As the national nightmare of the Trump presidency painfully inches towards a close, there seems to be a general sense among people that there will be at least some sort of consequence or retribution for Donald Trump, his family, and his cretinous lackeys.
But almost inevitably, some of the worst offenders are already showing how they’re going to whitewash themselves before our very eyes.
Miles Taylor, the ex-Trump DHS official (and George W. Bush alum), who preemptively laid the groundwork for his rehabilitation with his “Anonymous” op-ed and book, has pivoted to running an anti-Trump consultancy firm with “NeverTrumper” Evan McMullin and ingratiating himself with the credulous sops in the #resistance by constantly tweeting vapid drivel about how awful Trump is and what a terrible threat he is to our democracy.
He’s working overtime to rewrite his story because, in a just society, he knows he would face a tribunal for crimes against humanity. As the chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, he played an active role in helping Kristjen Nielsen whitewash and downplay the horrors of the child separation project, which tore thousands of innocent, young children away from their parents and incarcerated them in private-prison run concentration camps to be neglected and systematically abused by their jailors.
He was also directly involved in the development of the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which deported some 66,000 people, including more than 20,000 children, to overwhelmed Mexican refugee camps where they are subjected to murder, rape, torture, and kidnapping at the hands of vicious cartel gangs.
When it was clear that Trump was sunk, Taylor jumped ship and revealed he was the anonymous critic the whole time! And now here he is, pretending he’s fucking sorry and that he’s a good little NeverTrumper with a Twitter feed that is suddenly full of performative outrage over Trump’s refusal to concede the election. Even worse is his stated goal to help rehabilitate other Trump collaborators and make sure they survive the stigma of working for this monster and ensure they remain latched to the foul teat of political money.
In the blink of an eye, Taylor is booking CNN spots and sliding effortlessly into the role of Disgruntled Defector without any mention of the fact that barely two months ago, Taylor was publicly defending the Trump team for losing track of separated children and accused the migrant parents of “not wanting their children back.”
"This rhetoric has jumped the tracks into violence."
— #REPAIR (@RepairRepublic) December 1, 2020
Taylor’s work is responsible for the suffering, traumatization, abuse, and deaths of thousands of people. But they were the lives of poor people of color, and this is America, where we decided long ago that those lives mean absolutely nothing to us and there is no reason why ending them should stand in the way of a lucrative career.
Despite the endless lies that spew from his mouth, Donald Trump is, incredibly, somewhat of a truthbringer. A primeval force of pure malevolence and ego, he leaves subtext, euphemism, and dogwhistle shredded in his wake, freely dispensing with the reassuring lies that we tell ourselves and driving the American people to embrace the narcissistic entitlement and cruel indifference that rots in the heart of America.
The tepid mantra of spineless worms like Miles Taylor that “this isn’t who we are” is gelded by the ugly truth that Donald Trump has inadvertently exposed: this is exactly who we are. America thrives off, feeds on, and delights in the cruelty and abuse and torture and death of minorities, of the global poor, even off its own people.
One only needs to look at the perpetrators of the criminally mismanaged invasion and occupation of Iraq and what they’re doing today.
The war was justified with orchestrated lies and would ultimately lead to the deaths of nearly a million people, a generation of deformed children in Fallujah, the rise of ISIS and the genocides they committed but that hasn’t stopped George W. Bush and Iraq war promoters like David Frum, Max Boot, Jennifer Rubin, and Rick Wilson from being eagerly embraced by liberals and into the arms of the mainstream Democratic Party for opportunistically taking a public opposition to Trump and his cronies.
Their rehabilitation is at its very essence an expression of white supremacy; a declaration that the suffering and the mass death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is regretful but ultimately meaningless and should carry no consequence or stigma.
But in the era of Donald Trump, we decided that those crimes and those lost lives, the anguish of millions of grieving families, the terror felt by countless children don’t matter as long as the ghouls responsible for it performatively huff and tut-tut about the Integrity of Our Democracy and Respecting Our Institutions and The Functional Norms of our broken and useless government that can’t even summon up any relief for their own voters in the middle of a pandemic as winter approaches.
Every week, there’s a new article in one of the nation’s leading papers calling for incoming president Joe Biden to let the Trump team walk away scot-free in a cynical and transparently insincere appeal to “unity” with the Republicans who refuse to accept that he even won the election; Biden’s own team has indicated that it does not have much of an appetite for prosecuting Trump, his family, and his minions for the staggeringly extensive list of atrocities and outrages they’ve committed over the past four years, preferring to maintaining the “unifier” brand that barely won him the White House rather than accede to the ferevent demands of justice.
The #resistance, which has spent four straight years screaming itself hoarse about Russia and treason and cheetos and Melania’s naked pictures, will doubtlessly be very disappointed to learn that Donald Trump and his administration of racist sociopaths and gluttonous grifters will face no consequences for anything they have done. Sadly, it turns out the powers that be care as little about their feelings as they themselves cared about a million lives lost in the War on Terror.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.