If any evidence existed to be found that Donald Trump had illegally colluded with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election, that evidence would have been picked up by the sprawling surveillance networks of the US and its allies and leaked to the Washington Post before Obama left office.

Russiagate is like a mirage. From a distance it looks like a solid, tangible thing, but when you actually move in to examine it critically you find nothing but gaping plot holes, insinuation, innuendo, conflicting narratives, bizarre mental contortions to avoid acknowledging contradictory information, a few arrests for corruption and process crimes, and a lot of hot air. The whole thing has been held together by nothing but the confident-sounding assertions of pundits and politicians and sheer, mindless repetition. And, as we approach the two year mark since this president’s election, we have not seen one iota of movement toward removing him from office. The whole thing’s a lie, and the smart movers and shakers behind it are aware that it is a lie.

And yet they keep beating on it. Day after day after day after day it’s been Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia. Instead of attacking this president for his many, many real problems in a way that will do actual damage, they attack this fake blow-up doll standing next to him in a way that never goes anywhere and never will, like a pro wrestler theatrically stomping on the canvass next to his downed foe.

What’s up with that?

As you doubtless already know by now, the New York Times has made the wildly controversial decision to publish an anonymous op-ed reportedly authored by “a senior official in the Trump administration.” The op-ed’s author claims to be part of a secret coalition of patriots who dislike Trump and are “working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” These “worst inclinations” according to the author include trying to make peace with Moscow and Pyongyang, being rude to longtime US allies, saying mean things about the media, being “anti-trade”, and being “erratic”. The possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment is briefly mentioned but dismissed. The final paragraphs are spent gushing about John McCain for no apparent reason.

I strongly encourage you to read the piece in its entirety, because for all the talk and drama it’s generating, it doesn’t actually make any sense. While you are reading it, I encourage you to keep the following question in mind: what could anyone possibly gain by authoring this and giving it to the New York Times?

Seriously, what could be gained? The op-ed says essentially nothing, other than to tell readers to relax and trust in anonymous administration insiders who are working against the bad guys on behalf of the people (which is interestingly the exact same message of the right-wing 8chan conspiracy phenomenon QAnon, just with the white hats and black hats reversed). Why would any senior official risk everything to publish something so utterly pointless? Why risk getting fired (or risk losing all political currency in the party if NYTAnon is Mike Pence, as has been theorized) just to communicate something to the public that doesn’t change or accomplish anything? Why publicly announce your undercover conspiracy to undermine the president in a major news outlet at all?

What are the results of this viral op-ed everyone’s talking about? So far it’s a bunch of Democratic partisans making a lot of excited whooping noises, and Trump loyalists feeling completely vindicated in the belief that all of their conspiracy theories have been proven correct. Many rank-and-file Trump haters are feeling a little more relaxed and complacent knowing that there are a bunch of McCain-loving “adults in the room” taking care of everything, and many rank-and-file Trump supporters are more convinced than ever that Donald Trump is a brave populist hero leading a covert 4-D chess insurgency against the Deep State. In other words, everyone’s been herded into their respective partisan stables and trusting the narratives that they are being fed there.

And, well, I just think that’s odd.

Did you know that Donald Trump is in the WWE Hall of Fame? He was inducted in 2013, and he’s been enthusiastically involved in pro wrestling for many years, both as a fan and as a performer. He’s made more of a study on how to draw a crowd in to the theatrics of a choreographed fight scene than anyone this side of the McMahon family (a member of whom happens to be part of the Trump administration currently).

You don’t have to get into any deep conspiratorial rabbit hole to consider the possibility that all this drama and conflict is staged from top to bottom. Commentators on all sides routinely crack jokes about how the mainstream media pretends to attack Trump but secretly loves him because he brings them amazing ratings. Anyone with their eyes even part way open already knows that America’s two mainstream parties feign intense hatred for one another while working together to pace their respective bases into accepting more and more neoliberal exploitation at home and more and more neoconservative bloodshed abroad. They spit and snarl and shake their fists at each other, then cuddle up and share candy when it’s time for a public gathering. Why should this administration be any different?

I believe that a senior Trump administration official probably did write that anonymous op-ed. I do not believe that they were moved to write it out of compassion for the poor Americans who are feeling emotionally stressed about the president. I believe it was written and published for the same reason many other things are written and published in mainstream media: because we are all being played.

