Friday, 12 January 2018 23:03

From Fire and Fury to Trump's Sh-t Hole to Very Fine People--Is America Great Again?

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shi people 8 The president called Haiti a “shithole” this week, along with El Salvador and African nations, while expressing a wish for more Norwegian immigrants to the U.S. Then, he denied saying it, despite a senator’s first-person account of hearing the comment at a meeting to discuss immigration. Thus goes the White House, where another day means more insults, and more lies.  Donald Trump represents an unending assault on the probity, and dignity, normally attached to U.S. presidents. Ever careless of history, and ignorant of its meaning, Trump manages to damage America’s standing in the world as often as he praises himself.

 In the new book by Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury, Trump is revealed as a vainglorious ignoramus, one more concerned with ratings, and his image, than policy, or the art of governing. If the president was performing on a T.V. game show, as he seems to think he is, he’d be fired. The proof is the ever-growing number Americans who don’t trust him and think Trump should be removed from office.

In defense of himself, Trump, and his company tout a record stock market, job growth, and slashing of regulations enacted to protect Americans from, among other things, predatory banking, and environmental degradation. Each of these accomplishments, however, is illusory because they are fleeting, and their true consequences yet unknown.

When an overvalued stock market corrects itself, Trump may wish he hadn’t claimed credit for its rise. When workers are faced with the reality that $11.00 an hour, at Walmart, doesn’t do much to raise them, substantially, above the poverty line, Trump may wish he hadn’t claimed responsibility for the minimal increase. When there is a backlash caused by under-regulation of crucial elements of life in America, Trump may wish he hadn’t bragged about dismantling the administrative state. And, when the new tax law’s effect is felt, there will be a hullabaloo.

Then, there’s the persistent mantra about Russia: “There was no collusion.” Trump repeats this even more often than he brags about winning the “Big election,” attacks Hillary Clinton, or blames the media, and Obama for his woes. With his record for mendacity, however, who can believe that Trump had no involvement in, or knowledge of, Vladimir Putin’s rather successful effort to destabilize the Western alliance, and diminish democracy as we know it. If Trump was clueless, as he says, his minions weren’t, and they’re his creatures so he deserves equal blame. 

There are other elements in Trump’s first year that are, also, troubling. The White House has made less effort to contain, or prevent, further attacks on our electoral systems than it has in stemming the opioid crisis that’s filling cemeteries faster than gravediggers can shovel dirt. A reckoning is coming and it won’t be pretty for Republicans.

MAGA is a clever acronym, but MABA might be more appropriate, as in “Make America Better Again,” like it was before Donald Trump.

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