The greatest sinister laugh in the history of electronic media belongs to the immortal Orson Welles in the introduction to the 1930s-era radio fantasy detective series, “The Shadow.” He it is who “knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men,” and also that “the weed of crime bears bitter fruit.” In our own time, it is the weed of impunity from punishment for crime that is bearing the bitterest of fruit for American society.
All the warnings of those of us who saw that exempting Trump from the law would corrupt American society from top to bottom are becoming reality. Yesterday, professional radio liar Alex Jones, who has become filthy rich spreading his poison over the airwaves, mocked the nearly $1 billion verdict against him for slandering the parents of the little children massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School even while it was being read out in court, vowing that the plaintiffs would see not one red cent of it. What makes him think he can get away with that? Well, his big buddy, the Very Stable Genius, has made a mockery of the law for his entire criminal career in business and politics, and as president, he got to appoint many of the judges who may sit in judgment over him, as well as Jones and all the other mini-Trumps. Besides, as a very rich guy, Jones has many means at his disposal to hide his assets and keep them out of the reach of the courts.
Let us bear in mind, incidentally, that fascist Big Liars like Trump and Jones gained much of their inspiration from Holocaust denial. No truth, however notorious and well known, is immune from attack by legions of lies endlessly repeated, is the lesson they took from that phenomenon. Such contemptuous, taunting lies are also an exquisite form of torture for victims and survivors, a fact that gives sadists like Jones and the Noam Chomsky-approved Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson much pleasure. It’s no coincidence, then, that one of Trump’s first moves as president was to deliberately deemphasize Jews as the main victims of the Holocaust, which the historian and U.S. envoy on antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt rightly terms a form of “softcore denial.”
So far, such baldfaced rejection of obvious facts as a legal strategy has not proven very effective in American courts of law, as witness the epic failure of the Trump post-election lawsuits. It does seem to be working with Trump-appointed federal judge Aileen Cannon, who is doing her utmost to help him escape accountability for stealing highly classified papers. The judges in Nazi Germany’s “People’s Courts” were essential cogs in that nation’s machinery of tyranny, a fact that all of today’s “populist nationalists” know instinctively, which is why they are making their nations’ judiciaries top targets for takeover. The Orwellian-named Federalist Society has been working at this project in the United States for decades, the overturning of the Supreme Court’s abortion-rights decision in Roe v. Wade being only the highest profile victory they have achieved so far. They now have the dictatorship of Victor Orbán in Hungary as an object lesson in what they can accomplish if they keep at it in America, which is why Tucker Carlson and CPAC have covered the Magyar mountebank in so many sloppy kisses.
Trump has now repeated several times his vow to pardon the January 6 putschists when he returns to power. Taking encouragement as political prisoners soon to be freed and covered with honors, these blackshirts have assembled conclaves in federal prison in Washington, D.C., which one suspects the wardens and screws are too afraid to break up. And all of this despite the fact that these violent fascist rebels have been treated with kid gloves and given laughable sentences on what amounts to vandalism charges. Out in the sticks, numerous laws passed by Republican-dominated state legislatures are encouraging other MAGAs to mow down left-wing protestors with their cars and face no punishment whatever.
The “American carnage” Trump promised to end is in fact what he and his followers are bringing to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, where the rule of law grows hollower by the day.