The Implacable Engine of Grift

Writes James H. Kuntsler:

It’s not difficult to understand how Donald Trump becomes the instrument for the public’s wrath. Whatever his checkered career in land development amounts to, he is at least a freely-functioning and unfettered actor in the political arena. The public enjoys most of all his assertion of independence from the tremendous engine of grift that the republic has become. His arrant contempt for his rivals, and for the disgusting political process erected for the election contest, also thrills a big wad of the public. So far, his actual ideas for governing lack coherence, except for the rather general notion that uncontrolled immigration, and all the mendacious fakery associated with it, is a bad thing for the republic. Beyond that he offers only blustering claims that he is “very smart,” an “artist of deal-making,” a “patriot.”

Almost nothing so far can knock him down or take him out. Fox News tried in last week’s “debate” — which was not a debate at all, really, but a half-assed interrogation — by trying to set the female half of the public against him for his nasty remarks about women over the years. Of course, the dirty secret of both politics and the media is that the common backstage chatter among pols and TV news producers is every bit as vulgar and hateful as anything Trump said. In case you haven’t noticed, all of America has turned into a verbal sewer, especially the virtual public realm of television. I don’t remember anyone complaining about the comportment of the characters in Tony Soprano’s Badda-Bing Lounge. In fact, awards were heaped on the depiction of that behavior. That’s who we are now.

The rise and persistence of Trump raises a more pertinent question: why are all the other candidates such obvious shills for the implacable engine of grift that is destroying the Republic? Why has nobody with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, called bullshit on the basic operations of the machine? Why have no other persons of real stature stepped forward to challenge the suicidal dynamic of the age?

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