By Jason Taylor
It’s April 30th, 2017. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would still be writing about Donald Trump, nor did I believe when I wrote the following tweet he would indeed become President of The United States. Boy, was I wrong. Wrong about many things.
There has been this attempt to humanize a self-centered, greedy, dishonest spoiled rich kid. It has to stop. Donald Trump’s moral compass is 180 degrees off humane and will remain so the rest of his life. The only possible advantage to having such a poor example of humanity in the presidency is that it may create such a revulsion that for generations it will never happen again. The elites’ tendency to try to find some silver lining in dark clouds does our society a real disservice. This man is evil through and through. Opine on his lies, dishonesty, and failings. Do not make up saving graces for someone who cannot be saved.
I refuse to normalize. Refuse to pay attention to other writers who are “tired of hating on Donald Trump”.
Here’s the abiding truth: Trump ran a campaign of racism, bigotry, and sexism to win the election. He didn’t worry about the costs to the nation or our values. He openly exhorted Russia to hack his political opponent. His affiliates, if not he himself, are guilty of collusion with Russia.
Trump lied throughout the campaign, he lied after being elected and then raised the ante to declare a war on truth itself. His accomplices had no shame propagating the concept of “alternative facts.” He has pushed policies that would hurt millions of Americans and endanger their health, only to achieve Pyrrhic victories. He’s launched an assault on the environment by neutering the EPA and would rather help the polluters and big money. He’s made it easier for Big Banks to damage the economy again.
Around a decade ago, the Koch Brothers and their fellow oligarchs in fossil fuels, finance, and any business that includes environmental carnage developed a sophisticated strategy to take control of our once great country. Keys included attacks on public education, focus-driven strategies to manipulate voters (especially in rural areas) and, especially, control of the media via concentration of ownership and withholding its lifeblood: advertising. Cartoonish media outlets such as Fox News have employed bimbos and frauds to lie to us constantly about what is going on in this country. Along with many others, but the names and publications are too vast to list.
Trump is using the Office of the Presidency to benefit his business interests. People who complained about this with Clinton seem fine with Trump doing this, in spades. The transparency sought from Trump is openness about his business entanglements so that we can determine which is taking precedence: his business interests or the interests of the country.
It is hard not to laugh at many of the pundits’ and fellow writers’ assessment that Trump is not beholden to special interests when everything he has done so far, from Cabinet appointments to Executive Orders, has been to benefit the Billionaire Boys Club – with only the vaguest promises that these will benefit “the people.”
Trump’s flip-flops on everything from NAFTA to healthcare to China are a testament both to his prodigious capacity for lying and his overwhelming ignorance about the issues. They are not so much a measure of his willingness to learn and change but of his propensity to be swayed by Siren songs from flatterers. He has dragged not only the Presidency into the sewer but also his enablers in Congress who turn a blind eye to his corruption in order to achieve their ends. And he has diminished his supporters who find themselves willfully overlooking the incompetence, the lying, the breaches of trust in hopes that this flawed man will somehow deliver them the good jobs he promised.
So we the people (and the police forces of Mar a Lago and New York), pay millions for him to go golfing (not church on Sunday, mind you) and eat chocolate cake, while he charges double ($200K per person) for memberships. Pay for play, anyone? Meanwhile, despite the irrational exuberance of the casino on Wall Street, the economy is not doing particularly well.
So we keep defining corruption down. It’s not just making money and taking advantage, there is a strong odor of corruption right down the line, along with an apparent inability to identify the difference between profits abroad and influence peddling in countries that don’t share our interests.
China is treating the Trumps well? Why shouldn’t they, it’s good business.
And yet Trump’s core supporters are reportedly very satisfied with his performance. It seems that they did not believe any of his promises or at least did not count on his being able to fulfill them. What they liked was his willingness to insult and to denigrate all the people whom they loathe: minorities, the well-educated and professionally successful, the experts. As he promised at the Republican National Convention, he has been his voters’ voice, saying the same hateful things that they themselves have been saying for years. And as long as he keeps on doing it and belittling their perceived enemies, they will support him, even if he takes away their health care, fails to produce any jobs, and makes their lives even worse than before. They support him out of sheer rage, spite, and nihilism, and there’s no reasoning with it.
In “Obama reckons with a Trump Presidency,” The New Yorker’s David Remnick quotes Obama as saying that not watching political television is “is part of how you stay focused on the task, as opposed to worrying about the noise.”
With Trump, you have the reverse. The man is not focused on the task but on watching television and worrying about the noise. So, you get the sound and the fury, that signify nothing, but not much action or results. After chastising Obama about issuing Executive Orders, all Trump has done is issue Executive Orders as though those are proclamations from the King that cannot be questioned. Hence the visceral reaction when the courts issue injunctions against his proclamations.
Were it not for the courts, which has so far served as a check against the Trump presidency while the supine Republican-controlled Congress has been anything but, the country will be in even more trouble.
Trump is keeping right on target with his plan: do the least amount of actual work possible while lining the pockets of himself and his family as much as possible. It’s his own version of the American Dream that his supporters will continue to believe in long after his inevitable impeachment. It’s not a dream that can exist entirely under his own power. It requires the willing participation of a lot of Republicans in Congress who have hitched their collective greedy wagons to his larcenous star. Let’s keep that in mind come election time.
This is how fascist states develop. When those in the media, or in positions of power, treat the erosion of individual rights and liberties as things that shouldn’t provoke outrage. When those in power, or who have a voice, fail to express their outrage, they endanger the rest of us. They enable the millions of this “president’s” racist, bigoted supporters when they don’t speak out against him. After all, if those with a powerful voice don’t seem to mind, it must be ok, right? Our democracy is so off track, it’s run out of runway.
The only thing I can do is hope that enough members of the GOP come to their senses and institute impeachment proceedings. I shudder when I think what this country will look like after 4 years of such an unethical thoughtless barrage of actions, destructive executive orders and senseless policy institution through tweets.
Trump said being president was harder than he thought, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he plans to change his way of getting things done. We better roll up our sleeves and get ready. It could be a long way back.