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Trump's Critics Are Even More Dangerous Than He Is
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Edward Luce of the Financial Times recently tweeted one of the most overheated sentences ever uttered in the world of politics: “I’ve covered extremism and violent ideologies around the world over my career. Have never come across a political force more nihilistic, dangerous & contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close.” Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, added, “I agree.” These opinions, and the fact that they are quoted approvingly by Margaret Sullivan in her final column as a media writer for The Washington Post, indicate that Trump Derangement Syndrome is raging at a 106-degree fever pitch among Democratic elites.

Luce’s remark is pure madness. No one will out-disdain me when it comes to the GOP, but only a lunatic would argue they’re more “nihilistic, dangerous and contemptible” than the Khmer Rouge, the Rwandan Hutu-led government of Theoneste Bagosora, al-Qaida, ISIS or Saudi Arabia. It’s depressingly revealing to watch that someone who so clearly ought to and probably does know better like Sullivan, who earned praise for her courageous run as ombudsman at The New York Times, regurgitate such ahistorical nonsense and turn to a man like Hayden — who for years presided over the exquisitely illegal effort to collect and store every communication between every individual and organization on Earth — for his opinions on democracy.

(Disclosure: After some initially promising email exchanges about the possibility that she and the Post might look into The Los Angeles Times’ decision to fire and smear me as a favor to the LAPD, Sullivan ghosted me.)

There is nothing wrong with sounding the alarm about Donald Trump. But democratic institutions face a far bigger threat than the former and possibly future president: the argument, repeated incessantly across multiple platforms by boldfaced media and political personalities, that Trump is especially dangerous, that he lied/lies more than other politicians, that his politics are exceptionally extreme — that he is somehow unique.

The standard argument, as Post columnist Jennifer Rubin put it in her 2017 screed, that “(Trump)is not a normal president,” invites the American public to buy into three assumptions:

  • Other presidents and politicians tell fewer lies — a lot fewer — than Trump.
  • Nothing was fundamentally wrong with the United States or its political system before Trump came along.
  • Get rid of Trump and everything will be fine.

Certainly, Trump and his presidency were unusual in some respects. He’s the only man to have won the White House without having held political office or served in the military. He eschewed prepared speeches. His campaign ran on a shoestring budget without a national organization. He expressed the willingness to talk to enemies and adversaries without preconditions. He continued to hold campaign rallies during his presidency. But the media hype is a lie. In the ways that matter most in a presidency — policy and tone — Trump was/is anything but anomalous.

Yes, Trump refused to concede the 2020 election. George W. Bush refused to concede the 2000 election.

Trump’s goons resorted to violence to try to overturn an election. So did Bush’s.

Trump tried to steal an election. Bush succeeded.

Trump wallowed in racist dog whistles. So did Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Trump’s cabinet was full of underqualified nuts. So was Reagan’s and Bush’s.

The first step is admitting that you have a problem. American democracy has big problems. But neither the media nor the political class nor the voters are willing to acknowledge them, so there’s no chance we’ll fix them.


Not only are we in denial about the systematic flaws baked into our political system — two parties that conspire to keep smaller parties off the ballot, the inherently corrupting influence of capitalism on democracy, the electoral college and the revolving door between business, media and politics — we’re deluding ourselves into believing that Trump is the problem.

Trump isn’t the problem. He’s a symptom.

The duopoly gave us Trump when the Democratic National Convention kneecapped his strongest Democratic primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, in favor of Hillary Clinton. The cult of money convinced voters that his wealth qualified him for office. The electoral college gave him the White House even though he got fewer votes.

Those who obsess over Trump are far more dangerous than he is. Trump is old and fat and, before long, will no longer be with us. The issues we’re ignoring while we’re distracted by Trump will afflict us for years to come.

As will the idiots who won’t shut up about Trump.

Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Democratic Party, Donald Trump 
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  1. bwuce wee says:

    this op-ed is so full of crap, i do not think it should have ever seen the light of day. look for it to disappear.

    • Agree: Verymuchalive
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
  2. Zimriel says:

    Nah, this one has merit. Note that it doesn’t accuse Bush II of racist dog whistling (Bush II was an awful President but his Administration was antiracist). The only issue is that it doesn’t hold Democratic Administrations to account but, this IS directed at a Democrat audience.
    It just reads strangely to Unz because Unz mostly caters to the Trump audience which is Republican… now. (Trump was a Democrat in the 1980s and then went Reform.)

