Damnatio Memoriae

Rodney Clough
2 min readMar 26, 2023

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“Coffin believed to belong to Akenhaten found in Tomb KV55. Note the typical obliteration of the face.” From Wikipedia.

The Republican Party will go to any length to protect Trump from criminal prosecution.

The question, no one seems to ask convincingly, is “why?”

If Trump goes down, what happens to the Republican Party? Like a lamprey eel which sucks the blood out of its victims while strangling them, Trump’s minions suck the oxygen out of the party. In this scenario, even Rob DeSantis appears like an uninvited guest. The Republican Party is the party of division. It has devolved to … whatever.

The ‘void’ the Republican Party presents is more a galactic black hole than a “lack of an agenda.” ‘Matter’ ceases to exist.

When did the ‘cult of personality’ morph into seditious conspiracy? America tries but fails to blame it on social media. Not even Elon Musk can deliver a sustainable media coup. And he’s got cash.

Perhaps the ‘cult of personality’ is something else, woven into the fabric of an identity. As a friend once revealed to me about alcohol addiction, it never leaves. It’s always present, resembling a part of who you are. To try to give it causality is to dismiss its tenacity.

So, too with Trump’s allure and spectacle. That upon which it feeds is existential, not a truancy. No wonder HRC’s 2016 callout reverberated across the political spectrum. We are reminded that our attending the spectacle is a form of affirmation.

America applauds the empty seats at a Trump rally. And yet the show goes on, spooking the conventional opprobrium. Attend a Trump rally and you may recognize yourself.

Didn’t you ever feel ‘deplor-able?’

Damnatio memoriae is the ancient practice of wiping the persona of a ruler from the tablets of recorded history. It’s a primitive urge at reconciling the past by hiding it, literally erasing it from buildings, coins, sarcophagi, stele.

It resides by an acceptance of denial. What few in the press contend with is Trump’s popularity resides in America, in myriad forms, not just in his orbit.

Trump’s message resides in an unwillingness to share power. It is non-negotiable, mingling with and abetted by a history of victimhood. This ‘bubble’ accompanies a Mafia-inspired loyalty: recruit by initiation.

Two African American elected district attorneys currently drive the course of Trump’s future as a private citizen. They are attempting to accomplish what two Congressional impeachment attempts and four independent DOJ investigations have so far not accomplished: convince the nation that Trump is a criminal and has usurped power.

And for this they are branded as being “political.”

Damnatio Memoriae.

March 26

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Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.