Culver City Observer -

The Egregious Mr. Trump

Smart And Spicy


Let's understand what's really going on. Presidential elections in the U.S., for years now, haven't been about candidates' personalities. As I said in a 2008 debate before London's prestigious Harkness Fellows, U.S. elections are about the role of the government in people's lives. It's not Republican glee we're seeing about cuts for needy children, medical research, health care; I suspect many Republicans actually feel awful about gutting arts and environment funding. People who can't have it all make tradeoffs. That's happening. Imagine your whole life you strongly believed, deep to your core, that our government needs correcting. Can you picture a person wishing passionately that her/his ideas would fix things? Let's say we'd all agree that person's decent, a good American; that belief, whether conditioned by family or developed by personal ideas, created a lifelong heavy-duty wish for less government regulation. That might explain Paul Ryan's saying he'd dreamed of cutting Medicaid since he'd been around. When he said that he was 27; now at 47, he tastes his 20-year-old dream again. Do you really believe Ryan wants children to die due to lack of food and health care? I don't think so. It's just a byproduct of what he really wants, which is changing the government's role. He wants less regulation, and seems willing to make the hard tradeoffs needed to get it, politics being the art of compromise, after all. Donald Trump's the instrument of Republicans' desires. The perfect stooge, he craves being loved, won't pay attention to details, and stirred up a grotesque stew of supporters. He's not intellectually curious, not grammatically correct. Worse, even if you manage to put one over on him, he'll believe he's in charge. So he's perfect, and perfectly useful. Which might explain why Republicans hold noses as swap for getting their goals. Headlines shock. Does it bother you, what's being said? It rankled, seeing calling the President a liar. When the media psychoanalysis started, it was distressing. Reading about Trump's child-level attention span bruised. Is this our President? When did we ever have a President who we actually hear saying, "Grab ’em by the pussy"?

When did we have a President refusing top-classified briefings? When did our President allow foreign press, excluding Americans? Or allow Russian photographers in the Oval office, but not ours? When did world leaders pass crib notes on the President? ("He has limited attention span; keep it 30 seconds; use bullet points). I hated having an ignorant President when Bush 2 was in, requiring constant defending to non-Americans. How to explain Trump's telling Israelis he'd "just come from the Middle East”? Doesn't he know Israel's in the Middle East? A critical mass is forming; a cornucopia of misstatements, real statements, put-downs of cherished values, misogynistic attacks, and xenophobic bullying. Forces are gathering. To those still supporting Trump: when the instrument you voted for is narcissist, psychotic, mendacious, childlike, uneducated, incurious, unwilling to read a book or learn, can you accept it? What if it's your daughter who can't get pre-existing conditions covered? Should compassion compromise your dreams? Viewing Trump's cabinet from Paul Ryan's goals, they're not so bizarre. If you want to tear apart the vast overnet of government protections, who better than people who want what you want? You don't want money for public schools? Appoint someone who's spent years diminishing them. Don't want money spent on tree-hugger boondoggles? Put a climate denier in charge. Could be there's method to the madness. And that family? The wife slapping his hand away when Trump tries holding hers, seen by 10 million on YouTube? Who won't live with him in the White House? (school excuse ends soon, stay tuned). The son-in-law, with real estate experience, portfoliod with top government projects? How about $100 million from Arabs for the daughter's suddenly-created women's rights foundation, on the same day Trump gave them $110 billion in weapons? The money conflicts by far outstench the aroma of Hillary Clinton's potential wrongdoing. It's all bad. And what's up with this Russian fixation? From loudly admiring Putin to the ties we know of - and don't? Ignoring Internet theories, does anyone know - and dare say - what's going on? What connections would those tax returns show? Why reveal classified info to Russia? If it's all to impress, how about shortening the laughably long tie? It's not a perfect storm, but getting close. To redneck white men supporters who had visions of wild days where people knew their place: How's that working for you?

The White House says diabetics don't need health care. Trump might cancel press briefings because "it's not always possible to tell the truth." When he fired Comey, did he have to call him "a nut job"? Charles Blow, in the NY Times, presages "blood in the water." It's weakness by a person, leading to more pressure to perform by that person. It's Trump now. When did Republicans become only the party of right-wing extremists? Trump says his new budget pays for itself. "It's a mistake no serious business person would make," says former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summer, calling it the biggest error in his 40 years tracking presidential budgets. Do you really want to cut cancer research? The budget also cuts food stamps and childrens health insurance. Hard to deny Stephen Colbert's comment: "I know this is an unpopular position these days, but I believe children should go to the doctor and eat." A satire imagines countries cancelling meetings with Trump; leaders say they'd rather wait a month to meet with the next president (New Yorker). "President for now Trump" is what Saturday Night Live called him. The damage done to the presidency may be figurative, less substantive then damage already done to freshwater sources. Yet it's damage – how can you explain to children that the president lies? How can you say it's ok for him, but not them? I've tried not to write about this presidency; it's pernicious. * * * "Evil cannot succeed as long as good people are willing to love each other and let's all try our best to do that." Stephen Colbert ______________________________________________ ©Carole Bell 2017 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything. You can write to her at:


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