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Dark times for Trump, and it’s only just beginning


I know its not nice to indulge in schadenfreude–taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. But really, after all the difficulties Republicans have dumped on this country–after all the lies about, and insults of, Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama–after the trauma of two years of Trump–can anyone blame us for smiling when we hear that “Roger Stone says he has lost his health and life insurance and is eating PB&J sandwiches to survive financially”?

Well, boo hoo. Stone—the dirty trickster who built his rightwing career on lies, smears, bogus stunts and setups of his political opponents—is experiencing the most fundamental law of humanity:


It’s finally caught up to him. As the clock ticks out on the remaining days of his freedom, Stone might ponder this reality: Everything Trump touches turns to ashes. Everyone who works for Trump gets hurt. Trump is a one-man wrecking machine, a plague who infects everybody around him.

In order to fully comprehend the minds of individuals like Stone, or Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Papadopoulos, Rick Gates and others of their ilk, who aligned themselves with Trump to advance their own selfish interests, you have to ask yourself a simple question: Would you cooperate with an evil, ignorant and dangerous man, in exchange for wealth and power?

It’s the old Faustian dilemma: Whether to sell your immortal soul to the Devil, for untold riches and pleasures. Many people have made that deal. Stone would not be the first. Humans have a remarkable ability to deceive themselves.

But there is that Law of Karma: things catch up to bad people. That’s the meaning of the Faust tale: In Christopher Marlowe’s version, Faust realizes that the jig is up; as the hour of his death approaches, the terrible realization breaks upon him, of what he has done, and the price he now has to pay. There is no place to hide. He bargains. He pleads for mercy. He goes through all the Kubler-Rossian stages, except for the final one: Acceptance. His final interior monologue is pure pathos:

Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me,
And hide me from the heavy wrath of God!
No, no!

Ah, half the hour is past! ’twill all be past anon
O God,
If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul,
Yet for Christ’s sake, whose blood hath ransom’d me,
Impose some end to my incessant pain;
Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years,
A hundred thousand, and at last be sav’d!

O soul, be chang’d into little water-drops,
And fall into the ocean, ne’er be found!
[Enter DEVILS.]
My God, my god, look not so fierce on me!
Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I’ll burn my books! – Ah, Mephistopheles!
(Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS)

What Devils will come for Stone? For Trump? For the rest of the Trump enablers?

Trump, himself, is beyond any sort of redemption. He made his pact long, long ago. Elemental human emotions, such as remorse, kindness or compassion, have long been expunged from his soul. He believes neither in God nor in the Devil. All there is, for Trump, is the struggle, Mein Kampf: the will to fight with granite hardness until either Victory or Death is achieved.

But there is a Devil whom Trump knows and fears. That Devil is in the form of a Man. That man is Robert Mueller. Trump prays for protection—not for “Mountains and hills” to fall on him and hide him from Mueller, but for Republicans to rally around him in the Alpine Redoubt, wherein they will make their last stand.

But that may not work out. Will he then “fall into the ocean, ne’er to be found”? Alas, that, too, is not going to happen. There is no place for Trump to hide, nowhere that he cannot be found. No ocean opens its bosom to him; the only thing that surrounds him is the implacable inevitability of Truth, closing in like hungry wolves.

Truth is what Trump fears: the truth of what he has done, why he did it, and how he tried—and is still trying—to cover it up. One can almost feel sorry for the man—almost, but not quite. There’s that schadenfreude again. I suppose there are some who, by training and conviction, are willing to forgive the most awful men for the most awful behavior. Count me not among them. Prices must be paid. Crimes must be recompensed. Trump knows this. In his final agony—whenever it happens—he will feel the hot breath of God, or Karma, burning fiercely down upon him. He will flail, thrash, lash out, weep bitter tears. You do not want to be in the room with that man when that moment comes. What will it look like when “the Devils” lead him offstage? Where will they take him?

Have a lovely weekend!

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