Dead Duck Dinosaur Don

Quotes:  “Solving problems isn’t our line.” (Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven); ”

In the news:  Trump is Staking Out His Own Universe of Alternative Facts (Thomas Edsall, The New York Times, 5.14.20)

In context:  Anyone who has ever fallen in love with a macho man knew already how to read beneath the surface.  Some under-layer in the tough guy fused a bond stronger than superglue.  That love affair between Donald Trump and his base leaves America in the position of the concerned other needing to stage an intervention in a toxic affair.

The romance was off kilter from the start.  The flashy Trump with a shady past was courting salt-of-the earth Mid-westerners desperate for a hero to save them from an unsettling new world.  A non-white president Obama with progressive ideas had destroyed jobs with regulations on industry.  The social fabric was unraveling with permissiveness.  Trump the tough guy was going to fix all that.

City folks throughout the country recognized the hustle but the more trusting took a chance on the glib Trump delivery.  Bad behavior was a negligible foible compared to the steely resolve he exerted on their behalf.  The love-struck loyalty hardened for three years as concerned others raised alarms.  To the love-lorn Trumpers, enemies were out to take down their heroic protector.  Then the global Coronavirus pandemic struck and the first sliver of doubt crept in about the hero.

The knight in shining armor, the leader of the pack, exposed his Achilles heel when a physical virus bested his superb abilities to sell, re-frame and spin.  Trump allies covered for the leader who had engendered such loyalty in captives, drowning out the cries of concerned others about incompetence.  They stood firm as Trump made a public fool of himself when in company of experts over the virus.  Even the George Floyd debacle followed by riots and a failed Trump photo-op failed to shake an admission of disaster from Trump enablers.  Concerned others saw threads of the Trump presidency leading to only to a clarification of American issues in need of urgent address.  The most significant was the reality that Trump and his allies were social dinosaurs in a rapidly evolving  modern world.

Donald Trump had all the mighty powers of the United States at his disposal and yet he could not bring himself to admit the most basic of simple facts.  He knew nothing about the virus and he didn’t care to find out.  He simply wanted it to go away.  He had no experience with racial issues.  His interests lay elsewhere, mainly in the stock market.  He had no allies to cover for him on issues relating to race in America, and the Trump response was to illegally call out the armed forces to manage insubordination.  A starter course in business management will teach a student that such an approach to prosperity is doomed to failure.

America had a great opportunity to lead the world with regard to both the pandemic and the tragic George Floyd murder.  Tough guy Trump proved nothing but impotence, in both himself and the country in the eyes of the world.

Tough guy Trump may continue to be a hero to his smitten base and that may continue to influence the opportunistic allies who believe they have something to gain from the association with Trump.  But an impotent leader is no way to make America great again,  however often the macho man stages an event aimed to demonstrate his prowess.

All the walls that Trump can build will not keep out the global reality.  The internet unites, businesses are international, climate change and pandemics create the need for human relocation.  Global cooperation in managing global challenges is pivotal for development and prosperity of countries and the world as a whole.  The Trump approach of walling off America from reality is as obsolete as the once-gigantic extinct dinosaurs who couldn’t adapt to a changing world.

No doubt many in the Trump base will follow their leader to the grave.  Concerned others, however, far outnumber them.  The great melting pot will continue to be driving force in the world, just as soon as the accidental president elected on a technicality is removed from America’s Oval Office.

Trump the American Absurd

Quote;  “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” (proverb, from 1500’s)

In the news:  Meet the shadowy accountants who do Trump’s taxes and help him seem richer than he is (Peter Elking-Doris Burke-Meg Cramer, Salon, 5.08.20) (originally published in Pro Publica, co-published with WNYC)

In context:  The Trump base won’t agree but Donald Trump is as  out of place in the Oval Office as a colorblind salesman in a haberdashery.   Like that peddler, Trump sells his wares by pushing products regardless of suitability.  He throws shits and ties at the browser with such rapid-fire force that the hapless buyer leaves with an unfit melange.  If the grouser returns, the seller is blameless. “You bought it,” he says with nonnegotiable disinterest.

Donald Trump is the proverbial used-car salesman unloading lemons.  As President of the mighty US, he graduated to master swindler.  Hit with an unprecedented pandemic,  he has become simply absurd.  He is now the colorblind salesman pressing more wares on the disgruntled buyer as smoke fills the shop. “Just a faulty steam pipe,” he assures and hustles to the cash register where information is stored from the prior transaction.

Trump blasted into the presidential bid by hooking a receptive base with a pitch honed over decades through ventures that all failed but kept him in the game.  Coldly resourceful bravado was apparently his strong suit.  With family funds, he invested in ever more flashy projects. a few cohorts doing his bidding to circumvent legal constrains.  Anyone who fell short was summarily replaced.  When the project inevitably failed, Trump had a new source of funding complete with a new roster of aides.

The 1989 fall of the Iron curtain was fortuitous for Trump.  Just when repeat failures deprived him of legitimate funding, he found new infusions from the evolving world’s rising needy greedy class.  From the ashes of the failed Soviet Union, the underbelly of regulated monetary systems had money aplenty that needed legitimizing.  The election of Trump as US president was an untold return on their investment.

