Friday, January 20, 2017
My Thoughts as We Begin the Trump Era
As we have inaugurated a man who is clearly unqualified for the job, and who has demonstrated no desire or ability to learn the job, and who has appointed as cabinet members (primarily) people who are likewise unqualified, let me offer my thoughts:
1) I still prefer Trump to the likes of Ted Cruz or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Mike Pence. For Pence, it is because he is apparently even dumber than Trump and because I really do not care to have my nation turned into a theocracy. For the other three guys, it is because I have seen the George W. Bush Administration, and I really do not care to re-live that 8 years. At least with Trump there is the slight hope that he may be so unstable and unprincipled that he may occasionally do the right thing by accident. It is like if you lined people up on a road with 5 being your best friends and 5 being your worst enemies, and told the drive to drive. With Trump, he will swerve wildly all over the road and may hit some you like and some you do not like. With the 4 other guys, you can be sure that they would kill your 5 best friends and leave your 5 worst enemies alive. Even if Trump kills all 10, that is a better result.
2) Trump's cabinet appointees are beyond awful. You would have hoped that a guy who was not beholden to the Rich Wing of the GOP would at least have selected a few wild card entries who might actually, say, be qualified? You would be wrong.
3) My hope for Trump is that he, in fact, does what he said in his speech at the inauguration and a) tries to bring back more high-paying jobs for the Rush Belt; and b) punishes corporations for trying to send jobs and money overseas; c) uses federal resources to stamp out crime and decay in the inner cities; and d) pay all sorts of money to upgrade U.S. infrastructure to 2020 standards. That would be great - "Please proceed, President Trump."
However, I don't see how he can promise to do any of those things while at the same time:
-- doesn't support unions
-- doesn't support a higher minimum wage
-- wants to get rid of ObamaCare and deny those same worker health insurance
-- wants to give corporations and the very wealthiest people enormous tax cuts
-- has expressed no plan for helping the inner cities other than ending the "carnage"
-- has not identified any spending program or tax increase that would accomplish any infrastructure improvements, but, in fact, has proposed an enormous tax cut that would make it impossible to fund any such infrastructure program,
Would it be great if Trump kept us out of all foreign wars and put "America First"? Sure. But how do you square such an idea with his constant complaints that Obama was too weak or that our navy must be built up to some ridiculous level? Are we just going to use our million new aircraft carriers to patrol our harbors? Are we expecting an "Independence Day 2" type of invasion? We are going to build our military resources to a point where no one fucks with us -- and if they do -- I assume we will use our resources, right? So isn't that the opposite of staying out of wars?
So, on my hope level, with Clinton as a 9 and Obama as a 9 and GWB as a 2, I place Trump as a 4. I hope that he does some of the things he claims he will do (another example, replace ObamaCare with something that gives every American health care -- hey great! That is called "single payer" or Medicare for All").
On my fear indicator, with Clinton as a 1 and Obama as a 2, and GWB as a 7; I gotta give Trump a 9. He is so unstable and lacking in basic knowledge or desire to work hard that I really fear that he becomes a WORSE version of a typical GOP President. He tells people horrid lies about what he will do (some of which is positive), and then just allows the people he hangs around to make decisions that do the exact opposite and cause extreme harm. Plus who knows when he nukes Mexico or Iran or Russia or China? It is a real chance (it is likely to be a country where he doesn't have a hotel, so maybe Iran and North Korea are the leading contenders).
If I were Trump, I would hold off on giving the Congress their huge tax cut for the wealthy until after they have done whatever else he wants done. Once he gives them the tax cut for the wealthy, they could not give a fuck whether he lives or dies. So he can best protect himself from impeachment by saying, "Look, gotta do A, B, C., D then we will turn to the tax cut...."
They have always said that the key to success was intelligence and hard work. If Trump succeeds as President, he will be the exception that proves the rule.
Recall -- Dow at 19,800, unemployment at 4.9%, gas prices in Minneapolis about 2.35 a gallon for regular.
Good luck. As I said, there are a bunch of things you say you will do that would be great. We shall see if they get done.