There, I said it. Actually, someone else said it, much more clearly and comprehensively than I: Fuck You, Donald Trump.
Every morning when I read a headline about another of Trump’s proposed appointments, folly is one word that comes to mind — that, plus “disaster”.
I could see a rational President-elect making a couple of seriously controversial appointments, plus some others that push the party platform and naturally draw disagreement from the opposite party. That is democracy. But this man is making appointments that are almost all seriously controversial and will generate much serious conflict, here and abroad, which is very foolish for the leadership of a nuclear superpower.
He does not have a mandate to upend eight years of public policy, let alone eighty. Contrary to the outright lies spread by him and his supporters in the most shameless way, he did not win the popular vote. He did not win by a “landslide.” A wiser man would feel his way toward the center of this country’s political beliefs, which is why a wiser President-elect would not make almost every single major appointment a lightning rod by picking someone who represents an extreme position. Ronald Reagan was very conservative, and he didn’t do that. He made some controversial appointments, not all controversial appointments.
The radicalism of Trump’s proposed appointments is unprecedented. It is making our allies and our antagonists around the globe very antsy, and antsy is not a good thing when we’re talking about countries with nuclear weapons. Some see advantage to themselves and will try to exploit it through aggression. Some see danger and will try to deflect it through aggressive, pre-emptive action. This is the kind of uncertainty and instability that can lead to war. War that is not confined to, say, the Middle East. War that is global. World war.
And in a nuclear age, global war is folly.
Before the election, I wrote about my sense that Donald Trump was portraying our country as the dark, dysfunctional Gotham City of Batman Returns, claiming “Only I Can Protect You…”. And I was optimistic that American voters would recognize that no, we don’t live in a failed Gotham City and we don’t need to elect Oswald Cobblepot, that sleazy, lying groper.
And then we — or some of us — did.
Not most of us, contrary to the claims of a “landslide.” In fact, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by the largest margin in U.S. history for a candidate who did not win the election: 2.5 million votes. But here we are, stuck with Donald Cobblepot as our President-elect.
And President-elect Cobblepot is now on a “victory tour” of rallies like the ones he used to whip up angry crowds before the election, calling for deeds like deporting millions of people, building a wall between us and Mexico, and “locking up” the former First Lady and Secretary of State who was his political opponent. Scary stuff, and it scared me.
But hey, now some of his handlers are making the rounds, claiming that there are no such things as actual facts any more — all that matters is how many people believe whatever lies the President-elect and his advisers spread in their “post-truth world”. Including the leader of the white supremacist platform Breitbart “News”, the President-elect’s senior adviser Steve Bannon. Sure sounds like propaganda to me, in the mold of the Big Lie — and apparently the libertarian magazine Reason agrees. Trump’s former campaign manager says the press takes “too literally” what the President-elect says and has said. Shucks, he doesn’t really mean any of those things! And yet he continues to repeat them, now, after the election, at the rallies that he so enjoys, with an ugly, triumphal tone that is as far as one can get from being a gracious victor.
And isn’t it weird that he is holding these “victory tour” rallies? Is that customary for U.S. President-elects? Well, no, it’s not. In fact, it’s not customary or normal for most elected leaders of Western democracies. The last Western leader who held post-election rallies like this, full of fire-breathing threats against vanquished enemies, was Adolf Hitler. No, that’s not hyperbole. Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek did the research.
I am really horrified by the spectacle of a President-elect whipping up the faithful into an angry frenzy when he should be learning the job he has so little training to do. His lack of training, or knowledge, or understanding, or even intelligence, has been amply demonstrated by his amateur meddling in foreign affairs and his disorganized communications with foreign governments. So far, he has: seized opportunities to discuss his business priorities with them and ask for favors; included his adult children, who will run the family’s global empire, with foreign leaders like the Prime Minister of Japan; offended the governments of China and the U.K.; undermined the credibility of NATO; and, apparently, endorsed the murders of thousands of Filipinos under the out-of-control president of the Philippines, Duterte. Yes, the one who called President Obama “son of a whore” for having raised concerns about those illegal killings of civilians without any legal process. They had a nice chat on the phone. The chat included the topic of Trump’s major real estate investments and development plans in the Philippines. But, we are told, there are no conflicts of interest between the incoming administration and public policy. Richard Painter, former head of the White House ethics office of President George W. Bush, begs to differ, calling those conflicts of interest real, unethical, and dangerous.
So what next? I hope that the few rational beings who have been named to the incoming Cabinet will be able to keep Trump from conflagrating worldwide conflict. Retired General Mattis seems both sensible and clear on the deference our military owes to the Constitution and civilian control. And I am looking to President Obama for help, though he certainly doesn’t owe this country anything after eight long years of service and having saved the world from another Great Depression. I believe he will do what he can, while he can, to put as many safeguards in place as are available for public lands and waters, voting rights, etc. And I am praying that he will deploy his considerable skills as a constitutional lawyer, community organizer, Senator, President and communicator to help rally organized, lawful opposition to the Cobblepot who will soon move into OUR White House. Let’s not forget that it belongs to us — and he works for US, not the other way ’round.
This is an article by a mother of four kids, two of whom are adopted black children. She blogs about parenting. If we don’t step up and start demanding adherence to decent social norms from people like the President-elect and his “White House senior adviser”, Steve Bannon, we are on a steep, slippery slope toward chaos. They have got to disavow these extremists.
If you care about me and my family, I hope you will read this. As many of you know, this year my family was targeted and harassed by a white-supremacy group known as the “alt-right” for having adopted black children. Their attack was brutal and relentless. They inundated all of my social media sites with racist…
The moment of truth is here. Wish us luck. And if you’re a U.S. citizen, VOTE!
Bless this boy, born with the strong face of my older brother, the one I loved most, who jumped with me from the roof of the playhouse, my hand in his hand. On Friday nights we watched Twilight Zone and he let me hold the bowl of popcorn, a blanket draped over our shoulders, saying,…
I loved this short poem. It reminds me of a favorite epigram, by J.V. Cunningham:
Arms and the man I sing, and sing for joy,
Who was last year all elbows and a boy.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by…
via Sonnet 73: That Time of Year Thou Mayst in Me Behold by William Shakespeare | Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor — The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison KeillorThe Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor
Be afraid. Be very afraid. At an October 10 rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump held up a document. Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald describes what happened next: “He told the assembled crowd that it was an email from Blumenthal, whom he called ‘sleazy Sidney.’ ‘This just came out a little while ago,’’ Trump said. ‘I have to tell […]
This is a very important analysis by a very capable lawyer. Read it and weep — then go vote. #ImWithHer.
What can possibly be said about the past week and the GOP nominee? I think The New Yorker magazine has summed it all up quite nicely: Cover Story: Donald Trump is Barry Blitt’s “Miss Congeniality”.
And any satire they left out was ably exploited by the Saturday Night Live cast: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton Debate Cold Open. Seriously, if you haven’t watched it yet — treat yourself. But honestly, these shenanigans are no weirder than Trump’s real-life rants.