A Lesson in Democracy
What began as a joke, probably even to Trump himself, has turned into a nightmare, not just for America but for the world. He has exploited the fragility of democracy in a way no one thought possible anymore. He is a classic despot. It fits his history and his personality.
At first, people were upset. Despite being in shock, they questioned how much damage he could do before being removed from office.
The problem was that given a world political climate of anger and frustration with government and the failure of the governing class, Trump’s message and methods have worked in a perverse and disturbing way.
He has bullied, Congress, the press, the judiciary, his own staff, the intelligence community all with a measure of success. No one stands up to him. They are afraid of him. He likes it that way. He has successfully silenced or thwarted those he perceives as detractors.
He has appointed to the cabinet, individuals who are opposed to the mandate and scope of the departments they run. They are deconstructing the social, economic, cultural, and political gains that made the US, a shining example to the rest of the world.
Internationally he is seen as an egocentric idiot. He has recklessly and carelessly disrupted and damaged the world’s economy. I fear that this damage is not so easily repaired. The negative effects and suffering as a result of his economic incompetence
But the truth like water is finding its own level. The Wizard of Trump continues his slow train wreck. The little man behind the curtain is being exposed.
He has been abandoned by the few talented and qualified people who apparently reluctantly, and unsuccessfully, as the adults in the room, attempted to bring some sanity to the Trump Administration. He is having trouble filling senior positions including Cabinet Members. Most of the people who have left have been unqualified or worse opponents of the mandates of their Departments. I don’t think he’ll be able to replace these people.
He will be fighting for his political life. It’s a losing battle. The Democrats have taken over the House, and he and the Republicans will have to answer for their crimes.
I don’t believe the Democrats wanted
to impeach Trump. They this will spend the next two years letting Trump and the Republicans twist in the wind.
Either way, this desecration of democracy will end. America will get out a bunch of mops and clean up the mess.
OLD STATUES NEVER DIE, THEY JUST GET CARRIED AWAY.
Tattoos, and Statues have always been permanent reminders of temporary feelings. A statue however is slightly easier to remove. As a symbol, statues have themselves become a much larger issue. What do we do about our troubling history? How do we judge yesterday’s conduct by today’s standards? What is the purpose and effect of what we include or exclude in the telling of the story of humanity?
A professor of mine, the great historian Gabriel Kolko, taught me that history was perception. Winston Churchill famously said that he was sure that history would treat him kindly because he planned to write it himself. As a general rule, history is written by the winners.
In the United States the issue of statues and symbols, especially relating to the American Civil War, have become a divisive issue. It took until the 21st century for the Confederate flag to be removed from state capitals. Disputes have erupted over the removal of statues of southern Civil War leaders and Generals. These statues and symbols represent the defense of slavery. This was an evil so great that it is understandable that it would be offensive.
There are those who argue that to remove these statues is to deny history. There is no shortage of written materials, records and other reminders of history. There are museums where these statues can join the other mementos of the best and worst humankind.
Statues of the losers and tyrants are symbolically torn down to mark their fall. There are no public statues of Adolf Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, and a legion of other tyrants and losers in the progress of humanity.
Truth like water find its own level. Statues rise and fall with the march of history and the values and sensitivities of the people who raise and live with them.
Trump just got Don Rickled by Kim
There is a famous story about the late Frank Sinatra and the late comedian Don Rickles which seems apropos for the recent dealings between Trump and Kim.
Frank Sinatra was in a restaurant in LA when he was approached by his good friend comedian Don Rickles. Rickles told him that he was having dinner with some very important people and could Frank possibly drop by the table and say hello. Sinatra said he’d be happy to. Part way through the dinner Frank Sinatra gets up and approaches Don Rickles table. He stops and taps Don Rickles on the shoulder. He says “hi Don. It’s great to see you, thought I’d just come over and say hello”.
Rickles looked up at Sinatra and in a loud irritated voice said “Frank, can’t you see I’m busy here.”.
Kim’s suggestion of a meeting followed by negative rhetoric is a page right out of Don Rickles book.
That being said, I would prefer the late Don Rickles as a leader over Trump or Kim.
Presidential Sex. Makin’ Presidential Woopee
The news is filled with stories about Donald Trump’s sexual escapades with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to name but two. He is being judged and berated for cheating on his wife. I am no fan of Donald Trump. I recognize there may be some issues as to breach of campaign finance laws in the payments to women. No president has ever suffered lasting political damage just for adultery. Cover-up is a different story.
When looking at the 20th-century, the list of adulterous presidents is not short. There was Bill Clinton. Gerry Ford favoured young women while skiing out west. Lyndon Johnson, was notorious for pride in his genitalia. He held meetings with senior officials while he was on the toilet or otherwise and often was exposed. Lyndon Johnson was sexually active outside of his marriage. There was John Kennedy. From all accounts he was an unapologetic sexual predator of olympic appetites. He was preceded by FDR, like the others on this list, he had several mistresses both before and during their time in the White House. Before him, Warren Harding was involved with mistresses in the White House closets. Other than Clinton, and now Trump, the rest carried on with little or no public scrutiny or outcry.
In the 19th century Thomas Jefferson was sexually active with his slaves. Forty Nine year-old President Grover Cleveland married his 21-year-old ward, daughter of his deceased partner, whose estate he administered.
None of this activity seems to have prevented most of these men from accomplishing great things and being good leaders. It may have even helped. Those who did not succeed were not hindered by their extramarital activity.
People want bold and dynamic leaders. In order to succeed in politics you generally need to be an A-type personality. They are more often than not, best suited to deal with domestic and foreign enemies in dangerous and high-stakes games. That type of personality often brings with it some less than appealing personality traits manifesting in thought and action.
