The upcoming year should be interesting. The Establishment “Deep State” has won a major victory in the United States with the election of Joe Biden as president. What remains to be seen is whether or not there will be significant bloodletting as a consequence, revenge for the presumed misdeeds that constituted the core legacy of four years of Donald J. Trump as chief executive. Many in the Democratic Party harbor deep resentments that go back to the election of 2016, which spawned the myth that foreign interference by the Russians was responsible for the upset victory by the GOP candidate. Even at this distance, few if any Democrats are willing to admit that Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate whose condescension towards whole categories of voters ultimately inspired many “undecideds” to vote against her.
Indeed, Trump came closer to repeating his improbable victory in 2020 than anyone would have predicted and the stench of possible widespread fraud continues to hang over the result. Donald Trump entered office with a pledge to “drain the swamp,” something that he found more difficult to actually do rather than just talk about doing. The Democrats will surely now work hard to methodically eliminate all political appointees in the vast bureaucracy guilty of Trumpism.
That replacement of bureaucrats is referred to as the “spoils systems” and it is to be expected, but there is something more sinister in the works with leading Democrats and some journalists calling for heads to roll, metaphorically to be sure but with real impact on the lives of those who supported the losing side. The Washington Post’s resident Trump-hating Zionist Jennifer Rubin summed it up nicely in a tweet three days after the election, posting “Any R now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society. We have a list.”
And Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich has been even more explicit, tweeting a demand to create a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” The commission borrows the name and would be modeled on the organization set up in South Africa after the fall of the apartheid government and the establishment of majority black rule, an exercise in attempted democratization that has nevertheless failed to put an end to extremely high levels of corruption and communal violence in the country.
Reich’s objective is not limited to punishing the Trump White House’s top officials who may have promoted policies considered anathema by the incoming Democratic administration. He has also tweeted “When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.” The Reich proposal would potentially mean punishing thousands of otherwise innocent individuals who had little influence over what happened during the past four years. “Enabled” covers a lot of ground, and is prone to devolve into something like a witch hunt.
One Reich supporter wrote in defense of the proposal “As long as unresolved historic injustices continue to fester in the world, there will be a demand for truth commissions” and there have been numerous comments on social media sites like Facebook insisting that “something be done” about the “deplorables” who voted for and supported Trump. Interestingly, even though the comments constitute actual threats, Facebook has not deleted them, unlike the elimination of posts that run afoul of the censors by questioning the validity of the election or challenging conventional wisdom on COVID-19.
Another commenter on twitter agreed with Reich, though complaining “But it doesn’t go far enough, clearly. Trump’s assets and those of his voters should be seized by the state through legislation and distributed to those he’s harmed as reparations. Surely that’s the only way to heal our nation. Land of the free!” And finally, still another cheerleader enthused “Robert… you’re right. And after we win… we’ll come for you all… we’re pretty much over trying to share a country with you anyway. Four years ago I thought you were people with bad ideas. I was wrong: YOU’RE BAD PEOPLE.”
To be sure, Trump invited much of the hostile response to what he represents when he held rallies where supporters called out Hillary Clinton with chants of “Lock her up!” So the anger is there on both sides and momentum is building not just to replace or ignore Trump’s associates and his supporters, but to punish them for their alleged inability to comprehend the many benefits derived from Democratic Party rule. As no mechanism actually exists to enable the new regime to punish supporters of the previous administration, unless they have actually committed a crime, one suspects the process of purging the bureaucracy and voters rolls will pretty much be improvised while Biden and Harris get settled in.
Donald Trump also does not help either himself or the cause he represents. His insults and abusive language invite hostility, having his tweets turn allies into enemies and making friends of the “revolution” that he represents wish that he would just shut up. Current media reports suggesting that he might not vacate the White House on January 20th as he continues to be convinced that he won invite a nasty response from the Democrats. Ex-president Barack Obama has warned, possibly in jest, that Trump might need to be removed forcibly by Navy SEALS.
And, of course, violence could beget violence. If denigration of Trump supporters followed by a real purge does take place it will impact on the tens of millions of voters who still believe President Trump should have won re-election but for fraud. They are ready for a fight, and not necessarily limited to the metaphoric. As I said in the beginning, it could be an interesting year here in America.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is [email protected]