Instead of thanking God, Mom, and Apple Pie on this great national day of fake mourning for people who allegedly "gave their lives" rather than having their lives snatched out from under them by the Lords of Capitalism, Trump did what Trump does best. He instigated yet another bout of fake outrage by making Memorial Day 2018 all about memorializing... gasp, surprise...himself.
"Happy Memorial Day!" was his jovial message to America. "Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women for 18 years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!"
But hey, let's give the oaf at least a little credit. For someone who's trashed our sacred norms day in and day out, even failing to utter the requisite "God Bless America" at the end of his presidential acceptance speech, he has at least advanced to the point of envisioning all those dead American soldiers partying up in Heaven and cheering him (Trump, not the other boring old God) on.
Well, maybe not, when you parse it. The tweet says the dead soldiers "would" be happy, as opposed to Trump speciously claiming that they actually are happy. So fact-checkers, beware, because this was a highly nuanced tweet. I still think the president is a closet atheist despite going to church with Melania at Easter and Christmas.
The semi-good news is that Trump graciously capitalized Blacks and Hispanics, giving them parity with the Military, one of the few remaining job opportunities with benefits for poor people, of whom America's Blacks and Hispanics represent a big chunk. Lower-case "women" sadly didn't fare nearly as well, but at least more of them are working at crappy jobs at salaries so meager and benefits so nonexistent that Exceptional America's birthrate is now plummeting to record low levels.
But our ruling class racketeers don't want you to be outraged about those grim facts. They want you to be outraged at Trump's lack of presidential etiquette.
Since Trump didn't mention the Invisible Guy in the Sky, former CIA and National Security Chief Michael Hayden did the hypocritical honors for him, tweeting out "OMG!" in response to Trump's tweet. Talk about disrespect! Hayden couldn't even be bothered to spell out G-O-D, for Christ's sake.
Professional #Resistance Fighter Chris Cilizza of CNN did the next best outraged thing. He dredged up (who else?) Barack Obama as the shining standard of how presidents should vapidly "do" Memorial Day via Twitter:
"We can never truly repay the debt we owe our fallen heroes," tapped out Obama in his final year in office. "But we can remember them, honor their sacrifice, and affirm in our own lives those enduring ideals of justice, equality and opportunity for which generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion."
With soaring neoliberal rhetoric like that, it's not shocking at all that Barack and wife Michelle just signed a reputed $50 million dollar deal with Netflix to produce fiction, nonfiction, documentaries, talk shows, you name it, for the purpose of "telling stories to the world." It's also not shocking that they immediately parked the cash in a Delaware LLC, a/k/a tax shelter, which they dubbed "Higher Ground Productions." As Obama lectured to the soon-to-be displaced tenants of the Chicago neighborhood hosting his presidential "library," they shouldn't complain or sue him over their incipient homelessness, because he and Michelle "won't be making a dime on it." On their library/entertainment venue, that is. True fact: it's not that he can't ever truly repay the destitute and the evicted. It's that he won't. But they'll always have his Ladders of Opportunity to tide over future generations of Americans, if not already existing Americans. If they die prematurely, at least they'll have given "that last full measure of devotion" to him, Barack Obama.
But, I digress. Since this post is ostensibly about the Military Industrial Complex's glorification of violent death and sugar-coating it under the twin platitudes of God and Democracy, I'd now like to send a prayer-gram to all the bellicose American presidents of all the Memorial Days Past, Present and (Dicey) Future.
This prayer actually has multi-purpose functionality and would come in especially handy on those very special School Massacre Days, when the banal Thoughts and Prayers being so tediously offered in lieu of gun control laws just don't seem to do the trick on the public psyche any more.
From E.M. Cioran's "The Arrogance of Prayer"--
Lord, give me the capacity of never praying, spare me the insanity of all worship, let this temptation of love pass from me which would deliver me forever unto You. Let the void spread between my heart and heaven! I have no desire to people my deserts with Your presence, to tyrannize my nights by Your light, to dissolve my Siberias beneath your sun. Lonelier than You, I want my hands pure, the contrary of Yours which were forever corrupted by kneading the earth and busying themselves with the world's affairs. I ask Your stupid omnipotence for nothing but the respect of my solitude and torments.... Grant me the miracle gathered before the first moment, the peace which You could not tolerate and which incited You to breach the nothingness in order to make way for this carnival of time, and thereby to condemn me to the universe -- to humiliation and the shame of Being.Surely, I jest.
On a related note, I offered a riposte the other day to Maureen Dowd's latest New York Times effort, in which the Puff Queen of Shallow bemoaned all the Grifters -- Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Elizabeth Holmes -- who are giving such grief these days to the more staid division of the Ruling Class Racket. Her prescription? Delete your social media accounts, pronto... but be sure to keep following Maureen Dowd on Facebook and, of course, Twitter.
My published comment:
Trump is as all-American as rancid apple pie, just another poster child for the de facto twin mottoes of the USA: Might Makes Right, and Greed Is Good.
The golden thread that links all these charlatans together is that while they might get charged and convicted due to public outcries so loud that even corrupt prosecutors can't ignore them, few ever see the inside of a jail cell.
Billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, despite perpetrating one of the biggest frauds in history, to date has only had to pay a $500,000 fine, return shares, and promise not to lead another public company for a decade. Poor little rich girl, huh?
Trump has enjoyed a whole lifetime of slaps on the wrist because, essentially, he is just like one of those too big to fail banks for whom financial settlements are the cost of doing business. Fines become just another tax write-off, a nifty way to suck more money from regular people.
Usually it's only when plutocrats and celebrities begin failing to provide nice returns on the investments of their fellow rich people that the "justice" system suddenly develops a moral compass and takes a brief break from prosecuting low-level, mainly black and poor, offenders.
It's certainly no accident that the current CEO to worker pay ratio is 275 to 1, while United Way reports that more than a third of US citizens don't earn enough money to meet their basic needs.
This goes way beyond Silicon Valley and Hollywood and D.C. It's capitalism on steroids that's run amok.