fact.

The idiotic notion of "American Exceptionalism," the idea that America is somehow morally superior to other countries, is the underpinning for all the justifications for the ways the US furthers the interest of US capitalism, especially through its wars of aggression, and American exceptionalism is espoused in one way or another by every mainstream Democrat who seeks public office.

One of American Exceptionalism's main uses has been to drum up support for war, to foster the human tendency to be nationalistic. It usually, most likely, used cynically by politicians, but if not it's even worse: a politician who thinks Americans are better or morally superior to other people is irrational and delusional.

For a president to contradict this caustic notion can only hinder its propaganda value and could have significant impact on public discourse and the way Americans relate to the outside world. Who knows, it might hasten the breakdown of the divisions that prevent the working classes of the world from cooperating across national boundaries the way Capitalists do.

So we now have a president who:

* Doesn't believe in American Exceptionalism

* Wants to end our brutal, bloody and completely unnecessary criminal war against Syria.

* Wants to get along with nuclear armed Russia.

* Wants to get along with nuclear armed China, too, according to reports over the weekend that Trump has told Chinese premier Xiu that he'll adhere to the "One China" policy.

*Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans have taken to the streets, many for the first time, in wide ranging protests that have mobilized broad segments of the population.

* Activist groups by the thousands are sprouting up all over the country.

* Newspaper readership is up.

None of this would be happening if Hillary Clinton was president. None of it. If she'd been elected people would have already gone back to sleep. They'd be sitting on their couches watching police dramas while Democrats and Republicans colluded to make things better for their Capitalist masters and worse for us, just like they've been doing since this ungodly Reagan Era began in the 1970s.

People wail ceaselessly about Trump and his cabinet of billionaires and generals, and it's terrible alright, but it's even more terrible when Democrats do it. Trump is finally laying bare the fact that US foreign and domestic policy isn't conducted for humanitarian reasons or to promote freedom and democracy or to help working Americans, but simply for profit. It is when a Democrat is in power, too, but people don't even notice. With a Republican they do.

And blessedly, because Hillary Clinton isn't president, thousands of innocent girls and boys, women and men, grandmothers and grandfathers, won't be getting blown into little pieces in order to save a rotten, corrupt, rigged and declining US-based global Capitalist system while millions of Americans sit on their asses not caring one single bit.

This painting is one of those paintings I see once in a great while that just gives me that peaceful, easy feeling simply because of the way the components are arranged; the effect the color/shape/light/dark balance has on my psyche is a calming one, you might say.

It's by Ivan Bilibin, a Russian illustrator of fairly tales who was also at various times a stage designer and drawer of revolutionary cartoons and who was one of hundreds of thousands of people who starved to death during the German army's 1942 siege of Leningrad.


  1. I think it's fine that many thousands of people are energized and pouring into America's streets, public squares, and town hall meetings to confront Trump and his evil minions. Some are carrying great signs and placards.

    But where were they when Obama was incinerating children in the Middle East or when he stood by silently as our "ally" Israel reduced Gaza to rubble? Where were they when Obama was deporting thousands of desperate people, including many who were fleeing the horror show that Hillary Clinton helped create in Honduras?

    I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised. The mainstream corporate media have been shaping American public opinion since before World War I, mostly in lock step with whatever administration held office at the time. Only now, since Donald Trump has broken the sacred bond between the Oval Office and the White House Press Corps, have these media people stopped being a willing propaganda channel for the President.

    Other Presidents have had uneasy relationships with the media too, but they were basically on the same page most of the time. Nowadays, not so much. I'm not saying that all of this apparent sea change is because of the President's poor relationship with mainstream news organizations, but I think that's a significant part of it.

  2. Also, I like the Ivan Bilibin painting. A lot of good work was produced by him and other Soviet painters over those years, and not all of it was Socialist Realism.