Friday, October 11, 2019

"Let's not bicker and argue about who killed hundreds of thousands of who!"

When people call trump our worst president ever, other people are always quick to remind us that for all his loathesomeness, he has yet to lie us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents and immiserated countless more (I mean, in addition to everything else, but for the sake of argument, let's stay focused here). Which is true, though obviously not because trump would have any scruples about that if he saw the opportunity and thought it would lead to his greater glory, but I think the point is that when people look at george w bush, they see, like, a person, who is capable of liking other people. Who, it's easy to believe, authentically loved Barney the dog and was sad when he died. Whereas it's impossible to imagine trump even feeling sad if one of his children died (regret at having lost any possible opportunity to fuck his daughter doesn't count). Trump just seems fundamentally less-than-human in a way that gwb didn't.  I mean, gwb is someone who would be capable of having friends.

Still. The fact remains, he lied us into a war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocents and immiserated countless more (side note: for some bizarre reason, blogger's spellcheck recognizes "immiserate" as a word, but flags both "immiserated" and "immiserates" with its red underline). The magnitude of this is so great it's difficult to conceptualize. There is--I have heard said--a good argument to be made that, if you want to be technical about it, every President in living memory has been a war criminal, and I can easily believe this, but gwb is pretty damned unambiguous in this regard.

Still, if Ellen Degeneres or any other nominally liberal member of our cultural elite wants to be friends with him, whatever. When you're rich enough, in most ways that matter you live in a completely different world than us common rabble, and questions like this fade into insignificance.

Still. If you're going to do it, just do it. Don't address it; don't try to justify it. Because the airy platitudes about us getting along in spite of our differences are the really nauseating thing here. If you're going to talk about it at all, it's dishonest on a hideous level to not just come out and say "yes, he's responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children, but that's irrelevant to the fact that I find him personally charming." But you won't say that, because it would make you look like a monster, and you know it would.  So knowing that, how can you still be friends?  That's a big ol' "this program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down," so instead, let's not willfully not think about it; let's just be vague and act like none of it happened.

I suppose this is just the sort of thing that happens when you let war crimes go unpunished because it would be bad for national unity (this is the place for a rare unironic "thanks Obama"). But it's still fucking gross. As I say, do what you want, and if your audience accepts it, then I guess The Market Has Spoken. But don't expect people with functioning moral compasses to accept it or forgive you for it.


Blogger Pan MiluĊ› pontificated to the effect that...

Sounds like most wacky opera yet!

1:54 AM  

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