  3. Trump won the election by a sizable margin. Tell me you don’t know anything about the Philadelphia magical ballot discovery. Tell me you don’t know anything about, uh, “mail-in” ballots. Christ. It isn’t even debatable.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  4. anonymous[702] • Disclaimer says:

    Ted Rall is slowly following in the footsteps of another boomer formerly Democratic Party columnist, James Howard Kunstler

    Kunstler voted for Obama twice, and for six years of Obama’s presidency waited for Barack to fulfil his campaign promises and reform America … Kunstler then began the slow process of realising that Obama and America’s establishment political ‘left’ were all a fraud

    Kunstler began to critique topics like the manipulated ‘racial reckoning’ and above all the Trump Derangement Syndrome after Trump won in 2016 … Kunstler, lifelong Democrat of the old school, finally began to denounce the US Democratic Party and all its works as the ‘party of chaos’

    Ted Rall is progressing along that same route, and may soon have the epiphany that the social populist right wing, is actually a lot more genuinely policy-‘socialist’ and compassionate than those stupid race-baiting, child-body-maiming, oligarch-serving US Democrats

    • Agree: RoatanBill
  5. Bro43rd says:

    Ted rails against the duopoly all the while engaging in unabashed partisianship. What a phoney. He is like a broken watch, occasionally correct. And for the record Ted, it’s not capitalism, it’s cronyism.

  6. Trump gave us “Operation Warp Speed”. Whoever supports him supports that.

    • Replies: @botazefa
    , @Curmudgeon
  7. botazefa says:
    @Jim Richard

    Trump gave us “Operation Warp Speed”. Whoever supports him supports that

    I predicted long ago that once people started to realize the ‘vaccines’ were failures, they’d blame Trump.

    Thursday night’s 8/25/2022 Tucker Carlson spent a lot of time on this.

    So, to be clear, last week the DNC started campaigning on Trump’s vaccine failure. And here we are, chatting about it.

    • Agree: bwuce wee
  8. “The Los Angeles Times’ decision to fire and smear me as a favor to the LAPD”

    That sounds interesting. Ted, please give us a link to the deets.

  9. More insults predominately aimed at whites; seems they are trying to cause social division, in the form of “Divide and Conquer” etc.

    With the UN Agenda and The Great Reset in play, the US due to the number of guns is realistically the only Country that can stop these globalist parasites from taking over – DO NOT LET THEM DIVIDE YOU …. and whilst you may not like me saying this, Trump is one of them (elitist and globalist) – just another puppet having his strings pulled.

    • Replies: @Josh Acid
  10. @Jim Richard

    “Operation Warp Speed” was about development and supplying, not mandating their use. Lay that one on Sleepy Joe.

    • Agree: bwuce wee
  11. Thrallman says:

    The monopoly media have the power to declare whether an opinion is mainstream or extreme.

    The internet was supposed to be a crack in the monopoly power of the broadcasters that would allow alternative writers to reach an audience. Instead, social media allowed corporations to intrude into private discussions.

    Censorship has been extended from publishing and broadcasting to conversation among friends. Medieval tyrants could only dream of such power. Trump-derangement cases have no idea how absurd they are because they never hear an opposite argument. Contrary ideas cannot penetrate their bubble.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Harry Huntington
  12. Legba says:

    The thing that strikes me is that Trump was a media darling up until the moment he ran for president. Then we had a ‘We’re at war with Eurasia. We’ve always been at war with Eurasia’ moment and he became a vile racist. It happened literally overnight but I’ve never heard it discussed

  13. @Thrallman

    Since the advent of the printing press the goal of the ruling class has been to put the communication genie back in the bottle. The invention of the steam rotary press in the 19th made cheap mass publication a reality and fueled 19th century social movements. Other innovations like ditto and mimeo machines allowed small groups to publish anonymously newsletters and pamphlets in the 20th century and even fueled the soviet unions samizdat press.

