Donald Trump and the Star Chamber of Horrors

Fifteen months into his administration, Donald Trump remains the object of a dedicated attempt by the Democratic Party, the media, NeverTrump Republicans, and rogue members of the deep state to take him down. From the night he was elected, lifelong members of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party and the embedded bureaucracy have refused to accept the results of a national election, and have instead waged a campaign of “lawfare” against a man they consider an interloper—a situation unique in the annals of American democracy.

From Hillary Clinton to James Comey to Robert Mueller to Stormy Daniels, to various minor federal judges, to CNN and MSNBC, the list of Trump’s enemies continues to grow.

Their tactics are breathtakingly simple—and amazingly brazen. As the past year-plus of Robert Mueller’s tedious investigation has proven, there is no very great crime behind Trump’s very great fortune of having been elected the 45th president of the United States. The entire notion of Russian “collusion” (not in itself actionable in the first place) was cooked up in the witches’ cauldron that was Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The resulting brew was liberally dispensed to the cadres of media operatives pretending to be dispassionate reporters in order to assuage the failed candidate’s rage over losing what she thought—what she was assured by her friends at the CIA and the FBI—was a fixed fight.

And so the Big Lie—that Trump had collaborated with Vladimir Putin to change the course of an American election—was born.

There was and is nothing to it, of course. But that hasn’t stopped the Democrats, whose sterling moral history of slavery, segregation, secularism, and sedition has prepared them for just this moment. After all, they had managed to drive Richard Nixon from office in 1974, less than two years after a 49-1 state electoral landslide, turning a minor, botched burglary—with the help of the Washington Post—into a constitutional crisis.

In the case of Trump, they didn’t even have the fig leaf of the “Plumbers” at the Watergate on which to hang their “conspiracy so vast” McCarthyism, but that didn’t matter. Sure, to believe the “Russian” narrative, one would have to credit multiple impossible things simultaneously: that Trump and Putin were even capable of pulling it off; that the Russians somehow changed vote totals in states where Hillary barely deigned to campaign; that they stole John Podesta’s emails from a DNC server and handed them over to Julian Assange and Wikileaks; and that they bought ads on Facebook that changed credulous minds on the spot. Still, two generations of reporters—those raised on James Bond/supervillain movies and those who, thanks to Marvel comics, think people really can fly—regurgitated it proof-free.

And not just regurgitated: they spewed this glorified gossip with the malicious and ignorant glee of the meanest clique in the world’s bitchiest all-girls high school. Since November 2016, the American public has been spattered with innumerable allegations from even more innumerable anonymous sources. It mattered little to the editors and writers retailing this bunkum that they were violating practically the entire canon of journalistic ethics: what mattered was the serious of the “charges” handed down by the Star Chamber of Swampland.

Quickly enough, it was not even necessary to allege or even imply a crime: all Trump or one of his people had to do was simply interact with another enemy of the people, and presto—Rosencrantz (Carter Page) and Guildenstern (George Papadopoulos) and a host of other non-entities suddenly found themselves in the stocks—not to mention conservative media figures such as Sean Hannity, whose transgression appears to be knowing Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.

In sum, the various wings of #TheResistance have treated Trump and his associates the way the cops would treat a Mafia family, complete with suggestive headlines about Mr. X having “ties” or “links” to Mr. Y, when the “ties” could be as innocent as once having had a conversation.

Dr. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, somehow managed to survive the Obama years without a breath of scandal, but let him be nominated to lead the dysfunctional Veterans Administration, and suddenly he’s Dr. Mengele—and with not a single accuser so far identified or on the record. Jackson’s sin was to tell the slavering press corps that Trump had passed his annual physical and was, in fact, not clinically insane. But that was enough to paint him as a pill-pusher and a “toxic” male, and force him to withdraw. 

This is how quickly the cultural Marxists on the Left move the ball: first, they posit that one of their pet causes (transgenderism, climate change, Trump’s unfitness for office, whether legally, ethically, or morally) is de facto true, then they define all dissent from the new orthodoxy as heretical, and then they accuse and purge. The idea is to destroy lives, careers, reputations, and bank accounts via their willing and enthusiastic accomplices in the media, who no longer see their jobs as reporting the news but as a grotesque perversion of Mr. Dooley’s famous jibe that the press should “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” But what Finley Peter Dunne, the Chicago newspaper columnist who invented the stage-Irish bartender of Mr. Dooley actually wrote (in dialect) was this:

Th’ newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, controls th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward.

Dunne was making fun of the journalists of his day, and of their pretensions to expertise in nearly every form of human endeavor (although most of them barely had a grade-school education), but somewhere along the line in their progression from Fourth Estate to Fifth Column, the media adopted the sarcastic maxim wholesale, and here we are—afflicted by smug, comfortable idiots who don’t know what they don’t know, and don’t care as long as the Narrative is maintained and reinforced, thereby comforting themselves and each other instead of the genuinely afflicted.

That they live and work and work in glass houses situated in Potemkin Villages within shelling range never seems to occur to them. But it ought to occur to us.

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Photo credit:  SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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About Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. He was for 16 years the music critic and foreign correspondent for Time Magazine, for which he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. His works include the novels As Time Goes By, And All the Saints (winner, 2004 American Book Award for fiction), and the bestselling “Devlin” series of NSA thrillers; as well as the recent nonfiction bestseller, The Devil’s Pleasure Palace. A sequel, The Fiery Angel, was published by Encounter in May 2018. Follow him on Twitter at @dkahanerules (Photo credit: Peter Duke Photo)