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Fifty days into his first—and let's pray his only—term as president, Donald Trump has served up a smelly stew. Fifteen million losing their healthcare coverage. American ground troops now fighting in yet another Middle Eastern country, this time Syria. Drone attacks on tribal villages soaring. A certifiable on-the-payroll foreign agent named national security advisor. Planned Parenthood on the chopping block. National Endowment for the Arts set to sing its swan song. $50 billion more for warmaking…

Trump Trainwreck

Surviving the Trump Trainwreck—Dick Price

And that's just what's occupying the talking heads this afternoon.

In asking how our decidedly progressive audience thought this train wreck would end, our survey first posed the thought that Trump's glorious self-immolation would continue apace until he literally bursts into flame.

Nearly 40 percent thought that's what we're witnessing.

Trump apparently rages at his staff for their inability to cover for his outrageous comments, egregious mental lapses, and multifold lies. He spews venom at much-beloved Barack Obama, leveling Trumped-up charges. He declares war on the media and the CIA, which in one case buys ink by the barrel, as they used to say, and in the other spends time in the woods learning how to kill with three fingers.


And Nuts!

As one of you said:

"We all know by now that the President has a mental problem, and as time goes on it will get the best of him. The job of being the President is way more than he thought it was. Working only five days a week and going to Florida every weekend is not going to get it."

Said another:

"He would either blow a gasket or he'll get bored with the scene and bail. The guy has no respect for the office. I can see him calling it quits."

You imagine him sitting in his pajamas on the edge of his bed, tweeting away at 5 a.m. with only a drowsy bodyguard for company, as Melania has the good sense to stay hundreds of miles away in New York City, polishing her nails and wondering if she should have just stayed in Slovenia.

You imagine him sitting in his pajamas on the edge of his bed, tweeting away at 5 a.m. with only a drowsy bodyguard for company, as Melania has the good sense to stay hundreds of miles away in New York City, polishing her nails and wondering if she should have just stayed in Slovenia.

You'd like to believe he'll exit stage right at a some point, but there's one problem: the man is in hog heaven! He spent decades in New York City doing somersaults to attract local media attention. The whole Obama birther thing was a stunt to get his mug on national television. And now for the past two years he has been front and center in every news program and newspaper from morning to night.

He's not going to let go of that without a prodigious fight.

Another solid group of you said criminal charges would bring the Trumpmeister down (45 percent).

As one of you said:

"The Republicans cannot acknowledge that the Republican base elected a mentally ill person but they can acknowledge and get Trump to understand that the Russian matters and his business matters create a situation that he must be impeached unless he voluntarily leaves office as Nixon did."

Right now, the media is going full-tilt boogie on this possibility, aided my mainstream Democrats. Who knows? Maybe Trump and his people are so sloppily incompetent that they committed actual crimes, probably involving collusion with Russian agents, probably not worried about consequences since he wasn't going to win the election anyway.

But you have to wonder if this approach just diverts attention from the fact that Trump is in office largely because the Democratic Party blew an election they should have won by 20 points. Soupy Sales, were he alive, would have made a more viable candidate than thrice-married, multiple-times-bankrupt, orange-faced, blowhard Donald John Trump. I mean, c'mon!

Indeed, many Democrats seem to spend much more time blaming anyone else but themselves for losing the presidency, most of the House, most state houses, most governor mansions, the Senate and the Supreme Court. Let's blame the Russians, they say too often, or James Comey, or Wikileaks, or Bernie Sanders.

Trump Trainwreck

Which is why a scant 3.96 percent of you thought the Democrats can do anything, magical or not, to dislodge Trump.

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The biggest group of you (64 percent) thought Congressional Republicans would rally around Trump so they could dismantle every progressive social program instituted in the past half century—and that is precisely what they are doing.

Said one of you:

"Republicans will fight feverishly to save their unethical, soulless party and will come up with every alternate fact to cover up Trump's maniacal, incompetent behavior."

Here's another:

"Trump is the distraction from the attention Bernie gave the oligarchy. He was planned and is doing exactly what the oligarchy want, all eyes on Drumpf none on the true rulers."

Said a third:

"With Neo-Liberals and the weakened national security heads at the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA as our only defense, and the evil GOP Congress will do nothing but sabre rattle. Trump will limp along and destroy our environment, set women's liberties back 50 years, and continue to collude with Russia. The Keystone and DAPL pipelines will be built, but with Russian steel, Medicare and Social Security will be gutted, public education will be decimated, but we'll have the best military industrial complex in the world."

That, sadly, is what we are witnessing.

Survey takers were remarkably divided on our second question, favoring each of four choices in roughly equal measure:

Trump Trainwreck
  • The damage to our democracy will be deep and lasting, making many turn away from civic involvement as a waste of time. 41.90%
  • The progressive passion rising up since the November election will grow into powerful, long-lasting mass movement that will reshape American politics for a generation. 54.29%
  • Trump will do his best to damage the country but the moneybags controlling both parties will get the country back under their thumbs. 40.95%
  • Recognizing the Trump administration's disarray and ineptitude, foreign actors will make seriously aggressive moves, jeopardizing our safety and security. 40.95%

Here's one cogent response, among many:

"Trump is a loose cannon, and I'm not sure that the moneyed interests that have bought Congress can control him any longer, if they ever could. I'm sure they were counting on it, but I suspect they miscalculated. In the meantime, our government is being dismantled, department by department, by the nihilists posing as Trump advisers, led by Shadow President Bannon. The State Department has been sidelined, we're the laughingstock of the planet (which they're busily trying to destroy), and disaster looms at every turn, and with every stroke of the "presidential" pen."

Even in these dark times, I struggle to find a silver lining.

What I've seen over the past several years is a huge upwelling of progressive political activism, people young and old coming out of the woodwork to battle for a better minimum wage, against environmentally destructive franking, for universal healthcare, for justice and fair treatment for immigrants, against our endless wars, against the worst vestiges of mass incarceration—against and for and out in the streets everywhere you look.

And most of this lives outside the traditional political party structures, leaving mainstream politicians to at least pretend to support fundamental change.

But that kind of effort takes energy and passion and persistence. The real question is whether we will stay pissed off enough to reshape the structures we use to govern ourselves or whether we'll once again adapt and settle for just yammering about all the things we don't like.

dick price

Here are all answers to the two questions:



Dick Price
Editor, LA Progressive