In 2016 I thought Americans were too smart to elect a sleazy, self-centered, con artist and sexual predator to the highest office in the land. Indeed, Trump got about 3 million fewer votes than his opponent. Unfortunately flaws in our antique voting system along with heavy Russian influence of America's news and social media allowed Vladimir Putin to get exactly what he wanted. America has been in chaos ever since.
By now everyone with a few functioning brain cells knows that America's President is a hateful vulgarian with no sense of human decency. He believes that anyone with a differing opinion is the "enemy" and constantly boosts his own ego by denigrating others. Regardless, many Americans are blindly loyal to this buffoon. In fact he could actually be elected again! As Trump himself said "...I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s like incredible". It really is incredible, but history shows over and over again that blind loyalty to a right wing extremist with narcissistic personality disorder never ends well. Trump's supporters have essentially turned into a cult. Being functionally blind to the difference between truth and lies they have ushered in what is now called "post truth America". This cult of followers would back Trump if he ate babies for breakfast, and they would somehow justify it. Like a white Taliban these people care only about their extremist ideals and themselves. This is definitely not the America I grew up in. The rise of this Trump cult from the ashes of the Republican Party, a gullible population, and Faux News spewing pro-Trump propaganda to the faithful has suppressed America's national conscience. Without that, America can never be “great again”.
As I write this the Trump cult, including the holy hypocrites (AKA religious right), line up in blind support of this confirmed liar, bigot, racist, bully, sexual predator, and mob boss wannabe. The 16,241 false or misleading statements (AKA lies) Trump has told, with an average of 22 more every day, does nothing to shake cult members' loyalty. Using hate and divisiveness as campaign strategies, Trump and his followers have torn America apart. Indeed, America may be changed forever. Marked by chaos, instability, hate and polarization, America's reputation, integrity, and prestige are in shambles around the globe. America's environment, national parks and public lands are in faster decline than at any point in recent history, but we have plenty of hate, racism, and anti-immigrant rhetoric to make up for it. No person or group in history has ever damaged America's social fabric, and America itself, to this extent.
Intercepted private communications between the UK's ambassador and his superiors described Trump as inept, insecure, and incompetent. This was an unvarnished professional assessment by a diplomat from the UK, which is one of America's closest allies. One can only imagine how the rest of the world views Trump and the America that elected him. Chuck Park, State Department foreign service officer for ten years, wrote that he "worked to spread what (he) believed were American values: freedom, fairness and tolerance." "But more and more I found myself in a defensive stance, struggling to explain to foreign peoples the blatant contradictions at home". The world no longer trusts the U.S., and rightly so. For instance, Trump has failed to honor a number of international trade agreements, including some that he made himself! He is like a little kid who does something bad and then claims he did not do it. In a 73 year old man it's called habitual lying. Regardless, Trump remains the king of America's proudly ignorant specifically because they like his despicable traits.
Under Trump the United States has gone from being a champion of human rights to a human rights abuser. America's President actually believes that taking children away from their families, putting them in cages, and denying them basic hygiene for months on end is a good way to discourage illegal immigration. It works, and the human cost does not matter. This is representative of what Trump’s America has become, and how America is now viewed around the world. There is certainly a crisis on the southern border, and it is worse than it has ever been because Trump cut humanitarian aid to the desperately poor places these migrants are coming from. Maybe he did this in order to create a crisis so he can get money to build his insane border wall. Hmmm. Wasn't Mexico going to pay for that?
