In ‘A Continuing Conversation with Geographers’, Noam Chomsky – one of the most influential scientists and respected intellectuals of our time – spoke his mind on the Trump administration’s ongoing scandal concerning Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. In Chomsky’s view, the meeting should rather be regarded as a responsible diplomatic gesture than an attempt at collusion, and media would serve the public much better by focusing on what’s going on behind the scenes of America’s most popular reality show.
“What’s going on is a very systematic two-tiered operation. One of them is Trump, Bannon, the effort to try to make sure you capture the headlines, that you’re top of the news, one crazy thing after another just to capture people’s attention. And the assumption is ‘Well they’re gonna forget later anyway.’”
The petty shortcomings of the Trump administration preyed upon by media serve as a distraction while ‘savage’ republicans get on with their sinister schemes.
“While everything is focusing on that, the Paul Ryan republicans, who are, in my view, the most dangerous and savage group in the country, are busy implementing programs that they have been talking quietly about for years. Very savage programs, which have very simple principles. One, be sure to offer to the rich and powerful gifts beyond the dreams of avarice, and [two], kick everyone else in the face. And it’s going on step by step right behind the bluster.”
As evidence, Chomsky points to the configuration of the cabinet:
“Take a look at the cabinet. The cabinet was designed that way. Every cabinet official was chosen to destroy anything of human significance in that part of the government. It’s so systematic that it can’t be unplanned. I doubt that Trump planned it. My impression is that his only ideology is 'me'. But whoever is working on it is doing a pretty effective job, and the Democrats are cooperating – cooperating in a very striking way.”
The Democrats should be keeping the Republicans in check, but by playing along with the media circus they deserve part of the blame. Focusing on the long-spun Russian scandal instead of recognizing it as a diplomatic act is a big mistake, in Chomsky’s view.
“Take a look at the focus in congress. It’s one of the few decent things Trump has been doing. So maybe members of his transition team contacted the Russians. Is that a bad thing? Recent ambassador to Russia, Jack Matlock, had a blog where he pointed out that ‘It’s exactly what you should be doing. It’s the job of ambassadors and diplomats coming in. There are serious problems and tensions you want to talk over to see if there’s anything you can do about them. Instead of just building up force and violence.’ That’s what the democrats are focusing on, and meanwhile all these other things are going on and they’re not saying anything about them.”
The consequences? Everything is being destroyed, while everyone’s looking the other way.
“Basically letting the Bannon-Trump group control what’s presented to the public, crazy things about wiretapping, ‘Did Susan Rice commit a crime?’, whatever tomorrow’s will be, meanwhile the parts of the governmental structure that are beneficial to human beings and to future generations are being systematically destroyed, and with very little attention.”