Posted by: Bruce Allen | July 19, 2018

We Have Met the Enemy…

The beginning of the famous line from the cartoon Pogo which concludes, “and he is us.” We have been looking at the condition of American politics in the Trump age from the wrong vantage point. The wonder is not that he got elected. The wonder is that his brand of politics has become mainstream in the Republican party.

As a highbrow—one whose education exceeds his intelligence—I have voiced, over the years, the politically inastute observation that 90% of Americans are, in a word, hill jacks, that the vast majority of Americans are uninformed, under-informed, mis-informed, on their phones or simply too busy surviving to give a rip about existential issues such as climate change, income inequality, human trafficking, global corruption, etc. That, in our hearts, most of us are racists, belief-driven rather than knowledge-driven, paranoid, vengeful, and dishonest. Of this 90%, fully half are capable of walking into a voting booth, saying, “What the f**k lol” and pushing the Trump lever. This “Remnant” of the U.S. population, maybe 40%, is what shapes the current political landscape.

The question, after a year and a half of a guy George Will refers to as “this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man,” is not how we got stuck with an inarticulate, immoral con man in The White House. The question is, “Why is there any reason to believe that a blue wave of any significance can occur in November when the water is so red?”

There is a reason we are seeing more and more racism, divisionism, and veiled coddling (“tax reform”) of the rich at the expense of the poor. These practices lie at the heart of the messages used by politicians to appeal to the base instincts of the body politic. “Your tax dollars are going to inner city welfare cheats. Business is being strangled by job-crushing environmental regulations. Muslims are radical fundamentalist terrorists. Obamacare is a disgrace. What we need is to construct a new Fortress America. Our military forces are poorly equipped. Jobs depend upon cutting regulations, especially on big banks. Etc.”

These positions are simply wrong, so wrong, yet resonate so strongly for The Remnant because they’re what they believe and want to hear. “Dog-whistle politics” encourages The Remnant to think, “Hell yes, cut those welfare cheats off at the knees!” “Most of that environmental crap is just bureaucratic BS.” “Black people just aren’t as smart as us white people.” “If America ain’t secure, what’s the point of doing anything?” “These guys put their lives on the line every day and need the best we can provide them, to torch them ragheads once and for all. ”The banks know what they’re doing. They got a little carried away about ten years ago, but they’ve learned their lesson.”

Ultimately, we get the politicians we deserve. As a nation, we’ve believed (since WWII) that the USA is the dominant military, commercial and moral force on the globe. We fail to recognize what is happening today at the hands of the Trumpistas. A slow motion disaster. Our prominent role in the world is shrinking right before our eyes, courtesy of a Republican president who appears to be getting blackmailed by Vladimir Putin and whose resulting egregious behaviors go uncensored by his fellow Republicans on the Hill, other than those retiring on a fat pension rather than having to buddy-up with the repugnant leader of their party in the midterms. Just sayin’.

The politicians we deserve are gaily leading people in the wrong direction on Trump’s coattails in response to pretty much all of the existential threats facing the country. But The Remnant doesn’t know and doesn’t care. The Remnant figures we’ll all run out of oil at the same time, might as well buy a big Dodge pickup to drag the boat. The Remnant cranks up the AC in the summer and the heat in the winter and doesn’t care. Most of the remnant will be dead, one way or another, within 30 years and won’t have to deal with the consequences. That their kids and their grandkids will, they believe, is just the way it goes. They’ll probably fix it by then anyways.

As the famous Demotivator poster observed, “None of us is as dumb as all of us.” Our collective ignorance, encouraged and supported by our peers, has reached a tipping point thanks to Donald Trump and the policies (moods) and politics he practices. Unless he is undone in the next year or so by his own perfidy, he will have made it great to be a member of The Remnant, as repellent as it seems to the rest of us. It is only right, then, that America surrender its role as leader of the free world and allow China and Russia to divide up the rest. We no longer occupy the high moral ground. We have become rivals with Europe and friends with Russia.

The kompromat, as has been referred to many times since 2013, has only truly existed since November of 2016. As has been written elsewhere, it is not pee-pee tapes. It is proof, in the possession of Putin, that Russia did, in fact, throw the election to Trump. Putin privately assures the narcissist Trump that he got elected all by his big boy self, but both of them know that’s a lie, and Trump, psychologically, cannot afford to let this information see the light of day. Even if he didn’t encourage it, or wasn’t even aware of it, it would be lethal for his ego to have to deal with it. A social media program focused heavily on Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that was designed to help Trump. A program that worked.

The funny thing is that The Remnant would probably be okay with it, as long as they felt Trump was unaware of it. Trump himself might find it unacceptable, but his fans would gleefully overlook it in order to maintain what has become the status quo. The Remnant enjoys getting under the skin of highbrows, and gets mostly ignored by everyone else. The Remnant feeds its own flames. The Remnant is winning.

We have met the enemy, and he is us. Some of us, anyway.



  1. Fantastic opus! BruAl, ypu are such a articulate astute wry writer, I love your posts! Send them to Nytimes and WAPO TOO! Every sentence here creates the greatest image. Masterful.

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