The Republican Party of the Perpetual Now

Not much need for History in Trump’s America

W.J. Astore

As a historian, I have an allegiance to the past, and to getting the facts right about that past. Because, if you can’t get the facts right, if you can’t do research with rigor and honesty, you can’t call yourself an historian.

So you won’t be surprised to learn that Trump’s version of the Republican Party is anathema to me. The party has no respect for the past. And getting facts right? What does that matter in a time of “alternative facts,” in an administration that lies routinely and about everything?

Trump’s version of the Republican Party is a party of the perpetual now, in which the meaning of “now” is remarkably labile and open to interpretation (and re-interpretation). In a strange way, Trump’s party is the party of post-modernism, where all facts are contingent, where everything is open to being constructed and deconstructed. Truth itself is a social construct in the Trumpian universe, determined by Trump himself and the various ass-kissers he’s assembled around him.

Not only is the Trumpian Party without a meaningful past: it’s also without a mediated future. According to the official platform of the Republican Party adopted last night, the party and its platform is what Trump says it is, world without end, Amen.

Here’s how it was put in a press release:

“RESOLVED, That the Republican Party has and will continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda” and “The 2020 Republican National Convention will adjourn without adopting a new platform until the 2024 Republican National Convention.”

The platform is Trump and Trump is the platform. The future is whatever Trump wills it to be, in his usual egotistical and often nonsensical way.

Facts don’t matter. The (true) past doesn’t matter. America as will and idea, as defined by Trump’s mind and driven by Trump’s desires.

As many have said, this isn’t a party, it’s a cult. A cult of unreflective minds, a cult unconcerned with critical thinking about the past, a cult that believes the future is best defined by one man.

One thing is certain: You won’t need any historians in Trump’s world. Just a lot of stenographers and sycophants willing to accept reality as Trump presents it, a perpetual now that’s constantly constructed and deconstructed before your eyes, the only constant being the celebration of Trump.

Remember: you can’t believe your lying eyes, but you can believe in Trump. If that’s not the end of history, I don’t know what is.

66 thoughts on “The Republican Party of the Perpetual Now

  1. That’s what narcissism is: the perpetual now. By definition, there’s no thought for the future or concern with the past. The Narcissist-in-Chief, like others of his kind, makes no apologies because the past doesn’t exist. Neither does he make concrete plans, because whatever he does in any given moment will be perfect.

    After having read analyses by clinical psychologists, however, I believe that narcissism is merely a facet of his psychopathy.

    Incidentally, I quibble with your mention of stenographers. Their presence implies a written record, and, well……erasure of the past necessitates the absence of [real-time, accurate] records.

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    1. Maybe instead of stenographers, “chroniclers” or “apostles.” I had in mind the idea of recording Trump’s words (no matter how tangled or sophomoric) as sacred writ, to be selectively quoted and interpreted to “prove” he’s always right. A sort of bastard gospel according to Trump.

      Of course, gospel means good news. Is there an equivalent word for bad news in holy writ? The “revelations” of Don? Ending in apocalypse, naturally — which would certainly please more than a few of his followers.

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      1. I’d thought of “chroniclers” myself, with the connotation of “not necessarily recording facts.”

        And yes, I’m quite sure that a portion of his followers are eagerly anticipating the apocalypse.

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  2. The issue of facts being relative is interesting in that both the mathematics of perception, quantum mechanics, and recent experimental results call objectivity into question. So the preponderance of the evidence is that facts are relative and there is no underlying reality that is objectively true. BUT, and this is a very big BUT, that does NOT mean that any statement is therefore a fact. In the mathematics of perception the output of a observer can be one of a set of possible outcomes. But that set is a very very small subset of all outcomes. A concrete example of this is the Necker cube, which occurs when one sees a cube in several line segments drawn on a flat surface. The brain does not perceive a set of flat lines. It perceives one of two cubes. So there is no objectively correct view. Both cubes can be perceived. But the brain does not perceive any other objects. No pyramids, no cones, no spheres, just one of two cubes.

