I recently received a comment from Bruce Marks regarding my short story, Freedom of Trade which he praised as a critique of the Laissez-faire politics pushed by the likes of Rand Paul and Ayn Rand. However, it isn’t really a satire on the current Trump administration which I think is a very different beast.
Certainly there are elements of the Trumpian ideology (if it can be given that much credence) that reflect a belief in the inherent virtue of market forces, but I think this is more a marriage of convenience with the neo-cons than a deeply held belief. And I think this is true of all the positions Trump has taken. It is all about what is convenient for Trump to build, maintain and motivate a base, which, astonishingly, is calculated at 35% of the American electorate.
I don’t think he really gives a shit about neo-conservative economic theory. I don’t think he gives a toss about the concerns of the white evangelicals. He probably cares about the environment and climate change and all the big issues that will dominate the next century or even the far distant future, only insofar as his policies can help turn an apparent short-term profit for his peers. And although he is undoubtedly a racist (as much as he is a sexist, a chauvinist, an ignoramus, a liar and many other bad things), I suspect his support of strong anti-immigration measures is less to do with a deeply-held set of beliefs and more about convenience. As proof of that, on the eve of the mid-term elections he is sending thousands of troops (more than in Afghanistan) to guard the country against the arrival of a few hundred desperate refugees who won’t arrive for months to come. He cares so much about security that he wastes valuable resources just to kick their heels in the sun over the winter months and won’t be of much use in processing asylum claims and looking after children when this caravan eventually does arrive.
I haven’t written very much on my blog since the Trump debacle of November 2016, mostly because my fear, anxiety and disgust about everything related to Trump could so easily become incoherent and ranting. Needless to say there are many commentators far better than me who have said many wise things since that date and I would urge everyone to seek them out. However, one article of particular significance that might otherwise be lost in the shitstorm is this one from the New York Magazine: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/07/trump-putin-russia-collusion.html.
However, as so much of my fiction is a warning against the perils of future trends, at least in my novel No Future, what can we say at this point about the Trump legacy?
My hope is that, as things fall apart over the next few months or years of an incompetent demagogue who is worsening everything he touches, those foolish people who actually believe in the man will be so badly disillusioned that this spells the end of the right in America as a force to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. In every society, there are those who characterise themselves as conservative and therefore vote for the Right, whatever that happens to be at any one time. Currently, the Republican Party is the Party of Trump and America is fast becoming a very Disunited set of States, as the majority understandably reject the president’s extremism and venality. In my novel No Future this results in America splitting into three, with the southern and mid-west conservative states becoming an independent republic in a world where the main axis is between the ascendant East Asian states and the increasingly impotent and malign rump Western states.
Whether this happens, I don’t know, but this scenario has become much more probable in the last few years.
And the climax of my novel after many years of environmental degradation was, of course, a devastating nuclear war.