Photograph by Loren Bliss © 2011
(Prefatory Note: I began this essay after reading and responding to “GOP Attack on Women Continues with House Vote to Deny Abortion Coverage” [CommonDreams, 25 January, here] and “WA: more conservative, and more divided, than you think” [Crosscut, 23 January, here] But then on the 26th I fell ill – extremely ill – with that weirdo brand of flu that was curiously omitted from this year's flu shot. And not until 1 February – appropriately enough, the feast of Brigid, Celtic goddess of light and enlightenment – was I well enough to resume the work. By then, with Trump's malevolence becoming ever more brazenly evident, the contents had grown accordingly, so that now the text may be too long to be absorbed in a single reading. Hence, to make it more accessible, I have broken it into five subsections, each indicated by a topic sentence in which all the letters in the first three words are capitalized.)
AS IF THERE were any lingering doubts, President Donald Trump's “grab-em-by-the-pussy” regime has made it clear it intends to do just that – to re-subjugate U.S. women by seizing control of their reproductive organs.
Moreover, there is compelling evidence the Empire has been perfecting its strategies and tactics of sexually targeted subjugation for decades. Examples include the re-subjugation of women in Iraq and Afghanistan and the criminalization of homosexuality in Africa – all of which may have functioned as dress rehearsals for the re-subjugation of women and sexual minorities here in the United States. The associated planning has therefore been underway at least since Bush II invaded Iraq. More likely it dates to 1977, when Carter, an avowed fundamentalist, signed the misogynistic Hyde Amendment into law and two years later began secretly arming murderously anti-woman Islamic fanatics, an ongoing effort that has defined the Empire's Middle Eastern policy ever since.
In other words, Trump's war against women is to be of a severity unprecedented outside the Muslim world and hitherto unimaginable by most reproductive-age USian women. Nor is it really “Trump's war.” It is instead the fulfillment of a long, mostly clandestine campaign of experimentation and meticulous planning by Christian fanatics and their collaborators in government. It is a Pearl-Harbor-type attack on women, minorities whether sexual or racial, and ultimately on liberty itself, an indescribably vicious coup intended to reduce USian women to biological slavery and transform the USian homeland into a zero-tolerance Christian theocracy, an occidental version of Saudi Arabia.
These are the disturbing conclusions that emerge from two stories The Nation broke last week via its on-line service. The reports, “Leaked Draft of Trump’s Religious Freedom Order Reveals Sweeping Plans to Legalize Discrimination” and “How the US Tests Out Some of Its Most Oppressive Domestic Policies on the World,” are here and here respectively.
Not part of The Nation's readership – I despise its pay-walled exclusiveness as much as I scorn its endless bourgeois efforts to canonize ex-President Barack Hussein Obama, whose methodical nullification of constitutional governance cleared the way for Trump's despotism – I accessed the reports via Crosscut, Seattle's amateurishly edited but nevertheless vitally informative on-line daily. The link to The Nation was part of an opinion piece entitled “Trump's anti-LGBTQ order will backfire – here's why.” Because there are lesbians and gays among my relatives, friends, colleagues and political comrades, I follow such matters closely.
“Leaked Draft” publishes the full text of the proposed executive order, while “US Tests” describes – albeit with typical pseudo-Leftist suppression of the Democratic (sic) Party's role as co-perpetrator – how the Empire has used the Third World and the Middle East as rat labs in which to perfect its efforts to re-subjugate women and outlaw homosexuality.
“Trump’s announcement today that his administration seeks to 'totally destroy' restrictions on religious organizations’ ability to engage in political activity,” The Nation concludes, “(tells us) we can expect to see more pressure on both public and private health providers in the United States to curb comprehensive family-planning care and reproductive rights.”
Though clearly frightening, the analysis lapses into disinformation because it falls prey to the pseudo-Left's cult of deceptive optimism and fails to acknowledge the even-more-frightening worst-case scenario: legal and extra-legal prohibitions against abortion, contraception and even medical care for sexually active single women, homosexuals and transgender people.
The most egregious aspect of the Trump proposal would allow gravely injured single women and sexual minorities to be murdered by denial of lifesaving treatment whenever doctors, other caregivers or hospital management claims “religious freedom” – that is, Abrahamic misogyny and homophobia – grants exemption from Hippocratic obligation.
Nor is this an even slightly fanciful scenario. During the late 1970s, when I was the investigative reporter for a Seattle-area suburban thrice-weekly, I was told the one hospital that served our circulation area would not allow rape victims in its emergency room, no matter how severely injured they might be. The hospital, owned by a Christian fundamentalist organization, was the only such facility within about 20 miles in any direction.
