PBS Frontline “Trump’s Showdown”

Michael Kirk is a documentary filmmaker and partial creator of the PBS show Frontline

Last night I watched the new PBS Frontline “Trump’s Showdown.” It was the sixth film in this anthology from Frontline filmmaker Michael Kirk. Other films include Trump’s strategy for wresting power from the Republican establishment (“Divided States of America“) and muscling his way into the Oval Office (“Trump’s Takeover”), to what his surrogate represents (“Bannon’s War”) to our susceptibility to Russian influence (“Putin’s Revenge”) and more.

It is difficult to verbalize how well-researched and powerful the 2-hour documentary is. If watching this series were a prerequisite to voting in this country Trump couldn’t possibly have been elected. I doubt that any reasonably intelligent, impartial person could watch it and still be a Trump supporter. Unfortunately, there are many misinformed and/or bad people in the country.

In the meantime let’s hope for the success of the many forces allied against this attempted coup by Trump and his Republican sycophants. We should remember that civilization is a high achievement that is founded on the rule of law, as Aristotle noted long ago, and that it rests on very shaky foundations. It doesn’t take much for warlike words to turn in to warlike action. We tread a path that may lead to a dissolution of the social order. And if we ever get there we will regret our lack of self-control.

For a more in-depth discussion of the documentary see: “Decoding Trump’s “Showdown” strategy, from Roy Cohn to Michael Cohen” in Salon.


(Note – The political situation in the USA is so depressing that I’m not going to write about it for a while. Over the next few weeks I’ll return to philosophical topics. )

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4 thoughts on “PBS Frontline “Trump’s Showdown”

  1. “The political situation in the USA is so depressing that I’m not going to write about it for a while.”

    You’ll have lots to write about after the midterms — most of it heartening, I’m sure. The Democrats are certain to regain the House, which will permit proper investigations and the release of information that the Republicans have been hiding. They might even get the Senate. It’s a long shot, but not beyond the realm of possibility, and the odds appear to have been increasing with time.

  2. “We should remember that civilization is a high achievement…”

    Actually, there exists no civilization. What we live in is a state of controlled barbarism that will remain so for decades. Between five and ten decades; perhaps into the 22nd century.
    What happens? Escapism. Knowing such, drink, drugs, the Web, and all the rest of it makes sense. What is America? A giant nation of people from all over the world given maximum freedom allowable. What do they do? They squabble over pieces of the pie, and fight about race/ethnicity. Plus everything else.
    Trump– as Schwarzenegger was in the last decade– is a manifestation of political escapism. Simply: people don’t know what to do, so they vote for Trump–the Trump electorate escapes into a political dreamworld.

  3. Trump himself is slipping into a dreamworld; he might be going senile:

    “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!”

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