    So while truth may be relative that does not mean that statements cannot be false. And, in fact, the probability of a random statement being false is much larger than the probability that a statement is even relatively true.

    There is a fascinating TED talk on this topic by Donald Hoffman. https://www.ted.com/speakers/donald_hoffman

    Here is Don talking about consciousness and perception
    https://www.guylawrence.com.au/case_against_reality_with_don_hoffman/

    His work on perceptual theory suggests that perception is not designed to perceive what is “real” but rather what will help us get what we want. Falling in love is probably an example of this. On another track, that is why FaceBook continues to create misinformation. The purpose of FaceBook is to generate revenue from clicks, and so the AI behind FB creates information that serves that purpose. Falsehoods generate more revenue than facts so FB is designed to produce falsehood. No amount of moderation will fix that. The problem is the drive to maximize profit and the way revenue is generated.

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    1. Great point about Facebook, JPA. This is increasingly true of mainstream journalism as well, driven as it is by ratings and clicks, as Matt Taibbi notes. So we get (manufactured) outrage 24/7; outrage drives clicks far better than facts.

      So perhaps manufactured outrage has replaced Noam Chomsky’s manufactured consent. Or, is outrage a new way to consent, i.e. we’re all so outraged and therefore distracted that harsh (but boring) facts slide right past us, unnoticed.

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  3. On a visceral level I realized why Trump and his supporters disgust me. I grew up reading books like the western “Shane” in which the hero or heroine is quiet, humble and does. not attract attention to themselves, but acts effectively when the s–t hits the fan. The maxim “speak softly but carry a big stick” might summarize this.

    The attitude of Trump and his supporters is completely the opposite of this and might be summarized as “speak loudly and act like a big dick.”

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    1. I often cite two of my father’s favorite sayings: the empty barrel makes the most noise (so true of Trump), and still waters run deep (and Trump, always tweeting, is such a shallow man).

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  4. But this is precisely the society Orwell portrayed in “1984,” don’t you see? Thank goodness technology has surpassed stenographers and people seated at clunky manual typewriters! “The truth” of the past, history if you will, is constantly being altered. I won’t get into it again with JPA about whether reality is objective, but I will “correct” him on one statement (though he’s quoting someone else’s ideas): “…perception is not designed to perceive what is ‘real’ but rather what will help us get what we want.” Humans evolved with their prime concern being individual survival. [So yeah, okay, what we “want” is to survive!] Thus, perception is primarily designed by Nature to help us avoid the danger of the lion lurking in the tall grass. See “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Nice notions like romantic love are NOT at the top of the list. Finally, I’m glad the phrase “alternative facts” came up in Mr. Astore’s post. It seems Kellyanne Conway is leaving the White House “to spend more time with the family.” I understand that one of her teenagers was going to go to court to seek early emancipation from the Conway household. Gee, I can’t imagine George and Kellyanne’s home environment being anything but the ultimate portrait of domestic bliss!!

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    1. We are not disagreeing regarding perception. A species’ perceptual system becomes tuned, not to see what is true, but to survive and pass on its genes. My comment about falling in love was a cute way of pointing out that we don’t pick mates because our perception of them is “true”. Our perceptual system is designed to find someone with whom we can reproduce, not see the truth about a potential partner. Hence the saying “love is blind”.

      In the ecosystem of FB the driving force is clicks. So pieces of information that generate clicks are favored and reproduce themselves, not truth or facts. Any attempt to suppress “misinformation” without changing the driving force that favors its survival will be as fruitless as attempting to stop a rising tide with a wall of sand.

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      1. Yes, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg seems to change his mind every other day about whether it’s “desirable” (from his bottom line perspective) to try to strip utterly false posts from Facebook. Rightwing trolls are positively everywhere on the internet. Trump & Co. need no help whatsoever from Russian operatives. Plenty of redblooded Americans are hard at work at their task, undertaken quite voluntarily! (Though of course there are surely paid operatives as well.) Because they believe in the product–Trumpism–I guess.

