Reality Check #1 — Trump has no interest in uniting the people

Yes, I know: it was very likely the worst Inaugural Speech in American history. Sure, having a bunch of warplanes fly over was doubtless a case of Putin envy. And I agree: failing to acknowledge Clinton, or the fact she got nearly three million more votes than he did was an act of arrogance that angered the heavens so much they decided to rain on his militaristic parade.

It was a speech that repeated the same childish pap that convinced enough “forgotten Americans” in the key swing states to vote for him.  A speech to unify our people it was not; a speech that reaffirmed the basic shallowness and thoughtlessness and jingoistic nationalism of Trump and his minions it was. A harbinger of hateful, arrogant, divisive, dumb things to come.

Those who yammer on and on about the need for Trump to stop being Trump and unite the country are missing the two most fundamental truths of all: Trump doesn’t care what anyone outside his Brain Mistrust thinks, and Trump is not trying to unify the country.

His closest advisers are shrewd manipulators, people who understand the voting blocs and numbers. Kellyanne Con, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner understand Trump’s shaky position. They can see that the more people know about Trump, the more most of those people will dislike him.

During the election, Trump could afford alienating people, because Clinton alienated them more. She’s no longer available as a convenient punching dummy, so his Brain Mistrust knows he needs to change his messaging to reassure his core supporters and keep them in the fold. His falling favorability numbers show that he’s dangerously close to the dreaded 30% favorability level, where sixty to seventy percent of the people dislike him and his Tweets, his lies, and his stunning ignorance of the world. At that historically low level, many Republicans in the House and Senate will balk at simply being voting bots for Ryan and McConnell.

So, you would think, with his “popularity”, such as it was, sinking fast, his three principal “strategic advisers” would be telling him to get serious about bringing the country together. Let’s give them the credit for being smart: for all we know they may well be trying to persuade Agent Orange to give the people something to be proud of now, not just wispy promises of a “great” future, so they will stop looking backward to a real President.

Personally, I’m betting the three Trump whisperers are doing their best to get His Hairship under control. And I’m betting he’s stamping his foot and hissing that all he needs to give them is a steady diet of more circuses, assurances that the promised cheap bread is on its way, and lots of progressive programs to crucify.

He is right, you know. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Franco, and the Jacobins all reached their goal of national dictatorship with well under 20% support of their people.

Am I saying Trump wants to be Dictator? No one knows, since he is as much a genius at saying nothing as doing nothing. But it doesn’t matter, since “Commander-in-Chief” is an even more intimidating title than “Dictator”. To go with the title and his megalomania, he has the Army, The Justice Department, and lots of toady Republican governors to call out their National Guard as the anti-Trump protests spread. Soon, he’ll have a right-wing Supreme Court to make his planned assault on free speech and the Constitution “legal”.

The important point is that Trump has learned enough political history from his strongman heroes to understand that “divide and conquer” really works. And he has the survival instincts of a paranoid bully and opportunist. He’s not interested in uniting all the diverse elements of the country because he knows that, if he did, they’d be united against him.

 

Crowd size matters…

…to a man terrified others might think his manhood is small. Such a man will praise dictators, borrowing their perceived strength and persona as a means of shoring up his self doubts. Such a man will demand impressive shows of military might to conceal his own weakness. Such a man will attack anyone who questions his “fitness” or superiority or intelligence, fearing that others might agree with them.

Such a man will demand “respect” based on his power, his threats, and the loudness of his voice. He does not respect others, so he cannot understand that respect must be earned over time, based on a leader’s deeds and empathy with his people, not his words. Trump’s challenge to earn legitimacy is much larger than your normal bully: he has told so many lies and derided so many groups and individuals that it will be a long time before he is respected as a national leader.

Yes, I know, his “legitimacy” is based on (barely) winning the vote of the Electoral College. The Constitution can make a person President under law, but it cannot make her or him a person we trust to hold the office.

