How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
(KJV, Isaiah 14:12)
Forgive me the sacrilege of borrowing the title of Ben Jonson’s tragedy to signal the downfall of Donald Trump. Jonson’s Sejanus His Fall stands in correspondence to the Trump presidency as the Alhambra of Granada stands to Trump Tower, or as Tecumseh Sherman’s monument in New York City (at Central Park, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens) stands to Humpty Dumpty of nursery rhyme lore. Trump will soon shatter in one thousand pieces. All the King’s horses and all his own men will have pushed him ignominiously from his gaudy seat on his wall.
Trump’s fall is merely an epilogue to a momentous event that has already occurred—the decline and fall of the American Empire. Trump is not the cause of such ruin; his election is merely its most obvious symptom. Trump is an empty vessel, a rotten egg dedicated to the cult of Mammon, a poor sinner who entertains no limits to his greed, lust and gluttony except those imposed on him from outside. He is the nuclear cockroach that appears on site after a holocaust has destroyed the political and cultural edifice of a country. Trumpism is like the cloud of maggots that appears in dead bodies. In Hamlet, Laertes speaks at his sister Ophelia’s burial:
Lay her i’th’ earth,
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring.
We are less fortunate than Ophelia. From the unburied corpse of Empire, only Trump and his enablers spring.
Do you want corroboration that America has fallen? Do you need evidence of the fact that what remains is ruins and the empty gestures of buffoons?
- We allow our children to be slaughtered regularly by crazed, infirm gunmen with assault weapons. We lock up in cages the children of others at our southern border. You say we have rights granted us by the 2nd Amendment; I say we are a nation that believes in the holiness of child sacrifice.
- Like to the portents that announced the fall of Caesar, the country and its possessions are besieged by hurricanes, floods, wild fires, earthquakes, oil spills, etc.—a myriad of both natural and human-made disasters.
Our political rhetoric is tainted to a degree never conceived by George Orwell. Read Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address and then read Trump’s latest “tweet.” The first one references Shakespeare and the King James Bible; the second one parrots commentaries heard on TV news channels.
- Our outdated constitution saddles us with the Electoral College; once conceived as a mechanism to prevent the election of fools to the presidency, now it ends up electing them.
- In one fell swoop, the power, prestige and dignity of the US presidency has been sold off to Russia and its designs.
- We have enacted—with a vengeance—the old US habit of abandoning allies and betraying friends. We abandoned the curbs in Syria as we abandoned the Cuban Brigade (2506) at Bay of Pigs and the ARVN in Vietnam. We allow our military allies to be devoured by our common enemies.