The alliterative title of this post leaves out one important d: Derridas, Jacques Derridas is the founder of Deconstructionism and that is a formidable achievement that had a lot of impact in field I studied formally at the universities. This post will do a quick and dirty job of asking if his theoriesJ have anything to do with the Trump phenomena in foreign policy. Bannon is perhaps a deconstruction of the far right which has poisoned itself with bad interpretations and self- destructed as with David Duke’s political career. Generals Mattis, Flynn and Kelly may represent a deconstruction of American politico-military ideology in favor of something more real. The other big thinker and academic behind this piece on current events is Charles Darwin. I think he has given us a view of the harshest realities which is distorted in favor of extermination. I think deconstructing Natural Selection theory — known as the theory of evolution — would show that Alfred Russel Wallace offered a healthier, richer and more nuanced view and the credit he deserved was stolen by Darwinists. Trump is doubtlessly affected by Darwinism and the ideas he has of the basic reality underlying convention are shaped by Darwinism. His promise to wipe Radical Islamic Extremism off the face of the earth has a possible Darwinist ring to it.
Deconstruction is getting old without ever really having had its day in the popular mainstream of American culture. It comes from literary studies and is a way of looking at literary texts which strips away a great number of assumptions, conventions and ways of looking at things which might stand between a reader and a text. It claims to allow a reader or critic to approach a text in new ways. It claims to allow for new insights and more effective forms of expression by freeing up and destroying the constructed interpretations of the text. The term deconstruction has not been applied to the Trump phenomena very much so far — as far as I can see. Partly because President Trump is seen as rightist and Deconstruction tends to be the province of the allegedly liberal and avowedly leftist parts of society. There is also a competing term — new breakout forms of behavior in business are described as disruptive. The business analogies are quick and easy for a business man like President Trump. But Deconstructionism has been applied to politics before, here is an article which outlines a deconstructionist political view. The question I would like to begin to ask here is whether Bannon, Trump and Generals Kelly, Flynn ans Mattis form a new deconstructionist military bureau? Unfortunately for serious readers, in this post I only pose that question and abandon it as this discussion largely goes elsewhere.
I used to belong to more groups, administer a lot of them and like a lot of pages on Facebook. That has been reduced a good bit over time. The image below this paragraph comes form a group that you may not be able to access but is linked here. Like a lot of pages it was cross shared to another group that I belong to. There are many kinds of ideas and conversations floating through the blogosphere. the webs and crazy labyrinths of the totality of social media present us with various ways of looking at the world which are not ones we might otherwise have had available to us. The Department of Defense in the United States government is charged with doing the hardest and most unalloyed calculations of human cost in preserving our union and society. They will not be likely to be going out of business any time soon. But of course merely knowing that hard choices must be made does not determine how those choices must come out. James Mattis, known as “Mad Dog” Mattis is the current Secretary of Defense. He is both a soldier and public servant and has distinguished himself as a competent general officer in the armed services of this country. I am sure that I will be visiting his career again in this blog if it continues in operation. But he heads an enormous organization which is far more than a manifestation of his will and ego. But the image below and the name Mad Dog Mattis related to a direct and perhaps deconstructed view of America’s military realities. One hears “let’s be real here” in various phrasings around the country. There is a sense that things have not been real lately.
Donald John Trump, yes I wrote John, is of course the Commander in Chief. There is a lot to wonder about as regards President Trump. There is plenty to wonder about as regard his views of the military and their mission and function. We will have see what his plans and positions will be over time and he is in fact quite likely to cost us something real as we find these things out — as would anyone else. But he is part of the conversation a manner based on learning in classrooms and the experience of an academic journey –like Deconstructionism.
Trump is not entirely devoid of military experience. Nor do I entirely discount the experience he had. The history of dealing with conflict and knowing combat is just one part of the experience of military life and culture. President Trump may have gained something of that kind of experience in his many dealings across the world, in dealing with the organized crime elements that lurk around the construction industry in New York and in dealing with whatever personal crises may have affected his life which I am not fully aware of and not going to blog about now. But there is also a culture and body of knowledge related to the military and things martial which one can learn in school and arguably The Donald has brought that knowledge into the oval office in no small degree. He is an alumnus of the New York Military Academy and may or may not have played a crucial role in keeping it afloat since his graduation. I value military education and although I have not had much of any myself it was a part of the environment in which I taught at the Shandong Institute of Business and Technology in Yantai, China. In addition I have relatives that have attended Riverside Military Academy, Forks Union Military Academy, the Virginia Military Institute and the United States Military Academy at West Point. I have visited most of those family attended academies although mostly not in the company of the right student or alumnus when they were in attendance or even afterwards. All in all, I think it is a lot more than nothing for Trump to have had some military education.
