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TRUMP AND THE END OF DEMOCRACY

December 12, 2016

TRUMP AND THE END OF DEMOCRACY

Shelia Kennedy, professor at IUPUI, lamented in her blog this morning that we have been fed “Big Lies” by the buffoon president-elect and that he has appointed people to be in charge of agencies they don’t believe should exist, asking for commentary. Following was my response which I have reduced to a blog, as slightly edited.

Trump now tells us in effect that the CIA and our other intelligence services are lying to us and that we should believe his take on Putin and his non- interference with our recent election as gospel because he (Trump) is “smart.” He has even nominated an Exxon-Mobil CEO (an old buddie of Putin as both are in the oil business) as Secretary of State. It occurred to me that we do not need this layer of plausible deniability with the appointment of an American as Secretary of State; why not just confer citizenship upon Putin by executive order, appoint him Secretary of State, and be done with it. That would fit into Trump’s world of reality. Art of the Deal trumps the interests of the country, you know, at least in some demented minds.

However, reality as an objective matter cannot be ended by political chatter or presidents prone to seditious conduct; it persists independently of all attempts to deny its existence or to gloss over its effects. What we are seeing with Trump is his attempted insertion of a new reality that has no relation to objective reality. He is trying to bring us to accept a new reality he has hatched in his narcissistic world in order to get our approval for his activities in our world.

I reject his mind games, of course, because if we take his mind benders to their dry logical end, we should not be surprised to see our democracy come to an end sooner than its present trajectory suggests as he invites Putin to the White House, plays his race/gender card and with such and other antics divert our attention from the total corporate takeover of America, my greatest fear, a fear greater than that of Iran, a Crimea-swallowing Putin or anything or anybody else.

Trump’s appointment to his cabinet of billionaire ideologues, a fascist, and others who are on record as opposed even to the existence of the agencies they have been appointed to run are uncomfortable harbingers of what he has in mind and tell me that he is part of the corporate scheme to incorporate America and its people into some kind of asset that can be securitized on Wall Street as unregulated and runaway capitalism takes over not just our economy and government but the people themselves.

In this connection, I am reminded of what my all-time favorite economist, John Maynard Keynes, had to say about capitalism. He said: “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.”

In spite of increasing evidence to the contrary, I am clinging to the dwindling hope that capitalism can still work if appropriately regulated to fit the public interest, but in view of Trump’s appointments and his discussion of tax cuts and less regulation of Wall Street, I conclude that such plans will exacerbate wage inequality, destroy market demand and amount to another albatross around the neck of an already underperforming economy and that the sum total of such plans as played out in policy will fail along with democracy as we descend into accelerated and self-inflicted Third World status.

If we want to save our people and ourselves from corporatization, then our task is clear; Trump, his policies (if they can be called policies rather than top-down edicts) and his appointments must be rejected if what is left of our democracy is to survive. This is not a political matter; it is one of American survival as we know it and I see no alternative to incorporation and/or ultimate failure as a First World state other than to resist Trump and others who would bring about such an unmitigated disaster to our American experiment in democracy and its blessings of self-government.

Parenthetically, when I was in the South Pacific during WW II I was not there to fight for Wall Street or oil companies or even Roosevelt or Truman. I was there defending democracy from fascism, never dreaming at the time that I would once again be called upon to fight fascism, but this time from within rather than without. I think the election of Trump is the equivalent of a political and socioeconomic Pearl Harbor and that we should respond not with violence but with the same vigor and perseverance in rejection of his policies and appointments that we demonstrated after December 7, 1941, in successfully rejecting Japanese and German expansion and fascism.    GERALD      E

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2 Comments
  1. Outstanding, as usual, essay on what we are being confronted with in Trumpism. You are such an important voice that carries the much needed wisdom and truth that comes from hard earned experience in life. I have shared this particular essay on my Facebook page and people are sharing it well. That’s called, as you know, traction! God knows we need a lot of it!

    I am still fuming over the facts that Clinton and, for the most part, the Democratic Party (including Obama’s 8 year tenure) have left behind the heart and soul of the party: the “common, working man.”

    They did a poor job (understatement?!) of speaking to the pain, hurt and anger of millions of people who have suffered the last 30 years from NAFTA, Reaganomics, the 2007 crash where millions lost jobs, homes (my own brother and his family one of them), savings and pensions, etc.

    Bernie Sanders was one of only two voices (Trump the other) this last year who clearly articulated (with, importantly, a strong record in his career to give integrity to his arguments, something Clinton sorely lacked) the reasons for the pain as a result of the ineffective (indeed, cronyism) of Congress who are in the back pockets of the Corporate/Wall Street crooks.

    Trump, we know, stole/barrowed much of Sanders’ talking points to his advantage. Unfortunately, as we sit today, Trump was able to sell his “political outsider” and “business success” myths to an angry electorate. The media broadcasted his bs largely unfiltered and, at the same time, coronated Clnton and castigated Sanders as the bad “Socialist.” Chris Mathews of MSNBC did this on a nightly basis. He, more than anybody, helped Trump sell his carnival show, again, with virtually no serious journalism and being an embarrassing cheerleader of Hillary. Disgusting.

    Oh well, like you stated, we all have a lot of work to do! History tells us that important changes ONLY happen when the peasants break out the pitch forks and hits the street! That time in America is coming quicker than anyone could have predicted. I am doing my best by articulating these challenges and our need to confront them as Jesus did in his time. I am also in solidarity with the working poor who are striking for livable wages. Haven’t been arrested yet, but have seen many colleagues and friends carried away like harden criminals in our non-violent protests. There is no other recourse. The streets is the only place where REAL reform can happen. Hopefully it will happen with little to no violence. Unfortunately, history also tells us that entrenched monied systems do not give up their power willingly to the peasants. God help us…

    ,

    • Well, Pastor, as the old saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. As for “the streets,” I spent many days holding signs during the Occupy Movement some years ago and will be in the streets again Thursday afternoon when we march 5th Avenue in Naples to remind electors that Trump is a disaster and not to vote for him. I can sit here and turn out essays by the ton but there comes a time to get out in the streets and risk ridicule, cuss words and the like, as you suggest. I remember during the Occupy Movement seeing what appeared to be a Catholic priest in his priestly attire holding a sign, so I trudged over to compliment him when I noticed a woman standing close to him and thought “I’ll bet that guy is a Lutheran.” I complimented him for his passion on behalf of the rest of us and asked him if he were a Lutheran. His reply: Grace Lutheran. I complimented him even more and told him we shared some views beyond politics and then it occurred to me: Grace is a Missour product! Oh well, at least we agree on the political side of things since I have no objection to women in the pulpit etc. Yes, we must fight to save our democracy just as we did in WW II, though without weapons of war. Hot here- 86 yesterday. Whew! GES

      Gerald E. Read my blog at: elderblogger.wordpress.com

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