It is only one week until inauguration day!
The bedrock of lies on which the Trump candidacy is based,
· along with the presumed impunity exonerating the person from any responsibility for lying
· plus the tweeting ejaculations that have seduced the media, and
· the appointment of billionaires/millionaires whose capacity for public service is clouded by their self-serving ambition, and
· the scurrilous, if so far unvalidated reports of dangerous and secret connections between the candidate’s campaign/transition with the Russian government….
all of this taken together, one would think, would disqualify the man and his entourage from entering the Oval Office.
The nerves of ordinary people in America and many other countries around the world are fraying with each new revelation of potential conflict of interest, and of potential danger for ordinary people. The recalcitrant revoking of Obamacare will result in deaths resulting from the inability to pay for medical services. There are several clauses within the Affordable Care Act that protect people with pre-existing conditions, people up to age 26 covered by their parents’ insurance, and providing access to enhanced Medicare and Medicaid benefits, as well as subsidies for premium coverage.
The presidential-elect’s refusal to disclose his tax returns, along with his refusal to divest himself from all of his business interests, his nepotism in the appointing of family members to his senior staff, and his voracious appetite for wealth and power, for its own sake and not for the public good, without even consideration of his bigotry, chauvinism, racism, xenophobia and fundamental disregard for both laws and norms of traditions in public service and leadership, again one would think would have disqualified his candidacy months ago, with the support of both his opponents and the Republican Party.
However, it is time for the world, including this scribe, to stop wringing hands, to stop fretting, and to stop with all the melodramatic expressions of angst.
It is time to take that energy that is rooted in fear and depression and turn it into public activism in opposition to everything and to everyone that has anything to do with supporting, aiding and abetting the new administration.
While Democrats and progressives can and will concur with infrastructure rebuilding, and with fair trade deals that protect both workers and the environment, their primary purpose must continue to be focused on the potential to remove the occupant from the Oval Office. He cannot be permitted four years (and certainly not eight) in which to undo all of the many steps accomplished by the Obama administration on behalf of the American people, and also on behalf of humanity and ethical social responsibility, as a beacon, for all countries around the world.
It is not only through legislation, but also through his restrained and measured approach to every file (except the risky and dangerous capture and killing of Osama bin Laden and the targeted attack on radical terrorist cells), and also through his eloquent, balanced, even poetic rhetoric that Obama gave the world eight years of a positive role model for leaders everywhere. Trump by contrast, offers precisely the opposite every day, every hour, every tweet, and every bullying utterance. It was never through ideology, nor through a sense of personal narcissism, nor through vengeance, nor even through frustration and pique that Obama pursued his responsibilities as President.
Now, it is impossible to turn the television on without exposing another demonstration of an unbridled (and consequently hollow) ego seeking the narcissistic obsession of attention and fawning that only a president or a wannabe president can command. Hollowing out the Obama legacy is not the only threat posed by the upcoming presidential term.
It is also the hollowing out of the honourable and trustworthy reputation of the United States itself that is threatened. Foreign leaders, and their envoys, from every country will have to acknowledge their relationship with the new administration, and how they have been “had” by the chicanery that can be the only attitude to be attributed to the plans the words and the policies of the new administration. Restricting our observations to the floor of the House and the Senate will not remind us of the “supporting impulse” that the new administration gives every day to racists, bigots, and the far right around the world. The reducing resources to feed, clothe, educate, employ and care for and thereby offer hope to the millions of poor, dispossessed, and increasingly disregarded living not only in third world countries but in the ghettos of major urban centres around the world, combined with the rise of “narcissistic” self-possession and insouciance for “out brothers and sisters” around the world and the triumph of the “will” of the ultra-right-wing political class is potentially as explosive as any military device currently in our stockpiles.
And the intelligence systems so far designed are and will be more focussed on the cyber attacks than on the “human intelligence breakdowns” that plague the United States of America. Take for example “incident” in which Russian Television interposed itself into coverage of confirmation hearings on C-Span yesterday inside the United States Congress, without warning or explanation. It is the far more potent and blatant disdain for a common reality, truth, body of facts for which people and political actors have to be held responsible that is linked to the levers of power that threatens many of us, given our extremely limited access to the finer points of penetration and interpretation of state secrets from enemy nations. And since both truth and shame are terminal casualties of the Trump onslaught, and there are apparently no laws requiring or expecting either truth or responsibility of an incoming president, a different path will have to be found to de-rail this runaway train wreck.
How can anyone look at an American television news program these days without thudding the heel of the hand against the forehead in complete shock and amazement at the tragedy of conflict between and among the “intelligence community” as the “James brothers” (Comey and Clapper) do their politically correct dance of keypads, microphones and cell phones, to and from each other. Who can be surprised if the capitals of foreign nations are not also shaking their individual and collective heads at the charade that purports to pass as the American government? Trump’s disdain for the competence of the intelligence community’s work, including its clear and firm decision that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee, for the express purpose of re-railing the Clinton campaign, has, among other things, set him against the very resources he will have to rely upon as chief executive, formally and informally distanced that community from the Oval office, and thrown a bucket of sand in the eyes of all those in foreign capitals who previously considered the American intelligence apparatus to be one of the best in the world.
The Trump wrecking ball has taken aim at the character and reputation of all rivals, opponents, critics and those, like this scribe, who have become so jaundiced by his antics that I can no longer watch or listen to the verbal junk that erupts from his mouth. The Trump wrecking ball has also targeted the American intelligence establishment, the constitution a document he must swear to uphold and support, on the dais next Friday… And those words, like all other words from the new “leader of the free world” are worth about as much as a can of warm saliva from a drooling golden retriever.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Shumer, and all the other Democratic leaders need a permanent medical doctor to accompany their next several months, given how little sleep, and how little healthy nourishment they will get, if they are to mount the kind of “war” of ideas in the towns, villages, counties and hamlets across the country that is needed in order to strip Trump of the Republican majorities in both Senate and House of Representatives. Refusing to accede to formal hearings for confirmation of any nomination for the Supreme Court is also a tactic that will help to shorten the life of this administration. Could we be witnessing, in the very near future, another Democratic ‘sit-in’ holding the Congress hostage to any further debate and votes, thereby impeding any move the new administration might make to strip protection for vulnerable people.
As for the rest of us, we are all now formal members of all minorities, blacks Latinos, LGBT, refugees, immigrants, and all who are not part of the top 1%. And unless and until we fully adopt that attitude we will remain immune to the impending thwarting of the rights, protections and access to health care, education, social services that comprise government’s responsibility. Only by joining forces with immigrants, refugees, the unemployed, the underemployed, the destitute and the uneducated will the voices of opposition gain the authenticity needed to counter-punch every day, every hour and every moment for the next four years.
And even with such a massive progressive movement, there is no guarantee that these 'trumpites' will not find other even more divisive and seductive measures through which to acquire electoral victory in 2020.
The blind hubris and hate that elected Trump has to be supplanted by a conscious, acerbic, conscientious and persistent level of opposition through every media, every water cooler conversation, every town hall meeting, and every nomination meeting. If complacency characterized an electorate of which less than 50% showed up to vote, commitment has to be the guiding principle of the opposition.
And, together, in 2018 and again in 2020, this regime will be first curtailed and then evicted from power. Even though much damage can ensue between now and then, it may be our best hope.