Telstar wrote:Americans trying to unpick the phenomenon of Donald Trump have turned to a late left-leaning academic, who predicted that old industrialized democracies were heading into a Weimar-like period in which populist movements could overturn constitutional governments.
In 1998, the late Stanford philosopher Richard Rorty published a small volume, Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America, that described a fracturing of the leftwing coalition that rendered the movement so dispirited and cynical that it invited its own collapse.
In the days after Trump’s electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton, passages from Rorty’s book went viral, shared thousands of times on social media. Rorty’s theories were then echoed by the New Yorker editor David Remnick in an interview with Barack Obama and essay on his presidency, and taken up across the internet as an explanation for Trump’s success.
I don't buy this at all. I'm frankly tired of blame falling on Democrats for the illegal, underhanded actions of the right (Reich) wing. 1998: Bill Clinton was still president after attacks throughout his presidency, PNAC was writing Rebuilding America's Defences
. According to the PNAC report, "The American peace has proven itself peaceful, stable, and durable. Yet no moment in international politics can be frozen in time: even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself." To preserve this "American peace" through the 21st century, the PNAC report concludes that the global order "must have a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence." The report struck a prescient note when it observed that "the process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event--like a new Pearl Harbor."
These were the players:
Original 25 signatories were:
, a former Reagan-era Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs. During the Iran/Contra scandal, Abrams pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of lying to Congress but was later pardoned by the first Bush administration. He subsequently became president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He is currently a member of Bush's National Security Council.Gary Bauer
, a Republican presidential candidate in 2000, who currently is president of an organization named American Values.William J. Bennett
, who served during the Reagan and first Bush administrations as U.S. Secretary of Education and Drug Czar. Upon leaving government office, Bennett became a "distinguished fellow" at the conservative Heritage Foundation, co-founded Empower America, and established himself as a self-proclaimed expert on morality with his authorship of The Book of Virtues.Jeb Bush
, the son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and brother of current President George W. Bush. At the time of PNAC's founding, Jeb Bush was a candidate for the Florida governor's seat, a position which he currently holds.Dick Cheney
, the former White House Chief of Staff to Gerald R. Ford, six-term Congressman, and Secretary of Defense to the first President Bush, was serving as president of the oil-services giant Halliburton Company at the time of PNAC's founding. He subsequently became U.S. vice president under George W. Bush.Eliot A. Cohen
, a professor of strategic studies at John Hopkins UniversityPaula Dobriansky
, vice president and director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations. Currently Dobriansky serves in the Bush administration as Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs.Steve Forbes
, publisher, billionaire, and Republican presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000. Forbes has also campaigned actively on behalf of the "flat tax," which would reduce the federal tax burden for wealthy individuals like himself.Aaron Friedberg
, professor of politics and international affairs; Director, Center of International Studies; Director, Research Program in International Security, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University.Francis Fukuyama
, author of The End of History and the Last Man; Dean of the Faculty and Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Appointed to the President's Council on Bioethics by George W. Bush, January 2002.Frank Gaffney
- conservative columnist; founder and president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Web-site: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/Fred C. Ikle
, "distinguished scholar" at the Center for Strategic and International StudiesDonald Kagan
, professor of history and classics at Yale University and the author of books including While America Sleeps: Self-Delusion, Military Weakness, and the Threat to Peace Today; A Twilight Struggle: American Power and Nicaragua, 1977-1990; and The Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace. Kagan is also a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard and a Washington Post columnist, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Alexander Hamilton fellow in American diplomatic history at American University. Past experience includes: Deputy for Policy in the State Department's Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (1985-1988); State Department's Policy Planning Staff member (1984-1985); speechwriter to Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1984-1985); foreign policy advisor to Congressman Jack Kemp (1983); Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the United States Information Agency (1983); Assistant Editor at the Public Interest (1981).Zalmay Khalilzad
, an Afghan-American who was the only Muslim among the group's original signatories and the only signatory who was not a native-born U.S. citizen. Khalilzad has became the Bush administration's special envoy to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban as well as is special envoy to the Iraqi opposition to Saddam Hussein. Khalilzad has written about information warfare, and in 1996 (in pre-Taliban days), he served as a consultant to the oil company Unocal Corporation (UNOCAL) regarding a "risk analysis" for its proposed pipeline project through Afghanistan and Pakistan.William Kristol
, PNAC's chairman, is also editor of the Weekly Standard, a Washington-based political magazine. His past involvements have included: lead of the Project for the Republican Future, chief of staff to Vice President J. Danforth Quayle, chief of staff to Secretary of Education William J. Bennett under the Reagan administration, taught politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.I. Lewis Scooter Libby