Trump, his party, and supporters are waging an all out war on nature and America's environment. They do this for the sake of pure and unbridled greed, turning natural spaces and resources into money as fast as possible. They strike down law after law and rule after rule meant to protect the few untouched landscapes that remain. Trump and his cronies have drastically weakened protections for endangered species, clean air and clean water. They recently replaced fuel economy standards with weaker ones that allow more air pollution, and decided to destroy the Bristol Bay Alaska fishery by allowing mining in this pristine region. Until now, Bristol Bay has been a vital refuge for both oceanic and freshwater fish species. But that's not all. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Bear's Ears and Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monuments, countless square miles of other public lands and America's coastlines are all being destroyed for oil and mineral extraction as you read this. Trump has put the heads of polluting corporations in charge of the very agencies they used to fight, and gotten scientists out of agencies like EPA where they used to help create science based rules. These agencies are charged with protecting America's environment, and Americans, but that's not what they do now. Like Trump they only respect money. The fox now owns the hen house. In the meantime scientists elsewhere around the world are finding that climate change is happening faster than anyone predicted, and is likely to cause worldwide food shortages and massive human migrations in the next 80 years. Trump's ignorant America clings to the past, doubles down on dirty fossil fuels, destroys the environment looking for more, and eviscerates our national parks and monuments, while the rest of the world is trying to head away from the disaster America now embraces.
You may have noticed that it is not just the left side of the political spectrum that is unhappy with Trump. Former Secretary of Defense and republican senator Chuck Hagel has stated that Trump "is not equipped on any level to be President of the United States." Former Secretary of Defense and republican senator William Cohen said that Trump "has taken a wrecking ball to every pillar of stability and security we have erected over the past 60 to 70 years", and is unfit to be Commander in Chief. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, said Trump's decision to shrug off the premeditated murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi "took our nation to a very low level. In essence what the President was saying is if you lavish praise on me and spend a lot of money with our country, we will turn our head as it relates to you killing journalists and doing other things." For Trump it is always about praise and money feeding his enormous ego, even if it means protecting a brutal murderer. Retired General Stanley McChrystal characterizes Trump as immoral and dishonest. Retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters referred to Trump as a draft-dodging coward with a big mouth. I could go on, but unless you are a Trump groupie you already understand.
Trump’s America could no longer be bothered with the Kurds, who died so Americans would not, so Kurds died while America abandoned them. Trump faced impeachment for withholding American military aid to Ukraine, a country at war with Russia, in order to extort campaign help from their leaders. None of this matters to the Trump cult, who continue backing their Fuhrer no matter how outrageous his actions become.
America still has not learned that electing a white supremacist to the office of President emboldens other white supremacists. Some go out and kill people. 253 U.S. cities have experienced mass shootings in the first 8 months of 2019. There are sure to be more and no one, least of all the sad sack Trump cult, will do anything about it. Like the human turtle Mitch Mcconnell they are literally slaves to the NRA. Guns are more important to them than lives, and lives don't matter unless they are fetuses, or their own.
Now we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with no leadership and no comprehensive national plan. Peter Navarro, Trump's trade advisor, warned in a January memo, and again in February, that the coronavirus could become a "full-blown pandemic," risking trillions of dollars in economic losses and the health of millions. Trump ignored it, and continued doing so until mid-March when people were dying and there was no way to deny the facts. Then he insisted it would will all be over with by April! Trump wasted two months that could have been used to ramp up production of ventilators, respiratory masks, gloves, and other protective equipment that were known to be in critically short supply since 2019. A national lock down back then would have saved thousands of lives. In countries like New Zealand, where leadership was fast, decisive, and coherent, the infection rate is just 1% of that in the US. Trump's lack of leadership caused thousands of Americans to die needlessly. COVID-19 is still on the rise in 17 states, and experts expect an additional 100,000 deaths on top of the 100,000 so far, by the end of 2020.
