Wednesday, August 29, 2018

What If Donald Trump Actually Shot Someone on Fifth Avenue?

It was his most infamous remark, the one that should have instantly disqualified Donald Trump from running for President.

The one where he claimed that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters.

But somehow Trump was elected instead of arrested, or confined to a mental institution.

And now Thomas Friedman has this disturbing question.

What if Trump did actually shoot someone on Fifth Avenue? 

President Trump stopped his motorcade in Manhattan today, jumped out of his limousine and shot a man on Fifth Avenue who was shouting anti-Trump epithets. The shooting was recorded by the White House press pool as well as by dozens of bystanders with cellphones and by security cameras in the area. When asked for his reaction, House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “We will need more information than is available at this point.”

Friedman has some fun with that notion.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that she was looking the other way when the shooting happened so she had no comment, adding: “I haven’t had a chance to discuss it with the president. I’ll get back to you if I have something. But the president has stated many times that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. So he’s just keeping a campaign promise. He did nothing wrong. There are no charges against him. And even though I have no comment, and he has no comment, we’ve commented on this extensively.”

But his point is a deadly serious one. Trump could shoot someone and his base and his Republican toadies would probably still support him.

And it's all part of the Russification of America.

“The Russification of America under Trump, it’s not just about collusion, corruption and money laundering,” said Gorbis. “It is about his behavior” — crass language, simplistic slogans reminiscent of the Soviet rhetoric, use of terms such as “enemy of the people,” and his insistence on personal loyalty over loyalty to the Constitution or institutions.

And of course, Friedman's final point is the most important one.

A few more years of this Russification of America and the rot will be everywhere. Russia will have won the post-Cold War, and the fictional story at the top of this column will become nonfiction — just like that. Remember that when you vote in the midterms.

Americans should vote in the upcoming midterm elections as if the survival of their democracy depended upon it.

For it almost certainly does...


  1. And it's all part of the Russification of America.

    Well no, it's not.Thomas Friedman seems to be as ignorant of Russia as most other US commentators.

    It is just normal American behaviour. The phrase “enemy of the people,” was not the one used before, I think Joe McCarthy used "un-American activities" for his witch hunts.

    Friedman is engaging in the normal American habit of blaming everything bad on "someone else". The last great power outage in the Eastern US and Ontario---it was the Canadians fault. Oops, well it really was bad maintenance in Pennsylvania. Tho Oklahoma bombing---foreign terrorists. Oops, native born nut case.

    Hilary did not win---it was the Russians. Let's ignore a crappy campaign, Cambridge Analytica, a few hundred million dollars from American oligarchs and an insane US press.

    Friedman may well be right; Trump could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it. That's just the American Way.

    The rest of Friedman's Russia bashing is just the normal American unwillingness to admit the US political system is highly corrupt and screwed up.

    “It is about his behavior” — crass language, simplistic slogans reminiscent of the Soviet rhetoric,

    Friedman, like most American commentators and political types, is living in the past. The Soviet Union disintegrated in 1990 or so. They seem unable to grasp the simple fact that modern Russia is not the old USSR. Of course, lots of Americans are under the impression that Canada is a British colony.

    The Cold War is long over. The Americans seem unable to understand that their country is in rapid decline, not because of the Russians but due to a long series of bad policies that the US happily embraced on its own.

    What was that Pogo line? "We have met the enemy and he is us"?

    1. Jackie Blue1:17 PM

      The last great power outage in the Eastern US and Ontario---it was the Canadians fault. Oops, well it really was bad maintenance in Pennsylvania.

