Donald Trump was Never the Real Problem

As I write this I await, like everyone else on planet earth, the results of this spectacle called the US elections. I await the outcome of a sham that empires throughout history have foisted on their subjects. The illusion of choice. I also await the inevitable contention. I await the speculation that will likely stretch on for weeks or more. I await the unhinged machinations and chaos making from the sitting president, as well as his unbridled fascist putsch, an expected act born in desperation from a sociopathic narcissistic megalomaniac.

But let’s be frank, Donald Trump was never the real problem, he was and is the rancid product of a centuries long experiment in racist colonial settler imperialism, first born on the continent, then later exported to the entire world. It started when European settlers set foot on this occupied “New World” and declared it their own, Native peoples be damned.


Trump’s penchant for detached, sadistic cruelty is what has always lain under the surface of American “exceptionalism.” This is the same cruelty that spawned Indigenous genocide, the African slave trade, lynching, Jim Crow, and a nation that put its citizens in concentration camps, normalized the nuking of civilians (the only nation on earth to ever do so), carpet bombed South Asian villages and doused their children with napalm and Agent Orange. The same one that trained death squads in Central America and Indonesia. The same one that assassinated Lumumba and ousted democratically elected presidents like Allende and Mossadegh. The same one that allowed for the decimation of Iraq and an entire region based on lies, that tortured children and their parents in the dank cellars of Abu Ghraib, that drone bombed a grandmother picking okra in her field. The same one that turned Libya, once Africa’s wealthiest nation, into a center for the modern slave trade. The same one that has bestowed tanks to its police, trophies of its bloody forays in the global south, now destined to crush its own people. The same one that locked up an entire generation of Black and Brown kids for the possession of a plant or because they injected something into their impoverished arms to alleviate the agony of living in a hellscape of hopelessness.

The US just experienced its biggest voter turnout in 150 years, yet it did not produce the so-called “blue wave” so many liberals were hoping for. Trump, the festering pile of orange dung that has haunted the Oval Office for the last four years, should have been crushed in any election in a free and equal society. Yet, nearly half of those who voted chose that proto-fascist dung heap, the one who ripped children from the arms of their parents and put them in cages as they sobbed uncontrollably. The same one who has openly encouraged violence from his more extremist fanbase. The one who said neo-Nazis were “very fine people.” The one who commanded racist terrorists to “stand back and stand by.” The one who has mocked healthcare professionals and science while a fully preventable pandemic surges across the country. The “grab em by the pussy” chauvinist who has been accused of sexual assault by at least 26 women. The one so many evangelicals sickeningly fawn over as if he were the American version of the biblical King David. The one who has consistently demonized the press as well as anti-racist and anti-fascist activists.

Why? How can this be possible? Because white America, liberal and conservative alike, has for too long been drunk on its own hubris, willfully blind to the misery it has inflicted through apathy or deliberate policy. It has been continually hand fed the lie of its supposed greatness from CIA/Hollywood propagandists for decades. It has continually been hand fed the lie of the “free market,” ridiculing socialists and anarchists, while millions languish in shanty towns outside of cities like Los Angeles or in capitalism’s industrial cancer alleys. And its dissidents, of whom there have been many, have been repeatedly chided, silenced or ruthlessly punished for daring to expose the lies for what they are. One sits in a gulag in Britain awaiting his fate at this very moment. America is, in fact, an empire in a state of steep decline on a planet ever besieged by war mongering, ecocidal psychopaths, far more interested in accumulating coin than even the lives of their own children and grandchildren.

Joe Biden, a lingering ghoul of America’s past racist and genocidal forays, was peddled to the country as the only viable alternative to a proto-fascist. A man whose groping hands have unwelcomingly caressed more buttocks than can be counted. Who proudly cavorted with segregationists, authored a crime bill that sent impoverished Black and Brown kids packing to prison, championed a war based on lies that took hundreds of thousands of lives, if not more. Who continues to defend apartheid in the Middle-East and military juntas in Central America. Who still lauds fracking amidst a climate melt down. And who refuses to consider anything close to universal healthcare in the midst of a pandemic. This was the alternative. And yet so many liberals still incredulously wonder why he didn’t garner much enthusiasm.

Regardless of the outcome, it should be clear that the US is a failed state. While most of its people are decent and willing to engage with a world far bigger than its borders, a sizeable chunk of its constituency has demonstrated it is not. A sizeable chunk has embraced fascism, even if they are unable to define such a term. This is a fact that must be stated plain. And its belligerent government’s disregard for facts or even a modicum of decency, cooperation, compassion or conscience has been revealed to every inhabitant on the planet, and in very stark terms. It cannot, and should not, ever be trusted. In fact, its dissolution is the only hope we have for a livable future on earth.


