Obsession and Trump’s derangement of the elites

Byron York’s Obsession: Inside the Washington Establishment’s Never-Ending War on Trump (2020) provides some insight into one of the most poisonous patterns in today’s cultural decay: the derangement of the elites, especially the broadcast performers who pretend to be journalists, by Donald Trump.

York’s book describes the long campaign of the Washington establishment – that includes politics, media, their oligarchical funders, the security and foreign policy institutions, and the parasitical institutions of commentary – to take revenge on Donald Trump for beating them at their own game – democratic politics. Not only that, he beat these dynasts and their professionals – this gang of the smartest guys in the room – as a first-timer. They could never forgive him for that.

Nor could the media forgive Trump for using them, rather than, as they falsely believed being used by their clever sock puppets. They had spent a year mocking his ridiculousness, and exposing their own blindness. They had signed up to the Democratic machinery to manipulate democracy, and had exposed themselves and the Clintons as hamfisted fools.

So, as Byron York recounts, the march to impeachment began. Indeed as more declassified documents reveal each day, the psyop counter-intelligence operation against a Trump Presidency was initiated by Clinton a week after he received the Republican nomination. That was when the Russian collusion hoax was begun, and it has continued ever since.

Byron York provides a compelling and well-sourced account of the saga of Trump impeachment. The campaign to impeach Trump began the night he was elected, and was incited all along by scions of the Democratic establishment, the security state and media and financial oligarchs. He recounts how Nancy Pelosi’s defensive disclosure in late 2019 that impeachment was not being rushed – no, it had been proceeding for two and a half years – revealed finally to Republicans that all the scandals, investigations and fact-checking nonsense were not the pursuit of truth and justice, but a conspiracy to get Trump and restore the establishment to power.

“Now , with the perspective of time, the Democratic effort to remove Trump, and the president’s struggle to defend himself, appear less a rushed impeachment than a long and agonizing political civil war: The presidential campaign and transition were a prelude, a time of growing tension; 2017 saw the formal start of the war, with the appointment of a special counsel, and a sense of hope – at least on the president’s side – that hostilities might be wrapped up quickly; 2018 was a stalemate, as each side, optimism gone, dug in for a long battle; 2019 saw what at first appeared to be the end of action – Mueller’s last stand – only to see the conflict flare up again in one more desperate Democratic attack as the 2020 elections approached.”

Byron York, Obsession

York’s book is as pacy and reliable an account of these troubling events as you are likely to get. Also worth reading is Lee Smith’s The Plot against the President, that has also now been made into a film. It is deeply disturbing that America’s institutions have been poisoned by anti-democratic operatives of oligarchs and the security state who appear determined to orchestrate a colour revolution. One can only hope that these operatives of the American Empire will fail and be exposed.

While York’s book implies an explanation of the revenge of the Washington power elite (they feared being displaced by a President who saw through them and was not owned by them), his book does not really give an explanation of the derangement of so many in the media and political commentary class (I refuse to call them intellectuals, they are not).

American readers of this blog may not appreciate how contagious this derangement is. Since 2016, the world indeed has experienced a pandemic of media and political commentary folly – a pandemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Media organisations around the world have excitedly, breathlessly and endlessly repeated every rushed fabrication about Trump and the RussiaGate hoax. They almost never report the resounding crescendo of facts that debunk their stories and expose their failure to meet basic standards of editorial judgement.

Take, for example, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Nightly it serves up biased reports from its American correspondents, who all seem to be auditioning for a gig on CNN and MSNBC. For a couple of years it published a podcast – “Russia if you’re listening” – that spewed out every fabrication about Russian collusion. As the house of cards fell – after the Mueller report – the program pivoted to telling porkies about Vladimir Putin. Now it pretends to provide a retrospective on the Trump Presidency. Yet it has never published a correction of any of the errors of its reporting. Nor has the ABC more generally ever corrected and apologised for its widespread and systemic misreporting of the Russian collusion hoax. All the revelations in declassified documents over the last six to twelve months go unreported. Truth and fairness never come out.

What explains this bizarre obsession? There appears to be some kind of cultural power in attacking Trump, but why does it release people of all balance and critical judgement? Is it the echo chamber of media organisations – the ultimate social media pile-on? Is it protecting institutions and beliefs? Is it a collective madness? Trump does appear to be an useful heretic in the culture even here in the antipodes where it matters no whit – mocking Trump is often an ice-breaker to many a conversation with colleagues or friends. There is strong social disapproval for even querying the facts of the many memes and claims that support these conversations. I simply do not understand it

It is the strangest obsession, and one that may require more invasive treatment, if as I expect, Joe Biden’s incapacity and shilly-shallying with anti-democratic forces undo his attempt to engineer a colour revolution in his own country at the end of 2020.

Image source: American Wire

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