Of course it’s a witch hunt, but it’s also more than that.

What is a witch hunt, anyway? Why do they happen? There is an excellent teaching course on this subject named The Terror of History, produced by Teofilo Ruiz, I think. In the course, Ruiz outlines the social, cultural, and political moments in Western history which led to witch trials, and they appear to accompany times of change and the anxiety and insecurity that come with such change. Long story short, it’s the strategy of an ingroup to turn on some outgroup to blame for what they perceive as a world falling apart, as the social order undergoes change that displaces the relative dominance of that ingroup.

I think that we have in Donald Trump a man who was groomed to play America’s foil, and who was surrounded by a very colorful team of foils, and they are all playing the social and political role of witches for an entrenched political and media class (is there really a difference?) and the professional classes more broadly. The slow and steady parade of names and the perpetually-breathless annunciations of the imminent downfall of Trump, have been going on for years without the media ever looking up to re-assess first premises. I think it is organic enough to be plausibly denied as a project by national security/secret society people, since it only takes a few people to actually be blown in, and a few others could grasp it and play along without ever having been given a script.

But why? Why would they do it? Well, because you don’t remain dominant in information space by sitting around, waiting for clever, bad actors to blind-side you with narratives you didn’t see coming. No, what you do is invent the threats and generate drama that catches up would-be conspirators (by nature) in an irresistible, and mostly-manufactured intrigue. I think the whole Donald Trump Presidency was always going to be theater of a Reality TV nature, and everyone knows it, so the trick, as it always is in politics, is to center the lie elsewhere. Politicians lie, but on multiple levels, and it is their professional skill to out-lie other players who are also lying on one or more levels, such as their own constituents. Same/same, here.

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