Kenn Orphan November 2020

16 thoughts on “Donald Trump was Never the Real Problem

  1. josephmdunford

    Interesting, and spot on!
    However in this sentence: “Trump’s penchant for detached, sadistic cruelty is what has always lied under the surface of American “exceptionalism.” the correct word should be ‘lain’, not ‘lied’.
    Yours …


  2. Michael Tims

    Agree with Kenn’s assessment.
    Some see hard hitting truth telling as having a dark and unconstructive tone.
    However, truth telling is always the necessary, most positive requirement when searching for solutions to crises created intentionally. Telling the truth about sociopaths is a ray of sunshine.

    Congrats to Kenn for seeing the rot and not being overly focused on the awful smell of establishment corruption in the swamp of a billionaire bully baby.


  3. Peter Warner

    Perhaps lacking your clarity, I have been saying much the same for many years. I have little confidence about a consensus grasp and embrace of the reality you’ve cited — a necessary but insufficient foundation for bottom-up change. I have reached a point of believing that most people in the U. S. are truly blind (hat tip to Jose Saramago) about reality, and have utterly failed (as have I) to engage their values with every moment, insofar as their choices belie their faith in those values. Those who might maintain their values, and even acknowledge the ugly truths about the United States of War, Genocide, and Injustice, will continue to wallow in this disgrace so long as we abet the true evil of our institutions and the false prophets who maintain them.


  4. Robert Moskowitz

    Sorry you feel that dissolving the U.S. is the only way forward for humanity. I’m not sure that would be beneficial, however, as it would primarily allow the 2nd most powerful country on earth to ascend to world leadership, with no guarantees that would be any better than U.S. leadership.

    To me, a better plan would be to have the good guys take over leadership of the U.S., which we would have done if Bernie or anyone better than Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden had been allowed on the ballot to oppose the trumpster.

    Having sensible, empathic, intelligent, honest, well-meaning leadership over the U.S. would allow this country massive influence to be turned to the good side, rather than the dark side (as it is now).


  5. Chris Miller

    Thank you, exactly so. In post-imperial UK the tory fantasists are in charge, with predictable results as their actions diverge ever further from reality, guided only by personal and class greed.


  6. prodrei

    There must be some mind to positive construction even as the old pattern is actively dissolved, whatever form is made from such energetics. I’m objectively hopeful that such psychodynamics are possible!


  7. ricardo2000

    H.L. Mencken: “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”
    H.L. Mencken: ‘Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.’
    These quotes are all over 100 years old.
    US citizens have been lying to themselves for decades, if not centuries, the logical conclusion had them electing a proudly ignorant, bare-faced liar as President. The world can no longer pretend US citizens know anything about the world, their own best interests, or the best interests of their longest allies and best friends. US citizens have put the world through 3 great recessions in 20 years, destroying decades of lower and middle class wealth. US citizens can’t be expected to defend democracy, expand human rights, maintain an incorruptible rule of ‘law’, or manage the most important part of world’s economy.

    Trump is among the last acts of the US Imperium because:

    imperial decline progresses by supplanting genuine leadership and public participation with a courtier class responsible only to oligarchs;
    US leadership and citizens can’t tell trusted friend from odious enemy as the enemy looks and acts so much like the US;
    an immense military is incapable of winning the smallest wars, or even retaining the allegiance of its junior officers;
    praetorian guards are created loyal only to money and cruelty (BORTAC – US Marshals);
    the economy is used like a casino to enrich the unworthy;
    children are used to punish immigrant families fleeing US imperial savagery in their own countries;
    the most recent generations are the worst educated since 1776 as science, schools, libraries, an independent press, and dissenting voices are crushed by corporate design;
    resurgent bigotry is aided by brutally stupid police and a corrupt justice system;
    ruthless violence is blessed by empty prayers and Hollywood blockbusters;
    smug indifference is widespread for anything that doesn’t touch their own families, or their favourite sport;
    vast numbers of citizens parade their ignorance around like they have just married a supermodel.

    These are all signs of a society about to collapse with only a minor environmental disaster needed to start the landslide, out of the ecosystem armageddon certain to come. This article is an impressive summary of some social ills Trump displays: Andrew Bacevich:

    Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

    George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796: “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”


  8. Catana

    What I haven’t been able to stop thinking about all day, is that regardless of who findally sits in the oval office for the next four years, the electoral map is mainly red. Nothing is more indicative of the deep split in this nation.


  9. Pingback: Donald Trump was Never the Real Problem, by Kenn Orphan – Dandelion Salad

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