Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thoughts on Inauguration Eve

I have no intention of watching any of this weekend’s Inauguration festivities for the 45th President of the United States.  But I also have no intention of participating in any of the protest marches taking place around the nation.   At this point, Trump hasn't done anything as President of the United States to warrant such an action.  It is true, though, that he continues to do things that border on the ridiculous and the petulant, as though he’s deliberately thumbing his nose at his detractors.   Here are a few of his highlights since Election Day: 
Rex Tillerson:  Amid fears that Russia possessed comprising information on him, and despite proof that Russia successfully hacked the email accounts of Democratic party leaders during the election and attempted to hack into the U.S. electrical grid, Trump nominated Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State.  Mr. Tillerson was the CEO of ExxonMobil until last month and is a multi-millionaire with deep ties with Russia dating back to the 1990’s.   He is also strongly opposed to the 2014 sanctions that were imposed on Russia by the EU and the US in response to Russia’s military intervention in the Ukraine.  Those sanctions have already cost ExxonMobil an estimated $1 billion.  Not exactly an appointment that “drains the swamp.” 
Ben Carson: Following his November victory, Trump nominated Ben Carson for Surgeon General, a position for which Dr. Carson could actually be qualified.  Surprisingly, he declined the position because, as stated by his business manager:  “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency.  The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”  At that moment on that day, I had new-found respect for Dr. Carson.  But it didn’t last long.  A few weeks later, Trump nominated him again, this time to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  You’d think that Dr. Carson would once again decline, but you’d be wrong.  He quickly accepted the nomination, stating as one of his qualifications, “I grew up in the inner city … and have dealt with a lot of patients from that area”. 
Betsy DeVos:  Ms. Devos is a Michigan billionaire nominated by Trump to head the Department of Education despite the fact that she has been a longtime foe of public education.  She’s an advocate of the voucher system and the use of public funding to pay for private and religious schools.  The National Education Association (NEA) calls her “dangerously unqualified”, stating that she has “spent decades working to dismantle public education and privatize public schools”.  The ACLU denounced her attempts to “create a voucher system that would divert public money to private and religious schools and erode the bedrock value of separation of church and state.” And then there’s her support for guns in schools, citing grizzly bears in Wyoming as a compelling reason. 
Rick Perry:  While this sounds like a Saturday Night Live bit, it’s true:  Donald Trump nominated Rick Perry to head up the Department of Energy, the very department that Perry said should be eliminated back in 2012.  While being a scientist isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for the position, it's worth noting that the current DOE head is a nuclear physicist and the guy before him won the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics.  Rick Perry graduated from Texas A&M with a D+ average in his science courses and supports the teaching of Creationism in public schools.  On the positive side, though, he has appeared on Dancing With the Stars.  That has to count for something.
Twitter Response to John Lewis:  Trump continues to use Twitter as his main method of communication, retribution and revisionism.  After Congressman John Lewis criticized Trump in a television interview, Trump tweeted, “Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”  He tweeted this despite the fact that Lewis’s district is fairly affluent and his life has been committed to public service and activism, particularly in the cause of Civil Rights
There are more examples (Monica Crowley, Stephen Bannon, Mike Pompeo, etc.) but I think we’ve both had enough. I just want it to be clear that I’m aware of  Trump’s recent actions before you read the next paragraph. 


I fervently hope that four years from now, on the eve of the 2021 Inauguration, my candidate, Donald J. Trump, is preparing to embark on his second term as President of the United States.  This has happened because he, once again, has confounded the "lamestream media" and become one of the best and most effective presidents in the history of the United States.  How could he possibly do this?  Well, here’s a scenario:
  • Ruling by caustic tweets that rewrite history, all of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – live in fear of crossing Trump.  In contrast to the last 8 years of a do-nothing Congress, the next four years are marked by a blizzard of new legislation.
  • Since Trump purposely surrounded himself with puppets like Rick Perry and Ben Carson, there is no discord or opposition within his Cabinet or inner circle.
  • Trump appoints two Supreme Court justices in his first term, creating a solid majority that rules in favor of virtually any legislation that he supports. 
  • With all of this power, Trump feels completely unfettered by any promises that he made in the past.  As such, his first term is marked by legislation, social programs and foreign policy that is long overdue and beneficial for the country and the world. 
That last bullet might be a tad far-fetched, I agree.  But something just that stupefying would have to occur before I could ever vote for Trump.  In the meantime, let's all be very wary of any movement, no matter how faint, to repeal the 22nd Amendment.