So it appears America and democracy have miraculously survived the dreaded Trump-Putin summit … or Trump’s meeting with his Russian handler, as the neoliberal ruling classes and their mouthpieces in the corporate media would dearly like us all to believe. NATO has not been summarily dissolved. Poland has not been invaded by Russia. The offices of The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC have not been stormed by squads of jackbooted Trumpian Gestapo. The Destabilization of the Middle East, the Privatization of Virtually Everything, the Conversion of the Planet into One Big Shopping Mall, and other global capitalist projects are all going forward uninterrupted. Apart from Trump making a narcissistic, word-salad-babbling jackass of himself, which he does on a more or less daily basis, nothing particularly apocalyptic happened.
And so, once again, Western liberals, and others obsessed with Donald Trump, having been teased into a painfully tumescent paroxysm of anticipation of some unimaginably horrible event that would finally lead to Trump’s impeachment (or his removal from office by other means) were left standing around with their hysteria in their hands. It has become a sadistic ritual at this point … like a twisted, pseudo-Tantric exercise where the media get liberals all lathered up over whatever fresh horror Trump has just perpetrated (or some non-story story they have invented out of whole cloth), build the tension for several days, until liberals are moaning and begging for impeachment, or a full-blown CIA-sponsored coup, then pull out abruptly and leave the poor bastards writhing in agony until the next time … which is pretty much exactly what just happened.
In the days and weeks leading up to the summit, the global capitalist ruling class Resistance deployed every weapon in its mighty arsenal to whip the Western masses up into a frenzy of anti-Putin-Nazi fervor. While continuing to flog the wildly popular baby concentration camp story (because the Hitler stimulus never fails to elicit a Pavlovian response from Americans, regardless of how often or how blatantly you use it), the corporate media began hammering hard on the “Trump is a Russian Agent” hysteria. (Normally, the corporate media alternates between the Hitler hysteria and the Russia hysteria so as not to completely short-circuit the already scrambled brains of Western liberals, but given the imminent threat of a peace deal, they needed to go the whole hog this time and paint this summit as a secret, internationally televised assignation between Hitler and … well, Hitler).
In order to render them even more repugnant in the eyes of Western liberals (as if being two Hitlers wasn’t repugnant enough), The New York Times produced this short porno graphically depicting Trump and Putin as insatiably horny homosexual lovers. A fusillade of apocalyptic op-eds followed, the most shamelessly paranoid and hysterical of which was Roger Cohen’s experimental dystopia, in which “The Alliance of Authoritarian and Reactionary States” trick the inherently fascist Europeans into launching a Second Holocaust with a “fake news” story about Moroccan migrants abducting poor little “Tatiana” from a beach resort in Fuengirola.
While faithful New York Times-reading liberals were still struggling to regain control of their sphincters and doubling up on their alprazolam prescriptions in a desperate attempt to banish these visions of the coming butch-gay Putin-Nazi Reich, go-to propagandist, Jonathan Chait, who has obviously been watching way too much Homeland, published this paranoid spec-fic novella (complete with a “Carrie is off her meds” flow chart) about how Trump has probably been “a Russian intelligence asset” since 1987. At the same time, MSNBC’s Malcolm Nance took to Twitter to denounce Glenn Greenwald as a treasonous “agent of Trump and Moscow” for physically traveling to a conference in Russia and speaking with several Russian people. Nance, who usually just makes things up, was actually telling the truth this time. Greenwald really did visit Russia, and was selfied in the company of Edward Snowden, on top of which he’s totally gay, and God knows what kind of Commie orgies go on in the Kremlin dungeon!
And the neoliberal “Resistance” was just getting started. As Trump was arriving at Stansted Airport to begin his “destruction of British diplomacy” (and possibly poison the Queen with more of that Novichok oatmeal that has been plaguing the UK), The Guardian‘s Owen Jones was personally preparing cells of the “London Resistance” for “the biggest demonstration in British history,” or “the biggest weekday protest in British history,” or a very large protest in any event. The London Resistance’s secret weapon was the baby Russian Agent Hitler blimp, which forced Trump and his Nazi goons to retreat to one of his Scottish golf resorts, but not before humiliating America, and horrifying The Washington Post, by failing to grovel before the British monarch. Still, the point is, London was saved. The forces of hatred, bigotry, and Russianness were roundly defeated by the forces of love, and goodness, and democracy, and tolerance, and whatever. If only the French had been willing to deploy a baby Hitler blimp in 1940 … or had been able to unite the corporate media, the intelligence agencies, the capitalist ruling classes, and thousands of virtue-signaling liberals to disapprove of the original Hitler!
