That was a hippie meme, back before there were memes, or the Internet, or cell phones, or personal computers. TDTSCD was a premonition of a future memory. When hippies were radical and Richard Nixon was president, fears abounded that he would cancel the 1972 elections and send everybody to camps. (Instead he cheated and won the election. For the second time.) I don’t think anybody really believed it, but it reflected the feeling that democracy did not rest on firm foundations.
Nixon went down hard, so things were not as bad as they appeared. Now we contemplate a new political apocalypse. Is it worse?
The speed with which the Administration’s combination of mendacity, malevolence and incompetence has manifested itself is daunting. The ease with which his spokespersons lie and evade responsibility transcends previous norms. We hear that court orders are being ignored or discounted as irrelevant. So far, the number of critical Republican Members of Congress could fit into a compact car. Please, don’t tell me you saw everything that’s been coming. You didn’t.
The day after New Year’s, I participated in an online debate with John Feffer at In These Times. The subject was whether Democrats in Congress should deal with Trump on an infrastructure bill. I took the affirmative side of the debate, on the dual grounds that jobs are still desperately needed, and rejection of a genuine proposal would wreck the Democrats politically. I also said that such dealmaking would be impossible if Trump poisoned the well with egregious attacks on immigrants and minorities. As it turns out, that’s where we are now, after just one week of his presidency. So the question of mass, full-spectrum non-cooperation comes to the fore.
I also put up a tweet to the effect that Trump wouldn’t last six months, that a banana peel is in his future. What has been magnified since the election is seemingly irrefutable evidence that the president is a deeply defective human being. I’m not talking about his crappy conservative policy nostrums. I’m talking about him as a person. The details need not be recapitulated. I believe the edifice of his political power is exceedingly fragile for this reason. If we keep pushing, it should be possible to send it tumbling to the ground. Any number of scenarios are conceivable in this most inconceivable political moment.
You’ve all heard the idea of the ‘wisdom of crowds.’ Information possessed piecemeal by individuals congeals in the social realm and works its will. The social realm in this case includes the outraged public, mobilizing civil society, disturbed elites in academia, politics, business, and national security. I make no claim to know exactly what will happen. I only know this: Trump is going down. It will be time to think about President Pence.