Monday, June 4, 2018

Some Musings About 500 Days In Trumplandia

It's been 500 full days since Donald Trump became President. Here are my reflections

First, it has been a long 500 days. It doesn't matter if one views the man as an answer to prayer or a narcissistic two-year old trapped in a 70 year old's body, the noise coming from the oval office and the responses to that noise overpower everything else in the public square.

Second, and more importantly, it seems as if tribalism has become entrenched. Republicans seem happy.
Others, including me, are, to put it mildly, less sanguine.

Madison may have been wrong in Federalist 10 when he wrote,
The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States. A religious sect may degenerate into a political faction in a part of the Confederacy; but the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it must secure the national councils against any danger from that source. A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.
As a quick aside, earlier in the essay, he correctly analyzed a problem that politicians today ignore.
But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. 
Third, I keep trying to find a literary comparison that fits Trump. The one I keep coming back to is Gessler, the sheriff who demanded all bow their heads to his cap which had been run up a flagpole. I think Trump would love everyone to bow his or her head to a MAGA cap.

Fourth, I'm reading more Jonah Goldberg, David French, and more NRO than I have in years. The strange bedfellows cliche is true in interesting political times.

Fifth, the white evangelical sellout has been stunning. Franklin Graham's and others' blind support comes dangerously close to deifying the man.

Sixth, the imperial presidency continues. Two headlines suffice to tell the story: Trump claims 'absolute right to PARDON myself' and Giuliani: Even if Trump had shot Comey he couldn't be prosecuted

Seventh, as I think about the Presidents who served during my lifetime, Trump has the moral failings of Clinton and Kennedy along with Nixon's paranoia. He lacks the dedication to service that Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush possessed. Further, he lacks Carter's decency, Reagan's optimism, George W. Bush's desire for compassion, and Obama's eloquence and calm.

Eighth, if I were a a betting man, I'd wager that Trump wins re-election, not because people love him, but because the opposition is divided and perhaps incompetent.

Finally, the problems will get worse because no one is talking about solutions. Instead, the response to any political or policy issue begins and ends with "What about Clinton?" or "What about Obama?" instead of asking "How can we fix it?"


David Newquist said...

Most of all he lacks honesty, even the pretense to it. Trump's resume reads like a rap sheet, a record of constantly screwing over people, His record of misleading statements and outright lies is stunning. Still, his party regards him as a savior. And that is the story of what happened to America.

Kal Lis said...

I think he also lacks the sense of shame that most humans share. That combined with his autocratic nature create the daily threat of a constitutional crisis.

mpat said...

Dems are a circular firing squad. Just look at the California primaries.