July 2019 Archives

Dear America,

I don't understand why the media don't confront what are the obvious paradoxes in the things Trump says and does.  The most recent, and perhaps the most flagrant embodiment of his deviousness is the citizenship census question.  The Trump administration, meaning Trump, wants to put a question on the once-a-decade, constitutionally mandated census survey of the population querying whether the person completing the questionnaire is a citizen of the United States, and the purported justification for the question was enforcement of the voting rights of minority citizens.  But the Supreme Court saw right through that contrivance and repudiated the citizenship question, sending the justice department back to the office to come up with something that wasn't just a sham intended to enable Republican gerrymandering and keeping minority citizens from voting rather than enhancing their rights.  They had until just a few days ago to come up with something, and they didn't, so that was that.  The forms went to the printers to be printed without the question and the issue was resolved...we all thought.

But since the deadline, Trump has ordered the justice department to come up with a different excuse for its intended malfeasance, and now Attorney General Barr--Barr is the Trump sycophant who claimed that the Mueller report exonerated Trump when in fact all it said was, we are not empowered to indict the president, so we won't, but that doesn't mean he is innocent--claims to have found another way to get the question on the census form, though he has kept it to himself so far.  In the interim between the deadline and the Barr innovation, the attorneys who's names were on the briefs in favor of the question until now, were all taken off the case.  In fact, there have been statements from insiders at the department of justice to members of the press that the portion of the department's staff that defends government policy positions has balked at taking the matter further, and in fact, some members of that division of the justice department have resigned rather than compromise their principles and ethics by contriving and reversing positions already taken.

So what we have here in this example of Trump whimsicality is his belief that he can help the Republican Party make congress more conservative by driving certain people away from answering census questions, and thus being counted as constituents who's votes count.  And if that devious attempt weren't enough, he has blatantly abandoned his sham rationale and ostentatiously vowed to find another, essentially proving that his motives are political advantage, not voter protection, and that is indubitably so.  For if Trump had had any truly virtuous motivation, he would have used it as an argument to begin with, or at least he would know what it is now, and neither is the case.  And the most distressing aspect of all this is that his amorality, now manifested politically, doesn't seem to daunt his supporters.

Recently, I saw the former head of the Heritage Foundation, a "conservative think tank," being interviewed about his new book.  In it he exhorts us all to eschew mutual vilification and vituperation in favor of civil discourse and acceptance of one another's views as legitimately held, and I think that he is right.  Our civil discourse has become a battle of moral rather than political principles, and that shouldn't be the case.  The fact that we disagree politically should be nothing more significant than differences of attitude or philosophy; we should be able to argue the politics but still sit at the same table for a meal.  But the reality is that we no longer can, and this most recent episode in the continuing erosion of American democracy by our president explains it.

Trump's amorality and lack of belief in anything of significance other than enriching himself and forcing himself on women, and his political and personal adversaries, is what is called in popular parlance an existential threat...and existential threat to the notion that we elect our leaders and that they serve at the pleasure of The People.  But if Trump, having already gone around congress to purloin money for his personal wall, goes around the Supreme Court, even after abetting in stacking it toward the conservative inclination that it shows today, how far are we from having Vladimir Putin for president.  I, for one, don't want that.  Do you, America? 

Your friend,

Mike

Dear America,

I wonder what kind of hyperbole Donald Trump is going to apply to the Iranian breach of the first of the terms of the agreement that he had the United States pull out of.  The rest of the world is already devising ways of avoiding American sanctions imposed on Iran by The Trumpster, and pretty soon, we will no longer have an agreement with Iran not to produce nuclear weapons, and our sanctions won't be working either.  Trump has gone this alone, and now we...and the world for that matter...are going to wind up with nothing rather than at least a forestalling of nuclear arms in Iran.  Do you sense a pattern here?

Russia has tainted our internet data base with false information of a political nature and thus distorted our election process.  And since elections are the quintessence of democracy, they have polluted our political system in its entirety.  But when our fearless leader meets the man responsible for that degradation of our nation's political process--of course I'm talking about Vlad the Putin--Trump jokes about it all effectively putting his imprimatur on the Russian sabotage of our 2016 election and the obvious complicity of Russia in polluting our impending 2020 election as well.  The absurdity of Trump's repudiation of his own intelligence network in favor of Putin's "strong and powerful" denial of culpability doesn't seem to effect the loyalty of his blind supporters, but no matter whom the Democrats run against him, I would assume that independent and moderate voters would prefer that candidate over someone who would so blithely betray our fundamental national principles.  And he did it with a glib smirk, a mock finger wagging, and a sarcastically condescending tone as if to say, go ahead and interfere.  It works for me, as it did in 2016.

And of course you can add Trump's infantile crush on Kim-jung-un.  He took a public stroll with Kim over the southern border of what is surely one of the most cynical, corrupt and oppressive realms on the planet and then patted himself on the back as if that was an achievement.  No one else has done it, so Trump thinks it's progress, but this kind of cultivation of Trump's delusions of grandeur is exactly how Putin is using him so easily.  Trump touts himself as a brilliant negotiator, but all he has shown the world is his infatuation with tyrants' power and arrogance.  Trump has as yet accomplished nothing with North Korea, and this stroll in the park with Kim is just another gesture simulating capitulation when all along, Kim is using Trump's egotism to wheedle tons of rice out of us a give nothing for it while he sells it to his people and pockets the change.  He's done it before and he is going to do it again while Trump basks in the sunshine that he thinks shines out of his...well, you know.

What I don't understand about all this is how those who support him can defend that support.  It was reported today that we are now in the longest period on record without a recession.  The last one ended during the Obama administration and it ran from June 2009 to the present: seven and a half Obama years to just two and a half Trump years tacked onto the trend started a decade ago.  But just wait for Trump's twitter reaction.  The Trump self-promotion machine will churn out false claims of his greatness for at least a day, even though his administration is projected to preside over the end of that continuous period of prosperity any time now.  It would be laughable if it weren't so ominous an omen.  

My fear is that the Trump administration will turn into a juggernaut and we will be stuck with him not just for another year and a half, but for another five and a half years.  Just imagine the damage he might do to our standing in the world, not to mention the quality of our lives here.  The rich continue to get richer and the rest of us continue to stand still if not lose ground in every respect.  I fear for myself, but more importantly, I fear for us.

Your friend,

Mike

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2019 is the previous archive.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2019 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.