Every lie, every adolescent tantrum, every attack on our free press, every whiny denial of the reality of his unpopularity henceforth will simply make it that much harder for him to be seen as worthy of the title of President.

Every threat to destroy our civil rights, every sham program of Ryan and McConnell he signs into law, every broken promise to his base supporters, every financial transaction in violation of the same Constitution that made him Commander-in-Chief will serve to remind the great majority of us how he conned his way into the White House.

The Constitution granted him the Oval Office, but only his demonstrated worthiness to occupy it will enable him to lead the country.

And to those who insist he must be allowed to govern without restraint, a reminder: the same Constitution that made him our legal President makes it possible to legally resist his government, his scams, his lies, his hatefulness, his bullying, his vindictiveness.

As so brilliantly shown by millions of women and their supporters across the nation yesterday, the place of true patriots is not marching behind this fool of a man in blind, trusting lockstep, but in helping to prevent him from destroying our country.

A Lament for Democracy — January 20, 2017

Enjoy — or not — our “Lament for Democracy”, an anthem for America. You can sing the lyrics to the tune of “God Save the Queen”, or “America”, take your pick.

1

My country has been Trumped, soon it will be a dump.

Of lies we sing.

The land we said is free, free speech for you and me,

it’s now a show on Trump TV.

Let lying ring.

2

It all seemed such a joke, the mirrors and the smoke,

no way he’d win.

But angry ignorance swamped liberal arrogance,

and stripped us of our innocence.

Truth’s out; Trump’s in.

3

We let Trump con the fools, turn millions into tools

with insults brash.

We thought they’d see the lies, see all the fake blue skies,

but to our shocked surprise,

they believed his trash.

4

Our country led the rest, our courage passed each test;

hope did not fail.

Now Congress kisses Trump’s feet,

crawling in his great retreat, as decades of progress he defeats

and as threats prevail

5

Our country once was free, a beacon of liberty,

now all undone.

The Trump has split our land, his Tweets our hatreds fan,

small fists replace once-open hands.

Freedom’s lost; Trump’s won

Copyright 2017 Truthteller.com

The Emperor has lots of clothes…

…but he shows little evidence of having a functioning intelligence.

On Friday, this country will affirm one of its great traditions, as we again show the world that, although we don’t know how to reliably select a truly qualified leader, we sure as hell know how to hand him the keys to the White House, the nuclear codes, and the power to destroy all the progress hundreds of thousands of citizens have worked so hard to achieve.

The continuing wars of words over Trump’s legitimacy, the unending spats within his Party over his agenda and priorities, the endlessly repetitive demonstrations of his utter lack of understanding of the issues and facts with which he’ll shortly be required to deal, the ceaseless stream of mindless or simply insulting tweets from his Twitter account, the almost daily revelations of financial conflicts of interest — all of this has, for most Americans, effectively blinded them to the great truths which we shall have to live with for four years. Or possibly eight years, Jefferson and Hamilton help us. Unthinkable? Think again, and this time, consider the now proven stupidity and gullibility of millions of voters.

What great truths, you ask?

Trump

  • Is the most ignorant, illiterate, illogical, unthinking President in our history, or will be if he manages to get himself sworn in on January 20th
  • Shows all the emotional stability of an under-educated twelve year old schoolyard bully — in nearly two years as a public person, he has not demonstrated any maturity, wisdom, humor, civility, or concern with the well-being of the people he presumes to lead
  • Is driven by an out-sized fear of failure, a fear so overwhelming that he spends much of his time and energy denying any reality that, in his dis-ordered view, so much as hints that he may not be as great as he pretends to be
  • Exhibits signs of an irascibility and vindictiveness that would lead knowledgeable persons to assume he suffers from a toxic mix of megalomania, narcissism, hatred and resentment of females he does not absolutely control, and, based upon his own words, penis envy
  • Almost daily reminds us and his millions of Twitter followers that he has a deeply unsettling case of severe paranoia, making him incapable of listening to criticism, considering ideas and approaches that differ from his own, or thinking before reacting stupidly to what he interprets as a slight of any type or magnitude
  • Shows in almost all his communications a complete absence of empathy for others.