The more I study US politics, the less useful I find it to think of it in political terms. The two-headed one party system exists to give Americans the illusion of choice while advancing the agendas of the plutocratic class which owns and operates both parties, yes, but even more importantly it’s a mechanism of narrative control. If you can separate the masses into two groups based on extremely broad ideological characteristics, you can then funnel streamlined “us vs them” narratives into each of the two stables, with the white hats and black hats reversed in each case. Now you’ve got Republicans cheering for the president and Democrats cheering for the CIA, for the FBI, and now for a platoon of covert John McCains alleged to be operating on the inside of Trump’s own administration. Everyone’s cheering for one aspect of the US power establishment or another.

Whom does this dynamic serve? Not you.

If you belonged to a ruling class, obviously your goal would be to ensure your subjects’ continued support for you. In a corporatist oligarchy, the rulers are secret and the subjects don’t know they’re ruled, and power is held in place with manipulation and with money. As such a ruler your goal would be to find a way to manipulate the masses into supporting your agendas, and, since people are different, you’d need to use different narratives to manipulate them. You’d have to divide them, tell them different stories, turn them against each other, play them off one another, suck them in to the tales you are spinning with the theater of enmity and heroism.

As a result of the New York Times op-ed, if this administration engages in yet another of its many, many establishment capitulations (let’s say by attacking the Syrian government again), Trump’s supporters won’t see it as his fault; it will be blamed on the deep state insiders in his administration who have been working to thwart his agendas of peace and harmony. Meanwhile those who see Trump as a heel won’t experience any cognitive dissonance if any of the establishment agendas they support are carried out, because they can give the credit to the secret hero squad in the White House.

Would a billionaire WWE Hall of Famer and United States President understand the theater of staged conflict for the advancement of plutocratic interests, and willingly participate in it? I’m going to say probably.


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49 responses to “We Are Being Played”

  1. Chief among the top donors was Sheldon Adelson, a GOP megadonor and CEO of the largest casino company in the United States, Las Vegas Sands Corp. He doled out $5 million for Trump’s inauguration fund. The donation was not only Trump’s largest inaugural contribution, but the largest individual donation made to any presidential inaugural committee. He and his wife, Miriam Adelson, also donated nearly $83 million to Republicans in the 2016 election. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2018/01/trump-donors-1-year-later/

  2. Trump received several loans primarily from Deutsche Bank for $650 million, but he also lined up a $160 million mezzanine loan* from a group of private investors, Fortress Investment Group, Blackacre Capital, and support from billionaire George Soros, who invested $160 million to help build the Chicago skyscraper(Trump Tower). Some how Trump did not have to worry about paying back the majority of his mezzanine loan. A special group of lenders came in and erased a significant portion of this obligation. That group was the original mezzanine loan lenders: Soros, Fortress and Blackacre; all of whom decided to forgive Trump’s future interest payments on the loan, selling it to him at the massively reduced price of $48 million. To put that in starker terms, Soros and the others effectively gave Trump possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in debt forgiveness, while cutting down the principal of his loan by $82 million**. https://wearechange.org/george-soros-forgive-trump-312-million-debt/

    1. What does this have to do with Russia?

  3. The most gullible fools fall for this Q nonsense when their is a documented history of the Clintons and Trump as long time friends. Hell DJ T basically endorsed Clinton for president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtplCupGxZA

    The reality show star who was selected president is just putting on another scripted reality show for the gullible masses.

  4. “7 Things You Need To Know About Trump And Sex Slave Island” https://www.dailywire.com/news/5556/7-things-you-need-know-about-trump-and-sex-slave-amanda-prestigiacomo 1.Trump himself has said that Epstein is “a lot of fun to be with,” adding that he admired the sex offender’s affinity for beautiful women “on the younger side.” 2. Trump was named in Epstein’s “little black book.” 3. Trump has allegedly flown on Epstein’s private plane — a hot spot for under-age sex orgies. 4. Both Trump and Epstein are named as sex abusers in a case with an under-aged girl. 5. Epstein admitted to knowing Trump under oath, and curiously pled the fifth to Trump attending sex parties with underage girls. 6. At least one of Epstein’s underage sex victims was recruited from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago — which he frequented often. 7. Trump was subpoenaed in 2009 for his connection to Epstein’s under-age sex slave rings. Trump has denied ever being served.

