A SMAC in the Face #62: Il Trump and the New ‘T’ Party

I thought the (Mis)Advent(ure) Calendar was to be the last SMAC for the year but, while popping antacid tablets like smarties after overindulging on Christmas eve with family and contemplating a huge Christmas lunch with friends, I was inspired by an aspect of Trump.  Perhaps my distended stomach triggered an uncomfortable association with the detestable man.

Trump is a runaway shoo-in for the Republican nomination and he’s getting itchy bone spurs at the thought of sticking it to all his enemies when he returns to the White House.  At his rallies, he has been testing out the various borderline dictatorial actions he will take and has found that his band of cult followers lap it up. With the exception of Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, all the Republican Grandees have obsequiously acceded to his de facto leadership and the Republicans have essentially become the party of Trump or a T party.

The Boston Tea Party of 13 December 1773 was a seminal event in the establishment of the USA.  This started as a tax revolt which led to independence in 1776 after a bloody war.

Harkening back to those times, a fiscally conservative element of the Republican Party, the Tea Party Movement, sprang up in 2009.  It called for lower taxes and a general reduction of the influence of the federal government but soon morphed to encompass the more socially conservative aspects of the Republicans such as abortion, guns and immigrants.

Trump successfully channeled this in his bid for power in 2016 with his “drain the Swamp” mantra.  He pandered to disaffected conspiracy theorists of every stripe who hated Washington, and broke bread with Evangelicals, anarchists and people who loved guns and hated immigrants.  In fact, he sided with everyone who had a troubled relationship with facts, were easily worked up by his circus barker’s style and weren’t overly concerned about his morals.

Trump wasn’t ready to hit ground zero running when he won the 2016 race to the White House in the middle of the swamp.  It took him a while and many hours of being briefed by Faux News while demolishing piles of Big Macs to keep his strength up.  His four years showed him how far he could push his self-aggrandisement without any blow back.  In fact, he learnt that the more outrageous he was, the more his followers supported him to the point that all the Republican grandees rolled over and toadied up to him.  This acquiescence emboldened him to attempt to illegally overturn the 2020 election – a civil coup d’etat.  He also learnt the power of the executive order.

With the perceived injustice of his attempted impeachment, the humiliation of his defeat by a sentient Zimmer frame and the numerous legal challenges he’s facing, he’s been building a pile of grievances and he’s working up to act on them.  Disturbingly he has recently been using the language of the dictators like Hitler when describing his political opponents as vermin and that immigrants are poisoning the blood.  The Cult of Trump followers, rather than cocking an eyebrow at this sort of talk, chillingly cheers him on.  Early in December he told his main praise singer and part time proctologist, Hannity, that he will be a dictator but only on day one.  His Christmas Day message all-in-CAPS rant against his enemies indicates that this time he’s fully weaponised and locked and loaded.  The immature and petulant bully boy is going to take no prisoners and will probably spew a vile retributive stream of executive orders firing federal officials and instigating investigations during his inauguration speech as the ultimate act of showmanship. 

Today, 250 years after the Tea Party, we are seeing the beginning of the cultish T Party.   Il Duce Mussolini had his Black Shirts to do his bidding, Hitler the Brownshirts, Malema the Red Berets and Trump has his madcap MAGA Caps. 

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