The notorious Trump secrecy about his finances based on his ability to manipulate the legal system and stymie investigation has obscured Trump ties to foreign players.  It is a safe bet, though, that legitimate entities have less to hide than those whose dealings would suffer from public scrutiny.  That may be why Trump in the White House has devolved.  The gift of outrageous gab that got him elected evolved into his Art of the Scam during his first three years.  Since the pandemic hit just as he was  impeached, the Trump trademark bamboozle has turned into a full blown Art of the Absurd.

From the start as US president, Trump trampled the Constitution so egregiously that outrage at any audacity never gained traction before another even more brazen became public.   Starting with nepotism and unabashed self-dealing, he  has hired and fired with no discretion about doing so to protect himself simply because he can.  The base has seen this as the maverick Trump draining the Washington deep state swamp, but the Covid-19 pandemic has unmasked both Trump and the US infrastructure maligned as the deep state swamp.

Trump was a documented serial failure when he was elected.  He won by re-branding that record into an image of a man of many ventures.  He sold that twist on his record to enough American to get him elected on a technicality with foreign help, and with that win he solidified his standing with the conservative Republican party.  The interplay between the Trump base and the Republicans has enabled Trump to thrive like an opportunistic disease on the country.  The base has consistently applauded his verbal assaults and the Republicans have been led by the nose in tune to Trump insults and praises, however fleeting.  The result was a chaotic scramble for cover by Republicans, a hapless impeachment by Democrats and a pandemic that proved how helpful a so-called deep state would have been in a national crisis of international proportions.

However Trump re-proved a disframes his response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a comparison with other countries makes clear that the world’s leading power proved a disaster of its own in management.  The Trump work method was to delegate  responsibility, which meant tht the executive branch of teh US government created no national strategy and instead there was the Trump decree for state governors to manage on their own with the added burden of being judged by the central power.  Branches of the central government were under the same constraint, which led to a mixed messages about the mysterious new global invader, as well as a haphazardly rolled out economic stimulus program that created not only chaos but inequity in accessing assistance.  Those stressors on the American public led to an increase in social conflicts, all of which fueled an apparent Trump tendency to lower the boom and demand compliance with increasingly absurd demands proving no purpose but to confirm his command of a country falling disastrously out of control under his presidency.

Donald Trump has never held a job.  He had no resume to present when he won the Republican vote to be the party’s candidate for presidency.  He has never worked with others in an institutional hierarchy, has never had to coordinate between his thinking and those charged with carrying out his judgments.  A complex  situation like the unprecedented Corvid-19 pandemic involves coordination above all else.  To Donald Trump, it seems just another business snag that can keep him from the long-elusive goal of finally finding success by getting re-elected to the US presidency.

The colorblind salesman in the haberdashery wants his contract renewed, despite the fact that he never presented a resume in the first place.  His only qualification is that he landed the job once.  His sales record warrants a renewed assignment.  Customer complaints don’t take away from register receipts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The White House Born Loser

Quote:  “No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” (Trump on his botched Coronavirus response (Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones, 3.13.20).

In the news:  Trump removes independent watchdog tasked with overseeing economic recovery funds (Zachary Cohen, CNN, 4.07.2020); No respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and recklessness (Terry H. Schwadron, Salon, 4.07.2020)

In context:  Donald Trump seized power in the US on a technicality at a time when a minority in the world’s only superpower saw him as refreshingly outspoken and as a man who got things done.  That view of him has endured with a baseline of Trump supporters despite the fact that Trump is a born loser who parlayed a few flashy wins into a blazing brand as a winner.

Terms describing Donald Trump as unfit for the office he holds run the gamut from narcissistic, ignorant and lawless  to reckless, corrupt, despotic and racist..  Incompetent and dangerous have been added during his mismanagement of the Coronavirus global pandemic.  Those attributions are accurate based on his history and the very form of his reactions confirms the charges.   In the White House Oval Office, he has grown beyond compelling outrageousness to deadly dangerous.

An objective Trump resume would show a skimpy record.  He renovated the New York Central Park skating rink in record time and drenched the local media with newsflashes about the feat.  Then he moved on, leaving upkeep to others and the smack of ill-will in his wake, unpaid bills being the tip of the iceberg..  Notwithstanding, Trump next shot to national fame with a TV show featuring the glamour of his ruthlessness. with the famous “You’re fired” as its brand mark.  When audience interest in the nastiness faded, Trump  moved on to politics.

The Trump version of his own resume would simply state that he was the best ever in whatever he undertook.  He succeeded beyond belief with casinos, vineyards, neckties, steaks,  golf courses, resorts  and magnificent big buildings all over the world.  The dizzy panoply would omit the status of the project, whether defunct, ailing or forfeited.  The notoriously censured Trump University of success would be nonexistent in the Trump version of his footprint on the world.  Nor would there be mention of the Trump charity defrauded by Trump.

Donald Trump is undoubtedly accomplished in defrauding the world, maybe because objective reality and Donald Trump have little in common beyond the most deceptively superficial.  Big glitzy buildings in the world’s biggest cities are synonymous with the Trump brand, leaving out the face that most are located in the developing world of dark money and far from A-list status in the current global hierarchy.  It took a global pandemic to show just how shallow was the Trump claim to significance.