Had the behaviour of those leaders been public and judged based on standards of today’s political correctness and in the light of the internet, these men would be seen as the social and sexual transgressors that they were. I personally do not judge them, but then I can understand how a vast majority want their leaders to be role models.
There were many great presidents who were married and stayed faithful to their wives. Likewise there were failures as presidents who were faithful to their marriages. It may make a difference to those whose expectations of their presidents include high moral standards. There is no evidence that commitment to their marriages affected their success or failure anymore than it did the sexually aggressive and predatory presidents.
The problem with Trump is the lies and cover-up. He also is seen by many as sleazy given the attitude he expressed on the Billy Bush tape. He is crass and creepy. Trump’s public bragging of his sexual exploits and prowess cannot be compared to any other president. There are very few ways, if any, by which Trump could be compared to any other president.
When it comes to Presidential sex, whether Democrats, Republicans, Federalist, or Whigs, there is no evidence that it affects one’s ability to do the job.
Trump Wants Out, or Should
Something tells me Donald Trump has buyer’s remorse. He certainly doesn’t look like he’s having fun at this job. It is to borrow a phrase “a shit hole of a job” compared to his old one. He did what he wanted, everybody listened to him and sucked up to him. There was no investigation into his complicated ties with Russian money and other possible sources of blackmail. There may have been talk of him as a sexual predator, but it wasn’t widely known outside of the Howard Stern constituency. There was not the scrutiny of his personal and financial life that he could not control.
I do not get the sense he enjoys dealing with the issues of government. He certainly doesn’t understand how government works and expresses his continual frustration about the people around him and the functioning of the government.
There must be days when he thinks to himself: What do I need this for? I’m over 70 years old. Whether it’s true or not, I believe I’m a rich man with a nice life. People did what I told them to do. I did what I wanted to do. And nobody bothered me. I had my own airplane, furnished more luxuriously than the one I now use. An apartment and other homes that cause me to refer to the White House as a dump
As the threat of the exposure of his financial, personal, and political entanglements of he and his family with Russia becomes more certain, he will look for next strategy. I predict a health crisis which forces him to resign and get back to his old life.
He is one of the few men who has held the White House who really seems to get little or no enjoyment out of the job. All that’s important to Trump is Trump. And Donald Trump appears to be a joyless man in a joyless job. On his exit he will be happier; America will be happier; and the world will be happier.
Don’t Forget Who He Is.
Trump was sent to Washington to shake things up. A reaction to the voters anger from both parties at the governing class.
Today he spoke at the United Nations. He did what no other president has done. He attacked America’s enemies. He said the things that many Americans felt needed to be said.
He has shaken up government. He has attacked the leadership of both parties and has admonished them quite accurately for their failures and lack of accomplishment. When the GOP wouldn’t cooperate and come through, he turned to the Democrats. He doesn’t have an ideology.
These are admirable accomplishments. One must however, remember that this is a lying, pathological, misogynist degenerate.
It is unfortunate that the electorate had no other choice but the governing class they rejected or a corrupt con man.
The Donald Trump Trample
There’s a new dance sweeping the nation. It’s called the Donald Trump Trample. So far the White House staff, Departments of government, Congress, and Scotus are learning how it’s done.
First there’s the Trump Trample on racial and religious groups. From Mexicans to Muslims there’s enough disrespect and hate for all. His tacit support of the Nazis and white supremacists fit in with his concept of America.
Next he does the Trump Trample on individuals. Whether it’s Jeff Sessions, James Comey, the GOP leadership in Congress or the long list of departed staffers. No one but his family is spared. For now. Trump has no shame in publicly bullying and berating people.
Finally and more importantly he does the Trump Trample on the basic rights and freedoms that are the foundation of America. His war on the press has viciously attacked the First Amendment. The greatest and most pathological liar to ever sit in the Oval Office, wants to control the truth. He tacitly encourages violence and hate.
There’s no doubt that everybody’s afraid of the Trump Trample. He runs the country like a reality TV show. Create a fantasy world, crank up the drama and the tension and keep them entertained. He truly believes in his own superiority. Only he can decide what’s lawful or not. If you’re anywhere in government and you don’t fall in line you’re gone.
So far the Trump Trample has worked. He freely trashes institutions, individuals, and civil rights in the most base way built on pathological lies. He has succeeded in intimidating and frightening all around him. He will do the dance until he is recognized as the indispensable leader. His ego, personality disorders, and mental illness, will accept no less
Pence was a Smart Choice?
If Spiro Agnew had remained as vice president, Richard Nixon would never have faced impeachment. No Democrat would trade Richard Nixon for the far right intellectual neanderthal Agnew. Agnew was forced to resign and Jerry Ford replaced him. That sealed Nixon’s fate.
The Democrats face a similar dilemma with Donald Trump’s VP, Mike Pence. For all his problems, Trump seems to be ineffective. He makes a lot of noise. But nothing seems to get done. As an example Secretary as is Mattis put off Donald’s ban of transgender’s in the military.
Pence on the other hand, is a dyed in the wool, Bible thumping, blind and dumb conservative. He would be far more effective in working with the GOP leadership and more dangerous to the Democrats. They would have to get rid of Trump and Pence which can most likely only happen if Dems take the Congress in the midterms.
The GOP leadership would love Pence, but they worry about the backlash from the Trump supporters. Those people who prove Lincoln’s: “you can fool some of the people all of the time”.
It remains to be seen. I think there is no one more dangerous to Trump than Trump. He can’t protect himself from himself. His financial and political worlds will unravel with the Russian revelations and Trump’s inability to get out of his own way. Too many people want him gone in America and around the world. He’s damaging the United States. But worse for him he’s forever damaging his brand as the world gets to see more and more of the real Donald Trump.