Let us be clear: white supremacy defines the United States far more than democracy ever has. It is an ideology embedded and entrenched within the country’s institutions and is the bulwark of its dominant cultural values. How could it be otherwise when it comes to a nation that was born in the genocide of its indigenous people and developed on the back of the African slave trade?
Moreover, the morally depraved gun culture in the land of the free, leading directly to the normalisation of mass shootings, is a symptom of Old Testament obscurantism, rampant individualism, along with the exaltation of hyper-masculinity and vigilante violence churned out by Hollywood as if on a permanent loop. Add to this toxic and lethal cocktail the religion of unfettered capitalism and its barbaric separation of society into winner and losers, and what you have is a society and country teetering on the brink.
Indeed the only thing keeping the US from imploding in the second decade of the 21st century is neither fidelity to the Constitution or to the Bill or Rights, but the repression of evermore militarised police departments and a justice and prison system that are the acme of cruelty and brutality.
Trump, it bears repeating, is America with its mask removed. He is not the aberration or departure from business as usual that his liberal detractors would have us all believe. He is a product of the toxic brew set out above and is the leader that country’s political and media establishment deserve, having spent years keeping the American people swimming in a sea of false consciousness with their propagation of the myths of which the ‘winners’ in that forsaken land spare no opportunity in promoting — i.e. that America is the land of opportunity, home of the brave, that shining city on a hill, etc., etc.
What Trump has done since arriving onto the political stage is do away with the subtlety by which the culture of white supremacy operates in the country and proclaim it with the gusto of a man determined to reignite another civil war; and to ensure that this time round it is the values of the South that prevail.
Like Dorian Gray, the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s classic work, Trump is what America sees when it looks at itself in the mirror. It is the ugly face of the white supremacy, gangster capitalism, rampant individualism, hyper-masculinity, nativism and vigilante violence that lies on the other side of the happy talk about liberty, opportunity, and freedom proffered by those champions of liberal America — Clinton, Obama et al. — like political snake oil salesmen and women.
Fear and loathing is today the lived experience of millions and counting in America’s towns, cities and rural heartlands — people living on the precipice of an economic abyss, their condition made worse by an unremitting ideological onslaught of American Dream verbiage, pumped out by a mass media that exists to amplify the aforementioned myths that underpin a country born in genocide, seasoned with slavery, and drowning in racism and hatred of the other.
Obama with his warm words of hope and message of unity was and is the lie. Trump with his crude words of hate and message of racial division is the truth.
El Paso is is yet another signpost on America’s descent into the abyss out of which it originally emerged in the late 18th century as a monument not to democracy or liberty but to mass murder, racial oppression and barbarism.