PLAYING CATCH-UP WITH DONALD

We don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it’s tough.

The reason is fairly simple.   Donald has no consistent vision of what America is, was, or should be.

Just when we think we begin to get a bead on where he’s going, what he cares about, someone else walks into his office with “another deal” that will make a separate and distinct portion of his “base” happy.  Weighing and measuring, Donald switches gears.

Or someone else does, and Donald goes along.

This would seem to indicate that the President has no bottom line, nothing about which he cares.  That would be accurate.

As nearly as we can tell, his concerns are all personal: winning, not being embarrassed, being THE Big Man on Campus.   Very little has changed interiorly since he was a kid.  He’s going to get through class with as little study as possible.  He’s going to bribe and seduce his way to popularity as fast as he can.  If one plan looks shaky, he’s going to change.   Keeping his friends and enemies off guard is paramount.    No one is going to tie him down to anything resembling basic values.  And as been noted by hundreds during the past few months, he has no reality on which to base his life.  He’s had little commerce with other kinds of people, and he wants none.

We elected this guy.   And none of the above comes as a surprise to anyone.

Which makes it difficult for his cabinet, staff, Congress to know when to leap and when to duck.  The same thing holds true above all for our allies.

Yesterday he told the Prime Minister of Australia that he was rethinking a pledge to accept more than a thousand refugees from Pacific Islands on which Australia had been isolating “undesirables.”  (Not a pretty picture by itself.)   Hours later, he changes his mind and decides he might as well go through with it, “it” being “extreme vetting” of these unfortunate people.  That they have been brutalized by a whites-only centuries old “philosophy” earns them no sympathy.

In fact, nothing earns anyone sympathy of any kind because the Donald has no experience of dealing with people who have been imprisoned and enslaved, and who most likely would be forgotten altogether to die on inhospitable rocks and islands rather than be rescued, fed, clothed, taught and saved.   So another temporary Trumpian cloak and disguise is trashed: Christian.

Donald’s vision of America begins with his birth.   There is no history to the United States.  No customs, no values, no bravery.  Everything begins and ends with Donald – and this might, in time, be literally true.  What came before to make America great “the first time” matters not.   Donald lives “in the moment,” and what’s in that moment changes with nanosecond speed.

The popular fiction is that he (or she) who has Donald’s ear last wins.

This makes working for the benefit of our country on the “Trump team” impossible.

If Barack Obama had trouble communicating the good things his administration sought to do, the same is never going to be a problem with the Donald.  Donald is going to “micro-manage” every success anyone in his administration has.   And if something goes awry, Donald is not going to be shy about placing blame:  Congress, of course; Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama; the prime ministers of Germany, France, Australia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Mexico.

Not Russia.  Yet.   And not Americans who voted for him.  Those who didn’t, why yes, of course.   People who distrust Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Reince Priebus, Ben Carson, Betsy Devos, and any other devotee (nominee) or Supreme Court Justice nominee…in effect perhaps the larger portion of the electorate…absolutely.

Our single hope, and this we are happy to report is not just our hope but one we hear more and more frequently, is that as Donald keeps pulling his six-shooter out and firing blindly at the world, eventually he’s going to hit someone or something for which there is no possible surgery or saving.

That would bring Mike Pence to the foreground.

The interruption of Mr. Trump’s first term would provide no relief for many of us.

We’re in a pickle barrel of our own design.   To anticipate Mr. Trump’s wishes, dreams, thoughts and actions provides us with frustration and feckless anger.   To anticipate Mr. Pence’s offers no solace.

We wanted change.  We got it.  What we’re going to do next is as impossible to envision.

No wonder the Market is down, real estate is stagnant, GDP is shaky and slim, Detroit is busting its butt to avoid being singled out once more (and Wall Street, too) as Enemies of the People.

Writers have written about this kind of culture – based on fear, threats, favoritism and secrecy – but the reality of living in America today is beyond fiction.

 

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