Word of the hospital's policy was passed on to me by some exceptionally reliable sources in the King County Police. Furious over the treatment refusals – cops and paramedics knew the resultant delays could kill a severely wounded victim – my informants documented seven recent examples and said the atrocities had been going on long before officers started recording them.
So armed, I confronted the hospital's executive director – and was sneeringly told that as a “Christian institution,” the hospital would “never” allow itself to be associated with “sexual promiscuity.” Christian dogma – particularly the notion rape is divine vengeance for unchaste behavior – thus trumped the Hippocratic oath.
But the arrogant “never” quickly gave way to a properly humiliated “always” after my editor ran the story atop Page One. (The hospital is unnamed here because it is now under secular ownership and new management,)
The point, though, is not another triumph of investigative journalism, or how, in olden times, cops and reporters sometimes cooperated in our species' quest for justice. It is instead the innate viciousness of Abrahamic fundamentalists, a viciousness that, like a serial killer's blood-lust, will spring – or more likely sneak – into malignant tyranny any time we the people are lulled into inattention.
It is the selfsame viciousness the Trump Regime would now perpetuate as the law of the land.
Once again we are shown the terrible relevance of The Family: the Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Jeff Sharlet; Harper: 2008). Eight years after the book's publication, Trump – allegedly Hillary's primary enemy – is fulfilling the subjugation scheme Sharlet exposed as the purpose of clandestine collaboration between Hillary, Sam Brownback “and others”: “legislation dedicated less to overturning the wall between church and state than to tunneling beneath it,” for which see page 275.
THE ONE PERCENTERS and their political vassals – motivated as they are by biblical capitalism, (an ideology of divine-right tyranny that in a less-Orwellian world would be damned as “ChristoFascism” or even “JesuNazism”) – obviously intend to reduce USian women to the hopelessly subjugated, utterly degraded status demanded by core Abrahamic doctrine whether Jewish, Christian or Islamic and thus exemplified by women in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.
Even before the advent of the Trump Regime and its “grab-em-by-the-pussy” war against women, our capitalist overlords, their politicians and their often violent, sometimes murderous Christian storm troopers had already closed or prohibited abortion clinics in 90 percent of the nation's counties. And just before Trump's proposed executive order was leaked, there was already this:
Anti-choice House Republicans on (31 January) voted to further curtail U.S. women's healthcare access, passing a draconian bill that permanently bans the use of federal funds for abortion and prohibits anyone who receives subsidies to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from purchasing a plan that covers abortion...
Because the JesuNazi leaders are not the ignoramuses we like to self-indulgently imagine they are – in horrid truth, precisely as proven by Trump's victory, they are among the most diabolically skilled schemers and manipulators our definitively self-destructive species has yet spawned – they understand all they need do to reduce women to chattel is outlaw contraception.
BUT WHY WOMEN? What is it about femaleness the One Percenters and their fundamentalist allies find so threatening? It would seem the magnitude and ferocity of Trump's war against women contradicts the keystone of the entire patriarchal order – the notion women are pathetically inferior beings.
Firstly there is the doctrine – the defining force in Abrahamic theology, but in misogynistic truth common to most of the world's organized religions – that women are the root of all earthly evil.
Though a detailed examination of this murderously absurd belief is beyond the scope of this article, the belief itself is no doubt a vindictive reaction to the fact patriarchal theology is contradicted by biological reality, for the deeper implications of which see The Great Cosmic Mother (Barbara Mor; HarperSanFrancisco: 1987), especially pages 230-243.
Given the facts of reproductive biology, how can a deity who is definitively male (and therefore without a womb) create a universe from the void of his own womblessness? “Patriarchy,” says Mor, “must maintain, by force, (this) unnatural system” (page 242). Woman's mere existence thus challenges the entire patriarchal order.
Abrahamic theologians, acutely aware of patriarchy's inherent contradictions, respond by denouncing women as inferior beings, subversives, revolutionaries, witches, vessels of evil – weak and sinful creatures to be subjugated by the divine rights of fathers, husbands and male authorities whether religious or secular.
Prior to Trump's victory, the extent to which such misogynistic views yet prevail in the so-called “modern” United States might have astounded anyone who had not lived (as I have) in the de facto theocracy of the USian South or its post-Reagan expansion into the so-called “flyover country” of the heartlands.
But let us not forget fully 63 percent of the adult U.S. population believes the Bible is literally true, which like misogyny is one of the defining dogmas of Christian fundamentalism. Given that 53 percent of 2016's female Caucasian voters helped put Trump in the White House, misogyny is obviously as “American” as the proverbial apple pie – even among women.