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  5. The connections between the radical relativism of Postmodernism and today’s ethic of fact-optional belief (not limited, BTW, to Trump or the Republican Party) has been observed by many others. It’s not that miseducated, undereducated, or even highly educated people lack beliefs or knowledge necessarily; it’s that knowledge (read: truth) when present is no longer an impediment to constructing one’s narrative of choice. I just published a long, tortured blog post about this peculiar madness that crept up on us over the past 50 years or so.

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    1. Yes. Well put. People now believe they can have their own “facts”; create their own reality.

      Perhaps there’s a connection to virtual realities as well; perhaps too there’s a connection to social media sites like Facebook, where people curate their own “realities” on their FB pages, generally selecting the best, and exaggerating, while leaving out inconvenient truths.

      Perhaps we’re not post-modern, but we are increasingly post-fact.

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      1. Tonight I watched Akira Kurosawa’s classic “Rashomon,” one night ahead of its 70th Anniversary. It makes some interesting points about determining what is true, and how wishful thinking can distort one’s perceptions.

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  6. This reminds me uncomfortably of something from a different time. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to change a couple of words in this from Rudolph Hess in 1934: “The party is Hitler, Hitler is Germany, and Germany is Hitler! Sieg heil!”

    Any American not uncomfortable has read no history, none at all.

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    1. Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer

      One People, One Empire, One Leader

      The “leader principle” is alive today in the Republican Party. What would Trump do?

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    2. What a chilling—and entirely apt— comparison. Akin to Louis XIV’s “….l’etat, c’est moi!” although some historians consider this to be a rather droll, humorous, rather than dictatorial, comment.

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      1. Trump’s pathway to “back to the future” seemed very clear to me four years ago. That so few saw or were perhaps willing to illuminate the obvious was far worse than frightening. I will not be surprised at all if there is somewhere in the future, Trump’s own “night of the long knives.”

        But then, I am a novelist. Things like that only happen in novels anymore. Don’t they?

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        1. Trump demands complete personal loyalty to himself. The list of people who’ve departed his administration is way too long to start enumerating. I think he is getting his way within his own reality bubble. The knives can remain sheathed, for now.

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          1. Oh, no, no, no. This is the wrong conclusion just as taking Trump at face value four years was wrong. It might well be that his hearing is salved within his own “reality bubble”, but the specter of armed, black-uniformed “federal” officers “defending” Federal buildings against peaceful demonstrators in one or more of our large cities must be regarded if not, ‘knives out’, certainly the presence of a very dangerous whetstone for when the uppity opposition gets too present or loud.

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          2. I think you misunderstand “The Night of the Long Knives,” then. It was a purge of the old-school military officers who thought Germany’s interests should come before Hitler’s personality cult. The Nazi “inner party” moved to eliminate such “disloyal” individuals.

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          3. I know perfectly well what the “night of long knives” was. I use the term only as an indication of what could happen to loyal and disloyal alike should the Imperial Trump believe he is so threatened that ALL the disloyals could be made to disappear. As I have said before I have had no illusions concerning the depth of evil and threat to the American democratic experience Trump poses. I see no reason not to expect dissidents to just vaporize or become just suddenly unavailable. Trump is not now nor ever has been someone who just colors outside the lines a little. He doesn’t recognize those “lines” as having any meaning for him at all. He’s a sharp difference from a rabid conservative and a fascist oligarch wannabe and that sharp distinction may well have an edge that cuts very, very deep.

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          4. Very well, sir. You threw me off by bringing in the subject of Fed. LEOs being dispatched to our cities, an attack on civil liberties in general rather than against disloyal party members.

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          5. To my knowledge no one has ever really identified who those “Fed LEOs” really were. Their uniforms were without identification and at least some of the vehicles they used were unmarked, appearing for all the world to see, like civilian vehicles. So, who were they, REALLY? Might this have been some sort of training mission for an “elite” squad of otherwise unnamed knife throwers? It’s hard to tell the players without either program or numbers of some sort on their backs.