  5. This entire Russia collusion/DJT fighting the ‘deep state’ garbage is a psyop to divert people away from who truly controls DJT. The Khazarian mafia owns DJT. Sheldon Adelson financed the Trump campaign. DJT owes huge sums of money to George Soros. Is it just mere coincidence that DJT has done everything Adelson wanted in particular moving the US embassy in Israel and trying to get a casino in North Korea? DJT’s son in law Jared Kushner (junior khazarian mafioso)directs foreign policy. Steve Mnuchin(khazarian mafioso) runs monetary policy.

  6. Donald Trump talked politics with Bill Clinton weeks before launching 2016 bid The talk with Clinton — the spouse of the Democratic presidential front-runner and one of his party’s preeminent political strategists — came just weeks before Trump jumped into the GOP race and surged to the front of the crowded Republican field. The revelation of the call comes as many Republicans have begun criticizing Trump for his ties to Democrats, including past financial donations to the Clintons and their charitable foundation. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bill-clinton-called-donald-trump-ahead-of-republicans-2016-launch/2015/08/05/e2b30bb8-3ae3-11e5-b3ac-8a79bc44e5e2_story.html?utm_term=.b6dfb9fc08a5

  7. DJT is beholden to the Khazarian mafia plain and simple. DJT hung out with the Clintons, Jeff Epstein(Mossad agent/pimp/child trafficker), and Ghilsane Maxell(Mossad agent/pimp/child trafficker) for years in NYC socialite parties. Yet the Cult of Trump chooses to ignore facts.

  8. I am so glad you recommended reading the op-ed piece — it is beyond belief. Not only is it a pile of blather, but the fellow can’t even use the language properly as in “malign behavior.” I abhor the accomplishments he mentions and I have absolutely no confidence in him or his ilk, Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats, the Congress, and the real leaders of the mess that is the United States of America, the ruling elite.

  9. We are constantly being played. This is just more obvious than most.

  10. That ego of yours who you occasionally deplore (it’s still much more frequent that you deplore the egos of everyone else, actually) composed this whole blog post.
    A lot of frankly observant remarks, joined piecemeal to support a baseless, yet ego-captivating, conclusion.

    The animus towards Trump, most of which racially-charged and racially-motivated (who has hears, may he ear) is not something that could have been stage-acted.
    Trump’s intent to do what little he hoped he could do for his country and the “deplorables”, and his people, is what fuels abovecited fiery animus.

    Trump is one of them who decided he’d stop being one of them — these depaftures are considered treasonry in the circles that move governments, markets, policies, and, well, armies.
    Accusing him of colluding in the context of a farce made of simulated conflict is the feat of a gloated ego.

  11. I only found you through a link a week or so ago. I can’t believe how much I was missing out on.
    Thank you Ms Johnstone.

    1. Yes. So be sure to leave some links.
      Infect the internet with seeds of thought and intelligent discussion.

  12. Lots of truth here (some typos too). I hope Mueller will finish up soon so we have a better sense of what’s been going on. I believe there has been collusion; Trump is a puppet of Putin.

    McCain’s endless life celebrations got tiresome: he was a pro-war conservative, let us not forget. I think much of the attention was due to his dislike of Trump.

    Next time try brevity, or bullet points. Thanks.

    1. Brevity? This essay is as concise as it is astute. If you really think Putin runs the empire’s MIC entertainment program, you likely need more reading, not less.

  13. Another excellent piece. Spot on, on all accounts.

    1. Stephen, thanks for the excellent PRC link. As usual he is spot on. The sad part is that even if it can be proven that the NYT is behind this blatant falsehood people will still give the Times credibility.

  14. What if Trump got someone like Stephen Miller to write the op-ed? Then who would be playing who.

  15. “….and willingly participate in it? I’m going to say probably.” Absolutely, here’s proof! :https://www.infowars.com/man-caught-paying-off-kavanaugh-protesters-works-for-soros-funded-organization/

  16. I can’t think of a major US news story over the past 3 years that has not resulted in everyone being herded into their respective partisan political stables and trusting the narratives that they are being fed there. And if this is a top-down population mind control strategy it has worked so well now that it no longer matters what the story is, the voting public will always find a way to polarize what it means into two parallel, simultaneous but totally irreconcilable narratives that never, ever intersect. We”re doing it to ourselves now on command, like well-trained barking seals at the circus.