The US presidency is arguably the most powerful position in the world.  It has traditionally been attained through a combination of personal and political skills.  Donald Trump took a shortcut by fabricating success.

Trump may have been born with a self concept already formed and numerous accounts indicate that family funds enabled him to barrel headlong after ambitions without a look back.  Failure led  not to introspection and course correction but to increased brazenness in exalting himself.  A portfolio of bankruptcies, failed ventures, cutthroat deals gone awry, contract violations and legal litigations all attest to successes through failure, except that secrecy, refusal to disclose and aggressive legal action to thwart discovery all cast doubt on whether Trump ever learned from his failures.

A healthy ego incorporates outside information to grow and increase competence in dealing with the outside world.  A defense mechanism interferes.  Anna Freud, daughter of teh famous Sigmund, first set out these operations of the mind that allow it to protect itself from the harsh lessons of reality.  In essence,  the mind makes up its own version of why an outside event fell short of expectation and then devises its own plan for how to make a correction.

One example is to cast blame on others, with an attendant reactive behavior that exacts revenge.  Projecting feelings onto others is another example, as is its cousin paranoia, accompanied by reactive behaviors that denigrate, humiliate and vanquish perceived enemy assailants.  In the Oval Office, Trump has manifested his mastery of all such defense mechanisms and their attendant reactive behaviors, with the exception of the  defense mechanism of sublimating feelings for a higher purpose.

Donald Trump’s feelings are as transparent as a bank check forged by a five-year-old child and they are just as raw.  Outspoken was the term used by the Trump base. Ugly is the term more applicable based on the effect.   He vilifies and casts blame instead of solving problems.  His big skill is in selling the idea that he is a man of accomplishment.

The Trump repertoire of chicanery is legendary.  Lies, vilification, retributions, purges and trade wars complete with reversals shake the world daily.  With the grace of God, the world will one day come to see Trump as an adolescent prank played by the puckish young American superpower.  In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, however, America’s healthiest response to Trump is to recognize Trump as a born loser hell-bent on taking down the country that won’t grant him the respect he demands.

Being a man of all show and no substance won Trump the presidency.  The show, however, was based on ugly defense behaviors that left the ego undeveloped.  Trump was a will o’ the wisp, a giant oak tree threatening to topple when American conservatives lit upon him as a camouflage for the implementation of their goals in the wake of the Obama progressive era.

Trump was a one-man walking threat to American values but containing American values within safe limits was paramount to American conservatives.  To them, protective rights took precedence over progress.  Protecting pale male dominance against invading hordes of non-whites was tantamount.  Flamboyant Donald Trump with aggressive defenses learned in the cutthroat world of the New York real estate business gone dark money global was perfect for distracting the media and the world as the conservative agenda went forward,  Then the Coronavirus pandemic struck and exposed the flimsy skeleton beneath the Trump edifice.

Buttressed by the world’s leading experts on epidemiology, Trump cavalierly ad libbed that a poison could be a remedy for a virus destroying lives and the economy, which he claimed to have created and which was the best ever.  Blow-back forced a deflecting dodge.  Trump would embark on a new round of public appearances to pump the base.

In reality, the base needed a boost.  Highly touted federal stimulus programs had not delivered.  The unemployed shut-ins getting conflicting reports about possible relief were growing explosive about which direction to take.  The Trump base was shrinking only to become more distilled.  Swastikas and AK-47’s appeared at state government offices to push the Trump invective for opening commerce even as the pandemic spread.  And while the situation is wholly unprecedented in the history of the world, the role of Donald Trump is classic, a born loser who made it to the top only to founder disastrously.

The Trump of all show and no substance has revealed himself nakedly through a pandemic.  But the born loser part of Trump needs a deeper look than the veneer he presents to the outside world.

As the people of the country flounder and institutions to help them are overwhelmed by conflicting messages from the top, Trump carries out the complex task that to him is simple.  He needs only to hold attention, with enough people to get him elected again. The country and the world will fall in line with the agenda he has been recruited by his political party to carry out.  Should that  plan fail, the serial loser able to sell himself as a winner no doubt has contingency plans.

The Trump base of operations has moved from tax heavy New York to Florida, an owner friendly state.  He is in talks with Russian Vladimir Put.  Perhaps the postponed Moscow Trump Tower is still in the works.  With the country in a shambles, Trump is ready to move on to a new project.  The only question is whether the country is willing to give him another four years for destruction of its Constitutional framework.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chucky Trump Horror Show

Quote:  “I’ll be back.  I always come back” (line by title character Chucky in Child’s Play film series)

In the news:  As Support for Trump Impeachment Grows, His Base Digs in Its Heels (Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times, 10.21.19)

In context:  Horror is a fictional genre with a large fan base.  If presented as fact, say as a documentary, the plot-lines and characters would fall flat, fail to sell their product..  Viewers would not be swept beyond reality through imagination, the “willing suspension of disbelief” defined by classic writers as a satisfying experience created by theatrical drama.

The Trump presidency has turned that theatrical world of drama upside down.  The horror genre is now the reality for a third of the world’s leading country and the rest of the country and the world struggles to get the genre back into its proper place in the realm of real human affairs.