, who later became chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney.Norman Podhoretz
, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of works such as Patriotism and its Enemies.J. Danforth Quayle
, former vice president under President George Herbert Walker Bush and a presidential candidate himself in 1996.Peter W. Rodman
, who served in the State Department and the National Security Council under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush, became the current Bush administration's Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security affairs in 2001.Stephen P. Rosen
, Beton Michael Kaneb Professor of National Security and Military Affairs at Harvard University.Henry S. Rowen
was president of the RAND Corporation from 1967-1972. He served under former presidents Reagan and Bush as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (1981-83) and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1989-91). He currently holds the title of "senior fellow" at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and PeaceDonald H. Rumsfeld
served former President Gerald R. Ford as chief of transition after Richard M. Nixon's resignation, later becoming Ford's chief of staff and secretary of defense from 1974-75. He subsequently served from 1990-93 as CEO of General Instrument Corporation and later as Chairman of the Board of Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company. In 1998 he served as chairman of the bi-partisan US Ballistic Missile Threat Commission. Under President George W. Bush, he once again assumed the post of Secretary of Defense.Vin Weber
, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota, is now a well-connected lobbyist who has represented such firms as AT&T, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft. Weber is also vice chairman of Empower America and a former fellow of the Progress and Freedom Foundation.George Weigel
, a Roman Catholic religious and political commentator, is a "senior fellow" at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.Paul Dundes Wolfowitz
, formerly Dean and Professor of International Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, became Undersecretary of Defense for President George W. Bush in 2001.
Thom Hartmann nails it here:The Republican Party Is An Organized Gang of Sociopaths
Oct. 28, 2020 4:40 pm
Trump doesn't care how many people in Omaha were stranded for hours in the freezing cold, over 3 miles from the nearest road or parking lot, after he's left his rally, putting some in the hospital. And he clearly doesn't care how many people die of Covid.
One of the defining characteristics of a sociopath is that they view themselves as the only "real" humans on the planet, and everybody else is basically a prop in the amazing story of their lives.
Other people, they think, don't feel emotions or pain or anything else with the intensity that they do. They believe they're the only ones who matter, because they're the only ones who truly exist.
The Republican Party, starting in 1980, has brought that sociopathic worldview to politics, and made it a cornerstone of policy as well as a criteria for elective office.
Reagan didn't care how many people were harmed or died because of his "government is the cause of your problems" or "starve the beast" policies.
George W. Bush didn't care how many Americans or other human beings may die because of his lies about Iraq and WMD: if it helped him politically, it was all good.
But Trump and the GOP's sociopathy isn't limited to using supporters as props and letting the people he thinks of as suckers suffer from hypothermia.
The Republican-controlled EPA just authorized five years of a deadly pesticide being poured onto our food, so giant corporations and their shareholders could enjoy more profits.
The Republican-controlled Interior department is destroying our national parks and selling off public land to GOP-donor mining and drilling companies.
The Republican-controlled Agriculture department is cutting people off food stamps during the Trump Depression, while the Republican-controlled Department of Housing and Urban Development is trying to throw poor people out into the cold during a pandemic.
The Republican-controlled Justice Department is openly giving a pass to criminal Republican operatives, supporters and donors, while prosecuting critics of their racist, police-state tactics.
The Republican controlled CDC and FDA are cutting corners for big Pharma to help Trump win the election, while putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk.
The Republican-directed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is promoting privatized so-called "Medicare Advantage" plans that often wipe out seniors who get sick, while they devastate Medicare itself and will make it difficult to pass Medicare for All legislation.
Republican-dominated media organizations and radio and TV stations daily traffic in easily-disproven lies and are constantly trying to gin up racial hatred, all to benefit the oligarch class.
Republican-aligned billionaires financed a multi-million-dollar campaign to put rightwing judges on the Supreme Court, and those judges are preparing to repeat their 2000 scam of handing the White House to a man who lost the popular vote and only seized the Electoral College through voter suppression.
There is not a single elected Republican with any consequential profile in America who acknowledges the dangers of climate change and the straightforward solution of ending our dependence on fossil fuels, simply because fossil fuel billionaires own them all.
Republicans celebrate the Citizens United Supreme Court decision because it nakedly allows billionaires and giant corporations to own politicians and political parties.
Republicans embrace white racist gangs that pretend they're "militias" because they'll intimidate people of color who tend to vote Democratic.
Sociopathy cannot be "cured"; it can only be controlled. Sociopaths need to be identified, isolated from society, and restrained in ways that limit the damage they can do to others.
This is a central tenant of psychotherapy, and America must apply it to politics as well, before these Republican sociopaths totally destroy our nation and gut democracy around the world.