For Chris Hedges, Trump is the symptom not the disease.
Let’s look at that premise.
What is the disease for which Trump passes as symptom?
Is it enhanced militarism and the impulse for personal, national and international combat?
Is it narcissism, that ubiquitous trait that puts personal needs and aspirations before national interests?
Is it a concentration span that mimics a gnat, stretching to a mere nano-second, glibly passes over complex details and prefers its own construct of reality?
Is it the obsession/paranoia that sees an existential threat in every corner, cupboard and video-clip?
Is it the rogue bandit that commandeered western plains and river valleys for decades, always on the lookout for the sheriff and mostly taking evasive actions until the final shoot-out?
Is it the gang leader whose absolute command of his gang tolerates no defiance, and for whom loyalty broken warrants some kind of death, whether physical or fiscal or political?
Is it the American version of the Russian oligarchs, whose money is tainted with the blood of unscrupulous acquisition and dangerous alliances and who keep running from discovery and disclosure?
Is it the unscrupulous real estate developer who ravages property rights and turns tenants into victims, failing bribes and stealth cash?
Is it the Napolean dictator whose tiny “self” demands such over-compensation and hubristic hegemony that ‘empire’ is the only tolerable ambition?
Is it the pathological liar who would not acknowledge or admit the truth if it hit his face like a wet fish, choosing instead to blame the fish for jumping out of the water?
Is it the racist “christian” monster that has prowled the south for centuries in a permanent recruitment campaign looking for pliable disciples and sycophants like A.G. sessions and dylan roof?
Is it the sexual predator whose power needs unleash his hands and his unbridled testosterone to do whatever he pleases, because he is a star?
Is it the incarnation of the ‘star’ culture that cripples both the one idolized and all who bow to such idols?
Is it the chameleon who changes ‘colour’ by the minute and the hour to avoid detection and death?
Is it The Great Gatsby-itis that haunts billionaires and millionaires who believe they can reproduce the past, host their friends in sumptuous palaces and buy anything and everything they might desire on their illegitimately-acquired wealth and status?
Or more likely, is it a unique narrative that amalgamates all these dark archetypes while being devoid of conscience, remorse and moral scruples?
Undoubtedly, Hedges prefers the military-industrial-pharmaceutical-industrial-security-corporate complex that permits robber barons to run roughshod over legitimate worker, environmental, gender, racial and ethnic rights and freedoms while stashing boat-loads of cash where the IRS cannot or will not find it. The complex also incestuously links many elected officials to this “complex” and the funding dependence that results from this incest. And, this behemoth did not suddenly arise from the sea on the night of the election in November 2016.
It has been growing for decades; after all it was “IKE” (President Dwight D. Eisenhower) who warned of the military industrial complex in 1961, immediately prior to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as president. And the monster has been on steroids for decades, steroids permitted by tax incentives, a military mind-set, a foreign policy that sought oil and support from puppet dictators, while spreading military materiel including chemical weapons far and wide, only to have those weapons and chemicals bite the American butt in one of the greatest ironies in history.
It is not out of character for the United States to be the target of much criticism today, specifically NSA, for having designed secret software, which was then stolen and picked up by unscrupulous hackers who just contaminated and emasculated hundreds of thousands of computers in nearly 200 countries, including the British National Health System. The extortion of $300 in bitcoin has been demanded for the re-opening of computers that were targeted.
When will the U.S. come to its collective senses and realize that its “for-profit” dominance, endorsing the sale of weapons, software and a plethora of other security device will never be free from the kind of piracy and terrorist sabotage that currently infests the world community?
Or is that really a redundant question, since the obvious answer is “NEVER”?