At Slate, writer L. V. Anderson suggested the majority of these women supported white supremacy. “What leads a woman to vote for a man who has made it very clear that he believes she is subhuman?” Ms. Anderson wrote. “Self-loathing. Hypocrisy. And, of course, a racist view of the world that privileges white supremacy over every other issue.”
The same self-loathing, as I know all too well from my years as a crime reporter, is what prompts the wives and daughters of misogynists to accept – and worst of all to forgive – the chronic and sometimes deadly abuse by which patriarchy sustains itself.
A second reason for the popularity of Trump's war against women is the oft-repeated Abrahamic claim feminism is a Communist ideology and feminists are agents of the so-called “International Communist Conspiracy” – never mind the Soviet Union has been dead for 26 years.
The following statement is from a popular Christian website: “Sexual egalitarianism is basically a socialist idea, springing from socialist principles and tending to socialist results. Soviet dictator V.I. Lenin outlined the whole modern agenda of 'women's liberation' in a 1920 interview with the German feminist Clara Zetkin.”
Zetkin's full text of the interview is here.
“Feminism is a lie of the Devil,” proclaims another Christian site. “Husbands are Biblically to Rule Over their Wives; Wives are to Obey.”
Anti-abortion zealots go even further, condemning abortion as Satanic rite, “ritual blood sacrifice to the god of child murder, Moloch.”
Such are the fanatical beliefs that fuel Trump's war against women. A corollary dogma is that only Christians – presumably only Christian fundamentalists – are “true Americans,” a view held by 43 percent of Republicans and fully one-third of the total population.
A third reason the Trump Regime is targeting women is that what might be termed the cooperative instincts of females are a direct challenge to the hierarchical tyranny capitalism inherits from its patriarchal forefathers. Capitalism is exploitative by definition; it cannot function without its rigid hierarchy of oppressors and oppressed.
“Female group behavior – the cooperative care-sharing among mothers and children, older and younger women, in the tasks of daily life...is the foundation of social life and human culture,” says Mor. “If the first humans had depended solely on despotic and aggressive male leaders, or on several males in chronic, ritualistic contention for power, human society would never have developed” (Pages 11-12).
Fourthly there is the morally imbecilic greed that fuels the entire capitalist system – the basic formula for which is subjugation = profit, such that the greater the subjugation of the 99 Percent, the greater the profits so extracted.
The One Percenters and their Ruling Class vassals have so thoroughly subjugated the African-American, Hispanic and First Nations populations that most are forced to work at only the lowest possible wages.
Though females are equally subjugated in the workplace – typically they are allowed only two-thirds the income of their male counterparts – Trump's war against women would radically increase their financial hardships, particularly when combined with his intended elimination of Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and any other remnants of the New Deal welfare system. The resultant desperation, particularly amongst single mothers, would enable ever-more-predatory bosses to lower women's wages even more – probably below legal minimums – enabling the capitalists to extract that much additional profit.
Lastly, Trump's war against women is prompted by the patriarchal male's inbred belief that not only feminist activism but female independence or even achievement beyond the domains of kitchen and nursery is tantamount to slave rebellion.
It is no exaggeration to say such a male envisions the world as a macrocosm of the Roman coliseum. He views all other humans, regardless of their genders, as competitors and therefore enemies. With the miasma of fear and hatred that is the core of his consciousness confirmed by Abrahamic scripture and bolstered by Ayn Rand's fictionalizations of Hitler's Mein Kampf, he sees life as a choice between success or damnation and lives in constant terror he might be condemned by predestination to the latter.
Nothing threatens his perpetually insecure ego more than the woman who demonstrates equal or superior competence in realms that were hitherto exclusively male domains. There is also what should be termed clitoris envy, the psychological reality behind Sigmund Freud's concept of “penis envy,” in truth the projection-onto-women of the patriarchal male's resentment of multi-orgasmic femaleness and its associated sensuality of body and mind.
The fact many gay and transsexual males now openly admit their envy of female sexual organs, multi-orgasmic sexuality and unique sensual capacity is obviously yet another reason they too are on the “grab-em-by-the-pussy” regime's enemies list.
Barbara Mor again, citing “Visions of a New Faith,” Mary Long's report in Science Digest 89, November 1981, on work by James Prescott, neuropsychologist at the Institute of Humanistic Science, Los Gatos, California: “Contemporary researchers have found neurological connections between religious or trance experience and female sexuality. In women's brains there are unique neural links between the forebrain and the cerebellum, which allow sensations of physical pleasure to be directly integrated into the cortex, or high brain center. This explains why some women experience orgasm so intense they enter “religious” trance, or altered states of consciousness” (page 53).
