Sliding toward Ozymandias

  And on the pedestal, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;

Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.

From Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

ozymandiasWhat do we make of Donald Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin – now implicated in the assassination of ten or more political opponents and dissidents;  Trump’s congratulations to oppressive strongman Recep Erdogan on his “election” as Turkish dictator for life; his description of the murderor Kim Jong Un as “a smart cookie” he’d be honored to meet; and his invitation to dinner of the murderous Filipino strongman Roderigo Duterte?  Let’s be clear; for those of us who admire the aspirations of American ideals – a nation of laws, not of men; rights to free speech and due process; the concept that “all men are created equal”; Trump’s admiration of authoritarian dictators is a deliberate, calculated poke in the eye.  Trump will have you know that he’s in charge, he’s above accounting to you, he’ll admire a murderous dictator if it serves his purpose, and you can go jump.  I like the Shelley poem noted above because it assures that Trump’s arrogance, narcissism, and abuse of power is finite.  But the more proper classic allusion is to Lucifer, the supreme Narcissist, who places himself above even God’s laws.  Perhaps that explains Trump’s fondness for “The Snake”.

For those of you who are determined to bring Trump to justice, here are more excellent sources to follow:

Lawfare  at posts the following resource on the Trump-Russia scandal, RealNews on Trump et L’Affaire Russe: A Resource Page.  The post is being kept current and helps marshal the time-lines for the numerous actors.  A must reference.  From the same blog site, see also the Jane Chong, Quinta Jurecic, and Benjamin Wittes article  “Seven Theories of the Case: What Do We Really Know about L’Affaire Russe and What Could it All Mean?”  Chong, Jurecic, and Wittes do yeomen work making the known facts fit various speculations on underlying culpability.  Excellent work, notwithstanding that their more innocent theories conflict with my gut sense that Trump, when calling on Russia to release the 30,000 emails, was clearly betraying an awareness of the Russian hacking.

Yale professor Tymothy Snyder’s On Tyranny is cited in my Books to know link for its cogent description of our pending slide toward authoritarianism.  Now, Chauncey Devega in Salon has provided an excellent interview with Snyder, in which Snyder predicts a Trump coup attempt to be virtually inevitable.  See the not surprisingly titled, “Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy“.  The interview is also available, in longer version as a podcast – linked in the article.  Snyder is a necessary antidote to the “it can’t happen here” crowd – the writing is already on the wall.



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