01.30.2017 09:52 AM

Maximum disruption, promise made and promise kept

Observing terrible events from a great distance – you might say we are On The Beach in more ways than one – I’d like to offer up a couple observations about the Unpresident. One relates to my time in politics, and one come from the period when I was an active journalist. 

First observation. 

Sorry, folks, but Trump is doing exactly what he said he would do, from the earliest days of his candidacy. The Muslim Ban, in fact, was the very first promise he made – he did not hide it.

As the condemnations and protests grow, Trump can be counted on to shrug and say:  “I’m doing what I said I would do. I’ve got a mandate to do this. Promise made, promise kept.”

And he will be right. “Promise kept” is a powerful, powerful message in politics. Don’t ever underestimate it. 

Second observation. 

There’s a theory that Trump’s most influential advisor, Steve Bannon – who doesn’t think it’s so bad if blacks can’t vote, and who [Notman Spector take note!] doesn’t want his kids near Jews – is actually the President. Moreover – this isn’t a theory, it’s a fact – Bannon wants precisely the kind of chaos we are now witnessing. Here is what he told one writer at the Daily Beast:

“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

I’ve spent decades writing about the racist Right in North America and Europe, and that quote was very familiar to me. The Far Right know they usually lack the means to take down the system democratically. So all of them – from the loneliest skinhead on the street, to the most powerful Grand Wizard, to Trump’s top advisor – favour chaos. They favour anarchy. They favour maximum disruption, as they call it. (Hitler, not surprisingly, loved the phrase.)

This concept is real. It has been at the very centre of Far Right strategy for generations. My newest book, out in the Fall – to be titled X: Recipe for Hate – is all about maximum disruption, in fact. 

But I’ve written about it before. Here’s a bit from my 2001 book, Web of Hate, about just one Canadian neo-Nazi group, the Aryan Resistance Movement:

ARM’s Nazi “literature,” as [they] call it, is among the most venomous in the country. When ARM was based in Mission, B.C., in the late 1980s, for example, it published posters that became nationally renowned for their viciousness. “Fight terror with terror,”one poster reads, above a drawing of an SS soldier in uniform. “We do not wish for law and order, for law and order means the continued existence of this rotten, rip-off, Capitalist Jew System. We wish for anarchy and chaos which will enable us to attack the System while the Big Brother Pigs are trying to keep the pieces from falling apart.”

Another poster, which depicts four skinheads standing around a peace activist who has been lynched and castrated, reads: “Smash communism with some good old-fashioned justice! Are you going to let Canada become a defenceless nation governed by spineless wimps and heterophobic, disease-ridden perverts? Canada’s forefathers would be spinning in their graves if they could witness Canada’s castrated society, infested with hordes of creatures of indistinguishable racial origin. . . . Are we going to let the Socialist-Communist mobs march in our streets or are we going to deal with the problem and hang red scum!”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending Trump and Bannon. I think they are criminals – and I think they are crypto-Nazis who belong in jail. 

But they’re doing exactly what they said they were going to do. And they’re doing it in a way that will disrupt, and ultimately destroy, liberal democratic society. 

If we let them, that is. 


  1. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    the salamander horde says:

    .. it does seem a disgusting greedy old narcissist with excessive character flaws is attempting moral, ethical, political & Brand suicide currently.. He’s making no attempt to soften or mask it all.. and as you point out, he never did in the first place. He’s always been rancid.. but he never had such an intoxicating level of power.. or minions like Bannon, Miller et al.. and deflection shields like Kellyanne & Spicer, or a pulpit like the GOP to stand on. Regardless, in his dotage he now spits in the face of reason, democracy, rationality.. claiming against all fact to be the smartest guy in the room. Its Trump High School & Steve Bannon is in charge of the curiculum (cum laude Goldman Sachs & Breitbart) and Vice Principal is Stephen Miller (of Michelle Bachman & Jeff Sessions fame)

  2. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Lynn says:

    As things unfold, and the daily shit storm intensifies, I am reminded of one of my favourite episodes of the Twilight Zone, The Monsters are due on Maple Street.


    The last scene says it all.


    Trump and Bannon should be tried for treason when all is said and done, IMHO.

    Question, for you Warren.
    What would Trump have to do for the other branches of gov’t, and/or citizens to trigger a charge of treason against Trump and his cronies? Being cozy with Putin and not truthful seems pretty close to a line, IMO.

  3. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    Phil says:

    Warren: Any suggestions on what individuals can do to “not let them”.

  4. Notice: Undefined offset: 180 in /home/q84jy4qfdyhq/public_html/wp-content/themes/warroom/functions.php on line 314
    ABB says:

    Thank you for sharing your extremely valuable insights. OMG !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.