    The move to the radio spectrum in the 20th century first gave us analog audio communication, or radio programing. That let minority out of power groups like the Nazis and Hitler come to power. Hitler was a master on the radio. It also let master idiots like Churchill persuade an empire to kill itself. The next move was into audio and visual electronic messages. Bandwidth was tight, So in the US we got a few TV networks. That let us get Nixon and Checkers, the Kennedy Nixon debates, and 20 years of excellent prime time TV on 3 networks. Only 3 networks created a shared community. Fancy modern printing gave us cheap newspapers and books. The public was well read and had a shared vocabulary. Electronic communication moved on and now we have the internet. We have broadened the available spectrum and made it digital so we communicate by computer. The “promise” was unlimited information. Instead we see the death of information,

    Large college libraries are moving books to warehouses (or burying them, not burning them). The internet is killing off knowledge at an amazing rate. Thought experiment. Google “climate change”. Go through the pages until you reach page 21 of your search results. Over 2 billion search hits vanish.

    And communication is now channeled through private media which is censored. Newspapers are dying. TV is dying, Shared communication is dead (no more network TV), We are returning to pre-printing press feudal communication but worse. Everything you share can (and is) tracked.

    As we move on, Microsoft will be able to stop you from writing by delicensing your internet based software and killing off Outlook. Google will do the same if you use their cloud based writing tools.

    The future is debt peonage.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  14. SafeNow says:

    The issues we’re ignoring while we’re distracted by Trump will afflict us for years to come.

    (I assume that Ted Rall uses “issues” in its modern, and vogue sense, i.e., definite problems.)

    The implication of “for years to come” is that the maladies will be dealt with, yay, but golly, the process will take years. I believe that there will be no reversal. Too late. Turning point. Graham Greene said that every man’s life has a turning point; a point of no return. I believe that this also applies to societies. Greene added that most men do not recognize it at the time. Ted Rall does not recognize it, or he does but he will not say it.

  15. northeast says:

    Trump, who is a best a mild pro-American populist has driven the left insane! If Trump was of greater intellect, and more passion, especially on immigration, he would have had these people throwing themselves from buildings.

    • Thanks: HammerJack
  16. @bwuce wee

    Rall pontificates.

    “Trump’s Critics Are Even More Dangerous Than He Is”

    But Rall is one of Trump’s critics, so he’s saying he’s more dangerous than Trump. He is criticising himself, but is completely unaware of this fatal contradiction in his argument and proceeds to write another 800 words .
    Full of crap ? No. A complete tissue of bullsh*t.

  17. If Trump was half the threat to “our democracy” he is made out to be, wouldn’t he still be POTUS? Or are we getting some more of that famous 4-D chess?

  18. Trump’s Critics Are Even More Dangerous Than He Is

    You are half way there Ted. Trump is not dangerous. The WEF is dangerous.

  19. only a lunatic would argue they’re more “nihilistic, dangerous and contemptible” than the Khmer Rouge, the Rwandan Hutu-led government of Theoneste Bagosora, al-Qaida, ISIS or Saudi Arabia.

    Missing from the list is the entirety of the Biden Regime.

  20. @Harry Huntington

    James Corbett has a great couple of pieces on this. And where we go next.

    From the Renaissance to the Reformation, from the fall of feudalism to the rise of capitalism, from the Scientific Revolution to the Industrial Revolution, from the way we order our thoughts to what we choose to think about, nothing survived the printing revolution intact. Our world is the world that the printing press has created.

  21. Josh Acid says:
    @Bob - Enough

    I don’t understand why Ted Rall doesn’t address the Great Reset. I don’t mind people who lean liberal or socialist, but look at the agenda out there, and realize you have to change course a little. The Trump obsession needs to stop.

    • Agree: Bob - Enough
    • Replies: @Bob - Enough
  22. @Josh Acid

    Have a look at this –

    The Great Reset is one thing, but it works hand in hand with the UN Agenda 30 = which contain depopulation, that we are already seeing through both deaths and dropping fertility rates.

  23. ruralguy says:

    The Left is projecting. Pew Research found 56%/34% of young liberal white women/men have been diagnosed with a mental condition. The same study found 27%/16% of young conservative white women/men have been diagnosed with a mental condition.

    Effectively, we are being ruled by mentally ill liberals dominating social media, schools, and corporations.

  24. Slavs gave us pigs’ feet and heads embalmed in their own glycerin.
    If you stand with Ukraine you stand with head cheese.

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