A few thoughts — exploratory — on the Trump danger.
Trump isn’t a systematic thinker, but he is, as he demonstrated once again at a mass rally last night in Tampa, a dangerous and clever demagogue. He is less a conservative president than a right wing autocratic strongman, disposed to reckless actions and aligned with similar political types on a global level. Putin being one. Of course, among them, he considers himself to be the first among equals.
While there is little doubt that Trump advances capitalist interests in many ways, he also operates autonomously and frequently from them — not to mention his closest advisors — on matters of great consequence. To squeeze him into a rigid Marxist jacket, as some do, in which he faithfully carries out the marching orders of one or another section of big capital is more likely to confuse than clarify the Trump danger.
Trump in my view is a one man, exceedingly dangerous show. He is not only loosely tethered to his class benefactors and the Republican Party, but also completely contemptuous of democracy and viscerally animated by the most vile ideology. The guard rails that limit presidential power are nearly non-existent for him.
Trump is more like a feudal lord who is the state than a typical president who governs more or less within some constitutional and political boundaries. What compounds the danger is that the Republican Party obediently bends to his dictates and he is at the head and enjoys the adulation of a substantial mass constituency, as we saw last night, that has no critical capacity and marches to his beat.
What he doesn’t control is the outcome of the fall elections, the Mueller probe, and other critical encounters between Trump and a growing majoritarian movement. And while we can’t do much about Mueller’s investigation other than to defend it from the outrageous attacks from Trump, Giuliani, and the right-wing attack machine, the same can’t be said about the coming elections or other key battles. Each of us, if we so chose, can have a hand in effecting their outcome, each of us can be an actor who makes a difference.