With the rise of Donald Trump, a third of America willingly suspended its disbelief that an asocial person could lead a successful society.  By embracing Trump, they took a gamble on an amoral person, bettin that he would “make America great again,” whatever that meant.

The MAGA slogan was catchy and caught the imagination.  It was general enough to let the willing fill in the blank with what they wanted, whether a strong economy or security from an onslaught of dangers ranging from invaders to diseases or faceless enemies

Once caught in the dramatic stream, the Trump base held on ever tighter as resistance mounted.  The base had suspended disbelief.  They had paid their entry fee against the odds and they were hell-bent on seeing what happened next.  Trump was exciting.  He was different, breaking new ground, meeting enemies and using amazing tools to vanquish those unable to see his great powers.

Trump’s presidential playbook could well have come from Chucky, the fictional horror character who was a serial killer returned to life in the form of a doll to take revenge on the law-enforcer who stopped him.  Chucky first appeared in the 1988 Child’s Play, where he wreaked havoc on a family and ended on a trash heap.  He came back in sequels and remakes, kept alive in between with Chucky caps, mugs and other spin offs.  The Cult of Chucky was released in 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency.  In 2019, the original Child’s Play was re-released with Chuchy reincarnated as Buddi.  A Chucky TV series is planned for 2020, the year of the next presidential election.

Obviously the horror genre is a terrific draw in capturing and holding interest in the safe confines of screen or page.  In the unpredictable hazards of real life, horror is an uncontrollable nightmare full of chaos.  In the case of Chucky Trump, the result is and America afflicted with social schizophrenia.

Trump in the social media age has made America a nation with a split personality.  The third of the population hooked on Trump believes that legitimate news is “fake” and that unchecked retweeted lies carry the authority of the US Presidential Office.  That part of America acts on the right side of the brain, the creative and emotional that wants to believe that Trump is delivering on what he promised, whatever that was.  If nothing more, he is delivering more excitement than the last time.

The other two-thirds of America correlates with the left side of the brain, the logical that did not suspend its disbelief when Trump did not make sense.  Disparaging war heroes, dismissing Gold Star families, caging immigrant children and peddling obviously false facts were not elements that logical Americans accepted as reality for the country.  That part has brought impeachment proceedings against Trump in an effort to free the brethren addicted to the Chucky Trump Horror Show.

“Brevity is the soul of wit,” the great Shakespeare said. “If I had more time, I would have made it shorter,” the great American Henry James wrote.  “You’re fired!” the current American president declared repeatedly at great length during a TV series that first hooked the audience that became his presidential base.

That Trump base will stay hooked on the Chucky Trump Horror Show until the difference between theater and reality hits home.  Perhaps that will happen when imagination takes the great leap from theater to logic.

“You’re fired!” may be a snappy tag line for a TV show, even if more than a tad sadistic given how frantically contestants vied to be chosen as supplicants for the Trump business empire.  In true reality, the term “You’re fired” is rarely welcome news.

That distinction between theater and reality may dawn on Trump fans as the horrors of his administration continue to surface despite his best efforts to squelch them.  In the meantime, Trump fans can ease America’s schizophrenic phase by waiting for Chucky on the screen, leaving America and its Constitution intact with untold sequels still to unfold.

 

 

 

Uncle Sam on Life Support

Quote:  “I want you for US Army” (Uncle Sam recruiting posters, WWI & WWII)

In the news:  Russia gloats over Trump’s Syria debacle and Putin’s “victory” Anna Nemtsova, The Daily Beast, 10.17.19)

In context: Uncle Sam is a legendary figure who has symbolized America since the Revolutionary War.  He stepped up in times of war, most recently in the two World Wars fought on behalf of Europe in the interest of freedom and justice, two founding principles of America from the start..  In one fell swoop, Donald Trump betrayed those principles and rendered Uncle Sam a vegetable.

Uncle Sam had a stroke when Trump sold out the Kurds who helped America defeat a common enemy, the radical Islamists who give Islam a bad name.  Uncle Sam was revived by the EMS Republican Trump enablers who at long last condemned one of his unlawful moves.  Even so, Uncle Sam is hangs on by virtue of life support until the country decides between life and death for the principles he represents.

Freedom and justice have been American hallmarks since it was founded.  The early settlers were escaping rule by an all-powerful monarch imposing unfair taxes and restrictions on the country’s people.  By s stroke of genius the founding fathers elaborated a Constitution that proscribed benevolence as a quality of the new country.  France recognized that American gift to the world by presenting it with the Statue of Liberty that lay in boxes for decades before money was raised for a base on which to erect the statue near Ellis Island, the port of entry to the US.

America is a blessed country.  It is, protected by oceans on two sides, has an ideal temperate climate and plenty of natural resources.  It is a vast land populated by immigrants who sidelined the native peoples and imported slaves to serve itself.  Managing all that growth kept the country busy.  It rarely meddles in other country’s affairs until lately as the world grew interdependent.

Uncle Sam makes his call to arms only when the country is attacked or when its principles are threatened.  As the renowned American Martin Luther King stated, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Traditionally, America intervenes when freedom, justice and benevolence are in peril,  It initiated the United Nations after WWII to prevent future wars.  The UN is a diplomatic forum where countries deal with differences.  The UN is the second stab of the US to establish such a body.  The first was the League of Nations set up after WWI, which collapsed when Germany violated rules and invaded neighboring Poland.  That move led to WWII and the eventual attack on the US by Japan.  with Uncle Sam leading the rescue, the result was a win for democratic benevolence except for the large swath controlled by Russia..