Sex as sacrament, as connection to the deepest self and what might lie beyond it? Women as Nature's anointed gurus? God – that is, the Abrahamic god – forbid!
Even more terrifying to the patriarchal male is the possibility the same definitively female mind-body connection uniquely qualifies women to synthesize theory with biological and socioeconomic reality and thus to function as our species' most effective revolutionary cadre. Remember it was women – specifically the women of Petrograd's Lesnoy Textile Works – who triggered the Russian Revolution.
Ultimately Trump and his JesuNazi allies target women because the more learned theocrats correctly recognize that what today is labeled “progressive” culture is profoundly anti-patriarchal, whether implicitly or explicitly. As a Socialist Worker essay stated in 1992, “It was clear that, without control over their own reproductive lives, women couldn't be the equals of men – no matter what advances women made in the job market or in higher education.”
Thus the advent of reliable birth control is not just the origin of women's liberation but, far more importantly, it is the epicenter of the entire era of anti-patriarchal progress that resulted from female independence and the vital addition of independent female perspective to the national political dialogue. Thus too Trump's efforts to expand the prohibitions against contraception and abortion – especially if combined with outlawing any sexual identity or expression outside traditional male-female heterosexual marriage – could forever erase that era's accomplishments.
Ironically, just as the Trump Regime demonstrates every day, the enemies of democracy seemingly understand better than its advocates that without economic democracy, there is no democracy at all.
Unfortunately, our enemies also understand that neither is there any freedom without female reproductive freedom – the total elimination of which is the real motive behind the Trump/JesuNazi war against women.
If the JesuNazis succeed, USian women and girls are doomed to rediscover all the oppressive agonies, genital mutilation included, traditionally inflicted by unrestricted patriarchal hatefulness and sadism – not just in the Middle East but in Europe and the Americas.
THE FRAGILITY OF anti-patriarchal culture – the very culture Trump and his cabal of biblical capitalists intend to wipe out – is vividly illustrated by the lives of two women in Afghanistan, a mother who came of age in secular/socialist Kabul and her daughter who has grown up under the misogynistic Abrahamic savagery facilitated by the lavish funding provided Afghanistan's Muslim fanatics by U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his successors.
Albeit without jihad's characteristic reign of murder and torture, the same fragility is demonstrated by the death of the 1960s Counterculture – the first wave of the anti-patriarchal revolution – in the United States. Labeled “a revolution in consciousness” by the late Walter Bowart, the founding editor of the East Village Other, the Counterculture was indeed revolutionary. But its revolution was cultural, based on hope rather than ideology, which made it easy prey for our capitalist overlords, precisely as demonstrated by how it was suppressed, co-opted, absorbed, commercialized and finally misrepresented as little more than an extended tantrum by over-indulged Baby Boomers.
The Ruling Class, however, took the Counterculture much more seriously than it publicly acknowledged: hence the blueprint for fascism contained in the Powell Memo, a confidential memorandum dated 23 August 1971 that has been the bible of the One Percent and their vassals ever since.
Reading the memo, we see the Trump presidency is not an accident. It is instead the logical product of malevolent but often mutually hostile forces that have been at work in this country since the Bankers' Plot of 1934 unsuccessfully sought to overthrow President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, topple his New Deal and make the United States the new dominant partner in the Nazi Germany/Fascist Italy alliance.
But it was Powell – responding to the correctly perceived threat the revolution in consciousness might birth a truly revolutionary ideology and thus evolve into economic and political revolution – who united the squabbling factions of the One Percent and its Ruling Class vassalage into the ideologically disciplined, diabolically cunning fascist cabal that has lorded it over us ever since.
While I have yet to see objective proof Trump was from the beginning the One Percent's choice for the presidency, logic and circumstantial evidence allows me no other conclusion. The tweet-by-tweet coverage granted him by the One Percent's (“mainstream”) media – the world's first privately owned, for-profit ministry of propaganda – has no precedent in USian journalistic history, particularly when compared to the near-total news blackout that killed Sen. Sanders' campaign.
In my day, when real journalism was still the national norm, we covered a presidential election on the basis of its candidates' positions on the relevant issues and the popularity of those positions amongst the electorate. Whomever was leading in the polls therefore generally got the most detailed coverage, though we also took special care not to downplay the underdog.
But in 2016, an entirely different set of standards was in play – standards utterly alien to me as a former reporter and editor.