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          6. Oh, the Acting Head of DHS publicly took “credit” for the thugs sent to Portland as being his boys. Now I understand Trump plans to send such personnel to Kenosha, WI and other “hot spots.” Will they try to round up all the NBA players who refused to play today, in solidarity with the shooting victim(s) in Kenosha?

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          7. Our of curiosity how many “armed thugs” are organized into units within DHS? How many are there who are trained to carry and use semi-automatic weapons? Is this a “shadow” army? Is this potentially a force that could stage a coup “within the beltway”? What is the command structure for DHS “troop” deployments? Considering that the DHS leadership at the moment appears to be merely appointed, does not the presence of some sort of shadow, armed force within the DHS seem at least a big concerning to those of us who believe in the intent of the Constitution? I had always thought that the normal progression of administrative control within a municipality was from local, LEO/mayor to State National Guard/governor to regular army/President. But now there is something from DHS that wears no identification and uses unidentifiable vehicles and apparently coordinates with no one at the local level. Is this then, the “new now”?

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          8. This is precisely the major problem with DHS, created “of necessity” in the wake of the events of 9/11: It has become a tax-dollar-devouring monster, a multi-headed hydra. If you look at the copyright warnings on home video programs produced since 2001, you’ll find the shield of DHS depicted, with the implication that if you’re suspected of pirating intellectual property DHS agents will kick in your door at 4 AM and haul you away (perhaps having placed a black hood over your head?)!! Presumably–I say presumably–some Members of Congress have been briefed on just what scope of activities this agency is “officially” tasked to engage in, how their personnel roster is organized, etc., but we mere peons of the general public probably can’t access such info, even via Freedom of Information Act–“CLASSIFIED” stuff no doubt. For all we know, DHS may be cooperating very closely with the private mercenary army built by Blackwater Security Inc. So who is to restrain this agency? Again, presumably, since Congress approves the budget (though “off-budget” activities are likely, a la CIA), they “ought” to be able to exercise some control. Trump’s sending of these troops–and that’s what we should call them, ‘cuz that’s how they behave–to US cities was just another of his hideous precedents. He can’t be impeached, on any charge, because GOP has majority in the Senate. What an absurd system we face today! And by his deafening silence, I’d say Trump gives his stamp of approval to the young American Nazi who felt called upon to travel from Illinois to Kenosha, WI to kill some protesters.

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          9. The night of the long knives was a purge of the SA (the Brownshirts) to the advantage of the more fanatical SS and the traditional military. The SA was far larger than the SS and not as fanatically devoted to Hitler as the SS. Being larger, the SA also posed a threat to the traditional army.

            Hitler signaled his support of the military, as well as rewarding Himmler and the SS, by purging the SA and its leader, Ernst Rohm. Other scores were also settled during this “night,” but the biggest one was the purge of the Brownshirts. They were firmly brought to heel — or under Hitler’s heel.

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          10. The surrender of the Republican Party to Trump means that It Can Happen Here.

            Luckily for America, Trump lacks the manic energy, mad vision, and utter ruthlessness of Adolf Hitler. Trump’s successor may not.

            As a nation, we should be doing everything we can to strengthen ourselves and our institutions against authoritarianism. We are not. The Republicans have capitulated and the Democrats lack the spine. Both parties are corrupted by money and driven by opportunism and cynicism. The former likes to whitewash their efforts and the latter prefers rainbows as a disguise.

            We are in desperate need of a third party. The Progressives should start their own, because Biden, even if he wins, will pay absolutely no attention to the progressive agenda.

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      2. Heavens, I didn’t know ol’ Loo-ee Fourteen did stand-up comedy!! An emperor or king in theory has absolute power, but behind the scenes there are always factions jockeying for special privileges, a Lord Chamberlain, a head of a church, and a council of “wise” old heads to advise on domestic and foreign policies.

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    3. And this was soon accompanied by “One State, One People, One Leader.” [Sorry if someone already noted this.] The people Trump wants to benignly gaze out over in their droves are white (“Norwegians”!), relatively well-off financially and self-identify as Christians. And will swallow whatever BS he cares to spout on a given occasion.