Thanks to our antiquated and unjust electoral system, and our collective failure to update the obsolete Constitution that underlies it, we’ve elected a President who gives profound evidence of suffering from multiple personality disorders.

Like others who share his mind-destroying condition, his suffering is self-inflicted, as he views the world around him from the safe isolation of his golden penthouse. He sees a world full of enemies, “haters”, “lying” media and pollsters. It must be awful being Trump.

Unfortunately, his suffering is about to become ours.

Trump has been and will be manipulated by the cabal of so-called conservatives, Christian fanatics,White Nationalists, Koch Brothers minions, energy industry lobbyists, billionaires, and Tea Party politicians. Leading the charge backward will be the least qualified Cabinet ever assembled. Trump himself will be at the head of this regressive parade, so he won’t have to see the destruction behind him, as his Army of No dismantles fifty years of Progressive legislation. Forget the infamous Republican “War on Women”, dear readers; the Trump brigades are going after everybody in their zeal to advance the interests of the American Greed Machine.

This is the con artist and TV clown who will place his under-sized hand on a Bible two days from now and swear allegiance to a Constitution he almost certainly has never read.

This is the man who will, when he enters the Oval Office shortly thereafter, doubtless send for the nuclear codes so he can place that same angry small hand on them, just to see how they feel, and if that feeling is as satisfying as a warm, wet pussy.

This is the same man who will attend a few of the Inaugural Balls, smiling his forced, phony grin, but, we suspect, seething inwardly as he scans the ballrooms, seeing, he will tell himself, hundreds of “supporters” who are celebrating not his victory, but their own, as they line up to cash in on at least four years of tax breaks, tax cuts, military contracts, and fees from selling access to his administration. Or he’ll be seeing those who are attending out of the fear of not attending. Or he’ll be seeing those fanatics of the far right, who will support him only if he lets them take our country literally back again, down that cruel road of intolerance, vote-suppression, women punishment, and hopelessness, the road we naively thought we would never again travel.

This is the same man who will later retire to the President’s Bedroom. Or not — the prospect of sleeping in the bed defiled (in his tormented brain) most nights for eight years by the African-American President, the man whom Trump insisted all those years was simply the African President, might be simply too much for the spoiled, spiteful, angry old rich landlord to stomach. His germaphobe mind will wonder what he might catch should he risk laying with the still-fresh memory of its recent occupants. You know, maybe a dangerous disease like courage, or vision, or thoughtfulness, or guilt, or, shudders, simple humanity. Jesus! What if he should happen to bump into the ghost of Lincoln, or find his own dark, fearful spirit colliding in the night with the sunlit, shining one of Jack Kennedy? OMG! What if Trump disturbs the shade of FDR when he sits on the Presidential toilet at three AM to compose a few vicious Tweets?

This Truthteller, the real one, wonders if Trump will take one long look at that frightening bed and decide to fly back that very Inaugural Night to his own gilded cage in Trump Tower. There, he need not fear reality. He need not care about us. He need not wonder what old videos the Russians are watching and laughing at as they drink themselves into a Vodka stupor. He need not worry what challenging questions the awful press people will hound him with on the morrow, since by the time he wakens, Kelleyanne Con and Steve Bannon and Reince and Pence will already have the answers. He need not think about anything more challenging and real than Wrestlemania. He can lay in his own untainted silk sheets and sleep in peace after his long day of triumph over truth, while we tremble in our beds at the prospect of the days to come.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Spoiler Alert: Visit TT Friday, January 20th, to read the lyrics of our new “Anthem for America”, a song you can sing to the tune of “God Save the Queen”, or “America”, take your pick.