The news value of the Sanders story – how his critique of the status quo was making him 2016's most popular presidential candidate – was rejected. Its rightful place on Page One (and given its historical significance, often as the lead story), was instead given over to Trump's bellicose buffoonery.
It was as if our national denouement had been prophesied by Shakespeare: “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” – this to soothe a 99 Percent boiling with definitively pre-revolutionary anger.
What I believe obtained – though it will no doubt take WikiLeaks' best efforts to ferret out the proof – is just as Powell feared the political potential of the Counterculture, so do today's One Percenters fear the far-more-immediately revolutionary potential of the public's anger. Thus they chose Trump as the shortest possible path to the manifest Nazism they need to expeditiously eliminate any individual or group who might provide revolutionary leadership. With Hillary's campaign as a diversionary effort, Trump's victory was from the beginning the One Percent's intended coup de main.
Why else would mainstream media – the One Percenters' most micro-managed monopoly – have given Trump such inexplicably lavish coverage?
In any case we the people have been ambushed as never before in our species' history – an epic betrayal in which the Democratic (sic) Party and the Republican Party are co-conspirators: once more the terrible relevance of Sharlett's revelations in The Family.
WITH TRUMP'S FELONIZATION of peaceful protest plus openly theocratic majorities in control of both houses of Congress, there is no longer any recognizable barrier to their despotism.
Many will reply that peaceful protest is a constitutional right, which indeed it is. But like Bush, Obama and in fact every president since 22 November 1963, Trump regards the Constitution as meaningless. And unlike his predecessors, he intends to express his contempt for its Bill of Rights by maximizing his persecutions of dissidents, an embittering truth proven by the felony charges filed against journalists who were jailed for trying to cover the inauguration protests.
Short of suppressing protest and the coverage of protest with deadly gunfire, I can think of no more effective discouragement than the prospect of felony prosecution. A felony charge – even if it results in acquittal – literally destroys one's life forever.
Unless one is obscenely wealthy, the six-figure cost of defense lawyers typically inflicts bankruptcy, and the mere fact of the charge – again assuming acquittal (and unless one is either extremely privileged or astoundingly fortunate) – forever afterward dooms one to a hopelessly wretched existence of minimum-wage jobs and dependence on the few remaining governmental stipends and services Trump will soon genocidally abolish.
I know of what I speak because in a journalism career that began in 1956 and is now winding down as I slowly die of congestive heart failure, I often witnessed such circumstances. Indeed my own newspaper career was forever crippled by a Civil-Rights-Movement-related misdemeanor arrest in 1963, never mind I was acquitted, as were all the others so charged.
Where political crimes are concerned, this has never been a forgiving nation – the deceitful propaganda of the Bernadine Dohrn/Bill Ayres example not withstanding – and now under Trump's reign as neo-Führer, the U.S. threatens to become more effectively vengeful against dissidents than ever before in its history.
This is not to argue against peaceful resistance. It is, however, a warning to resistors to be aware of the malevolently escalated cost of resistance. The Trump Regime is now penalizing peaceful protest as if it were violent protest – using the powers given it for that very purpose by the Clinton, Bush II and Obama regimes.
In terms of irremediable psychological devastation, there is no difference between 10 years in prison (as the journalists arrested in Washington DC now face ) and a lifetime prison sentence – an absolute truth if one is male, does not have the protection provided by membership in a criminal organization, and is therefore the constant prey of rapists and bullies.
As President John Fitzgerald Kennedy so eloquently observed, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.”
Obviously the Trump Regime's intent is to provoke such violence, then seize upon it as a rationale for declaring war against all its opponents and in all probability murdering most if not all opposition leadership.
That “protest is death” is precisely the message delivered by the emplacement of two Avenger missile launchers at Standing Rock, where the savagery of soldiers, mercenaries and federally militarized police is most likely to provoke a violent response. The Avenger is the Empire's modern-day version of the Red Army's deadly Katyusha, which is still honored in modern Russia as a key weapon in the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany.
But would USian troops fire rockets at their unarmed fellow citizens?
One of the other posters in the CommonDreams discussion linked in the prefatory note answered the question:
“I was speaking, over the holidays, to my College Student Nephew's friend, a nice young fellow, who is now in the Armed Forces,” she wrote. “I privately asked him if, given the order, would he fire on his Fellow Citizens.”
“His answer was a shrug, and the explanation 'You gotta do what they tell you.'”
That's what we're facing. Obviously, Trump's war against women is just the opening volley in a political purge the intensity of which this nation has never experienced. And how effectively we respond will determine not only the future of the United States of America, but most likely the futures all the nations of the world – and the future of our own species as well.
LB: 1-7 February 2017