Robert Mueller knows why Donald Trump pulled off his big caper, as do most observant people. The self-service of the Trump family has been evident from day one. Even the Secret Service decided they’d book rooms off-site, when they traveled with the President to his properties, after learning they were paying nearly double the going rate for accommodations. If Trump was a preacher he’d charge for hosts. The President has promoted billionaires with no government experience into American oligarchs by placing them in his cabinet. All roads have led to Cypress and other places where gray money changes hands beyond the oversight of regulators.
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The Trump presidency is a game of three-card monte, the kind played on Fifth Avenue in the 1970’s. Did Trump run for president because it would take the heat off him for allegations that his companies laundered money, defrauded investors, and flouted tax laws? We’ll know soon. Don Jr., once, observed that his father shouldn’t release his taxes because, if he did, “people would be talking about things they knew nothing about.” Would that be right from wrong?
The public, weary of the button-down presidency of a decent man, a mixed-race eloquent scholar-orator, who had the misfortune to be born in Hawaii, yearned for someone who would scream and yell like a banshee. The crowd at the bar heard “drinks on me,” above the din, and was willing to clap the back of a man you don’t meet every day. It’s the plot of every other B&W Western shown on TV when Donald Trump was a boy. Some people couldn’t wait for the sheriff, or the lone plains drifter, to ride into town and clean the place up. Others rooted for the bad guy. It was a question of values, of identification.
The existential shame of America is that the politics of greed, wanting, and anti-authoritarianism was able to wrap itself in the flag to such an extent that it elected Trump as its leader. Predictably, criticism is suspect, to him, and to them. Millennials aren’t surprised. They expected totalitarianism to take over Democracy, sooner or later. Even the DNC was rigging its own elections. Student debt means they won’t marry or have kids, and home ownership is as remote as Mars. For many of them, the game isn’t just rigged, it’s over.
What stands in the way of the juggernaut of avaricious power unleashed by a reality TV performer may be Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a decorated war veteran, and national security advisor for ten minutes. He prayed and saw that, unless he did something, his name would be forever linked with America’s most disgraced General of all, Benedict Arnold.