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The Real Face of Washington (and America)


The Real Face of Washington (and America)

Tom Engelhardt

Know thyself. It was what came to mind in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory and my own puzzling reaction to it. And while that familiar phrase just popped into my head, I had no idea it was so ancient, or Greek, or for that matter a Delphic maxim inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo according to the Greek writer Pausanias (whom I'd never heard of until I read his name in Wikipedia). Think of that as my own triple helix of ignorance extending back to...


You didn't see Trump coming? Not in America! We have long been a country of style over substance. Kardashian, Brangelina, pet rock the list goes on forever. I just hope Trump moves the White House to Las Vegas so that any doubts about who we are is removed. Get your foam finger now "We're Number 1"


The best "State of the Union" address transcript I, also in my 70's, have ever read. The five points, especially, should certainly be submitted for consideration by the People's counterpoint orator (who will listen to the b.s. the Democrats put forth, anyway?). In fact we, the people, should demand equal time for our response to the sick political situation the world is in due to the actions of the United States of America which, last I heard, was 'our' country. Great article; one all should read.


Blame Clinton and her DNC for the disaster we are in. This is right up there in history with the Teapot Dome Scandal; never to be forgotten ("when will we ever learn, when will.........").


Well said. Many did not believe it could happen even though the people were screaming at the DNC and democrats that it absolutely will happen if they run HRC. I for one am not surprised and even expected he would win because of the distrust and dislike of their choice for us,HRC and the rigged primary.
Lack of voter participation in politics and the Obama betrayal of the hope for change along with the neoliberals and the disgustingly sold out dems looked to me like the perfect time for Trump.
I'm a boomer and I haven't trusted our government since the 60's, I'm sure I'm not the only one. Never have I believed the exceptional bs spouted by the very one's doing so much damage to the people.
This is a wake up call for all those, like poor Tom, who believed the lies and just couldn't imagine him winning. Maybe now we will stand up and fight for our country, not all over the world, but here, where we need to self reflect and roll up our sleeves and fight for what kind of country we want.


America has been for a long, long time an inverted, totalitarian regime, but now it looks like it will no longer be inverted.


Are you blaming Clinton for everything because she is a woman? Good grief- this has been coming for over twenty years really thirty since Reagan got into office.


I'm less shocked by trump winning than I am shocked that more people weren't shocked into voting against him. So many people just didn't vote or, worse, flipped a coin to decide who they were going to vote for. trump only won because the dems failed the people. Its back to boot camp for the dems to relearn how to represent the people and be unapologetic about it. No more of this reaching across the aisle. For here on out, the hand that reaches across the aisle gets severed! Indeed, several hands got severed this past election. No one can deny the carnage.


I too am a boomer and did not even trust our government since the late sixties( How about Tricky Dick). Then again, that was a time for racial discrimination, and assassinations. Quite frankly, I never understood how Americans can buy into the "freedom isn't free"" nonsense and fight wars of "choice". Then again since Viet Nam it seemed to be about profits and power. Also, look at how little Americans are asked to give especially if they have tons of money. We need to have community service for all not just the 1% who are in the military. The dem party long ago turned into the party of elites who looked down upon the "working" people and their unions.


The dems are still a bunch of elties. It's all about money and power from either side.


... Did you just wake up from a coma?...


The Democrats are the Republicans. They are the same. Until Americans convince themselves of this we will have no representation in Washington. If you are in the middle class or poor NOBODY represents you and your needs are not important. It is not difficult. Any politician lies to you let him knkiw he will not get your vote. No exceptions. Any politician votes against your interests throw him out of office. Any politician gets caught breaking the law recall or impeach him. Instead Americans defend the scumbags just because they voted for them in the first place.


Very well written, and I take your point. The USA has become a perverse shadow of it's former self. Just reading a report of a NYT story of municipalities at charge people arrested that are found innocent or they dropped the charges. The worst, this is going to supreme Court, and the municipality doesn't even BOTHER to make a case except "hey, they got arrested, cost us money, they used our services and have to pay"

I never thought I'd see the USA defend torture, eternal war, etc. but this (which is happening around the states) as well as "civil forfeiture" is truly chilling.


And so dies capitalism and the social constructs that have supported its evil for centuries. Time for new paradigms. I'm ready, and I am a child of the 60's as well.


As a matter of fact, I have not been feeling well. Why make this personal, and besides like it or not DT will be our next president.


"Are you blaming Clinton for everything because she is a woman?"

I never said, or implied, that.


As the rest of the world wises up, they will continue to quit buying our debt. When finally the home front population is beggared by being forced to invest in US debt there will no longer be the financing to continue. The US will fall into the dustbin of failed empires who all go down the same road.


“… As a matter of fact, I have not been feeling well...”

… This brings to mind that story about Mark Twain -in his later years- being reminded by a reporter of all his former contemporaries, who had recently succumbed to the ravages of time, and what he thought about this growing development. In his whimsical Mark Twain way, he summed up his thoughts on the matter as he stated; “now that you mention it -I’m not feeling too good myself...”

“… Why make this personal...”

… I agree, we should be a bit more aware about making these things personal. In addition, I have always tried to remind myself about being too quick to put out the first thing that pops into my flaming liberal head. It often leads to nothing but trouble -and that statement was definitely the first thing that popped into my head when I read your own reply. Another caveat I would like to point out is that peoples’ beliefs and politics are by their nature fairly personal, so its a little difficult to eliminate the personal when we skate across these very personal, political issues. And not to belabor the point, but calling someone out as misogynist could very easily be construed as quite personal in and of itself…
... My primary reason for coming off so boldly can also be attributed to this very website we are sharing our opinions on. This is a fairly inclusive bunch around here, and one of the last things you can accuse this crowd of is being anti-female. This group has been lambasting Hillary for years and years, and for very specific reasons, most of which can be simplified down to one predominant reason -which around these parts we call ‘neoliberal.’ Gender is of no consequence. We’re not too fond of neoliberal men either. I don’t imagine I would be much too happy around transgender folks either, if their political freak-flag was that of neoliberal economics...

“... and besides like it or not DT will be our next president….”

… ‘Now’ you can talk about misogyny!...


Great post! And throw out and expose all who voted to deregulate Wall Street. Bernie did not vote for that.


Well thank you for that. Last night we were looking at some old photos and couldn't believe that we used to look like that years ago! It was fun though. I agree with the neoliberal the same group that voted to to deregulate Wall Street in the first place and then remind people about how "liberal" they are.