In recalling these moments of conflict and the visions that they can produce, I think a bit of David Duke who was a major political figure in my state at one time. For a little information about his run for Governor of Louisiana in which he was in the run-off as the soul Republican against the Democrat Edwin W. Edwards look here. While the significance of the following statistics can be overblown, it is nonetheless useful to remember that he won a small majority of the White votes cast in that election. Which means that a whole lot of White people in Louisiana voted against him as well. A popular bumper sticker during the election said, “Vote for the Crook, It’s Important”. People in other places took this often as a joke, but it was a serious recommendation tinged with wry humor for many who posted it. there were those who tried to see the Trump — Clinton election in those terms. But in Louisiana it played out quite differently Trump won big. Duke was actually on the ballot for Senate in this election and did not make the run-off. His presence in the election gave people a lot to talk about but he only polled 3.4 percent of the vote in a 24 candidate field. Moderate(ish) Republican and former State Treasurer john Kennedy won the seat. The rough tough populist of the season who succeed was the Congressman from my District Clay Higgins. I supported Charles Boustany for Senate and Scott Angelle for Congress. So neither of these two victorious gentlemen owe me a vote although I have some real if minimal ties to both Kennedy and Higgins. The complexities of the electoral process or two numerous to completely discuss in this blog much less this post. Duke wrote a long and detaled book which sold well but alienated a lot of people. Bannon meanwhile has stayed alive and alert and open to new ideas and fresh influences. Although Duke earned a Ph.D. after running for governor his views seem more alienated over time.
I have never corresponded with any of the generals or with Bannon nor really with Trump. But I have corresponded just a bit with David Duke. It did not lead to a great deal of communication but it does show how we disagreed and what some of my questions were by implication. With no real excuse I excerpt some of my own correspondence with David Duke reproduced from years ago without his permission, for honesty sake at least his letter is reproduced in full from March 4, 2012:
Nice to hear from you, but frankly surprised that after reading My Awakening you are not concerned about a hyper ethnocentric tribe with clear group interests having so much dominant influence in Media, Government and Finance, and the fact that such could bring us to such catastrophic and, dare I say it, evil wars in Iraq and now the planned one in Iran.
Dialogue is fine with me, but I can’t understand if you know the facts of the incredible Jewish domination of the media and its impact, that you don’t have a problem with it.
I have a B.A. in History from LSU and in 2005 I completed my Doctoral studies and Defense at MAUP, the largest university in Ukraine, I was living in Eastern Europe for six years.
Best to you,
But the elections did winnow out some hopes and dreams and fan the flames of others. America is moving forward in a trump direction and not in any of another set of possible directions. Trump and Bannon are disruptive forces within the political system. Bannon is a military veteran and a successful and serious man and President Trump has never been a joke to me. But they are outside the mainstream of where American politics have been going. Not as far out of the mainstream as I am of course. Darwin had a focus on death as the means of evolution which I think was different than his rival Wallace. One day I hope to post just about those two men. But his legacy stays at our center. We all are obsessed with life or death scenarios even in political terms. Whether are not any particular political future is dead is not so clear as with some other issues.
Of course not all dialog in this country is at the level of survival and conflict. Millions of people have intense political interest right now and think in other terms. I also think of them when I consider where the Trump wave is headed, of these people who want to show an image of their daily lives and of how it all plays out as they live those lives in America. There is a blog post here from a young mother who shows how each person faces the truth of daily existence and wonders how they will bring up their children in the emerging world which has challenges new and familiar. The woman’s point of view is still something that interests me in and of itself. One person who has embodied that point of view for me in American society is Amy Hungerford. She and others at Yale and such places in literature may have things to say about this election and presidency and perhaps will consider deconstructed theories.
As often is the case, my post has no final point. It simply is a post. It simply expresses a few insights. the closest I come to points of the kind many wish to see is in my long winded model constitutions. I like to think I could make a point with a sword point if required to do so by moral duty, but that is easier said than done. There are those in power now who do have such duty every day and my only point is that we should all make it a point to see them as clearly as we can.