One cannot say that the nation doesn’t pay attention to good suggestions…as far as they go.
After the shock of Bannon and Priebus situated to either side of our new president-elect in The White House, the country heard from all quarters that Thanksgiving should be a politics-free zone. It was. If by chance a guest or relative said “Trump,” he or she was closed down immediately, everywhere.
After the holiday, we tuned into the spectacle – and misdirection – of a new administration’s pick for Secretary of State. Nightmare visions of Rudy Giuliani danced through our heads, like a long forgotten outtake from Disney’s “Fantasia.” The other elephants inline were just as frightening to viewers of tender years: Jeff Sessions, Chris Christie, Mike Mullin, Jared Kushner.
Miraculously, the Trump crowd also hired someone (unknown to us) who actually knew what he/she was doing, and the names that surfaced for other spots around the cabinet table may not have been more pleasing to many of us, but they were generally well-researched. They fit perfectly with the Donald’s fear-mongering campaign…the one that threatened the Wall, mass deportations, tariffs, business, voting itself. The height of this series of head-fakes came with the mention of Mr. Kushner as ambassador of some kind to the mid-East and to Donald’s new decision to find a way to make peace between the Arabs and Israelis.
This was all brilliantly conceived to keep our eyes and ears off what might really be the direction of the new administration, and that direction (lo!) turned out to be exactly the same as Mr. Trump’s campaign promises. A further distraction was the “triumphal” thank-you tour Trump took to Ohio and Indiana. Whatever one thinks of his sense of theatre, Trump and his new mystery “kitchen” cabinet advisor slid undercover into his line-up men and women guaranteed to make life for every citizen but those in the One Percent nervous, if not scared to death. (“Death” being the natural result of some of this crowd’s political rearrangements of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Veteran’s Affairs, Transportation, Charter Schools.)
Last night comes the bulletin that among others still being considered as Secretary of State are the past CEO and the current CEO of Exxon/Mobile. (Talk about stepping on good news: the other flash had to do with the Department of Defense, where there is a nominee who seems to us to be actually well-qualified and suited to his new positon.)
Finally at this point, men and women must rise from table-side and turkey soup to again realize that there is no difference between what Trump is, what he says, and what it seems he wants. Which, as it has all along, is being crowned KING in the court of world disapproval. Put another more familiar way, Trump may actually want to “shake things up,” regardless of the damage wholesale misguided reassembly may mean.
So what else is happening? In Boston the detritus of both campaigns – Trump’s and Clinton’s – are still shouting at each other. The public is advised to ignore this kind of child’s play and to concentrate, finally and once more on bringing Mr. Trump to face to face with the reality that his victory is NOT a mandate, that more people voted against him than for him, and to bring him to an understanding of what the US Constitution means, not only to us but to millions around the world.
This is our first, and comparatively gentle, post since realizing that the Press is DOING IT AGAIN! -trumpeting every tweet and wink Donald bestows upon us as though it were earth-shattering in its importance and value. We’d very much like this to stop. If the Democrats must post-mortem and re-configure their entire approach to retail politics (as they should), the Press should do the same. As a matter of fact, if the Democrats are concerned they haven’t a deep, young bench to begin to offer the nation as a whole, the networks should realize that their own personnel now appear worn, torn, and timid.
And what of our brave Congressmen and women? Do we hear any concern that the new administration may well overstep its bounds (much as courts have ruled the Obama administration did)? Is anyone on Capitol Hill – who is not curtseying and bowing for a non-elective job – thinking ahead to the excesses envisioned in an administration that wants to do away with so many all-American opportunities –like voting, like earning a livable wage, like being able to afford healthcare? While there are people of good faith who believe in what they propose, does no one think to point out to them the real damage some of these schemes could cause in the fabric of our lives? To be honest, privatizing industries of any kind is more often than not a sign of surrender and poverty of imagination. And brings us all a little closer to being a member of the emerging Third World.
So, STAND UP from the table and get going! Temporarily lulled into quiescence – “Give him a chance” – we long for visionaries, for experience, for actually listening to the millions in both parties who voted on November 8 for change. America has a good strong dependable voice. Let’s hear it!