For a moment, let us set aside the few new revelations that were given to us as part of the House Select Committee’s first public hearing on the insurrection attempt led by Donald Trump and his coterie of sycophants, and engage in some real talk about the primary underlying issue.
Based on the reporting and social media commentary following the hearing, everyone seems remarkably shocked at the extent of the conspiracy aspect behind all of this.
I cannot fathom why.
We knew it was a conspiracy all along, long before Donald J. Trump became a part of it.
How did we know?
The short answer for the “TL:DR” (Too Long: Didn’t Read) folks is simply:
History has shown us time and time again that it is impossible for a single person to gaslight hundreds of millions of people into intentionally harming others and themselves for what appears to be the personal benefit of only that one person. Doing this requires a massive support group engaged in coordinated implementation of a well organized, thorough plan. In this case, that plan was generarions in the making. Trump wasn’t its architect, he was just the newest face of the movement.
If you’ve been reading the books and articles of people like Timothy Snyder and following people like Dr. Heather Cox Richardson on social media, you should already have a good idea of what the long answer is going to be. If you’ve been following me on social media at all since 2011, the same should be true. But most people haven’t been putting the pieces together.
Here is a detailed look at what helped get us here.
After the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln wanted to “heal” the divide between what at the time were the Northern Republicans and the Southern Democrats. So, he made several concessions to those southern land owners and former slave owners who had led a treasonous insurrection against our own government. They took every opportunity to systemically entrench support of their “Lost Cause.” It went beyond just putting the failed treasonous military generals in high government positions, which was bad enough.
The 13th Amendment which made the freedom of the slaves a Constitutional Right was itself amended to allow that slavery could legally continue as long as people were convicted and imprisoned first.
This immediately led to the creation of laws that criminalized being Black and started the racial disparity in our justice system. When the 14th Amendment gave them the right to citizenship, many states went further making it illegal for former prisoners to exercise their consitutional right to vote or hold office, so once they managed to get out of prison they’d have no means of working within the system to enact necessary changes.
Thus began the Dredd Scott and Jim Crow eras.
This continued until well into the 20th Century and the Civil Rights Movement.
Then in 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson dared to sign the Civil Rights Act. The bill enraged and disenfranchised the southern White “DixieCrats” so much that they abandoned the party.
Richard Nixon saw this as a path to power. He would bring Roger Stone along with him.
He immediately began recruiting them to the Republican party by pandering to their racism and Evangelical religious bigotries. This movement of the southern White elite essentially forced both the Republican and Democrat parties to completely swap their social and political ideologies and policy platforms. The sudden Evangelical embrace of anti-abortion politics as a wedge issue was part of Nixon’s courting of the racist White religious right.
Nixon began the dismantling of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal which had helped end the Great Depression and for the previous 50 years ensured that America would become the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world by taxing corporations and elevating the middle class.
It was during the Nixon era when Congress separated the minimum wage from the inflation rate so employers no longer had to provide cost of living wage increases when necessary.
However, Nixon got caught committing illegal acts from the highest public office in our nation, a position commonly revered as the “Leader of the Free World.” When the coverup failed to keep those acts from reaching the public eye, his party members knew the only way to save themselves was to force him to resign before the impeachment trial exposed them too. So they did. His condition for that resignation was a full pardon, which was granted by his VP and successor to the presidency, allowing him to avoid any and all legal repercussions for his actions. And also preventing him from testifying as to whom in his party, and the government, helped him commit those crimes and helped him try to cover them up.
Then Ronald Reagan came along. As Carter successfully negotiated the release of the American Hostages being held in Iran, Reagan was working through back channels to ensure that release didn’t happen until after his inauguration so it would appear his administration secured it rather than Carter’s. This was the foundation of the Iran-Contra hearings that came later, that led to Oliver North’s immunity deal on three federal charges in exchange for his congressional testimony.
While in office Reagan spent a few years intentionally ignoring the HIV/AIDS epidemic because the primary victims seemed to be intravenous drug users and people who were labeled at the time as homosexual. It wasn’t until powerful and influential people, who were formerly closeted members of what is now the LGBTQQIP2SAA community, began announcing their own diagnoses that he could no longer ignore it. Countless people needlessly suffered and died because of his administration’s intentional mismanagement of the early years of that epidemic and the false narratives about how the disease could be transmitted.
He also enacted the nationalization of Trickle-Down economics that has disempowered much of the middle class created by FDR’s New Deal.
And, this will be important later, he vetoed journalism’s Fairness Doctrine Bill. Organizations like FOX News, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and Alex Jones’ InfoWars, couldn’t exist today if he had allowed it to pass.
But the worst thing that came from Reagan’s tenure was pushing the public narrative of individual American exceptionalism and the belief that everyone who was successful became successful on their own through nothing but hard work and determination instead of through the help of supportive friends, family, and community. This became even more destructive with the conflation of all social service programs as “SOCIALISM” and just to be sure they managed to lump all the varying types of socialism as well as communism together under that one “evil” label. This had been going on for quite some time, but dismantling the fairness doctrine really accelerated the way conservative media outlets could package their propaganda.