But that wasn’t all … oh no, far from it. No, the weeks of white-eyed editorials warning us of the dangers of peace, the neo-McCarthyite smear campaigns, the virtue-signaling Stop Trump protests, all that was just an extended edition of Orwell’s famous Two Minutes Hate, designed to generate mass hysteria and paranoia in the run-up to the summit. By Friday, the Intelligence Community was issuing warnings of imminent Russian “attempts to undermine America” with September 11 scale “cyber attacks!” National Intelligence Director Dan Coats personally told the AssociatedPress that the little “Imminent Russia Attack” lights he has on his desk were all “blinking red.” Apparently, Trump and the Putin-Nazis are preparing “a crippling cyber attack” against “critical US infrastructure,” like “a power outage in New England in January,” or even “a cyber attack on banks” that will erase Americans’ entire life savings but somehow spare all the Russian accounts, or at least another devastating round of division-sowing Facebook ads!
Then, just in time for the corporate media to milk it throughout the weekend, special counsel Robert Mueller, III released a 29-page indictment accusing a bunch of Russian spies of, well, basically, being Russian spies. The indictment alleges that these Russian spies destroyed the campaign of Hillary Clinton, who everyone knows is supposed to be President, by “hacking” the Democratic Party’s servers and stealing and disseminating emails revealing both Clinton and the Democratic Party to be the soulless neoliberal hypocrites most people already knew they were. The indictment of these Russian intelligence officers (and no Americans, nor any other parties who can ever actually be brought to trial, requiring special counsel Mueller to offer evidence to support his allegations) was followed up by a chorus of voices demanding that the summit be cancelled and that Trump slink home in complete disgrace to confess his crimes to a vindicated nation, and then presumably fire his entire administration, resign, and appoint Hillary Clinton President.
Sometime early Sunday morning, after hours of careful deliberation over cheeseburgers and sodas on Air Force One with the Gorilla Channel streaming on his smartphone for ambiance, Trump decided to go ahead with the summit. This left the Resistance no other choice than to turn up the dial on the manufactured hysteria by repeating the words “treason,” “treasonous,” and “traitor” as many times as humanly possible on every news site, television channel, and social media platform in existence, and just generally running around like lunatics shrieking about an “IMMINENT RUSSIAN ATTACK!”
On the morning of the summit, Charles M. Blow, maestro of alliteration and subtlety, in The New York Times (which, we must remember, holds itself to the highest journalistic standards and in no way resembles a rabble-rousing tabloid), published this impassioned piece entitled “Trump, Treasonous Traitor,” accusing the President of “betraying the nation,” and basically demanding that he be tried for treason. “America is under attack,” Blow announces, “and its president absolutely refuses to defend it.” If Mother Jones‘ David Corn has his way, Senator Rand Paul, who Corn denounces as “a traitor,” would also be taken outside and shot for the crime of noting that the Attack on America® Russia allegedly perpetrated is fairly standard clandestine behavior, engaged in by most developed nations, including the United States of America, whose history of election interference, coup-fomenting, assassinations, and other, more hamfisted forms of regime change is common knowledge, or at least it was, until the ruling classes and the corporate media turned the majority of Western liberals into paranoid McCarthyite fanatics denouncing anyone who questions the honesty of the US Intelligence Community as a “traitor,” and seeing Russians and Nazis coming out of the woodwork.
In the wake of Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit, which Garry Kasparov has called “the darkest hour in the history of the American presidency” (darker than Truman dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki!), the neoliberal establishment and the corporate media appear to have gone full Joe McCarthy. Virtually every establishment mouthpiece, former spook, official state clown, from Thomas Friedman to Stephen Colbert, have been braying about “treason” and “traitorousness,” and suggesting that Donald Trump be removed from office by, you know, whatever means necessary. At least David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantichad the balls to openly call for a CIA-orchestrated military coup, because we can’t afford to wait for the legal process to take its course this time, as we are “facing a national security emergency!”
God knows where we go from here. It’s hard to believe the ruling classes can keep teasing liberals, and other Trump-obsessives, over and over and over like this, without eventually impeaching or shooting the guy … but then again, maybe they can. Perhaps they intend to continue conducting this experiment all the way up to 2020, just to see how paranoid and mindlessly conformist they make the majority of the Western public. In any event, if they decide not to impeach him, and then try him for treason, or just kill him, or whatever, the Democrats at least have a new campaign slogan that they can use in 2018 and beyond … “NEXT TIME VOTE FOR WHO WE TELL YOU TO, YOU RUSSIA-LOVING NAZI SCUM!” It kind of has a ring to it, doesn’t it?
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.