Headline: Donald Trump’s little green men
Sub-headline: US president wants to ignite a cultural war to save his re-election campaign
Here is Mr. Luce’s clumsy attempt to make a usable political amalgam of Putin The Terrible/The New Cold War and Trump. Two Tyrants in Posh Boy Time?
They wore no badges, drove unidentified vehicles and whisked people off into the night. Vladimir Putin’s “little green men” were a tool of Russian hybrid warfare: everyone knew who gave the orders but there was plausible deniability.
Portland, Oregon is neither Crimea nor eastern Ukraine. But Donald Trump is playing similar mind games with America’s cities. Russia’s state media claimed Russian-speaking civilians were slaughtered in the Donbass. Mr Trump says America’s cities are “far worse than Afghanistan”. The US’s urban carnage is caused by thugs, killers and violent anarchists, he said.
Again Putin is Mastermind, in all his mendacious, murderous evil, of a long Hollywood Tradition: from old movie serials, to the political hysterics of ‘The Manchurian Candidate’,under the direction of John Frankenheimer. Only what is lacking in the Luce iteration is the recognition of political hysteria of late 1950’s and 1960’s America. In the watershed of McCarthy, and his fellow travelers, in both political parties, and a culture riven with carefully cultivated fear. The twin evils of the Soviet Union and ‘Red China’ were featured in Hollywood melodramatic kitsch that always featured ‘Stars’! Mr. Luce’s cast lacks that cinematic shimmer: Grifter Trump and cognitively deficient Old Joe.
Here is Mr. Luce’s diagnosis of today’s demonstrations. Mr. Luce being born in 1968 has no actual memory, of the decades on which he offers his considered opinion: Chicago 1968 is in the history books. Some of us watched the Daily’s Police Riot, on television, when Luce was in diapers!
First, the protesters must step up to the role he has allotted them. Most are not obliging. By the standards of the 1960s and 1970s, today’s protests are mild.
Trump has committed a devastating political blunder, of sending in Federal Troops, first to Portland, and then to plan to send these troops to Chicago and Albuquerque. The ‘optics’, to use a descriptor favored by the for rent political technocrat, of these attacks upon the Mothers in Portland, can only become more intensified in Chicago, and Albuquerque.
Mr. Luce ends his essay in the political/rhetorical safety of the interrogative, and the notion that Biden will ‘win’ in November, with a quote from ‘American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist’ Maya Angelou.
What effect would Mr Trump’s agents have on voters in crowded neighbourhoods? The question answers itself. Polls suggest he will probably lose to Mr Biden in November. The novelist Maya Angelou, said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Mr Trump keeps telling us he will not go quietly into the night.