Even aside from the Russian exception, the global road toward democracy has been full of potholes.   Even so, great strides have been made behind the scenes at the UN. a diplomatic tool that works quietly in the background to advance cooperation among principally through regional groups with similar aims.   NATO, for example, is an alliance between world-leading democracies to help each other defend their common principles.  Numerous other regional agreements help countries join forces to achieve objectives.  All those groups have been increasingly stressed as challenges became ever more global until they came to a boil.

Climate change, for example, fuels emigration from distressed countries and presents immigration challenges to others, including transit countries that the homeless need to traverse.  This human migration brings cultures, races, religions and beliefs into conflict, which presents a basic human situation.

People in crisis are not at their best.  They act instinctively and don’t think rationally.  In an avalanche or fire, people flee toward safety.  Helping those in danger requires a steady, practiced hand, like a fire fighting force.  In concert with allies, the US has led those efforts to help those in crisis.  That was Uncle Sam’s job.  With the current administration, Uncle Sam  is now bruised, tattered, defiled and in a coma.

After the 8/11 attack, America sent its troops overseas to join allies in a fight to defeat an extremist group that threatened all the world.  In this latest bout, they found the Kurds, a democratic group caught between despotic regimes on all sides.  The Kurds fought valiantly with Uncle Sam until the enemy was held at bay.  Then American elite forces stayed behind to teach the Kurdish allies to fend for themselves and carry on.   That plan was cut short by a presidential decree issued with no credible explanation.

Uncle Sam recruits his forces from among Americans who risk lives to defend the country and its honor.  They walk with heads high in their home towns with their family members proudly cheering them on and showing them off.  They are a noble contrast to suicide bombers out to destroy.  Uncle Sam’s recruits join up to build a better world.

In his coma, Uncle Sam weeps unconsciously.  The life support machines bleep, the medical team scrambles, a specialist arrives and consults the charts.  Confidently the specialist turns and looks at the team.

“What Uncle Sam needs,” the specialist says, “is a transition of medical staff.  Uncle Sam wants a drink of water so he can get up and out of this bed where he has been confined after being poisoned.”

 

Blow Them Whistles!

Quote:  “Truth never damages a cause that is just,” (Mahatma Gandhi)

In the news:  Federal Whistleblowers would do it again, even after retaliation and “professional suicide.” (Joe Davidson, The Washington Post, 10.04.2019)

In context:  America is the world’s land of freedom guided by laws developed in line with a founding Constitution.  Americans today can call 911 in case of trouble and help will arrive.  After the 9/11 attack, the NY Transit Authority adopted the slogan that if you see something, say something.  Public safety was worth extra effort.

At the moment, the complex US government has no such handy tool to sound an alarm.  All it has is the 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act that calls on federal employees to report suspected misconduct.

Those in government are either elected, appointed or dedicated career professionals.  Those elected reflect the voice of the people in theory.  In reality, they attain office based on money raised for campaigns in tandem with visibility reached either on air or in person at rallies.  Appointees are chosen by those elected based on donations to campaigns, often through ties of mutual contacts.  In contrast, career professionals enter the government to develop skills in service to the country.

The ingenious US Constitution entrusted government to three co-equal branches to act as checks on each other.  Congress is made up of the House and Senate that together make laws by getting agreement on any law passed.  The Executive branch headed by the President then puts the law into practice.  The Judiciary as the third branch  rules in the event of conflict.

For example, if the President wants a wall and the Congress representing the populace doesn’t want to fund the venture, the courts will decide on the way forward.  The courts, however, have many layers, up from state courts and appeals courts to district courts and on up o the Supreme Court.

That interaction of the government’s three branches has been worked out for more than 250 years.  Since the 2016 election of President Donald Trump, the Constitutional foundation of the United States has been under challenge.

Donald TRump came into office as a maverick,  He was already notorious as a dicey business tycoon known for man-handling the law.  He fashioned that questionable skill into entertainment with a TV show where his trademark was the devastating verdict of “You’re fired!”

Audience interest in terms of ratings lasted long enough for Trump to jump into politics with a splash based on the same qualities of audience capture that had landed him a TV gig when his businesses were tanking.  Once in the Oval Office, Trump turned his well-honed skills into shredding the US Constitution and the world order based on the global development of legal norms.

Increasingly during his 2-plus years in office, Trump has become more forthright about defying the Constitutional guidelines.    By lies, defiance and betrayals of hard-won long-standing allegiances, he claims as his right of office to warp the sysem and make it work in favor of his personal interests.  As reinforcement for his stance, he holds his audience with sensation, which in turn holds hostage the political party that he, as a practiced con-man, has chosen to be his army of shills.

The modus operandi of the Trump conglomerate has been obfuscation, the burial of traces about wrongdoing.  Tie the system into knots that can’t be unraveled seems the Trump brand.