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  7. Trump is obviously a deeply flawed person. By turns surprisingly munificent or stupidly cruel But detractors have consistently failed to examine who is represents and the forces which support him. A person built and molded by the Deep State every bit as much as Mr Obama, whos parents fit the profile of ‘spy’ to the tee.

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  8. This is a good article, but I do have this question for Mr. Astore: Hasn’t the Republican Party been like this for a long time. I was too young to pay any attention back then, but the party during the period between the Iraq War beginning and Bush’s second term looks pretty similar to how they are today, with their entire hierarchy out to gaslight people about the failing war? (And then Bush used unbelievably racist strategies during his second campaigns.) Before that, you have got people like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan and Phyllis Schlafly who did their darnest to impose onto other their reactionary view, while they themselves were excluded from it.

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    1. Yes — the Republican Party has been fairly consistent for decades. But it’s RINO now: Republican in name only. It’s now the Party of Trump, a different, meaner, entity.

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    2. FIREMINER–Before I look at whatever reply Mr. Astore made to you, I’ll throw in my two cents (because I’m so generous!): In my view, Eisenhower’s administration was the last basically sane GOP presidency (even though it harbored one R.M. Nixon). In 1964, Goldwater proclaimed “Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice.” Goldwater himself was a “Libertarian,” and Reagan would also embrace those ideas. It didn’t win him (Goldwater) the White House, but it proclaimed the ultra-conservative wing of GOP was on the rise. Fast-forward back to the present and that party has become quite unhinged, to say the least. Those within who raised public criticisms of Maximum Leader Trump signed their own death warrants re: their ongoing presence in GOP.

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  9. Merely by looking at a few images from the Republican National Convention, I’m suffering from an overdose of flags and flag lapel pins.

    Remember when one U.S. flag was enough? And you didn’t have to wear a flag lapel pin to “prove” your “patriotism”?

    The Nazis talked about a triumph of the will, but we’re witnessing a triumph of cynicism. And I’m counting the DNC in this as well.

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    1. Nixon is the first POTUS I recall sporting that flag lapel pin. In the years since, it has become almost mandatory for any politician seeking a major office to sport one, Dems just as much as GOPers. Some Dems wear a round pin I’ve never seen up close, but I imagine it represents their party or perhaps a Progressive Caucus membership? The most offensive to me is the pin with a cross sharing space with the US flag (hello, Mike Pence et al.). I’ve noticed for some time now Trump’s photo ops feature massed flags. As for optics of the current convention, I see faces of women and even some African-Americans. (I only see still images online. I wouldn’t subject myself to this orgy of absurdity even if I still had cable TV.) Regarding the black faces pouring out their love for The Donald, well, Malcolm X said it best when he spoke of “the house Negro vs. the field Negro.” I can’t improve on Malcolm.

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    2. “We are a symbol using class of life, and those who rule the symbols rule us.” — Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity (1933)

      Multiplying a single symbol in the background of a camera shot can get really old, having the ironic effect — like the Federal Reserve’s profligate printing of trillions in paper symbol-dollars to prop up the Wall Street Casino gamblers — of devaluing the worth of the symbol.

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      1. While reserving comment, here’s this:
        “The 1619 Project is an ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 with the goal of “refram[ing] American history” around slavery and the contributions of African Americans.”

        What I will comment on is Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph Des Willens” (“Triumph of the Will”) which is a fascinating documentary and which the Republican Party/RNC/Trump supporters have been re-enacting for nearly four years.

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        1. I very strongly recommend viewing “Triumph of the Will”!! The version (DVD) I own has an excellent running commentary track by a historian which touches on the backgrounds, roles in the regime of, and ultimate fates (who got hanged at Nuremberg, etc.) of the key figures seen on screen.

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      2. Thanks. Obviously I’m not keeping up with current events in History.

        History is always selective; we can’t highlight it all. So we always have to choose frames, themes, etc.

        It’s important to recognize the role of slavery in America’s foundation. And it’s important to recognize the contributions of African-Americans, just as we should recognize the contributions of immigrants, women, and other groups that used to be largely forgotten or marginalized in “traditional” history.