Welcome to Twitocracy

All this week, we’ve been treated to a parade of unqualified Cabinet Secretarial and other nominations. If one is hoping for an administration that governs with fairness, efficiency, and transparency, one will probably want to ignore these hearings, and skip all the others coming in the first few months of the Trump Twitocracy. Yes, even that one, the one to fill the empty Scalia seat on the Supreme Court.

In his so-called news conference Wednesday, Trump showed with more clarity than ever that

  • He’s determined not to treat the media with respect, nor does he feel compelled to answer their questions seriously
  • He’s incapable of making a cogent English sentence
  • He’s completely unconcerned with and apparently disconnected mentally from the process of assembling a Cabinet and getting it approved by the Senate
  • He’s determined to replace the terrible Justice Scalia with someone just as right-wing in outlook, and just as determined to see the words of the original U.S. Constitution frozen in time, right up there with the Laws of Moses
  • He’s as thin-skinned and irascible as ever, going ballistic over allegedly unproven accusations of paid kinky sex with Russian prostitutes, many of whom can be assumed to have been under-age — causing many to wonder if the famous Orange womanizer, spoiled playboy. and self-confessed pussy-grabber doth protest too much
  • He’s totally unaware how Ryan, Pence, Priebus, and McCon are playing him, how the Alt-Right is playing him, how the great corporations are playing him, how the Koch brothers and their Agents of No are playing him, and how they’ll collectively ensure his place in American history: as the President who turned the civil rights and social equality clock back fifty years.

Equally scary, he still has no concept of the corrosive effects of not distancing his Presidency from his convoluted business holdings and deals — or, possibly, he does understand how potentially disastrous his stance can be, and chooses to ignore the risks so he can focus on his only goals: self-adulation, family and personal profit, and “branding”.

His selfishness and utter disregard for civility and the public good explains why his main preoccupation seems to be getting his son-in-law into a key advisory position in his Administration, to join Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway. Trump is already demonstrably blinded by his willful ignorance, but his triumvirate of “advisors” will ensure that all sounds of public outrage, all matters of urgent national interest, and all details of governmental policy will be filtered, with none getting through the triple-faced wall of fog to bother the self-adoring, emotionally troubled, unthinking adolescent we’ve elected President.

 

Low drama; dark comedy — 2017’s first theatrical review

“The President For All The People (Who Voted For Him)”, the new TV comedy series, is struggling in out-of-town tryouts before taking center stage in Washington in January.

TPFATPWVFH, to coin an acronym almost as clumsy as the new production, stars former “Apprentice” bully Donald Trump. Unsure how to adapt his Billionaire Boss character to the role of a sitting President of the United States, the Titan of Real Estate Titles has so far proved inept in the new role, wholly ill-suited to its demands and nuances. We’ve watched the preliminary, pre January 20th performances of the new Trumpsters production and so far, instead of seeing the low go high, we’re witnessing the high standards and principals of governance in the world’s most successful democracy brought down to a level of crass commercialism, bumbling public communications, and administrative cronyism.

Not surprisingly, given the raw ignorance of the star and his cast of novice players, the initial out-of-town tryouts mostly centered on the Trump Tower in New York, where early mistakes and sluggish performances would not be so easily noticed by the general audience.

Then we saw the next stage of the tryout process, a series of “Thank You, Suckers” rallies, beginning in Cincinnati, and continuing in seven states that Trump carried, or rather, which helped carry Trump and his traveling circus of a candidacy to victory. Surprise, not! We saw the same thoughtless crowds wearing the same empty hats cheer the same pointless, incoherent Trumpian rambles through the fogbank of his uniquely incommunicable thoughts.

These attempts to engender some public enthusiasm for his imminent takeover of Federal power went nowhere. Which, concluded Trump, was the fault of the news media. But attacking these proven enemies of Trumpiness has largely failed, resulting only in louder and more frequent calls for the traditional and now anti-American “news conference”. Horrors! A public, televised forum where Trump would actually have to allow his critics to ask embarrassing questions that he was expected to answer, in freaking cogent sentences! Our new President would have to reveal himself to be incapable of understanding an issue, and incapable of commenting on it in a manner that did not reveal him to have the mental faculties of an intellectually challenged twelve-year old schoolyard bully.

