Are we really surprised that National Security Adviser John Bolton has appointed someone from an SPLC-designated anti-Muslim hate group as his chief of staff? No, we’re not. When it comes to the White House, nothing surprises us anymore—nothing alarms us—and that’s because a state of constant alarm is the status quo. This, of course, is all by design. Shortly before he set off the chain reaction of firings and hirings that gave us NSA Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and CIA Director Gina Haspel, President Trump shared his justification for personalistic chaos with reporters: “I like conflict…. I like watching it.” Apart from disturbing, this statement is revealing, in that it demonstrates how the president thrives on chaos in pursuit of his goals. While he foments discord for his own personal gain, whether in the West Wing, in the media, or on the international stage, we suffer reverberant whiplash. The administration then exploits this disorientation to advance despicable policies and potential military conflict. Given his anti-Muslim policy background and general tendencies to see conspiracies everywhere, Fred Fleitz is an alarming, and therefore not surprising, appointee to the National Security Council. The question on our minds is how we’ll respond to a crisis when we’re all suffering from crisis fatigue. Stay tuned.  

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