With our new “so-called” President unwilling to answer basic questions about his financial world, about his healthcare plans, about his reasons for selecting cabinet members who seem unqualified and part of the “swamp,” we’re left not knowing very much about his likes and dislikes. We do note that his dislikes outnumber his likes by quite a bit.
It’s time therefore to ask some embarrassing questions of Mr. Trump and his team. Primary among these is his insistence on equating the US of A with Russia in terms of motivation, success and failure, and their futures together.
As commentators throughout the country have noted, Mr. Trump’s hesitancy to at least sound as tough as earlier presidents have in terms of rivalry with the Russians, leads to what might be some very revealing and constitutionally suspect explanations.
First among these is the question whether by laying off his new pal Putin’s history of skullduggery, Trump is setting up a financial empire within Russia that will benefit him and his family. By playing fast and loose with his verbal adoration of Mr. Putin, is Trump wooing the Russian oligarchy so that, in time, Trump hotels, brands, golf courses, etc., can be built and thrive in a new climate? In other words, is Mr. Trump’s “foreign policy” simply a blind for increasing his fortune? Are we now in the business of attending to foreign policy so that it mirrors Trumps domestic happiness? And is this legal? (Remember Donald Jr.’s earlier statement of how much money Trump Enterprises has siphoned out of Russia? Then think of Mr. Trump’s introduction into the US of Indonesian billionaires who intend to “donate” hundreds of millions to the welfare of our country? Not to forget the burgeoning friendship between Trump and Indian billionaires. And just plain forget about Russia’s suspected meddling in our recent election, regardless whom they favored.)
All that, however, is far less troubling to many than his apparent new understanding, probably thanks to Steve Bannon, of how to make the USA permanently paramount among the world’s powers. Readers with a high school education (up until the mid-sixties) will remember how Stalin (and after him a dozen others) “fake newsed” their way to decades of fascism, famine, and foreign domination. Straight out of “1984” and “It Can’t Happen Here”, a nation like Russia (or a new American nation such as might be envisioned by the new administration in D.C.) needs always to be under threat. In order to keep its population on its toes and devoted to their great leaders, Russia has used the possible invasion of NATO forces, not to mention (catch this!) a Polish invasion of Belarus now, to gin up patriotic fervor and devotion to Putin himself.
In our newest international posture, the US is being told it is under threat by, among others, Mexico, North Korea, Iran. Even better from the administration’s p.o.v. is that we, the population of unknowing and unsuspecting good guys, do not have all the information that the new administration has on the various threats and putative “massacres” (that the Press will not cover, and “You know the reason why.”)
When the guys at the top tell us we cannot know everything they do, watch out!
In the same vein, when the guys at the top tell us that our judicial branch members do not have the information about immigration that the Donald does, again watch out!
Short of “spilling” or “leaking” national security information, there is no way we stupid people can ever combat those kinds of statements.
There are other possibilities afoot. Could Bannon et Cie be arranging an old-fashioned “balance of power” between us and the Russians, one that evenly divides the globe into areas of influence that once outlined, become then solidified? As England, Russia and France in the nineteenth century strove to keep German, Italy, Austria and Spain off balance, are we now – with Russia – doing the same with middle Europe, the Balkans, the MidEast?
Mr. Trump’s continual running down of the state of the Union (in campaign speeches and afterwards) sets us up as patsies for world powers eager, actually ravenous to bring the USA and its form of democracy down. This is called fear-mongering, and over the past 18 months we have become intimately acquainted with it.
In Russia, from the thirties to the seventies, the Politburo used fear of others as a huge and heavy weapon with which to keep its population under control. Often after a campaign of fear had run its temporary course, purges followed, getting rid of those who refused to believe, who refused to be frightened. (See the administration’s attempt to get the names and addresses of men and women who had in the past few years attended climate-control meetings anywhere on the globe…preparatory, we believe, to a purge of its own.)
Without coming forward honestly about his financial details and entanglements, we cannot know what possible “emoluments” and quid pro quos are currently being placed on Trump’s desk (and therefore our own.) Keeping us and the world in suspense and off-guard confuses and frightens us all. Knowing how little Trump knows or cares about history generally and about the history of the US in particular, we realize we are on uncharted seas. With Bannon and Trump et al on the bridge of our own Titanic, even though we can see the iceberg ahead, destruction, confusion, and decline may not be avoided.
This makes our day-to-day lives subject only to guesswork and worry.
We are not happy.