As Christmas approached, the Trumps and their hangers-on escaped to Mar-A -Lago in Florida, and faced their own reality: the new TPFATPWVFH TV show was nearing launch, and was already threatening to be a dud.

Like every successful charlatan before him, Trump saw that his notion of reaching out was failing given his smallish hands. Undaunted by the real rejection of his fake reality, he, like his lying predecessors, opted for the proven strategy of misdirection: if your audience is looking right through you and doesn’t like what it sees, or, in Trump’s case, what it doesn’t see, then make them look at something over there, close enough to get their attention, but not close enough to be easily understood.

With true theatrical flair, Trump selected as the object for his misdirection strategy the very Master of Modern Misdirection, none other than Razzamatazz Putin.

For weeks, Trump’s pro-Putin tweets and random interjections into U.S.-Russian foreign relations have mesmerized, befuddled, outraged, and distracted the TV media, the Democrats, the National Security Establishment, the pundits, the Republicans not busy rewriting Obama’s history, and, we’ll bet, the Russians. (But not the army of Trump supporters, whom we may safely assume do not bother watching any news that they themselves haven’t made.)

To be fair, the Putin Gambit has enjoyed mild success. Not because we’ve seen true public comprehension of the current and likely future state of our relations with the Russian kleptocracy, but because Trump’s critics and doubters have pretty much stopped discussing the scope and direction of his incoming administration, and the mostly hidden machinations of Ryan and Mitchell and the Koch Brothers as they prepare to declare a backwards-facing social revolution.

Trump’s chaotic obfuscation of our real reality with his fake one has largely succeeded, in short, and this is the real news these first days of 2017. As darkly comic as Trump’s stumbling attempts to act like a President are, people need to understand this is no joke: we’ve decided as a country that our government is not capable of governing, and have replaced it with a TV show. In the broader perspective, we’ve chosen to substitute a gang of buffoons and bumblers and venal billionaires for the principled practitioners of public policy.

The wonderful irony underlying the new show’s episodes will be that the characters in TPFATPWVFH turn out to be just as incompetent and corrupt as the real-life politicos, corporate grafters, and more-conservative-than-thou right wingers who’ve utterly paralyzed America over most of the past 16 years. The incoming cast of characters will very likely prove incapable of getting anything done, same as the government we’ve had for the past six years. Sure, they’ll do damage, but, it probably won’t be more than the damage done by Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell since they won control of Congress in 2010. Laughable, sure, but hopefully not a tragedy for the country.

Our obsolete Constitution has given us this looming theatrical flop where high drama deteriorates into low comedy. And soon, that same precious Constitution will deliver the Supreme Court even further into the clutches of the great corporations and their One Percent owners. That same Constitution is about to hand unlimited power to start wars all over the map — like the war dreamed of by Bannon, Stone, and Alex Jones, the mad men whispering in Trump’s easily confused ear — the war to end all wars, or at least, these fanatics fervently hope, all Islam. That same Constitution will soon make it possible for a sitting U.S. President to enrich himself and his cronies to the tune of billions, while the great majority, the ninety-nine percent of us, foot the bill.

With one national Constitutional act, we really have made our government a reality show, with a contract set to run at least four years. For the next four years, we’ll get a nightly diet of media stories showing the world’s most powerful democracy attempting to “go forward” by marching in the other direction, as the Trump cabinet and its allies in Congress overturn everything progressive we’ve accomplished since Lyndon Johnson.

Our collective failure to update our Constitution over the past seventy-five years has delivered us into the hands of an utterly immoral, incompetent, immature, spiteful monster, the very apparition of avarice. Soon, probably within months of “The President For All The People Whatever” show’s inauguration, the dramatic question will be: can our Constitution, which produced this clown cavalcade, stop the production from burning down the theater?