Practiced at the federal government level from the Oval Office where the President’s word carries weight worldwide, the standoff between the Constitution and Presidential power to defy it seemed at a standstill until a Whistleblower dared all in defense of a world that made sense.

The whistleblower is an every-person carrying out and accepted job.  At any level, the person has advanced up in the ranks.  Their goal is to do their part in the complex government machinery,   A blip of trouble does not strike panic.  Repeated blips sound alarm like the national US emergency number of 911.

Whistleblowers must go through agony before taking action.  They see, they question their perception, they ponder the wisdom of disclosing what they suspect, take a step, and perhaps come up against firm discouragement,   They reconsider, try to find peace and then finally decide they have to act.

In taking action, whistleblowers have nothing to gain and everything to lose.  A 1989 law protects them but the current administration under Donald Trump is intent on pushing constitutional norms beyond their limits.

The whistleblowers of today under threat of vitriol from the highest level of government deserve a Medal of Honor for valor in battle.  Because of them, the Constitution will stay intact despite the most heinous attack long deserving of impeachment even before a questionable election to office.  Once beyond this phase in America’s fight for its leading position in the world as the world’s beacon toward freedom and justice, whistleblowers here just may be able to free thone in other countries to come forward under the protection of laws upheld by the mighty US.

 

America Belongs to the World

Quote:  “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between” (Oscar Wilde, Interview, 1882)

In the news:  US troops express anger at at Trump’s Syrian policy: We betrayed the Kurds (Ryan Browne, CNN, 10.15.19)

In context:  America is blessed by geography, history and a founding Constitution that lays the basis for optimum freedom within the safeguards of law.  Native Americans paid a big price for the forceful establishment of this experiment in a heaven on earth as close as possible.  Immigrants have kept the ideal humming ever since.

The first marauders in North America were English who could afford the journey, along with indentured servants followed by slaves from Africa.  Laws over time freed those groups, all in line with the Constitution’s basic intent to create a more perfect union where all humans were created equal.  Waves of immigrants from Europe and Asia then arrived to flee crises at home and fulfill America’s growing needs to build an infrastructure across a wide expanse.  After all that growth, America now faces a brand new global world in which deeply ingrained cultural norms clash, as do personal beliefs within the clashing cultures.

The cultures within the world’s near-200 countries vary enormously in terms of physical comfort, safety and freedom.  Individual well-being relies on outside factors but to the average person the world is likely to be kaleidoscopic.  With access to global communication, learned history, current news and plain old gossip intersect.  Natural and man-made disasters pre-empt routines and get varying degrees of media coverage depending on location and circumstances.  If great enough, however, they all get attention and thereby bring global events closer to home.

The world leading US has a viewer-friendly news delivery that entertains regardless of content.  Thus the greater world’s woes seep in gradually.  The 2016 earthquake in Myanmar, for example, received scant coverage until the crisis hit a new high when Myanmar’s junta government refused intervention by global agencies to help victims.Similarly, when hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, America as a whole had no idea about conflicts between the federal and local governments until the personal distress of people contrasted with the inability to distribute relief supplies.

Deep down inside, America has a big heart that is hard to reach.  The bigger global world is older and has a complex history.  It is a patchwork quilt made up of fabric squares that represent millennia-old memories of events that led to the present.  Amid the flurry of issues that today confront a world that has grown global, such as disease and climate change, America as the land of immigrants that is the natural master tailor to create the basic pattern for the human ideal that al people are created equal and they are free within the boundaries of adopted laws

Ultimately, however complex the global world becomes, the prevailing factor for humans will be personal contact.  America as a whole knew little about Syria and its age-old problems.  America had little interest in that part of the world until personal contact at higher levels of the complex governments and cultures involved came up with a solution acceptable to all   The men and women of our armed forces sealed the deal.  They fought together for a unified goal, they won and then continued learning from each other.  The venture was unfortunately cut short for political reasons, but the lessons are not forgotten.  America will remember the Kurds and will make amends when the political tides have shifted.

No doubt the Kurds with the age-old wisdom of their culture will forgive the young America and its impatience with the hard-won lessons of older histories.  That is why the onus for the future is on America to learn respect for the footprints left behind by history.

 

 

The Deadly American

Quote:  “An empty vessel makes the loudest noise so those with the least wit babble the most” (Plato, also proverb)

In the News:  Trump’s Syria policy dismays Europe as Turkey launches campaign (Gavin O’Toole, Aljazeera, 10.10.19)

In Context:  The Ugly American was a 1958 book by Burdick and Lederer that told about shortcomings of American diplomacy in South East Asia.  The book led JFK to establish the Peace Corps so that Americans would get better acquainted with other countries of the world.

If Donald Trump ever read that book, he would call it fake news.  Now he has green-lighted a potential genocide for some reason not discernible among the avalanche of outrages he has perpetrated during his short tenure.

Donald Trump is a failed businessman with numerous holdings in countries that  are primarily developing economies in a global world dominated by western industrial countries.  Trump shot to fame with a TV show that was a take-off on his cut-throat approach to business that often ended in bankruptcies.  “You’re fired!” was the Trump trademark on the show.   He brought that brand into the 2016 American presidential campaign by bush-whacking other candidates.  Once in the Oval Office, Trump let fly his style of getting what he wanted irregardless of otherwise recognized purpose.

