The main reason Donald Trump, one month into his presidency, is surely the most embattled president in US history is not only because he campaigned on an agenda which, if executed, will destroy the corrupt and elitist ancien regime, but also because it will expose it.
It's that simple. The opportunity -- the threat -- is unprecedented and in all probability unique. Only someone as giant as Trump could even attempt to expose it, or "drain the swamp."
I received a very nice email this month from a 65-year-old man who was just finishing American Betrayal and, as he put it, "seeing the world with very new eyes."
With Trump's Swamp-Drainer persona riding high, American Betrayal rightly now finds itself at the center of the universe of American discourse, it seems. It might be described as a map of the swamp, even.
A map of the swamp -- I like that.
American Betrayal is a book about the forces of exposure versus the forces of concealment -- the keepers of the swamp -- which is the way I learned to view the struggles and wars of the 20th century, and the way I came to see so much of our own government as a vehicle of concealment that rolled over the forces of expopsure like a tank battallion. Thus, American betrayal.
I decided to post the video above for some context (with thanks to videographers at The United West). It is a lecture (starts at 12:30) I gave at the end of August in 2013 outside of Boston at Rabbi Jon Hausman's famous temple, even as American Betrayal was coming continuous attack of lies and smears in conservative media -- "fake" attack, as we might say to be a la mode. (I was being called a "crackpot," etc., and my work condemned as "yellow journalism conspiracy theories," etc., all of that, so if I look a little wan, I was still in the middle of writing The Rebuttal, which had not yet debuted at Breitbart News in three parts, while gallant champions -- or, as David Horowitz put it, "Diana West's kook army," "her wolf pack" -- were still in the process of rallying.)
A very kind man named Ricky Greenfield who has since passed away was in the audience that night. He told me that Horowitz had implored him not to come to my talk. He came, however, and this what he wrote me the next day.
I've been trying to clear my screen today to write you something longer, but this will have to suffice. My computer is also giving me a problem today, so I've started this note a few times and lost it to a blue screen....The dreaded blue screen.
I was impressed.
In light of the current controversy I expected someone more combative and aggressive. I would understand it if you came out swinging. Certainly your adversaries were terribly belligerent when attacking you. Not your work, but you.
Instead I heard a detailed, reasonable presentation that reviewed many of the issues that you base your work on. I came in with a bias always believing that outcomes are more important in a debate like this than the path to them. I also assume that in our lifetimes we may never get know the full story behind events and possibly, since we're are looking at something where very thorough and involved well trained people were involved, that their tracks were likely to be minimal and the truth could be buried forever.
The truth of how something happened or if a key official was merely a sympathizer or a traitor matters little to those not brought back from our wars and who were sacrificed needlessly on some alter of political convenience or orthodoxy not ours. Arguing these points then is beyond me, but they must be of visceral import to those attacking you here. [I always felt that when we import folks from the left we take them with the venality that academia incorporates in all its disagreements. Like I said, William F. would not allow this particular debate to get out of hand to the extent it has.]
BTW: Ruth told me that you are from a military family [DW: My dad fought in World War II]. My brother, who I introduced you fleetingly, is a 3 tour VN guy with three PH's and 2 Bronze stars and a cluster. My nephew, next to him, was in the first Iraq conflict. And of course we have Rabbi Hausman in common. The man we call our 'Warrior Rabbi'.
I'm glad I came.