We’ve spent the last 4 years on the butt-end of Trump Derangement syndrome, a very real psychological phenomenon affecting millions of people worldwide, not just Americans. They’ve been conditioned to vacillate and quiver by a constant stream of emotionally-charged “information” (using that term loosely, because as I have pointed out, most news is false even when the journalists aren’t lying, which they often are).
What I think we forget is that these things can go the other way as well, not so much in “Democrat derangement syndrome” but in viewing Trump as something more than he is. To most of us on the “right,” he’s been a disappointment, as the vast majority of his agenda he did not enact. There were few pardons, no declassifications, and no wall, and he even bombed Syria. Still, the amount of hyperbolic scrutiny he receives is enough that a typical person would have committed suicide years ago, so he has my respect for toughing it out.
And yet partially because of that intense, hyperbolic non-stop attack, some Trump supporters have come to view him as something actually approximating the God-Emperor of memedom legend – a modern-day Caesar or Sulla. After all, if your enemy says he is the greatest threat to them, perhaps he is. This has led lots of people in the right-wing sphere to talk about Trump metaphorically “crossing the Rubicon,” not just as a vague jest (like the memes from the 2016 election, which many older people will simply not “get”), but as a valid expectation.
To give you an idea of how illusory the idea of Trump declaring martial law and re-ordering the state is, consider the evocation of Caesar’s famous “casting of the die.” Gaius Julius Caesar was a feared and respected battlefield commander with literal legions of hardened soldiers that had bled for him throughout his campaigns, in addition to being one of the richest men in Rome. He was such a powerful military foe that he crossed the Rubicon with a single legion and it was enough to send his political enemies fleeing.
This is not Trump. He’s an outsider, and hated by the permanent, non-elected members of the state (which is most of the state), along with most of the elected members of congress. He has no army of world-class soldiers who are personally loyal to him and organized into an invincible fighting force. He’s got guys in MAGA hats. If he wanted to seize the state and become master of Rome, who would obey him? He couldn’t even keep a consistent cabinet for six months. When he ordered troops home, the command chain disobeyed him and kept fighters in Syria and elsewhere.
So, the events of January 6th, as strange and entertaining as they might be, were the result of conditioning just as strong as TDS, it was TMS – Trump Messiah Syndrome. The outcome of real-life /pol raid of the capital was that the legitimate contesting of the election was quickly swept under the rug as for a few hours it became politically tenable for republicans to betray the man some thought of as Caesar. The Republicans, who always hated Trump, got to suddenly abandon the base (for whom they have equal disdain) and ignore the very real possibilities of significant election fraud.
People were quick to blame the Donald, but it was evident to me he did not expect things to go the way he did. He wanted to make a big show, but not that big.
Who is really to blame? The media, mostly. When you (metaphorically) march a man through the streets of Jerusalem, hurling insults and taunts at him, it’s only natural that he will be viewed as a messiah.
For my part, perhaps I didn’t take the cult of personality seriously enough. Even throughout the last 2 months, after the events of November, I’ve seen numerous people proclaiming the absolute certainty that Trump would prevail and that all would be set to right, for he was that powerful. I consider most of a version of the “vision of the anointed” (to ape Thomas Sowell) that put Obama on a kind of pedestal, just a standard part of persuasion over a large population. He was such a huge contrast to the standard limp-wrist republican, at least in terms of rhetoric, it’s hard even for a cynic like me not to root for him, so it’s easy to see how people who have spent 30 years waiting for Superman to save them could view him as just that.
I’m reminded of some conversations I had with author Brian Niemeier on my channel. He said (and I feel the same) that we never thought Trump would be a savior, but that he would buy us time and shift the Overton window to the right. Unfortunately, viewing him as a Messiah isn’t conducive to thinking of what comes next – and that’s always imperative.
While we ponder, let us also consider that there is but one true Messiah, Jesus Christ, and he gave us our ultimate deliverance – one which cannot be revoked by any state, so long as we have faith. Today is the celebration of his birth in the Orthodox church, which used (coincidentally) the Julian Calendar. Let us give thanks.
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