It’s quite the sad yet delicious recent turn of events that has revealed the hypocrisy of Trump and his supporters. It’s also revealing to see that this time it was the Republican who ran on the promise of peace only to go back on it. That’s usually the Democrats’ job. Through the lens of the old maxim about power corrupting, I would hope that Trump supporters are finally acknowledging that their “god-king” is nothing special in the world of Presidents, but rather just another slave to special interests and none more special than the military industrial complex. Sadly, many of them continue to make excuses for him and reveal that their support for him was not based on anything more righteous than their desire to preserve a nationalist tribal identity. It would be more comical if there weren’t so many lives hanging in the balance.
Because Trump was able to tap into Americans’ deepest insecurities, the loyalty he inspired was unique. Not only was he able to lie his way into office, but he had an army on the internet willing to repeat his lies without question. “We need Trump because Hillary will lead us into WWIII!” If any of the people spouting this nonsense actually cared about peace, they would have been engaged in anti-war activism long before Trump. There is even more proof that the majority of them don’t care about peace in how they have responded to Trump’s “tough talk” on Venezuela and North Korea and striking Syria: “It’s a good thing we have Trump to lead us into WWIII!” Just as Obama supporters were essentially willing to let Obama extend the war on terror longer and more viciously than Bush would have and keep killing children with drone strikes in exchange for the promise of government healthcare, Trump supporters made an even worse deal. They were willing to trade “WWIII” for nothing more than national pride.
Before I get any further, an important caveat: I don’t think WWIII is imminent, in fact I’m more inclined to believe that in the age of the internet, it’s impossible. So while I’m using the term “WWIII” here, it’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek because it’s the term that Trump supporters used to scare libertarians away from Gary Johnson. The reality of the threat from government now is not a world war, but the continued proxy wars and occupations and limited operations that currently comprise the global war on terror. Of course you could call this a world war, but if so, it pales in comparison to the destructiveness of the last two, and if you call it that, where were you when Bush was starting it? What I’m getting at here is that the reason Trump and Clinton were both terrible options for President is that they would both be slaves to the military welfare queens who manipulate politics in order to enrich themselves off of as much violence as the American people will put up with as long as they keep paying their taxes.
So back to the idea of power corrupting. I would say that being “Commander-In-Chief” of the greatest mechanism of violence the world has ever known is a lot of power. The sad thing is, the President himself doesn’t have to be corrupted to be a mechanism for corruption. Even a President, like Kennedy, taking office with the best of intentions is subject to … well … you know the story.
It’s childishly naive to think that we can ignore the advice of the American founders to rely upon our militias and avoid having a standing army. The existence of a standing army makes us all less safe. It makes the American people slaves. It leaves us vulnerable to the predatory government over which Donald Trump now presides. The answer to this issue, and the greatest single thing we could do to restore American principles in practice is quite simple: abolish the United States military. No more sabres to rattle, and none to cut down your freedom.