Donald Trump faced his accusers yesterday and did so with a degree of seriousness that has been rare during his time in politics. He was somber and serious throughout the legal portion of the show. Presumably he had agreed in advance to not say anything to the public while in New York. When he returned to his villa in Florida he gave a very serious speech to the assembled supporters, which was a blend of sadness and a serious response to the day’s events.
The striking thing about the speech at his villa was that is actually captured the mood of the country at the moment, at least the mood of heritage America. There was a funerial vibe to the event. Opening with the old Lee Greenwood song was a reminder of how things used to be, but also of how they will never be again. That song was for a people who loved and respected their country, but that country no longer exists, so the song sounds increasingly ridiculous.
Yesterday, the door was finally closed on the America that created the people who signed onto the MAGA movement and voted for Donald Trump. In their America, you fight things out in the court of public opinion, shake hands and leave it to the voters to decide who won. In whatever the new rulers plan to call whatever it is they think they are creating, those with power crush those without power. There is no longer a place for the spirited civic nationalism of Donald Trump.
Another striking feature of the event was that most people looking on from their couch wanted to hear a beer hall speech, not a boardroom speech. In private conversations people are slowly shifting from talk about how to fix things to talk about how to get revenge on the people who smashed things. Maybe it is the usual suspects laughing about a tranny slaughtering innocents children. Maybe it is the persecution of Trump, but the mood if shifting among the Dirt People.
The trouble is there is no one capable of giving the beer hall speech. Even if such a person is around to do it, the people in charge are regularly warning that they will crush anyone who dares give such a speech. The crooked judge assigned to the Trump case promised to strip Trump of his right to speak in public if he incited violence, which in this age means speaking out against the regime. The regime is populated with stupid people, but they are also paranoid.
Of course, the question that lies at the heart of it all, the question that haunts the anger and sadness of heritage America, is how did it get to this? Honest people, willing to think clearly about things, understand that in the America they thought was real, there is no need for a Donald Trump. There is no need to fire a warning shot at the rulers, because there are no rulers, just politicians seeking approval. They do not need to be warned by the voters like this.
It is the age-old question. How is it that something that seems to work, something that everyone seems to support, go from what it is supposed to be to something that no one wanted or demanded? When Caesar prepared to march on Rome, he no doubt wondered how it reached that point. As Trump prepared to surrender himself, he posted on his site that he could not believe they were going through with it. He was no doubt wondering how it all went so wrong.
The demise of old America was written in the soul of it when the American empire was formed in the beginning of the last century. In “The Devil and Daniel Webster”, a short story written in the 1930’s, a farmer named Jabez Stone, from Cross Corners, New Hampshire, offers up his soul for seven years of prosperity. When the Devil arrives to collect his soul, Stone hires a lawyer named Webster to defend him. Webster is able to convince a jury picked by the Devil to rule for his client.
The story is primarily about patriotism, but a peculiar form of patriotism that was sold to Americans at the time. Unlike the nationalism of the Old World, American patriotism was devotion to a set of ideas. The reason Webster was able to out lawyer the Devil was he explained what it meant to be an American to the jury and they agreed that America would always have a greater claim to an American’s soul than even the Devil holding a properly executed contract.
For generations Americans have been taught to accept this naïve and foolish belief that trust in the rules is enough to keep even the Devil in line. As long as we believe the words on the paper, everything falls into place. The result is one devil after another taking up residence in the system. Look around the high ground of America and it is impossible to find anyone who abides by the rules. They exercise their power for their own advantage, regardless of the rules.
When you invite the Devil into the garden, even a civic nationalist paradise like 20th century America will eventually succumb to temptation. Unlike the short story from the beginning of this tragedy, there is no talking our way out of it. The Devil always gets his due and for the civic nationalists, that means the conquest of their paradise by the people with whom they made the unholy bargain at the start. There will be no talking these devils out of their due.
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