        My expertise is mainly in military history and the history of science, technology, and religion. In my opinion, an historian should teach to his or her strengths, while explaining to students where you’re coming from and why you chose the themes that you did.

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        1. Apparently Mr. Heffner is hinting that the history of slavery in this country is “fake news,” manufactured by the “ultra-liberal NY Times.” Aren’t they just ceaselessly entertaining, these rightwing trolls??

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          1. As Vice President Dick Cheney used to say to Tim Russert on Sunday mornings (after leaking his lies to his stenographer Judith Miller of the New York Times): “See? Even the liberal New York Times agrees that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and close ties to Al Qaeda.” So much for the “liberality” of the New York Times. If Rupert Murdoch doesn’t own and operate the Times like he does Fox Noise, then I for one cannot tell the difference.

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        2. Well, I had to look it up. I tend to avoid such things.
          As you have noted, in a classroom you have to be selective about your course materials, because you only have so much time. What I don’t agree with is what seems to be happening these days, which is shining a light on previously obscure or overlooked aspects of history at the expense of other parts of the historical record, de-emphasizing or deleting what has been deemed offensive or inconvenient. Why is showing the world as it used to be now seen as approval of it instead of something to be learned from?
          I don’t believe in editing history, which should run from A to Z inclusive, not A to E, then H to K, then P to W, skipping X and finishing with Y and Z.

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          1. After famously discoursing upon what he called the three “Distempers” of Learning: i.e., Delicate Learning, Contentious Learning, Fantastic Learning (vain affectations, vain altercations, and vain imaginations), Sir Francis Bacon added a few other impediments to learning that students should also not overlook:

            “The first of these is the extreme affecting of two extremities, the one Antiquity, the other Novelty, wherein it seemeth the children of Time do take after the nature and malice of the father. For as he devoureth his children, so one of them seeketh to devour and suppress the other, while Antiquity envieth there should be new additions, and Novelty cannot be content to add but it must deface.” [emphasis added]

            The Proficience and Advancement of Learning (1605)

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          2. Also from Sir Francis Bacon’s Proficience and Advancement of Learning:

            “For as water will not ascend higher than the level of the first spring-head from whence it descend[s], so knowledge derived from Aristotle and exempted from liberty of examination will not rise again higher than the knowledge of Aristotle. . . . for disciples owe unto masters only a temporary belief and suspension of their own judgment until they be fully instructed, and not an absolute resignation or perpetual captivity.” [emphasis added]
            . . .
            “Antiquity deserve[s] that reverence, that men should take a stand thereupon and discover what is the best way, but when the discovery is well taken, then to make progression. And to speak truly: These times are the ancient times, when the world is ancient, and not those which we account ancient by a computation backwards from ourselves.” [emphasis added]

            Some people can write truthfully. Some people can write beautifully. Occasionally someone comes along who can do both.

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          3. I despise the phrase “political correctness” (invented by the far right anyway), but I have to agree things have gone a wee bit too far in some aspects of public discourse in the “polite” media, academe, etc.

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  10. After reading the article linked to below I don’t have much hope. The majority of the American public seem to have beliefs that are abhorrent and completely self-righteous. Trump is merely an expression of “Trumpism” a combination of greed, grandiosity, self-absorption, and self-righteousness, qualities shared by a substantial fraction of American adults across age groups and across genders. Thus he truly is an all-American president.

    https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/full/10.1162/ISEC_a_00284

    As an aside, the people polled in the paper seem to forget that the reason for not attacking the non-combatants of other nations is so they don’t attack your non-combatants. Furthermore, the idea that bombing civilian population centers will break the enemy’s will to fight has been thoroughly disproved. The idea originated with an Italian general prior to WWII. Given the performance of Italy’s military in that conflict I don’t understand how his ideas got any credence, except that it justified people’s lust for blood.

