by Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times
The whole planet has every reason to be terminally puzzled at how all those lofty Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson embedded in the 1776 Declaration of Independence ended up with…Trump vs. Biden.
Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke, Rousseau, Hume to come up with an eminently quotable Greatest Hits, featuring “self-evident” truths such as “all men are created equal”, “unalienable rights”, and that searing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Well, Baudrillard would have dubbed the exercise a mere simulacrum, because in real life none of this uplifting rhetoric applied to Native Americans and enslaved Africans.
Still, there’s something endlessly fascinating about these “self-evident truths”. They actually radiated like Spinoza axioms, spawning abstract truths that can be extrapolated at will. Jefferson’s “self-evident truths” ended up creating the whole, massive structure of what we define as “Western liberal democracy”.
So it’s no wonder that America – perennially self-described as “leader of the free world” – consider these “self-evident truths” as the basis of an ideal society.
And it’s this messianic river of fervent truth flowing out of a Himalaya of Morality that leads Americans to dismiss as “malign actors” every nation or society that is judged to be “deviating” from such obvious evidence.
Those damned furreners. They’re always up to no good.
Cut to a mini-remix of the last Trump-Biden presidential debate. In foreign policy terms, it went something like this.
The moderator is desperate to move on as she’s very much aware of time constraints and looming, incandescent clashes: “Now I want to move on to Defense. It’s established Russia and China are interfering in our election process…”
Here’s classic “self-evident truth” material, delivered according to strict Council on Foreign Relations guidelines.
Cut to Biden: any country that interferes with the American elections “will pay a price”. Russia’s “been involved, China has been involved to some degree, and Iran’s been involved.” They are interfering with “American sovereignty”. Rudy Giuliani was used “as a Russian pawn”. Trump is “unwilling” to confront Putin. Russia has “destabilized NATO” and is “paying bounties to kill Americans in Afghanistan.” And China “has to play by the rules” – or else.
Cut to Trump: “You mean the laptop from hell is another Russia, Russia, Russia hoax?”
For the record: Joe Biden did blame the contents of son Hunter’s laptop from hell on Russia.
And discussing North Korea, when Trump said he got along fine with Kim Jong-Un, Biden stated, “We had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe.” Incidentally, Germany is and remains in Europe. And it’s quite something to see Biden acknowledging in public proven US industrial and political support to Nazism.
Those damn furreners
So, inevitably, the laptop from hell had to show up.
The FBI had Hunter Biden’s laptop since December 2019 – as it had issued a subpoena for it in the first place. And yet the FBI sat on the laptop for 11 months doing nothing.
That must have given plenty of time for those pesky Russians to steal the laptop and plant incriminating evidence.
Well, not really. The FBI was busy mulling how to conduct an investigation on “money laundering”. And not on child porn – which, according to Giuliani, is the piece de resistance in the laptop. No one knows if these alleged “investigations” are ongoing.
Now, the FBI and the Department of Justice have finally “concurred”: Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign – directly contradicting what Joe Biden said in the debate.
But then, right before the debate, a bombshell presser – including the FBI and Homeland Security – had announced those pesky Russians and Iranians were in fact “trying to influence opinion” on the US elections.
“Self-evident truths” were back with a bang.
One can’t make this stuff up. And it gets even murkier when the actual “election interference” may be coming from inside the US, not from those damn furreners.
This past summer, the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) war-gamed possible scenarios post-November 3. All the scenarios lead to a huge constitutional crisis – forced, as part of the premise, by Trump’s refusal to concede his defeat at the polls.
TIP, predictably, is a proverbial Beltway bubble, composed of assorted Democratic Party higher-ups, Clintonistas, Obamistas and neo-con Never Trumpers.
Their message is now widely accepted as another avatar of “self-evident truths” because of this group’s powerful grip over Anglo-American mainstream media. Reverberations may be seen, for instance, here, here and here.
So the preferred doomsday scenario ahead spells out an engineered unresolved election, wide socio-political chaos, “continuity of government” protocols, even martial law.
What’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” got to do with it?