The Last American

The Last American. By Christopher Roach.

For all his faults and his New York cynicism, Trump still believes in America. The old one. This is why he says Make America Great Again.

He thinks the country and its institutions are fundamentally good, that its people are decent, and that truth, justice, and prosperity will prevail once again when this temporary emergency passes.

This is why he highlights the hypocrisy of his mistreatment by the Democrats, the intelligence community, and the Department of Justice. For him, this is all a deviation from an otherwise workable and just system. Remove the bad actors and the bad precedents, and things return to normal.

Unfortunately, this is all very doubtful, not least because his trials are simply a more extreme example of bureaucratic resistance to democracy that has taken hold since the New Deal. …

There is evidence the deep state had much to do with the political demise of President Nixon and that the CIA and the Pentagon tried to box in JFK. Earlier, President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the national security state. The apparatus of the deep state is much bolder now. …

Why Trump is his own worst enemy:

The reason he is in this jam is one of the most salient: even after all his years in business, he has terrible instincts about whom to hire, fire, and promote.

Being involved with the obvious dirtbag Michael Cohen was a mistake. Cohen has proven to be completely slimy, disloyal, and also incompetent.

Trump made different, but equally consequential personnel mistakes in elevating James Mattis, Nikki Haley, John Bolton, Anthony Fauci, Rudy Giuliani, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. All of these people either betrayed him, were incompetent, or acted in a passive aggressive way towards his agenda.

Personnel is policy, not the other way around:

This mistake arises from a deeper misunderstanding. Trump thinks the system is about laws and rules, words on paper. If these rules and words are truly paramount, then people are constrained. But ensuring that the person interpreting the rules is loyal, decent, and smart is at least equally important as the content of the rules themselves.

One of the most important features of the developing administrative state and its powerful managerial class is their disregard for the American people and their opinions and interests.

Truth impedes them:

The managers want a free hand to do what they think is best and without democratic accountability. Trump threatened this class and its power. A system built on special privileges, accounting tricks, and relentless propaganda cannot bear much truth.

Trump was willing to point out the obvious, such as the way politicians get rich from the same rules by which he got rich, that our bemedaled military leaders keep losing wars, and that many of the immigrants coming to the country over the last 50 years do not contribute much because they possess the same qualities that made their homelands failed states. They hated him in return.

The system isn’t fair, Donald:

Trump should take stock of very recent history. He cannot rely on the goodwill of the ruling class or even their fear of the American people because they have none. He cannot rely on traditional American institutions such as the rule of law or the jury system, particularly in a hostile jurisdiction like New York or Washington, D.C.

The old civic nationalist ethos does not apply, because he is not being treated normally and never has been. For the ruling class, he is below the law. The fact that this prosecution is garbage doesn’t mean they won’t find Trump guilty and throw him in prison.