      I regret to inform you that there is a significant contingent of my countrymen who sincerely believe that 9/11 was your fault too. Depending on which variation of the conspiracy theory you peruse, and how far down the "rabbit hole" of fever-dream madness you go, either the Canadians were simply "neglectful" in "allowing the hijackers to sneak over the border" (they didn't), or it was a deliberate attack to punish us for electing Bush. Delve deeper into the derp den and you'll find further delusions that (who else) Pierre Trudeau masterminded the plot and took the secrets to his grave, in exchange for some sort of later concession from (take your pick) George Soros, the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, the British royals, etc. that would plant his son on the "throne" as the last piece of the puzzle that destroys America for its God-given freedoms and ushers in a thousand-year reign of the satanic NWO. There are even a number of really lowlife videos on YouTube alleging that Michel found out and got snuffed before he could talk. Is this Russian disinfo? That's what makes it so hard to tell: they're adept at making themselves look like the most batshit insane American (or Canadian) tin-foil nutcases, thus suckering in the real ones who actually do believe in nonsense like QAnon, Pizzagate and the theory that Hillary Clinton shot JFK.

      Follow the money and it'll lead you to Moscow with a number of simultaneous detours right back home. I do not discount Putin's involvement in anything, but the paranoid style of American politics only seems to have dialed up the crazy to unfathomable levels since half the country had a collective psychotic breakdown over a black man ascending to the top job on his own merits and winning -- twice -- fair and square. But if Bush was in bed with the Saudis, and Fox was created by a racist, right-wing Australian oligarch, then it doesn't seem too far of a stretch to suggest that the GOP is craven enough to sell out to the evil empire (or anyone for that matter) just to hold onto power no matter what. As the famous line goes in Network, "the world is a business." Money talks and shit sticks to the wall.

      The Internet has only poured more fuel on the fire. Like nuclear weapons, an American invention that our adversaries are all too gleeful to take advantage of, with the complicity of those same craven sellouts who have no loyalty but to themselves. It allows Trump to broadcast his lunacy all over the world, and like-minded sycophants or cynical hucksters like Alex Jones to latch onto it and foment their own mass hysteria whether they really believe their own BS or not. As another commenter pointed out here: stochastic terrorism. Perhaps someone else will engage in a mass shooting on Fifth Avenue to please Dear Leader. And the NRA -- with the bill footed by Russian dark money, a spigot that was opened up by right-wing SCOTUS precedents using a twisted interpretation of "freedom of speech" -- will defend his right to fight "tyranny," thus using our own language against us.

      So you're correct in that Putin doesn't really have to "do" anything, but whatever the foreign trolls are guilty of, it's simply a cakewalk for them to take advantage of a populace that, thanks to 30+ years of gutting education and denouncing critical thinking as both frivolous and unacceptable to the bottom line and particularly the war machine, has come to swallow the Orwellian/Giuliani Kool-Aid where truth is not truth and what you are seeing is not what is happening. Who you going to believe? "America's mayor" or those thieving commie liberals? "We distort, we divide." There is no truth in the news and there is no news in the truth.

  2. Jackie Blue11:23 AM

    If it was Rod Serling or Stephen King writing the story, it'd have a twist ending where the feds close in and Trump shoots himself on Fifth Avenue. Or "jumps" out the top-floor window of Trump Tower after a surprise visit from a guy named Boris. Reached for comment, Vladimir Putin would respond, "he's just a covfefe guy, never heard of him."

    As it stands now... this is the dumbest spy novel ever. What should it be called? Smallfinger? The Spy Who Came In from the Golf Course? The Man Who Tweeted Too Much? Or maybe, The Man With the Golden Showers?

  3. No no, Jackie. Putin would say Trump was "яркий" just as he described him during the election. Of course the Western media translated it as "brilliant" while apparently the real sense is "flamboyant" or "flashy".

    Donald Trump as a crooked used car dealer in a plaid jacket? Do crooked real estate developers wear plaid?

    "The fool who would be king"?

  4. e.a.f.3:05 PM

    If Trump shot some one on 5th Ave., perhaps we'd get luck and some one not recognizing him or recognizing him shot him back. You know in both knee caps. I don't advocate murder or political assignation, but two shots in the knee caps would work. No I'm not Irish.

    Would he get away with it, well if the jury were people of colour, no. If the jury was white, perhaps.