Trump-mania has gripped not only the U.S. but also the world as a whole.
However I’m inclined to focus my attention on something specific that was formed long before Trump’s 100 days in office.
Yes, it does involve the most obvious and ubiquitous of narratives that have underpinned his campaign from the day it begun, racism and nationalism.
I regularly hear various organisations and media outlets strongly emphasise that Trump’s presidency is filled with virile racists such as Breitbart co-founder Steve Bannon and Trump’s special advisor Steve Miller, who served as an assistant to current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who himself has a chequered past in expressing racially charged commentary as a former Attorney General for the state of Alabama.
But my question is this, how more racially constituted is the Republican Trump Administration than George W. Bush Jr’s one, particularly when we know that ‘Team Bush Jr’ was laden with shadowy and sinister characters from a neoconservative right-wing think-tank which was then called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)?
Some of their transparently known objectives of the time were; “rebuilding America’s defences” to “promote American global leadership” and to help “build a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity”….all of which were pretty much achieved post 9th of September 2001.
So, I guess we could say that individuals such as William Kristol; the co-founder of the think-tank who was a frequent contributor on the ultra-right leaning Fox News Network was of major influence to the Bush administration, as well as the likes of former Defence Secretary Don Rumsfeld, former Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz and the former Defence Department Chairman of policy Richard Perle, who was known by the most intriguing of sobriquets ‘the prince of darkness’, who were all cosignatory members of the PNAC.
In my opinion it appears as though a magic wand has been waved over an unsuspecting mass, of which its trajectory has gone far beyond any wizardry that even David Copperfield could conjure. Many today seem to have forgotten FEMA’s slothfulness around Hurricane Katrina, the impact of the patriot act which consequently compromised one’s civil liberties as well as the ‘axis of evil’ mantle….all contrived under the 43rdpresidency, and most today attribute far more nefariousness to Trump’s administration in comparison to the erstwhile presidency, as though the latter were far less nationalistic, imperialistic or racist in their actions?
It’s interesting that the 19th century cartoonist Thomas Nast conceptualised the renowned Republican party symbol of the elephant, an animal famous for its graceful dominance and power in the jungle by not only using its giant snout, or hoofs to trump (pardon the pun) its enemies to death, but by also displaying its supremacy by using its tusks to gore, or toss them to oblivion.
I believe that most of us who are passionate would use symbolism of this nature to define our lofty interests or endeavours, and it seems as though Nast is no exception in this instance.
But what we can derive from Nast’s assignation is that the powerful elephant tusks, regardless of which way to the left or right it sways, can deliver significant damage or even death to its victim.
I suppose the lesson here is not to underestimate the power of ‘The Elephant’, the beast is ALWAYS dangerous nonetheless!