Lit and Sputtering
You can see where the trajectory of events is leading. The country will be distracted by racial strife this summer while the global banking system implodes, disabling trade relations and the super-long supply chains we depend on for all common goods from oil to fresh food. Unless the remnants of the Republican Party act responsibly and find a way to replace Trump with a capable candidate, the nation will get what it deserves: a clown in the white house at the climax of the Fourth Turning.
The racial events of recent days resonate in a fog of cognitive dissonance. What really happened in those two incidents involving Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge Louisiana? Too many people pretend to know exactly why these two men were shot by cops. The video recordings of the incidents are ambiguous. In the Castile case, the recording doesn’t start until just after the deed is done.
Given the universal hyper-awareness of the current mood around the country, I doubt that policemen would throw away their livelihoods for a few thrilling seconds of malice. They know exactly what happens after the gun comes out: suspension, investigation, end-of-career, possibly civil prosecution, lawyers and more lawyers, a special hell of lawyers, and no way to make a living in the meantime. In a word: ruin.
These two incidents were followed by the shootings in Dallas by one Micah Johnson of twelve cops, five of whom died. That matter was not so ambiguous. The authorities quickly determined what happened and why. It is likely to lead to more assassinations and bushwhackings of police because a peculiar social mechanism gives people permission to re-enact atrocities once certain lines are crossed. We saw that in the political assassinations that commenced in the 1960s. The Jihadi beheadings and other monstrosities work similarly.
The possibilities for mayhem around the upcoming party conventions (Philadelphia and Cleveland) now look much darker than just a few weeks ago. Hillary took advantage of last week’s racial strife to deflect the blows she took from FBI Director James Comey in his public remarks about Hillary’s email problem. She went into full pander mode, blaming “white privilege” for the recent enormities involving guns and police. Of course, that will only fuel the “narrative” that whites are wholly responsible for black dysfunction, a false story that will lead to more conflict.
The legal spectacle surrounding Hillary and the FBI left many thoughtful Americans scratching their heads. The most superficial angle was how FBI Director Comey let Hillary off the hook because her “extremely careless” actions involving the email server did not include any “intent” to break the laws. The trouble is, the federal statutes pertaining to the case do not require any evidence of intent; the actions alone are enough to warrant a criminal referral. Mr. Comey skated over this matter. One cute theory circulating is that he didn’t dare to alter history by setting in motion events that would elevate Trump to power. Who knows…?
Much more remains to be seen in the Hillary email matter, because the real issue is not whether she maintained a private email server against regulations but whether she used that email server to stuff the bank account of the Clinton Foundation with money grifted while serving as Secretary of State. You can be sure we have not heard the end of that issue, and beyond that are the questions surrounding her gigantic speaking fees from Too-Big-Too-Fail banks, the texts of which she has resolutely refused to publically disclose.
This latter issue will become increasingly of interest to voters this summer and fall as trouble in the European banks provokes a contagion of banking failures that will thunder around the planet and begin to cause very serious practical problems for daily life in all the so-called advanced economies. Nobody in and around power in America these days is equipped to manage this epochal calamity, especially while we stumble and blunder our way into race war.