  17. Sad but True.
    One of your best writings Caitlin. A++
    The U.S. governing structure has been turned into a gross reality show, starring Mara
    ( ‘ ‘ the buddhist personification of the forces antagonistic to enlightenment and truth.’ ‘ )

  18. You are absolutely correct in your analysis, Caitlin. Bravo!

  19. Nailed … yet again!!
    Caitlin I do love your writing style … It’s always interesting, informative, approachable and real.
    You’ve been an inspiration to me. Thank you

  20. I fully examine everything I view worthy of my attention, but not everything is. For instance, I deliberately do not have a Twitter account. So, the only time I see a Trump tweet that might be significant enough (even when dead wrong) to examine, I will see it on FB, or in your articles, Caity. I don’t agree 100 with anyone on everything. Sorry, Caity, you only get about 99% agreement from me.
    And, yes, I do know that they are trying to play us. Honestly, I know I’m not played – and am sure you are not either – because anything that emanates from my government either has an obvious nefarious purpose, or I examine it from top to bottom to find whatever spin may be there.
    So, those of us who are able to see through the bullshit should recognize that they are trying to play us and that some Hamlin town lemmings and rats are insufficiently discerning enough, so just follow the Pied Pier to their demise.

    1. On the final line is should, obviously have been Pied Piper, not Pier, thou, when you think of it and the rats all drowning, Pier was probably the best typo I could have accidentally made.

    2. We are all being played. This is a key understanding. At this point in time, advertising and propaganda are virtually omnipresent. So it’s highly improbable to defend against it all. As bullshit emissions reach toxic levels, knowing you’re affected allows you to treat the wounds.

  21. “what could anyone possibly gain by authoring this and giving it to the New York Times?”

    It’s sounds like the democrats final attack to try and create division in the WH! They even used a word that Pence likes to use in order to focus the attention on him!


  22. Personally, I believe your on the right track Caitlin.
    Though I see it a little less Machiavellian.
    I think Trump is something of a showman.
    I suspect he stages these false flag attacks to keep the plebes agitated and paying attention.
    I am not sure that’s a bad thing.

    Unfortunately for us humans. We are easily played – believe what we want to believe and ignore the rest.
    A big part of the reason for this (I think as junior sociologist) is because in most cases we simply do not have enough information to make an informed opinion, so we fill in the gaps (like the weatherman).

    Keep eye on the ball. There should be no further bombing or regime change.
    I’ve got my eye on you, Trumpy. There should be more cavorting with Russians.

    1. I think the point of the article, is not to look through the right or left lens, but through the kaleidoscope of Machiavellian shards. The industrial revolution, the rise of oil, and technological advancements have enabled The Prince with god like power. But keep in mind that POTUS is a figurehead, no need to personify/deify what must effectively be, an operation.

  23. Three Lame predictions (all guesses):

    1) Trump wrote it in part to frame Pence. He wants to replace Pence with Ivanka.

    2) Their opponents in 2020 will be Gillebrand-Sanders.

    3) Putin and Ai are helping Trump defeat the Deep State.

  24. I think that your right about a lot of it Caitlin. The Russian collusion in my opinion is a total fabrication by the Democrats to turn the public’s attention away from Hillary Clinton’s criminality. My guess is that the “source” of the NYT op-ed is none other than Omarosa who was recently fired by the White House. This sounds like something she would do to harm the administration. I don’t think the op-ed piece is from VP Pence. If he did do it I don’t believe that he would be bragging about it, even anonymously and he used to be my governor.

    1. Never thought of Omarosa until your mention. Then it came almost immediately to my mind…. if so, could she be a plant being cleverly used by Trump?
      They have a long and largely unknown history… seems she would be a perfect student/operative in the on going convoluted, now you see it, now you don’t, WTF is really going on brand of Politics we find ourselves drowning in. She has the same qualities as Trump in her ability to garner media attention, and “appearing” to have “switched” sides would perhaps up her media access quotient?????????????
      Just guessin……….

