Trump Embodies America’s Dreams of Destruction


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What do you think of when you hear the number 1,000 in a politico-military context? After studying German military history, I immediately think of Adolf Hitler’s confident boast that his Third Reich would last a thousand years. In reality, a devastating world war overthrew this empire in just 12 years. Only recently, however, such boasting reappeared in Donald Trump’s dark dreams. If Iran dared to attack the United States, Trump tweeted and then repeated Fox & friendswould the United States with “1000 times greater force. “

Think about it for a moment. If such typical Trumpian red meat rhetoric became a reality, you would speak of a monumental war crime in its disproportionate nature. If, for example, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot a missile Trump, who killed 10 US military personnel on an American base in the region, said he would then attempt to kill 10,000 Iranians – an act reminiscent of Nazi reprisals in World War II, which destroyed entire villages like Lidice were killed because a prominent Nazi official had been killed. Americans knew then that such murderous behavior was evil. Why don’t so many of us shrink from such madness anymore?

If references to “evil” seem inappropriate to you, remember that I was raised Catholic and one idea that the priests and nuns have firmly planted in me was the presence of evil in our world – and in me as the microcosm of this world . It is a moral imperative – they taught me – to fight evil by denying it a place in our lives as much as possible and even turning the other cheek to avoid offending our brothers and sisters. After all, Christ did not teach us to whip someone 1,000 times for having struck you once.

When I speak of a large number, I still remember Christ’s teaching on forgiveness. How often, he asked, should we forgive those who offend us? Maybe seven times? No, 70 times seven. Of course, he didn’t mean 490 acts of forgiveness. Through this hyperbolic number, Christ said that forgiveness must be great and generous, as limitless as we imperfect humans can create.

Trump loves hyperbolic numbers, but his are clearly in the service of limitless revenge, not forgiveness. His catechism is intimidation and, if that fails, retribution. It doesn’t matter if it is mass destruction and death (including in the case of Americans, Death by Coronavirus). By being so open about such goals, he naturally makes the rest of us his accomplices. Passively or actively, if we do nothing, we accept the possibility of mass murder in the service of Trump’s dark dreams of beating those who would dare to attack his version of America.



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