James Howard Kunstler – You can only say what you think if you actually think

  • Published on April 4th, 2016

By James Howard Kunstler

“He says what he really thinks.” That is the standard explanation for the astounding political rise of Donald Trump's mad sideshow marches onJ. Trump. Somehow the news media have missed the meaning of this: that the rest of political America refuses to say what it really thinks.

Why is that and how can it be?

The simple answer: They’re all afraid of how their words will play on television. One error of the mouth and you’re politically crucified. You’re done. Taken out with the trash.

Trump’s secret is that every error of his unfiltered mouth — and the hypothetical mind connected to it — emphasizes and celebrates his liberation from that fear. Trump is like the fabled Honey Badger of YouTube fame: he doesn’t give a shit. He just forges ahead through all the biting, stinging, snapping, yapping, odious, poisonous opposition in his dogged journey to the prize.

As Trump might say: they love him and he loves them (for that).

The less simple answer is that America has become a matrix of rackets based on fraud, swindling, and extortion that can only support itself on lies, which form the armature that enables all the racketeering.

That explains one of the central mysteries of Mr. Obama’s double term in the White House: why his Department of Justice never prosecuted (possibly never even dared to investigate) criminal misconduct in banking after the 2008 mortgage bond debacle. The Holy Trinity of Bank Fraud: Rubin, Geithner, and Summers paid him a call after election day and said, “Look here, fucker: one false move out of you in the direction of our friends doing ‘God’s work,’ and this whole house of cards comes fluttering down.”

Hence, Obama appointed the trio to positions of authority and counsel, and the racketeering resumed without hindrance — to the greater affliction upon the common weal. The issues at stake were apparently too abstruse for the public to grasp, so they just rolled with it clear to the statute of limitations and beyond.

Of course, the trouble with operations based on lies is that sooner or later reality intrudes with all its implacable wrath and you get a mighty correction impossible to ignore. That is likely to be fate’s parting gift to Barack Obama. He will go out the way he came in: amidst financial maelstrom.

As only one example of the collateral damage to all this filtering of what’s real, note a consequence of zero interest rates (a swindle designed to prop up Too Big To Fail banks): ordinary people past their working years can’t earn any income from all the traditionally safe ways of doing this: savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and bonds.

It’s most ironic, of course, that the perceived antidote to the pandemic of lying in America is this arguably crooked real estate developer and gambling casino tycoon Trump. The grand entrance of Trump, with his unfiltered mouth, into the political arena becomes a preliminary argument for sweeping away the accumulated sclerotic political baggage of four generations lucky enough to have lived in a world that briefly allowed fantasy to override the laws of physics and human nature.

What we really ought to worry about is what follows in the foul wake of Trump, both in awful circumstance and the as-yet-unknown cast of characters who will have to grapple with it.

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 (Originally appeared at Clusterfuck Nation. Image by DonkeyHotey.)

Coming in June
World Made By Hand 4 (and final)

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Praise for A History of the Future:
Kunstler skewers everything from kitsch to greed, prejudice, bloodshed, and brainwashing in this wily, funny, rip-roaring, and profoundly provocative page- turner, leaving no doubt that the prescriptive yet devilishly satiric A World Made by Hand series will continue.” — Booklist

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or Amazon

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The 20th Anniversary edition of Geography of Nowhere, with an entertaining new introduction by the author

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About the Author

James Howard Kunstler has been writing about peak oil and the destruction of American civil society since the 1990s. He is the author of The Long Emergency, Too Much Magic, The Geography of Nowhere, the World Made By Hand novels, and more than a dozen other books. He lives in Washington County, New York.