  25. Caitlin is right on one thing, the fascists (CIA and similar groups) and parafascists (organized crime, banking houses and other “plutocrats”) fund both political parties. They funded both Nixon and Kennedy. Apparently they preferred Kennedy because they swung the election to him. But they were double crossed by him (and his brother) so they killed him and switched to LBJ and Nixon. When they felt betrayed by Nixon they also got him out, via Watergate. I’m sure they support both the Democrats and Republicans, but apparently presidents often mistakenly think they can wrest control and assume real power, Trump perhaps among them. Since WW II this has proven impossible, just as bureaucrats can almost always overcome elected officials even in local districts. The mainstream media has manipulated the population all along because they belong to the fascists. The Russia card worked with Kennedy why not use it again with Trump? Drumming up hatred in the population for the president can make a murderous loner seem believable. Perhaps the Internet age can finally change the narrative, as Caitlin hopes and believes.

    1. I go you two further and argue that Wall Street & Corporate America we’re behind both the Bolsheviks & Hitler. Ford Motor produced parts for Wermact panzers in Germany even after Pearl Harbor. After the war Ford successfully sued the US government because the US 8th Airforce bombed a Ford plant in Germany. The Federal Reserve helped fund a major hydroelectric damn in Stalin’s Ukraine during the height of the Great Depression. Trotsky received significant help from Wall Street. Antony Sutton is excellent on this subject.

      Generally it does my heart good to see fellow paleoprogresives like Caitlyn & you all dissecting & regecting the oligarchs big magic show.

      1. Bill Viall, I agree with you and you didn’t even mention the Bush family! Paleoprogressive: first I’ve heard that term and it rings true. I’m certainly old enough to feel preneolithic or at least antideluvian.

      2. Again, BV,

        I looked up Antony Sutton. He seems to have been an anarchist. Unfortunately, that only works in small communities, not with the vast populations of today. Even unaided Bolsheviks could wipe out anarchists easily. I’m afraid that only the Chinese model of realtively benevolent bureaucray has any chance in these times.

  26. They are just setting up Trump for either impreachment (Nixon) or murder (Kennedy) or inability to act (Carter) so that he cannot disturb the entrenched surveillance and covert operations burearcracies (CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA, DHS etc.) and their parafascist associates in politics and organized crime.

  27. When disciplining/influencing children you always give them two options: White hats or black hats–what’s it gonna be?

  28. Once again, thank you so much for your wonderful truth bombing, Caity! <3

  29. Trump, like the last several presidents, is just another appointee by TPTB. They know what they are doing. US amerikans seem to like being played.

    What is interesting about this anon oped story is that so many of those who worship the false god of democracy will now support this clear act of “insider resistance” to democracy. They are no different than the right wingers who called for a military coup against Obuma.

  30. Interesting perspective. I don’t agree with it, I think everything is about regaining control of Congress and the related opportunities for patronage and about raising massive amounts of campaign money. I get at least five campaign hit pieces daily with ludicrously misleading headlines, from Nancy Pelosi and her allies (since I am admittedly not a right wing supporter, I am part of their target audience). So, as I said, an interesting perspective, certainly accurate as to the bifurcated duopolic snake and as to who really rules us, but the collaborative conspiracy hypothesis on the NYT Op Ed pre election hit piece, not so sure.

    1. Fair enough, on some details. But the collaborative conspiracy hypothesis regarding the OP ED piece is central to the essay. With a conspiracy hypothesis you have a variety of potential options. The point being NOT to take the piece at face value; restated, the story as presented is part of the ruse.

  31. I believe Nixon investigation lasted 26 months.

    1. Terry, Watergate had clear evidence of an actual committed crime right from the start. That is what the special prosecutor was assigned to do: investigate an actual known crime.

      Conversely, Russiahoax is a special prosecutor in search of a crime – any crime – for which there is no evidence that any crime was committed.

      1. The “actual” crime was quite likely an intentionally “botched robbery” byt the CIA to get rid of Nixon, who, like Kennedy was trying to get control of the secret agencies and making peace overtures to communist countries.

        1. Katy, do not disagree at all. That is a very viable theory. At least with Nixon TPTB had an actual crime (real or false flag) to point to unlike with Russiahoax.

          One thing I think is certain is that whatever is happening in DC it is all Kabuki Theater.

  32. Very nice piece, Caitlin.

    Typo alert, 5th line below the Trump graphic, “now” should be “know”. Smiles.



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