This isn’t my usual sort of post. Spoiler alert: this isn’t about sex. It’s about America and the way I see things happening. William Randolph Hearst and other newspaper publishers learned that the secret of success is to appeal to the emotions of the reader. Talk radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh carry on this seedy tradition. All you have to do is pick issues that trigger emotions. A typical one is “immigration”. Paint a picture of waves of dirty, uneducated, criminal foreigners washing over our shores and stealing our jobs. This image will rile up the bile of people that don’t like to think for themselves.
Traditionally, politicians sort of follow this pattern. They tend to be a little more careful about issues they pick. If they want to be elected, they want to appeal to the most voters. Donald Trump, former reality TV personality, decided to run for president using this yellow journalistic approach. His advisers sensed that a lot of middle-class Americans felt disenfranchised by the intellectual elite. Heaven only knows why people would feel that George W. Bush was an intellectual. Anyway, Trump ran on a platform of knee-jerk issues.
He wouldn’t have been elected if the Democratic Party didn’t foolishly select the one candidate guaranteed to alienate an even bigger swath of voters than Trump appealed to. Maybe it was the high after successfully putting the first African-American president into office. I don’t know. It could have been Hillary cashing in on her husband’s substantial Democratic Party political capital.
She ran on a platform that was both reasonable and humanitarian. It carried on the tradition of Obama and her husband. I believe that any other candidate would have won with that platform. That’s water under the bridge. My point is that Donald Trump managed to actually win the election. He did it by appealing to the Archie Bunker in many white, male, high school-educated voters.
the wall of shame
He wanted to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Talk about a simple solution to a complex problem. He wanted to end Obama Care because red-blooded Americans don’t want to be forced into having health insurance. He had a bunch of other similar issues. He had some that weren’t so widely publicized. He wanted to lower the capital gains tax and eliminate the death tax. He also promised to reduce income taxes for people earning more than half a million a year. Of course, these people constitute less than 2% of the voters, but they represented a lot of money for his campaign.
He is easily the most venal American president in history. All those campaign promises were bad enough. Working tirelessly to make them come true guaranteed that the American people would be sharply divided. Even the worst of presidents had sufficient moral fiber to recognize that their job was to unite the people and build the country. Not Donald Trump. When asked about how he felt about the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, he said, “They aren’t my voters.”
Nixon visited China, he went to North Korea
He also admires and actively woos Russian president Vladimir Putin. In fact, Putin actively supported his campaign. When confronted with the fact that Russia was paying bounties to Taliban fighters for killing Americans, Trump claimed he never heard about it. US intelligence officials pointed out that it was in his briefing as early as January. He also admires the presidents of North Korea and China. He admires dictators.
The most incredible thing to me is that he can’t help but lie. He lies about big things and very little things as well. His most recent lie was that under Pres. Obama the American lobster industry was floundering (yeah, I know, couldn’t resist). He tweeted that thanks to him, the industry is booming. It’s been booming for years and has nothing whatsoever to do with him. He also lied about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. He claimed it was hundreds of thousands larger than it actually was. This is particularly dumb since the event was televised and everyone could see how many people were there.
Trump isn’t the first venal and corrupt president. Richard Nixon famously had his men break into the Watergate Hotel to raid the Democratic Party headquarters there. He then proceeded to lie about it. He got caught and eventually resigned. History isn’t going to think that Nixon was such a bad president, after all. He may have been venal and corrupt, but he also worked very hard to advance America. He opened up China for Americans and ended the Vietnam War. In fact, his foreign policy is considered excellent.
Missing Richard Nixon
Nixon cared about America. Trump doesn’t. He only cares about himself. He’s been counting 2020 votes since he was elected in 2016. It’s been his top priority. Endless articles have been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and other publications about the frighteningly bad job he’s doing. More and more Americans are noticing. At the end of June, the number of Americans believing he is doing a good job fell below 40%. No president in recent history has been elected who’s fallen below 40% in June of an election year. Polls show him behind in every swing state he won in 2016.
I know that a lot of people believe that unless he’s reelected the Democrats will erase what they perceive as his gains. Trump spends a lot of his time vilifying Democrats. The truth is that only the most right-wing Republicans can stomach his perspective. The others have fallen into line because his team has threatened them and their ability to be reelected. With his current falling popularity, these more moderate Republicans will be free to move away from him.
The reason I decided to write this post is that it’s important to separate the man from the issues. For example, I am pretty conservative when it comes to immigration. I think we have to tighten up our borders and be more restrictive about who we let in. I also think we have to find a way to assimilate the illegal aliens that have been with us for years and years. I don’t know the answer, but I’m very sure it isn’t building a wall. By the way, the wall hasn’t done any good at all. More people are coming across our borders illegally from the south than ever before. Obama was just as conservative when it came to illegal aliens as the current administration. You don’t need Trump to be hard on illegal immigration.
The world’s view of the United States is embarrassing. The blustering, ignorant, lying leader has embarrassed himself and our country throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. He has insulted NATO. He has pulled out of some of the most important treaties other presidents fought to pass. He has worked to legitimize North Korea. That’s purely insane. During the Vietnam War, when the world’s view of America was dim because of our unjustified involvement there, a lot of American youth traveling to Europe would tell people they were from Canada. It was too embarrassing to admit to being a citizen of a country acting so insanely. If I were to travel abroad, assuming Europe would let us in again, I would also tell people I’m from Canada. Well, maybe not Canada, its government isn’t all that wonderful right now. Maybe I’ll just stay home.
I’m writing this post on July 4. I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject for some time. All of the positions that the Republicans have taken aren’t horrible. Some make a lot of sense. Similarly, the Democrats sometimes go overboard and other times come up with good stuff. The upcoming election is not about issues. Issues are largely worked out in Congress. That’s the place where party affiliation has the most value. The President of the United States is responsible for keeping the country moving on an even keel. Every single citizen should feel he is their advocate. I don’t have an advocate in the White House. I’m not one of his voters.