Each day in TrumpWorld brings with it the specter of a world turned backward and upside down, almost like a slow-motion slide into the Dark Ages. I am not one prone to hyperbole or pronouncements that the sky is falling, but I do believe the sky is falling!
While tactically Trump’s version of overkill and bullying may bludgeon even a conservative Congress into choosing only so many fights, hence allowing many unacceptable candidates and policy positions a free pass, the nation and the world is destined to become a darker place.
While tactically Trump’s version of overkill and bullying may bludgeon even a conservative Congress into choosing only so many fights, hence allowing many unacceptable candidates and policy positions a free pass, the nation and the world is destined to become a darker place. Our retreat into the past is no more clearly outlined than in its bold reliance on propelling forward on the back of dirty fuels, so-called fuels from hell. The environmental agenda is being dragged back into fights that were seemingly settled in the days of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Cabinet picks from State to Interior to EPA to Energy will most likely reflect a common theme: namely, drill, baby, drill.
As the Trump transition comes clearer into focus it is painfully obvious that showmanship is more important than statesmanship. At a time when lagging public respect and confidence in the country’s leaders and institutions is epidemic this is a prescription for disaster. That is the political analysis. From a business perspective the term caveat emptor, buyer beware, is most appropriate. The nation is embarking upon a journey probably unlike any we have witnessed in our short history.
The intricately orchestrated public display of homage to the Godfather is theatrical genius to most who only peripherally catch a glance of the spectacle before tuning into either a sporting event or other nightly fix of telegenic hypnosis. There is even a feigned hope to those who so wish that this were only a temporary nightmare that maybe, just maybe the Donald actually is willing to forego his pride for the sake of effectively governing the nation. There is a fading hint of hope that he is actually processing his top Cabinet picks in accord with the dictates of substance rather than style. Maybe just maybe he can govern.
News flash: Not on your life sucker!
His picks to date reflect the whimsical and mercurial style of the man himself. Generals, Wall Streeters, billionaires, millionaires, a senior advisor steeped in promotion of white supremacy, a black neurosurgeon with no policy background or executive experience to head a $50 billion Federal housing and urban development bureaucracy, World Wrestling Entertainment executive to head the Small Business Administration—all that he has done so far attests to the lack of seriousness of the clown show that is passing for a transition to our future.
Add to this the appearance of Al Gore, the father of modern-day climate change awareness, less than 24 hours prior to announcing turning the keys of the Environmental Protection Agency over to an Oklahoma Attorney General who is a shill for the fossil fuel industry and a climate change denier, and the laughter from floors 66-68 at Trump Tower can be heard at street level.
Hinting at the choice of a Secretary of State officially honored by the Russian autocrat and former KGB henchman Vladimir Putin on the heels of evidence that the Russians interfered with the 2016 election in his favor is almost too much to stomach. That is until he announced that John Bolton would be his choice for the number 2 position at State.
The system that we employ to elect our supreme leader (the Electoral College) is outdated and remains a relic of 18th-century decision-making. Making America great again relies on the strength of powerful social and economic drivers that harken back to the days of the Pinkerton’s (a little history homework), the Klan, White Citizens’ Councils, and a little dash of fascism. The checks and balances which frame our constitutional government have checked out and are out of balance.
The Fourth Estate has jettisoned investigative journalism and is involved in a serious discussion over the validity and prevalence of ‘fake news.’
The Supreme Court has been held hostage to overt political obstructionism that blatantly defies any conception of responsible government. The outsized influence of special interests and a campaign finance system that exemplifies the blinding corruption of ‘pay to play’ is a constant feature of government at all levels: Federal, state and local.
Trump was right about the rigged nature of our electoral system, but as witness his actions he correctly diagnosed the problem but not the cause, thus the remedy will fail. The system is rigged by an elaborate system of voter suppression. Thirty states participate in the Interstate Cross Check system that denies legitimate voters the right to vote. Restrictive voter identification laws further disenfranchise large numbers of minorities. Voter fraud simply is not an issue as North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has so painfully and publicly learned. Gerrymandering remains a constant thorn in the side of representative democracy.
The country is divided in many ways and unfortunately it is done so with the surgical precision of a scalpel wielded by a corrupt political system. Yes the system is broken and yes the swamp needs to be drained, but how?
To state the obvious it will be exceedingly difficult to expect that those who have created, perpetuate, and benefit from the current system will fix it. Trump will encounter serious problems in the conflict of interest arena and is in the process of replacing one swamp with another.
The fear, anger, frustration and recklessness that a large number, not a majority, but a large number of voters exhibited this election will only grow as the systemic recalibration currently underway reinforces the loss of confidence in our leaders and institutions.
I cannot say with any certainty that a different outcome