The Trump brand is a combination of charm, showmanship, abasement and ominous mystery.  Like a malevolent magician, Trump compels by defying logic.  In the Oval Office, he violates the Constitution and blasts lawmakers as persecutors on a witch hunt like never before in America.  He hires and fires on a whim shrouded in praise as a prelude to the ax.   He is ruthlessly inhumane in caging children of migrants and his charm recedes in concert with impeachment proceedings to oust him.

About a third of Americans like the Trump approach to governing and find his style invigorating.  They cheer at the fabrications, vitriol and curses with which Trump energizes them at rallies.  That part of America holds Republican politicians hostage. Any criticism elicits a scathing Trump tweet that threatens the next election.  The cycle is a noose around the country’s neck.  It has turned the benevolent land of the free within the law into the gutter of corruption utterly devoid of compassion.

Trump’s duplicity is coming to light in the Oval Office and the Constitutional oversight that protects its sanctity.  By increments he is exposed as an empty vessel that boasts about deals that never happened and record-breaking triumphs invisible to all but Trump enablers.  The force of delivery is the convincing ploy.  Fortunately for reality, the haze of duplicity eventually wears off when promises fail to materialize time after time over some tipping point in human patience.  Trump University plaintiffs would attest to that hard-leaned lesson were they not threatened with non-disclosure lawsuits as part of a settlement.earned after winning a settlement.

The land of opportunity greases the wheels for those with money to invest but most businessmen with a social conscience maximize their gains by taking advantage of loopholes in the law.  Trump, on the other hand, mangles laws, loopholes and social morals to make his score.  He is a social pariah and in the Oval Office he is deadly, as demonstrated by his recent inane directive via Twitter to withdraw US armed forces from a successful operation in the troubled Middle East.

Trump has labeled himself a “stable genius” and no one has backed up that opinion.  The term may ring a bell with Trump adherents but the majority of Americans have seen no signs of that genius.  Manufacturing jobs have not returned des[ote Trump’s promise, trade wars were not easy to win and served no purpose and worst of all, America has not been made great but has become a turncoat in the global fight for democracy with a salvo to Vladimir Putin and his campaign to dominate the world in line with Russia’s actions throughout the last century.

Trump’s conduct in the Oval Office may be no more complex than his indebtedness to Russian dark money.  For that trivial personal gain, he may be selling America and its sterling reputation to the highest bidder, which ultimately is Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, Trump is in the Oval Office, shaming America’s military and giving the green light for slaughter of allies.  He may amuse and stir his base with murderous passion as was done 2000 years ago in the Roman Coliseum to please the leader, but democracy and good will in America will prevail and topple the Constitution’s hijacker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Snookered Trump Base

Quote:  “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  (attrib. P.T. Barnum, mid-1800’s); “Only the little people pay taxes.”  (Leona Helmsley, 1989); “Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid.” (anon, ca. 1985)

In the news:  Why is America’s Suicide Epidemic Hitting Trump’s Baso So Hard? (Rajan Menon, Common Dreams, 6.18.19)

In context:  The Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley went to prison for telling a jury the truth.  The members of the jury were obviously not her peers.  They were the little people who paid the taxes that Leona Helmsley was shrewd and well-connected enough to evade.  Leona Helmsley wsa small peanuts compared to Donald Trump, who fights tooth and nail to keep the truth from the little people, one third of whom don’t care that he’s a crook fleecing them.

In his 50 year career, Donald Trump has gotten the best of the best whose goal was to make money.   He made his bones with a generous trust fund at the age of 5 and was a millionaire by his teens.  He brashly broke into the high-end Manhattan world of real estate with ruthless ambition backed by the certainty of his father’s financial backing, regardless of merit or begrudgement on the father’s side.  Ambitious achievement of the highest order seemed the family creed.  Donald Trump has stayed true to that legacy regardless of decency, honor, morality or constricts of law.

Trump was supercharged for success and yet he kept failing from one business venture to another.  Undaunted, he moved on to dark sources of finance and then made his mark by landing a gig on the Apprentice reality show in a genre quite the rage at the time.  There, he displayed his ruthless prowess, coming across with the trademark kiss of death to strivers, “You’re fired!”

The fantasy of such decimating power over others took hold of the disenfranchised among the US mainstream.  When interest waned and ratings faded, Trump took his skills on the road and turned his winnings into the US Presidency.

With the mighty presidential powers at his disposal, Trump continued his winning trademark creed, barking “you’re fired!” to every aspirant in his path.  Those included needy immigrants, progressives working to better the world, aides who disagreed with him or news favorites who failed to support him strongly enough.  In fact, since taking office, the Trump rage has gone haywire.

In the audience-rich rallies Trump favors,  he doesn’t speak, he spews propaganda.  His words fire a fervor that builds into hateful vocalizations in the form of crowd contagious chanting cheers.  Whether true Trump adherents, paid attendees or constrained factory workers, the voices of the crowd spill over into the outside world where angry white men express their pumped up feelings through mass shootings with assault weapons at happy public gatherings.