In late May there is still no comprehensive national COVID-19 plan. Instead of bringing America together against this virus Trump polarizes America over face masks! All medical authorities, and people with some common sense, recognize that these masks help slow the spread of this disease. There are experiments that prove this beyond any doubt, yet Trump urges his dimwit followers to not wear face masks. They obey, and infect people around them. In the meantime states bid against one another, and against other countries, for medical equipment while Trump holds self-congratulatory press conferences. He did finally use the Defense Production Act to order Ford and other companies to produce ventilators, but only after they volunteered to do so a week earlier. Then Trump put his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge, not because he knows anything about medicine, but because he is a loyalist. Ultimately New York was helped more by shipments of medical equipment from the Chinese government than by the Trump administration. These are truly dire times and America is being further hindered by a sad sack buffoon in the White House. Countries like New Zealand managed to get transmission rates literally down to zero while America never even met its own CDC guidelines before starting to reopen. America has done very poorly with controlling this virus due to countless exceptions, loopholes, and lax enforcement of its patchwork of different state by state lockdown rules. The Trump cult members don't wear masks, confusing their "liberty" with the right to infect everyone around them with a deadly virus. People are now talking about a second wave while the first wave has never been brought under control. It should be noted here that the previous administration left a fully functioning pandemic task force and a 69 page pandemic playbook to the Trump administration. The task force was immediately disbanded by our moron in chief, the playbook was ignored, and America's response to the pandemic has been a chaotic disaster. At the time of this writing the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but more than 28% of the world’s coronavirus deaths. Great job Donald!
This should be about what is right and what is wrong, not political partisanship. Instead we have "conservatives" making lame excuses for the worst behavior ever perpetrated by a sitting American President. When a person like retired Admiral William McRaven, architect of the Osama bin Laden raid, says the US is under attack from President Donald Trump, who is working to "destroy" the country from "within" and "without", someone ought to listen. There's no telling what will come of this mess, but it's certain that America is failing miserably as a country and as a society. If we ever recover it will not be anytime soon.
As one writer put it in 2017, "If you don't think Trump is a jackass, stand up and bray."
Word of the Day: Fascism (/ˈfaʃɪz(ə)m/): a form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy. Extreme authoritarian, oppressive, or intolerant views or practices. Benito Mussolini, Hirohito, and Adolf Hitler led fascist movements in the 1930s. Donald Trump leads one today. These and every other infamous fascist dictator began as populists who enjoyed unflinching support from their base. Sound familiar?
Here is an interesting read that explains why Trump and his party have blocked studies of gun violence. The same strategy holdsfor global warming, and countless other things. Spoiler: They make laws that block research so there can be no evidence to back claims.
Trump is the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to not have a science advisor because real facts get in the way of his goals. Or perhaps just because he is stupid. Regarding climate change Trump stated "One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence, but we're not necessarily such believers. You look at our air and our water, and it's right now at a record clean." Huh? Is Trump such a super being that he can see clear and odorless gases like carbon dioxide that fuel climate change? Does Trump really think clean looking air and water are somehow related to climate change? (Hint: they are not.) Scientists are finding microscopic bits of plastic, from tap water and bottled drinking water, in the brains of people. Is that clean looking water actually clean? Does Trump not know the central Pacific is a soup of microplastic particles? Did Trump flunk English class? Trump has also said "I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me." Not only is that sentence worthy of a solid C minus in any second grade English class, it also gives us great insight into how Trump operates. He does not know anything and does not listen to anyone who might, so he works from his rather large gut. The only thing that is clear from any of this is that Trump is a true ignoramus with an extremely high opinion of himself, and a far bigger danger to America than illegal aliens.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2018 the Trump administration released a mandated US government report on climate change that delivers a dire warning about our future. That day was chosen for the report's release because everyone is distracted by Black Friday shopping and holiday festivities. With no scientific knowledge or evidence Trump says he does not believe the report prepared by 1000 people, including 300 leading scientists, roughly half of whom are from outside the government. This scientifically illiterate dinosaur actually thinks a record cold day, week, or month on the east coast means there is no climate problem. References to things like clean and renewable energy and climate change have been wiped from the government vocabulary and from their websites in a modern form of book burning. Even scientific data previously collected by government agencies has been erased. As the rest of the world progresses to shape the future and avert catastrophe America regresses into the past. Trump has "drained the swamp" and filled it with his own brand of slime from the world of crony capitalism in an orgy of unbridled greed. Even if one believes that Trump is a good businessman in spite of all his bankruptcies, there is no doubt that he is a failure as a decent human being, and as President.