Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Trump Rant, Saturday 6/16/18

While we are mesmerized by the circus our Dear Leader is giving us (the panem et circenses principle of governing), the busy little Republican termites are gnawing at the floor of this republic,  and the bully boyz and girlz in the administration of our Dear Leader are redecorating the public rooms of this republic by demolishing most everything which doesn't benefit the interests of the moneyed elite or of the radical right-wing religionists.

These are among the things which are happening:

1.  The air we breathe is going to be more polluted, and many Americans are going to die earlier because of that.

2.  Texas and other red states have sued the government over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and Trump's Justice Department has announced that it will not defend the coverage guarantee for people with pre-existing health conditions in that suit. 

That's because the Republicans want to kill the ACA dead.  No rich person was left without health coverage before the ACA, and no rich person will be left without it after the ACA, either.  But people who have ever been sick will have trouble getting coverage in the private insurance markets.
3.  Science is seen as a left-wing conspiracy by this administration.  Our Dear Leader doesn't need it, because he already knows everything he believes he needs to know.  The contempt of science among the Republicans is closely linked to the contempt of the very idea that facts might serve some useful purpose, even when they contradict one's prior beliefs.

4.  Do you know what "moral imperialism" is supposed to be?  I first met this concept in a Republican-fundamentalist opinion piece.  That's right-wing lingo for caring about human rights, the equality of the sexes, the rights of sexual minorities, democracy and other such garbage which the writer of that piece doesn't need to have a satisfying life.

And, indeed, the signs of the end of that "moral imperialism" are already visible:

Since Trump's election, foreign policy experts have noted a dramatic shift away from America's traditional role as a promoter of democracy and human rights around the world.

One obvious sign of the end of foreign policies based on something more, something better than belligerence, selfishness and pure greed is visible to all in the treatment of children who arrive in the United States with parents or guardians who don't have the proper travel documents.  It is those children this administration truly punishes, because childhood abandonment can leave life-long scars.

Another one is Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent decision to deny asylum to those whose claim for refuge is based on domestic violence.  This is because Sessions argues that such abuse is a private crime, and that asylum should be limited to larger groups oppressed in a certain society:

“Asylum is not a claim that you have suffered a specific act of private violence or any other crime. It is really a systemic problem in which a group of people, based on ethnicity or race or nationality or other such factors, are oppressed in a given country.”

So.  Note the absence of sex or gender in his statement. Yet women are the largest group among the oppressed in this world.  In countries where the culture and/or religion sanctions the inferiority of women and also the rights of their husbands, parents and brothers to abuse and control them women find little outside help if they are abused at home. 

Thus, domestic violence may be a private crime, but there are places (such as Saudi Arabia) where it is also one sanctioned by the society, where the police might not interfere and where the judicial system might not prosecute if, say, a husband beats his wife.
5.  Trump is undermining the US-led world order.  That might not be a bad thing, if some better alternative was visible in the horizon.  But the alternatives I see looming there are worse, at least in terms of human rights in general and women's rights in particular, and also worse in terms of democracy.

An important part of this termite operation is to piss off any allies the US might have and to make friends with the warlords and dictators of this world. 

It's crystal-clear that Trump would love to have dictatorial powers*, that he believes he should have them and that he is working toward that goal.  Even his quip today about the North Korean dictator (a hereditary post, by the way) signals us his true desires:

"Hey, he's the head of a country. And I mean he is the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different," Trump told Fox News on Friday. "He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." 
These comments are about a man whose country, North Korea,  has one of the most dismal human rights records of any place on this earth, and who seems to kill his enemies whenever he feels the urge to do so.

No wonder people sit up at attention.

So what are the values Trump would like the United States to promote, if not democracy and human rights? 

Perhaps, as this article suggests, they might be summarized as: "We Are America, Bitch." 

That sentence makes me think of some imaginary teenage boy, his voice just breaking, his chin sprouting a few shy hairs, who boasts to his male pals about his great willingness to commit violence, about his great physical strength and about his great superiority over the whores and bitches. Those whores and bitches include not only all female human beings, but also all men that adolescent boy views as weak.  Sounds like a wannabe gang leader, doesn't it?

Sigh.  I could go on for many more pages, but I won't, because apparently sixty million plus voters in this country find a Trump Reich an appealing prospect and don't really mind losing what democracy still might remain**.  Those people won't read me and the people who do read me already know most of this.

But there are times when even goddesses must rant.

 *  Jeffrey Goldberg puts that into wider context in the Atlantic Monthly:
Trumpian chaos is, in fact, undergirded by a comprehensible worldview, a number of experts have insisted. The Brookings Institution scholar (and frequent Atlantic contributor) Thomas Wright argued in a January 2016 essay that Trump’s views are both discernible and explicable. Wright, who published his analysis at a time when most everyone in the foreign-policy establishment considered Trump’s candidacy to be a farce, wrote that Trump loathes the liberal international order and would work against it as president; he wrote that Trump also dislikes America’s military alliances, and would work against them; he argued that Trump believes in his bones that the global economy is unfair to the U.S.; and, finally, he wrote that Trump has an innate sympathy for “authoritarian strongmen.”

**  African-Americans don't have equal voting rights in all states, and Russia is probably going to interfere in this year's midterm elections, given that I see nothing being done to stop that.  Such interference would help Trump, because he is Putin's BFF.  They share the same goal which is to destroy NATO and the Western liberal alliance.