Then came the the first of two Bush Presidents. The first was pretty much just an extension of Reagan. He did appoint Justice Thomas to the Supreme Court, although it wouldn’t be until decades later that we would learn that Clarence was only serving as his wife’s proxy on the bench.
Before the second Bush came Bill Clinton, who after playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show embraced being called America’s “First Black President,” despite not being Black. His entire campaign was about embracing Corporatism in compromise with the modern Republicans and forcing all of American politics just a little bit further right with each of his political compromises as he tried getting conservative independents to support him.
Clinton and his administration became embroiled in multiple personal and professional scandals, including Bill’s workplace infidelity with interns which led to an impeachment hearing that would teach American teens that committing sexual acts without intercourse doesn’t legally count as sex, the Whitewater scandal, and the fact that they used Black prison labor [see 13th Amendment’s continued legalization of imprisoned slaves reference above] to staff the Arkansas Governor’s mansion while in residence there. That last might well explain why he was so willing to push the center right while compromising with the former DixieCrats.
During Clinton’s tenure, House Speaker Newt Gingrich would take full advantage of both Clinton’s desire to compromise with Republicans and the various scandals to further the only Republican policy platform agenda that had been in place since Nixon. That was to subversively support White Nationalism, Toxic Misogyny, and Religious Discrimination to keep the people divided, to use the War On Drugs and the War on Poverty to wage war on all marginalized people suffering from drug addiction and poverty in the world’s wealthiest nation instead of providing them the resources they needed to improve their lives; because doing so made them easier to control under the guise of maintaining “Law and Order,” “The Rule Of Law” and protecting “Family values.”
It was at this point FOX News was founded by Australia’s Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch weaved White Nationalism and misogyny into everything he did at the network and everything the network put on the air. He created a 24/7 entertainment empire that would serve as a recruiting and indoctrination service for violently angry White men in exactly the same way that other multinational terrorist organizations recruited and indoctrinated their own terrorist cells.
Following Clinton was the second Bush administration. Which would capitalize on the American media’s conflation of all Muslim ethnicities into one giant anti-democracy terrorist organization.
“W.” would use the well established Republican relationship with American Evangelicalism to stoke the religious bigotry of our nation’s militant right after the 9/11 attacks of 2001 and unleash the world’s greatest military power on the wrong country so we could secure the oil reserves of that nation. Considering his family’s fortune and power was built upon the oil industry, this was no doubt a remarkably self serving action that cost millions of lives of all those involved and entagled us in a war that would span decades.
He would also use the incident to justify creation of Department of Homeland Security and issue executive orders that would later be codified into law by Congress to bypass the 4th amendment rights of any and all citizens it wanted if it could meet the lowest possible standards of suspicion of a national security threat. This would be used by increasingly militarized police departments around the nation to wage war on increasingly marginalized communities of color. It was at this time, that privatized White Nationalist militias really began to see a surge in their membership as angry White men took up arms to protect our country from Black and Brown people attempting to immigrate here both legally and illegally.
Meanwhile, Roger Ailes became CEO of FOX News, Fox Television stations, and 20th Television. Ailes had served as media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush as well as for the first mayoral campaign of Rudy Giuliani. He would maintain Murdoch’s history of racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny in every aspect of the business, but he was also instrumental in turning the outlet into nothing more than a Republican propaganda machine. The company’s own legal team would argue in court, against slander and libel lawsuits, that the outlet was nothing more than sensationalist entertainment and could not seriously be considered a legitimate news source.
It was the George W. Bush administration that appointed John Roberts to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. The Roberts’ court would almost immediately begin stripping away the political power and civil rights protections of the populace and relocating it into the hands of the world’s wealthiest people and corporations.
Then a mostly unknown Black freshman Senator did the unthinkable.
He galvanized the nation’s people of color, most especially the women of color, to overcome the centuries of efforts to prevent them from having any political power to not only show up, but to do so in such numbers that those efforts would be rendered meaningless. Even more miraculously, he did so without disenfranchising the White moderates and liberals who embraced his message of cooperative hope for the future. And even more miraculously than that, he did it with a decidedly “Muslim sounding” name in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq wars.
Barack Obama was the greatest societal unifying force of a generation. He pushed social services. He pushed for getting as many Americans as possible health care knowing he’d never get Republican support for Universal heath care.
The only people who saw him as divisive were the racists who were never going to accept him because of his name and/or skin color. Many people think he didn’t do enough, but what he and his team accomplished against the most aggressively obstructive Congress was nothing short of astounding.
Prominent Republicans looked at his success and said “never again,” and — probably for the first time — meant it.
The Senate Majority Leader at the time vowed, literally at the inauguration, to do everything possible to ensure Obama would be an ineffectual one term president. Authoritarian and fascist leaders of foreign governments lined his pockets and that of other Republicans to help him, as did quite a few major corporations and organizations, not the least of which were Russia and the NRA.
