Donald Trump sure is one hell of a guy, ain’t he? I mean, don’t get me wrong, not in a good way—the man himself is what we call in Britain a right royal c**t—but as a phenomenon, as a President, he’s fascinating. Like an atomic explosion is fascinating. Or a strange, chunky puddle you see on your drunken way home in the early hours of a Saturday morning. You’re pretty sure it’s a mixture of vomit and shit, and it’s most definitely disgusting and you swerve wide to avoid it with room to spare, but you still can’t help but be intrigued. Like, how did that happen? All tidy and served together like that? Was it on purpose?
A person could spend their whole lifetime analysing the effects that Donald Trump’s election and presidency are having on the world. Honestly, you could pick a topic by dart throw and you’d probably be able to write a hefty thesis on whichever thing you hit. The economy, the media, international relations—love him or loathe him (and if you love him, fuck off), the lumbering orange golem of hate has done one hell of a Speedo-twanged belly flop into the pool that is planet Earth.
One of the most fascinating post-Trumpian ripples is a variation on the old ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ phenomenon. You know the feeling. You hate Person A, but you hate Person B even more. Then Person B expresses a hatred of Person A and Person A reciprocates by saying, ‘Yeah, actually, Person B is a cockwomble and I hate them too.’ Or it starts the other way around, with Person A first firing off, but either way some animosity bubbles up between the two and suddenly Person A seems a little bit better to you. Maybe it’s just subconscious, and it’s likely nothing major, but the feeling is there. You don’t like the person, exactly, but hey—how bad can someone who called Person B a cockwomble be? We live in times riven by hyper-partisan rhetoric. The temptation to rush to take sides and to consider someone an ally is strong. It’s therefore doubly important to always think critically, and to never forget who we are talking about.
But Donald Trump makes critical thinking difficult. He is so egregious in his awfulness, the repugnant stench rising from him so goddamn pungent and dizzying, that he makes (almost) everyone around him look relatively acceptable by comparison. Especially when they voice some opposition to him. So we, as leftists—or liberals, or conscientious conservatives, or whatever Trump-opposing tribe you fancy yourself as belonging to—have to be extra assiduous in our assessments of those who we would claim as allies.
In other words: It’s perfectly fine to be see two enemies going at it and to be chuffed about the mutually destructive effects of that. That’s why we have this gif:
But never forget who the big lugs doing battle actually are. Because the temptation to slot entities neatly into Good and Bad is very strong, but also very dangerous. Just because two fuckers from one camp are fighting each other does not mean that one of the fuckers has seen the light and has suddenly defected to our side. They are not fighting for the same things, or reasons, that we are.
Oh, the FBI and the CIA and the rest of the intelligence networks of the United States are waging open war on Trump? Aww, I guess they can’t be all that bad. Never mind the covert wars they have waged for decades on their own citizens at home as well as on nations abroad. If James Comey is badmouthing Trump on Twitter then I say let’s just forget about his complicity in the human rights abuses of the War on Terror, or, I dunno, his agency’s assassination of Fred Hampton. Warrant-less surveillance is delicious. And there ain’t nothing more liberal than the illegal rounding up and torture of civilians!
Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for collusion and other campaign transgressions?! Woop woop, go Bobby Mue! What a badass. I loved it when he led the charge on infiltrating non-violent antiwar groups under the guise of ‘anti-terrorism’! Or that time he lied about Iraq having WMDs and thus helped lead us into the supreme barbaric crime of our time, the repercussions of which will be felt for decades? Sploosh.
Or what about Jeff Bezos and Amazon? The richest man in the world and the company he owns, one of the largest in the world. Donald Trump is certainly not a fan of either. As per the NYT:
The president has lashed out publicly against the giant company and its chief executive, Jeff Bezos, on Twitter more than a dozen times since 2015. And privately, people close to him said, Mr. Trump repeatedly brings up his disdain for the company.
Trump has, of course every reason to hate Bezos, who apart from Amazon also owns The Washington Post, a paper very often leading the charge on negative coverage of the President. Conversely, liberals have every reason to be positively inclined towards The Washington Post and, by extension, Mr. Bezos.
But, and you’ll have to pardon my French here: Fuck that noise. Jeff Bezos is a predatory uber-capitalist and one of the most fervent anti-union bosses around—an ethos that he spreads to every venture he gobbles up. Amazon is responsible for defrauding countries of billions of dollars of tax revenue around the globe—a practice that sometimes starts to lose its sheen of evil due to the commonplace nature of it as well as the mind-numbing, abstract scale of figures involved, but which is nevertheless part of a web of catastrophic and parasitic wealth transference from the poor to the rich that has seismic knock-on effects on every part of society.
Look. I know we like The Washington Post’s attacks on Trump. I know every time Robert Mueller announces an indictment or two we get a justice boner. I know we looooooove ordering stupid tat we don’t need on Amazon and we’re gonna love getting it delivered by the next generation of unmanned drones that definitely won’t be sold to the Defence Department at any point even more. And hey, how about that Amazon Studios huh? They make some fun stuff.
I know it’s a dark time and we are hungry for allies and heroes. But Robert Mueller—useful function though he may currently be performing against a vile administration—is not one of them. Neither is James Comey, no matter how stinging a Twitter barb he may shoot in Donald Trump’s puffy face now and then. And Jeff Bezos? Union-busting, tax evading, Jeff won’t-rest-until-he-owns-the-entire-international-grid-of-product-distribution-and-entertainment-and-probably-also-space-if-Elon-Musk-will-let-him Bezos? That tycoon motherfucker gives less of a shit about us than whatever lord lived in that fancy castle gave about the autonomous collective of mud gatherers working on his land in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Fuck them all.
Like I said:
(Header image courtesy of Getty Images)