July 2018 Archives

Dear America,

Enough has been said about Donald Trump's new role as Putin's toady that you don't need to hear it again from me.  Trump has demonstrated that he is a poltroon on numerous occasions, and he has only confirmed it with his pathetic attempt to excuse himself for taking Putin's side in opposition to both our intelligence establishment and the evidence by claiming that he didn't mean what he said, he meant the opposite.  And he isn't the first pusillanimous leader the world has ever had, though he may be the first cowardly American president, at least as far back as I can remember, but he himself isn't really the problem.  It's us, America.  We're the problem.

The day after what was the most pathetic performance by an American president that I have ever seen, many Americans are either apologizing for Trump or excusing him one way or another...and some are even lauding him as a strong leader.  What?  Our fellow Americans are taking the part of a president who, in his life before politics, was a dead-beat when it came to people with whom he contracted, an appalling self-seeker of publicity with which to stroke his own ego, a defrauder of investors, as in the case of the casinos he managed.  In that last instance, he ran the businesses into the ground with his management companies, floated junk bonds to pay their fees, and then declared the casinos bankrupt after he got his money for management.  Mind you, I am a native New Yorker of Trump's age, so I witnessed all of that on the news and in the papers, but most Americans didn't so they can't be blamed for their lack of knowledge when it comes to who this guy was.  But they are now seeing who he is today, and they are still defending him.  It was quite obvious at the Helsinki news conference that Trump was intimidated by Putin, and it's even more obvious now that he is a couple of days away from Putin and is trying to say that he knows what Putin is up to, having foregone his opportunity to confront him about it.  Trump can't stand up when it is important, which is his problem.  But many of we Americans are going to vote for him again, and that's our problem.

Unfortunately, our only hope, at least until next January when the next congress goes into session, is the Republican Party.  And if the Republicans retain control of congress in November, it will be two years before the rest of us have a chance to take our country back from Putin's stooge.  Some Republicans gave faint condemnation to Trump's performance, but overall, the Republican reaction to Trump's shame was pretty mild.  Lindsey Graham described the threat that Trump's statements represented, and Jeff Flake, craven himself for his refusal to stand for reelection because he might lose, characterized Trump's performance as "shameful", "confused" and "a mistake".  But by and large, the Republicans skulked away from their leader with a shrug as if to say, it wasn't me, so don't blame me...you elected him.  Of course, Trump can't be impeached for being a cowardly idiot.  But the last few days raises a question about his competence to hold office, and there is a constitutional amendment that deals with that.  Section III of the XXVth amendment says that if a president is unable to fulfill his duties, he can notify the president pro tem of The Senate and the speaker of The House and the vice president can take over.  Unfortunately, he has to give that notification in writing, and he has to do it himself.  Trump never even admits that he is wrong, so there is no chance that he will admit that he's incompetent much less corrupt.  Still, there is the letter.

You may recall that Donald, Jr. had a meeting with a Russian attorney who it turns out was also in Russian intelligence, at least at one time, and he denied it in a letter.  At the time, there was a rumor that Donald, Sr. had dictated the false denial letter, which was an attempt to deceive the FBI at the time in its investigation of collusion of the Trump campaign with the Russians.  Making a false statement to the FBI to misdirect one of its investigations is a crime...not a misdemeanor but a high crime: a felony.  If the Republicans wanted to, they could impeach Trump, and whether he was convicted or not, they could thus at least slow him down.

So, we are relying on the Republicans to do the only thing that can be done.  I wish us luck.  We're going to need it.

Your friend,

Mike

Dear America,

I suppose that we progressives...or liberals...or humanists if you prefer, should be getting used to bad news.  I know that I have become inured to it to a large extent in that when I get up and turn on the news, I hear it but I don't really listen.  Some of that may be age; I'm almost 72 and my memory isn't very good anymore either.  So my inability to focus on something like news on the radio shouldn't be a surprise I suppose.  But my acuity in most other respects feels undiminished and that gives me pause to think about my new passivity.  I think it is just weariness, not with life in general, but with life under the new regime.  That regime is not just Donald Trump.  It is also his appointees, like Scott Pruitt and Betsy Devoss, both of whom have been in the process of undoing the work of past administrations directed at making America not just great, but fair.  And then there is the populist populous that now seems to be approaching majority status.

The last polls I read showed that Donald Trump's popularity is at about 47%.  Assuming that the independent vote splits in the same proportions as the electorate in general, that gives the next Democratic presidential nominee just 6% to work with.  And with Trump and his party being in power, again making an assumption that the Republican hegemony in congress continues, the power to co-opt that bare majority constituency with tax refunds, chauvinistic blather and pap about how powerful we are in every respect as a nation, it's all a little too close to comfort.  With each new debacle that Trump inflicts on us and the world, I cringe and then shrug to the thought that it is one more step to removing him as a threat to civilization, not just in the United States but world wide.  This current atrocity--the seizing of people's children as the parents are deported--would have been worthy of Nazi Germany in the era of the Hitler Jungen.  I don't mean that hyperbolically.  The use of children for coercion of their parents is the kind of heinous policy that made the Nazi's the majority in Germany by turning the children into Nazi minions.  Now, taking these children, the youngest ones in particular, is tantamount to inducement to deplore their parents as they age without them by virtue of a sense of abandonment.  Young children often don't understand powerlessness, and they may well in the long run attribute their isolation from family as the doings of their parents.  But Nazi parallels or no, this separation policy, purportedly now abandoned itself, continues to afflict a couple of thousand families...their children in particular.

Then compound that tragedy with Trump's alienation of the entire free world in various ways too numerous to mention, the G7 nations and NATO to mention just two international institutions that he has repulsed.  For good measure, consider the persistent and intentional effort by Trump and the Republicans to undermine the Affordable Care Act--Obamacare according to them--and you see just a shred of the domestic implications of the Trump plague.    Now you can add the degradation of EPA and international rules directed toward redeeming our environment, the dismantling of affirmative action, a tax "reform" law that has the effect of throwing a small bone to Trump voters while enriching Trump and his ilk in the top .1% and the steps being taken to make higher education primarily a for-profit business again of which only the affluent can afford to partake.  And to top it off, Trump now gets to impose another conservative justice of the Supreme Court on us to advance the impunity with which our ruling class can exercise its de facto control of the lives of the rest of us.  The list of insults to democracy goes on and on, but you get the point.  It's like being bombed every day to the extent that you have to live in a bomb shelter.  That's the feeling I have.  I am buttressed against the outside world, which is going to Hell from my perspective.  I'm living outside of it within my four walls with my wife and children, and now my grandson.  It's just us in here, and much to my dismay, I am beginning to realize that I'm alright with that.  I have no choice but to be.  The future is up to you, America.  Don't hole-up like I have.  Do something.

Your friend,

Mike

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2018 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2018 is the previous archive.

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