LIVE: The constitutional issues of Special Counsel investigation of Russia, Trump and campaign

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 12:41
US democracy, decency at risk with Donald Trump's candidacy
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

trump campaignby Mike Malak

Ayn Rand popularized the Virtue of Selfishness in a book of the same name. Essentially, she advocated for a national egoism that looks towards self, in lieu of others, as a means of survival, no matter the moral cost. In her worldview, the consequences of altruism are made clear: “Principles have gotten a bad name because conventional ideals like self-sacrifice cannot be consistently practiced without inviting disaster.” This sounds eerily like how Trump has lived his life, and runs his campaign, one in which deception is permissible, if not honored. 

In 1920’s Vienna, a belief in Logical Positivism assumed the stature of a philosophical movement. Though largely discredited, today, one of its components consisted of interpretation of language. In a great many cases, language was construed as meaningless. This view gave speakers free license to say whatever they wanted because truth is incapable of empirical verification and, thus, largely, irrelevant. 

Though the role of language in human discourse was in dispute between the liberal and conservative sectors of the Vienna Circle, as this belief system’s adherents were known, there is a constant. Language and logic are untrustworthy and, thus, meaningless. Unfortunately, this means, by extension, that the great notions on which Western civilization was built are meaningless, too. A recognition of things “higher,” or greater than man, even God, because they are incapable of precise, provable, definition, are nothing more than “inferences” that can be ignored. The group believed in the truth of mathematics, a favorable nod to Ptolemy. Science was useful, too, mainly when it suited the group’s goals and purposes. Everything else, for the most part, including all theory, was inferential and, therefore, capable of being manipulated according to personal needs. 

Donald Trump shows how this works when he says outrageous things to promote a decidedly dystopian worldview and, then, posits himself as a Nietzschean superman, or ubermensch, who is a besotted society’s only answer. It’s nothing less than a latter-day form of nihilism. 

The words, “I alone can…” betray his true intent, and that is an absolute control antithetical to generally accepted American notions of “We the People.” Wars, throughout history, have been fought because of Trump styled mendacious slight of words. Dictators have ridden them to power. All it takes is for a bamboozled citizenry to believe reckless statements that are crafted with the knowledge of their falsity, in the service of power. 

Trump’s verbal war on Mexicans, refugees, Muslims, and dissenters, in general, demonstrate his totalitarian tendencies. Advocating killing terrorists’ families, reinstituting torture as intelligence gathering, no matter the dubiousness of its results, and “bombing the hell of them,” whomsoever “them” may mean at any given moment, is so rancorous, frightful, and dangerous, that it undermines America’s claim to be a nation “Under God.” Promising internment, that is concentration camps, established via a massive expansion of private and public prisons to contain our internal enemies, absent any 4th, 6th, and 14th,  Amendment due process guarantees, should frighten every American. 

The Republican candidate’s appeal is based on the fantasy of American weakness, rampant lawlessness, and the, presumed, failures of democracy, as we know it. Trump’s pitch is based, also, on the purported virtue of his own monetary success and ignores how that success was achieved. 

If voters supporting him listened, closely, to the gospel of Trump, and its unbelievable message of intolerance and hate, they might remember that goodness and decency, as we know them, are still virtues worthy of cultivation, that the world is not flat, that man came from apes and that the industrial revolution is over. Let us pray, because Donald Trump is willing to consort with the enemy, advocates assassination as a political tool, marginalizes millions, many of whom he would imprison, and encourages physically harm to those he considers to be his opponents. The man sings the praises of Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin, traditional enemies, and is willing to parlay with Kim Yong Jim, himself. How can this be moral? 

In the service of enhancing his brand, Trump will tell any lie, utter any foolishness, and will brook no opposition as he seeks powers that can only be considered dictatorial, when compared to those any president has exercised before. This election is, surely, one of the most consequential this country has ever seen. It is a choice between light and dark; truth and falsity; and, will define, perhaps for generations, whether our dedication to democracy is real or just some meaningless language on an old parchment that is capable of being twisted to serve the ethics of the moment.

Mike Malak is a columnist, attorney, and photographer.  He lives in California.




Login to post comments
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More


trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.


Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More

BB Menu


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1