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Archive for the ‘2016 Election’ Category

Maybe this is so obvious it doesn’t bear mentioning. But it was only yesterday that I began thinking of Trump’s mendacity in a different way.

Appalled as so many others are by his constant lying, I’ve always assumed that it was a conscious choice — he could tell the truth if he wanted to, but winning all the time requires a different deliberative strategy. By now though he’s lied so much, the world he inhabits is total fiction. Trump can’t not lie. (How’s that for a double negative Mr. Grammarian-in-Chief!) To tell the truth would destroy the monument erected to himself by the most stable-smartest-greatest-genius-ever — the flimsiest of structures that would instantly collapse if it weren’t being constantly propped up by sycophantic praise and his own self-serving hyperbole. If he ever told the truth, he’d realize what a pathetic excuse for a human being he is, and we know that someone like him would never allow that to happen.

To wish, hope, or expect Trump to occupy the same room as truth — or to breathe a sigh of relief when he cracks open the door a bit — detracts us from this reality. It’s like the definition of insanity broadly attributed to Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Given the personality disorder now known as POTUS, nothing’s ever gonna change short of a national intervention that sends him off to either rehab or a prison.

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I haven’t posted about Trump since January, mostly because it’s impossible to keep up with his daily abominations without getting paid for it. But just when you think he can’t sink any lower, he does.

Witness his just concluded overseas trip which he began by antagonizing and insulting our closest allies and ended by cozying up to his good pal Vladimir. If accepting the word of a murderous dictator above the conclusions of American intelligence agencies isn’t a classic example of giving aid and comfort to one’s enemies, I don’t know what is.

This must not become normalized, or allowed to fade from consciousness as new headline-making tweets compete for attention. This is serious — the stuff of treason and dereliction of duty, just as the denial of climate change is a failure to protect citizens from the destruction and havoc caused by global warming, the start of a trade war threatens the stability of the world’s economy, and repeated attacks on truth and American institutions savage our democracy.

Enough is enough! What more evidence of this man’s supreme unfitness for the presidency do we need? The United States cannot allow itself to be held hostage to Trump’s pathologies. It is time for our politicians to cease their empty speechifying and start acting like the first responders we need them to be . . . and for the electorate to stop feeding the beast.

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In his June 23, 2017 column for New York magazine, Andrew Sullivan makes a compelling argument that Trump’s domestic and foreign policy agenda is driven by the need to undo whatever Obama did. Sullivan refrains from offering any reasons for the president’s spite, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it all dates back to the needling that #44 subjected yet-to-be #45 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2011 (the same night, incidentally, that the Osama bin Laden raid took place). Witnesses report that the Well-Coiffed One sat stiffly throughout Obama’s hilarious monologue, which Ivanka would probably call “vicious” today.

Knowing what we now know about the notoriously thin-skinned, perpetually victimized narcissist who sits in the White House tweeting and watching TV news, it doesn’t sound at all far-fetched. Wonderful, isn’t it, to realize that withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change, betting the future on fossil fuels, shredding the safety net, rolling back civil rights protections, ripping families of American citizens apart by deporting one or both immigrant parents, insulting our NATO allies, cozying up to murderous dictators, gifting the 1% with enormous tax cuts, undermining prison, police, and Wall Street reform, gutting environmental, food and workplace safety protections, sabotaging public schools, and withdrawing critical support from world health programs, is because someone couldn’t take a joke.

That would be a joke in itself if the consequences weren’t so grave and it wasn’t the least bit funny.

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During her CNN interview with Jake Tapper on Tuesday, Trump’s senior advisor Kellyanne Conway argued that much of the critical coverage of her boss showed a lack of “respect for and recognition of the dignity [of] the office of President.”

Sorry Kellyanne but it cuts both ways.

How does Donald Trump show respect for the presidency by undermining faith in our basic democratic institutions through constant lying? Or by attacking judges doing their constitutionally mandated job?

How does he honor his responsibility to the country by nominating manifestly unqualified, ethically challenged, ideologues to head government agencies? Or by not reaching out to the majority of citizens who voted for his opponent?

Why does he deserve to be called “Mr. President” when he refuses to divest himself of an ownership stake in his business empire?

And what kind of dignity does this Narcissist-in-Chief demonstrate by tweeting about tv shows, the size of his inauguration crowds, and his adult daughter’s business affairs?

It’s a wonder to me how journalists like Tapper manage to interview Trump’s apologists — Conway, Vice-president Pence, chief-of-staff Reince Priebus, White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan — without having their heads explode. For that kind of professionalism, they have my greatest respect. Me? I’d be tearing my hair out, burying my head in my hands, or sputtering incoherently at the shameless cravenness, evasiveness, dishonesty, and hypocrisy of people who, not being Trump, ought to know better.

I can only hope that a day will come when tv or radio broadcasts will provide a laugh track to accompany interviews with the Oval Office Kool-Aid drinkers. Because that is what they truly deserve — the only appropriate response of an enlightened and empowered citizenry that won’t accept crap as answer.

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I keep reading about the need for the left to reach out to the great swath of Trump supporters in order to understand the roots of their disaffection with the political establishment.

Is anyone suggesting the reverse: that Trump voters get why the “so-called president” has provoked such opposition both in this country and abroad?

Not gonna happen.

Why would it?

Aside from right-wing nationalists and white supremacists, most of Trump’s support comes from workers upset about losing jobs and being ignored by Washington. Funny how few of them showed any concern for those individuals — usually with darker skin — who were losing their lives. Stuck in the echo chamber of fake news and alternative facts, they live in a bubble of ignorance, paranoia, and prejudice. Like the narcissistic man in the White House, they’re unable to look past their own material self-interest.

Perhaps now that the Great Bait-and-Switch of 2017 has occurred —a cabinet full of Wall Street billionaires and an executive branch intent on shredding the safety net, workplace safeguards, and environmental and consumer protections, Trump’s blue collar fans will realize they’ve been played for suckers — “losers” to use one of the Child-in-Chief’s favorite words.

What better reason for them to find common ground with other marginalized groups, and discover that it needn’t be a zero-sum game.

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Reading about the president’s disastrous weekend call with Australia’s prime minister, one sentence in particular leapt out at me: “Trump was also skeptical because he did not see a specific advantage the US would gain by honoring the deal,” the Washington Post reported.

The abruptly terminated phone conversation between the two leaders centered on war-ravaged and persecuted refugees from countries like Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan who were seeking asylum in Australia. Intent on keeping them out of the country and discouraging further boat migration, Australia had arranged for them to be detained indefinitely in Papua New Guinea. There they’ve been subjected to mental and physical cruelty that includes beatings, sexual abuse, malnourishment, and inadequate medical care. Conditions are so desperate, in fact, that PTSD, depression, and mental illness have become widespread. Many commit suicide or die from readily treatable injuries or disease.

The United States agreed to accept half the number of refugees, based on a United Nations brokered agreement, providing they passed the current vetting standards. Trump, however, said he didn’t “want these people,” “it was a dumb deal.” He referred to them as prisoners even though the only crime they committed was to risk their lives in search of a future for themselves.

Does our Child-in-Chief ever consider doing something simply because it’s the humane thing to do? Does every foreign conflict have to be a deal in which America comes out on top? When the next overseas epidemic or typhoon strikes, will he want to negotiate first about humanitarian aid?

If his campaign and nascent presidency are any indication, compassion, truth, and basic decency will never take up White House residence as long as he is living there.

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Recycled from the George W. Bush years.

Here Lies

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