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    1. I have to surmise that, unfortunately, the notion (the fantasy, and ever so dangerous!) of “American Exceptionalism” has trickled down to John and Jane Q. Public. This is not surprising considering the absolutely relentless propaganda fed the population via the media. USA has become a nation of obese, belligerent ignoramuses. (Those commenting here excepted, of course!) I believe this stems largely from the citizenry not having had to suffer the horrors and deprivations of war here on home turf–not since the Civil War, really, though there was some rationing during the World Wars.

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      1. I have the impression that this “exceptionalism” is partly fostered by the “under God” in our pledge of allegiance. Instead of hearing that as a call to an intensely strict moral responsibility, Americans take it to mean they have the right to do whatever they want, because “God is on our side”. The attitude has rubbed off even onto people who have no belief in God.

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        1. Yes, I’d say that is certainly a factor. And in recent decades–starting under Reagan, I’d wager–there was a movement of “Evangelical” preachers into the Chaplain corps of all branches of the military. And though I avoided Pence’s speech yesterday, my gut tells me he is even more of a Fascist than Trump. Just who we want “a heartbeat away from the presidency.”

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    2. Of course, this makes sense. Trump couldn’t be president unless he represented something strong in our society. This belligerence, this chauvinism, this bigotry, this hatred: we might call it the Dark Side, and it is often “easier, quicker, more seductive” than the good.

      Trump has given many people license to bring their dark side into the light: to revel in it. Even as he’s done this, he has found enough ass-kissers to empower his own rule and priorities, which seem to be fueled by resentments and grievances, with much joy in score-settling (“owning the libs”) while making a ton of money.

      What is to be done? Because with Trump the personal is the political, he must be defeated. Yet it’s shameful indeed that the DNC has given us two corporate/establishment stooges as alternatives.

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      1. Indeed. If only Joe Biden was the “Jedi Knight” the Dems present him as, to take on Darth Donald! I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but a photo surfaced purporting to show the Illinois Nazi who killed two people in Kenosha near the front of the crowd at a Trump rally back in January. Uh-huh. I find it totally plausible.

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    1. I’m currently reading “A Tale of Two Cities” (escaped being forced to do so during my school days). Just read a section about “Monseigneur” [Book the Second, Chapter VII]–who I assume is Louis XVI–and his court of absolutely vacuous, worthless-to-society pompous asses strutting about in all their finery. All surface glitter with no substance beneath. My mind instantly flashed to this week’s Love-Fest For Trump, which thank goodness is over now.

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  11. From The Face of Imperialism (2011), by Michael Parenti:

    The goal of the transnational corporation is to become truly transnational, poised above the sovereign power of any particular nation, while being served by the sovereign powers of all nations [emphasis added]. Among the measures contrived by international business to achieve dominion over the entire planet is globalization. As presented to the public, globalization is just part of a natural and inevitable expansion of trade and economic development beneficial to all. In early times, there were only village markets; these eventually expanded into regional markets; then national ones, then international ones, and now finally global agreements that cover the entire world.” pp. 59-60

    I really don’t think it serves truth and justice to continue referring to the “Republicans” and “Democrats” as separate and distinct “parties” having something to do with a “sovereign nation.” Instead, we should forthrightly call them the senior and junior right-wing factions, respectively, of the US Marketing Subsidiary (USMS) of the Global Corporate Oligarchy (GCO). As Orwell advised in his famous essay, Politics and the English Language, we proles should not employ the same, familiar pre-fabricated language used by those in the government, military, and media: because these agents of the Global Corporate Oligarchy have designed the familiar-sounding mouth noises specifically to deceive and manipulate us. We should, instead, understand that these mouth noises originate in the throats of government or media propagandists and not in the brain of a real person interested in genuine communication. Any conditioned use of these meaningless noises — like “voting” — only serves to validate and perpetuate our own powerlessness. We need to think of, and employ exclusively, our own vocabulary: one reflective of what we mean, not what they say.

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    1. Now that would require a major paradigm shift in how people think, Mike. Not an easy chore.

      This election and “voting”: whichever major candidate prevails, it’s a win for the GCO and a loss for the American people.

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