Rage is contagious, just as good feelings.  The difference is that rage destroys while good feeling leads to constructive action.

in line with that obvious equation, those of good will are trying too hard to unseat Trump.  They need to relax and handily remind the public of Trump’s latest antics as the basis for why he is a mistake as US president.  They can also point out ways the country could benefit from proper direction, as in progressing toward curbs on practices that destroy the environment and endanger communities.  They can turned the ugly “You’re fired” trademark into the healthy one of “You’re hired.”

That’s a simple change of one letter in the two words, but what a difference a small change makes.   That brings to mind an anonymous saying.  “When you see someone digging his own grave, stay out of the way.”

Good does win out when the opponent is a desperate, failed self-promoter who stoops ever  lower to protect his inflated sense of self.  To err is human, as the saying goes.  Trump prefers to doctor weather charts to produce faulty evidence that his authoritative prowess was right despite verifiable facts.

Those kinds of antics are spiraling out of control with Donald Trump.  He now lies about phone calls never made and rapport between people who have never met.  Born a sucker or not, and however hard to admit to having been made to feel stupid, there is relief in hitting the sweet spot of true reality, however fluid in today’s media filtered world.

The Leona Helmsley jury reached the truth stage and convicted her, proving that the little people do catch on.  As Trump unravels and slips up, he just may blurt out the truth, that he considers the little people patsies for paying the taxes he considers beneath his station to honor.

 

 

 

Twitter Trump

Quote: A politician is a man who will double cross that bridge when he comes to it (Oscar Levant, Memoirs of an Amnesiac, 1965)

In the news  Trump touts economy but payroll tax discussion reveals recession fears (Kaitlan Collins, Maegan Vazquez and Donna Borak, CNN, 8.20.19)

In context:  The world today is definitely new but certainly not brave.

The US Constitution took years to formulate.  Today, US President Donald Trump rocks the global markets with a vexed tweet, then settles them with a new tweet when media feedback shows his first tweet misfired.

Twitter Trump has the world sitting on a sandbank waiting to drop into the abyss due to a global warming that the US President denies.  Perhaps he really is ignorant of the facts.  There is little time for in-depth study after golf,  tweeted personal threats and kudos to State enemies.

Even Trump supporters admit they’d like the President to curb his tweet greed.  Few others state the obvious.  Donald Trump has usurped the US Presidency and the country.  Trump’s beliefs do not constitute the official US position on issues.  But as in all his shady failed business ventures, Trump has hijacked a faulty system.  In this case, he has exploited the twilight stage of social media to create a mirage of success.

Twitter is a great avenue for self-expression.  It is a sloppy medium for official business at the level of the US Presidency.

That situation is ideal for Trump.  He tweets a declaration that is unconstitutional.  Proof of transgression comes through the Courts.  That time-consuming process gives Trump ample opportunity to tweet more directives to adjudicate.  The entire government is tied up in a knot of legal traffic jams.  As that goes on, the media loses track of Trump trick strands.  Some of those fall by the wayside.  Others slide through sight unseen thanks to threat and con tweets.

The most common adjective for the Trump presidency is “unprecedented.”  With Twitter, a more accurate description  for the Trump tenure is “unpreSIdented.”

Politicians in service for the public good may at times tell lies for political expediency.   The businessman Trump admittedly lies as a routine negotiating tactic, as he recently bragged with regard to two phone calls from China that had not been placed.

The Twitter Trump situation is not only unprecedented but downright bizarre.  Trump tweets his fleeting thoughts with no input from the established information structure regarding the country’s official position.  Then, since he lies at a record-breaking rate as  a bargaining chip to get a deal, it is impossible to unravel the winding trail of what is America’s official standing on any matter.

Even more to the point, there is no reason why America should go through such gyrations to figure out its own position relative to its leader.  By definition, a leader leads.  There is no way to follow a dizzying trail of lies tweeted in an insomniac spasm.

America’s Founding Fathers did a great job in exercising wisdom and forward-thinking to make sure that their experiment in democracy endured.  They did not, however, foresee an elected leader bereft of the most basic standards of morality.  Nor did they anticipate the worldwide web, the information superhighway and a social media network that would be exploited by the amoral person heading the country.

Still, while the Founders did not see into the present where lies could be spewed with unregulated authority from the Presidential pulpit, they did see into the human soul and declared all people to be free in the pursuit of happiness.  The question for modern America is simple, whether happiness is possible with a leader who is proud of his prowess in telling lies.

Lies serve numerous purposes, none beneficial in the long run.  An occasion lie may get a person out of an undesirable dinner date, but an inveterate liar like Donald Trump lies because the truth doesn’t matter.  Achieving a goal is all that counts and the goal of a businessman like Donald Trump is personal gain.  That is a petty ambition in which details like the truth are inconsequential.  Trump wants to amass wealth and get the best deal at the cost of another.  The US before Trump had higher ideals.  It wanted to lead the world into greater and greater prosperity.

Twitter is the perfect obfuscating tool for Trump.  The twitter feeds are short, no thinking required before airing venom to the world.  Trump can also lie and threaten to his heart’s content.  He can even delete tweets before they get to the official National Archives.

With Twitter Trump, 250 years of US constitutional norms are out the window.  There is no telling what recorded facts are real or untrue.  At present, there is no telling what comes next for Trump, the country or Twitter.

As for historians. good luck.  Remember to pop antacids before working on the Twitter Trump era.

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