Trump and Objective Reality
By Dennis Loo (2/19/17)
“One of these things just doesn’t belong here,” as they sing-a-long on Sesame Street. Of course, the two - Trump and Objective Reality - exist alongside each other in a most uneasy way, with Trump insisting that what he says is true because, well, he said it, ergo it is, no matter what. Anyone who says any different is “the enemy,” “fake news,” and “dishonest.”
On the one hand, Trump represents a continuation of a trend that began some decades ago which Obama was the previous most egregious purveyor of untruth, but Trump and objective reality know no relationship whatsoever, with a Trump untruth just hanging out there like a sore thumb.
Before going on, let’s deal with a concern that many have expressed: if we get rid of that pest Trump, we are left with Pence, and then we’ll have a competent reactionary rather than that clown Trump. What people need to visualize is that the level of political mobilization that is going to be required to force a Trump resignation – in the tens of millions – means that this dramatic change in the political balance of forces does not just go away with a Pence presidency. Pence will not act like a crazy person the way Trump does, but he will confront a thoroughly aroused populace and will be restricted by that. If he pushes too hard in the face of that, well, then he can face the whirlwind that brought his predecessor down.
I will summarize what I will say next at near the start: if you construct your plans or policies on lies that bear no relation to objective reality, then those plans may only go so far as your power to persuade people of lies can go. That is to say, not very far at all. Objective reality has a way of asserting itself eventually.
Now it is true that Trump commands an apparatus of the empire, but it also true that he has already in four short weeks or less, provoked resistance from crucial elements: the mainstream media (with the exception of Fox), the intelligence community, most of the federal bureaucracy (such as the State Department) and civil servants who serve under Democrats and Republicans alike, more than half the country at the grassroots, Western European allies, and allies elsewhere. That’s who he has made enemies or adversaries of.
It isn’t just that he calls the press his “enemy” as these aren’t elements that he could make up with through an apology, reforming and fixing his injured relations with. Trump doesn’t do apologies. His strategy, if you can call it a strategy, is based on making the above-named groups enemies and adversaries. He can’t even get his own White House to get along with each other! His persona is based on treating others he needs to run the administration, to be first and foremost loyal to him personally, not their competence.
What do we know about their abilities to do their jobs competently? Just look at the “extreme vetting” (not) his nominees for cabinet posts are to get an idea. Look at Trump himself and his twitchy Twitter fingers that he dictates and can’t even spell words right!
What does he have going for him? A group of toadies and gullible crowds who are driven by fear and by “alternative facts.” How long can he go before he starts to goad some of that crowd, just a small percentage, against him?
Objective reality has this funny thing about it: it doesn’t go away. Global warming, for example, does not stop because you deny it. The same is true of evolution: it still goes on (e.g., the flu) whether you are recognize it or not. Competence is based on taking objective reality into account. You cannot be competent if you consistently base yourself on lies. You can fool some people all of the time but not all the people all of the time. The clash between Trump and the truth is only in its early stages. Who do you think is going to win out in the end, Trump or objective reality?
Now it is true that it makes a huge difference (“huuuge”) if you base yourself on the truth or not. You cannot just wait around until Trump fails because if you do, then the system that he is part of will eventually right itself somehow and do it on its terms, not ours. The popular upsurge of tens of millions has to be built from tens and hundreds to hundreds of thousands to millions to tens of millions. It will be and is not easy and easy paths are always wrong to pursue. Any gains you think you have made in exchange for “more and bigger” will dissolve on you very quickly.
Coming to terms with the truth, and knowing and acting on the truth, are complex and are not merely a matter of deciding one inaugural crowd is bigger than another or three to five million “illegal” voters all voted for Clinton. These are just a few of the daily lies he and his loyal minions tell.
"If material reality exists, then distinctions must be made between different interpretations or understandings of what exists or else material reality (e.g., the greenhouse effect caused by burning fossil fuels) will slap you in the face, regardless of whether you want to recognize it or not. The question of material reality may be understood to include importantly within it the question of what is necessity relative to freedom. If you act as if there are no necessities and refuse to take necessities into account (e.g., global warming and ice caps melting due to it), then you are less free, not more free."
This quote is from an article that I recently reposted, originally written two years ago. One could add to it in this context that part of the objective situation we face is various elements of what people think. What they think is part of what we must change, but we have to clear on what precisely is causing the different segments to think what they think.
To speak further to these issues, see this.