To Obama’s credit, he accomplished much, including getting re-elected to accomplish more.
McConnell and the Republicans fought him every step. And their biggest complaint, even as he offered them exactly what they demanded in their compromise negotiations always boiled down to “But he’s a Black Muslim,” even though he was Christian.
This is where Donald Trump finally officially enters the picture in August of 2015 to announce the presidential campaign he had been threatening for years. At this point in his life, his one true skill is simply self-promotion. Russia’s former superspy and current president, Putin, had been grooming him for years.
They funneled money to him and other Republicans through the NRA and his money laundering real estate businesses whose primary clientele was the Russian mafia. His behind the scenes campaign advisors included Roger Stone, Roger Ailes (and several of his fake news network’s superstars), Newt Gingrich, and media shock jocks Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones.
Publicly, during the campaign, Republicans put up a pretense of hating Donald J. Trump and everything about him. He had a tendency to talk too much and “say the quiet parts out loud” exposing motives and plans before they could be snuck passed the general populace until it was too late. He was also at constant risk for sex, ethics, discriminatory, and other legal scandals popping up from his past and present.
However, his donors had much deeper pockets (being mostly adversarial foreign governments) and his advisory team had much more power, experience, reach, and political clout than any of his opponents.
Angry, racist, White Americans loved the fact that he was unabashedly racist and willing to say what they wanted to hear even when everyone knew he shouldn’t be saying it.
Ultimately, when he won the primary, the Republican party agreed to support him for President. They would protect him from accountability if he would sign off on their desire to stack every federal bench with judges who would be willing to put party platform before their duty to their office. All three RNC finance chairs from this period were subsequently convicted on various felonies.
The son of a sitting Supreme Court Justice would use his position at a bank to funnel a billion dollars of funding to Trump with a loan no other bank would have made. The loan appears to have been a funnel of Russian money, not the bank’s own assets.
That Justice would later take early retirement for Trump to seat an additional member on the bench for at least another two generations of furthering the Robert’s court agenda.
McConnell, with the help of all Republicans, literally broke American parliamentary procedures to steal a Supreme Court bench seat from the Obama administration. Conservative media helped them justify it.
The death of civil and women’s rights champion Ruth Bader Ginsburg would make a third seat available to entrench the Republican agenda on the bench for those generations.
During his presidency, Trump would intentionally damage long standing national alliances, destroy treaties, and court authoritarian regimes as he attempted to remove any and all trace of Obama’s successes from the White House history. To help accomplish this, nearly every administrative appointment he made was to put in place a person who had already publicly stated that the department they would be heading should be completely dismantled and eradicated. He immediately began dismantling agencies that performed ethics oversite and civil rights protections.
To further his efforts he would stoke and then dismiss as unimportant White Nationalist hatred and violence toward People of Color and non-Christians. Drive up the recruitment for White Nationalist domestic terrorism cells (militias) and weaponize them against communities of color along with using ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Border Patrol to do the same. He would also openly encourage more racial policing and police brutality against people of color.
With the help of the entire Republican party and their well established media propaganda machine, he would borrow a page from Reagan’s HIV/AIDS playbook and allow over a million Americans to die as he intentionally mismanaged our government’s response to a global pandemic because at the early stages of that crisis the most effected communities were the ones that weren’t among his support demographic. They would convince their followers to put themselves and their own families at great risk in an attempt to kill off as many of their opposition voters as possible.
He would be twice impeached, once for attempting to blackmail Ukraine’s president for his own personal reelection efforts and to benefit Putin’s efforts to rebuild the U.S.S.R. and again for leading a violent murderous insurrection against the American government to prevent the transition of power to his rightful successor in the office. Both times the Republican party did everything they possibly could to protect him from consequence and accountability.
All of this is a matter of public record.
None of it is part of a big investigative reveal discovered at the Select Committee hearings.
We’ve known all of it all along.
History has shown us time and time again that it is impossible for a single person to gaslight hundreds of millions of people into intentionally harming others and themselves for what appears to be the personal benefit of only that one person. Doing this requires a massive support group engaged in coordinated implementation of a well organized, thorough plan. In this case, that plan was generations in the making. Trump wasn’t its architect, he was just the newest face of the movement.
What we have been up against all along is a small group of kleptocrats enabled by adversarial foreign governments to undermine democracy, dismantle the US government, and erode our international influence to create a society of multinational Corporate Feudalism. And they have weaponized uninformed outrage, racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny to accomplish it.
If you look at it with that in mind, every single decision they have made over the years makes perfect sense.
Trump wasn’t the mad scientist brains behind the whole thing, he was the monster those mad scientists created and unleashed.
Of course it’s a conspiracy.
It’s a conspiracy that has been fully entrenched within the #Culturalinertia of our nation’s history.
It will continue until we put an end to it, or it succeeds.