By Jason Taylor
We have seen this scene before. A president speaking directly to “the people”, avoiding the press he doesn’t trust, taking a long histrionic act of several hours with people of his own cheering in place of real public. We saw it in Argentina with Cristina Kirchner who never gave a press conference but regularly used the national chain broadcasting and all, yes all tv channels to lambast her opponents and attack dissidents. We saw it in Venezuela with Chavez speaking endless hours and now Maduro imitating him. Left or right does not matter, its the same. Democracy at risk.
No president in American history has spent less of his time being president and doing his job than Trump. Look at the time Trump spends on campaign rallies and the travel there. The election was 10 months ago, and he still can’t let go. Look at the time he spends on vacation, playing golf, watching cable news and responding on his Twitter account, and engaging in personal attacks against people in his own administration, Democrats, Republicans in Congress and other Republicans. He has spent almost no time being president. Senate leaders say he doesn’t even know the issues of the legislation and programs being discussed and voted on.
On this issue I will reprint here the reader comment posted at 11:20 this morning about Trump in AZ by WeHadAllBetterPayAttentionNow: “The so called president of the United States talked for an hour and a quarter and didn’t say anything about the United States. All he talks about is himself, and almost every word out of his mouth is a lie.”
I wish we could begin the discussion about Trump being a symptom of a national disease and not a one-off presidency. The incredibly high rate of civic illiteracy on the part of his supporters is no fluke. The dumbing down of the country, the shrinking of the public sphere, the obsession with celebrity culture, the militarization of popular culture (along with the police), have made the rise of DT inevitable. The neoliberal experiment is killing us as a free people, and we better start really working to turn it around, or Trump won’t be the last proto-fascist American leader to come our way. It’s hard for some to imagine, but the next one could be even worse.
I am continually afraid with this president and administration. I wish I were not afraid, but I am. I escape through work and music and reading, but the escape is never complete enough.