Paul Moore: A tale of two Trumps?
There are at least two ways to look at President Donald Trump.
One way is to say that he is delivering as promised. If we accept the reports from Wall Street as being meaningful about how America is doing, then we are exceeding all expectations. The stock market has never been so high, and it seems to be on target to continue breaking all records.
He promised to drain the swamp, and to do that he has put some really tough, serious people in charge of the job. He saw Hillary Clinton as one of the biggest polluters of the swamp, and so he has incessantly called for her prosecution. He made repealing “Obamacare” a high priority, and the Republican Party responded as well as it could.
The other way to look at Trump is that he is a parody of the Republican philosophy. In almost all actions taken by the Trump White House and the Republican-dominated Congress have been to increase the wealth of the wealthy. Granted, Wall Street tells us that American businesses are doing well, in that they are paying tremendous dividends on investments. But Wall Street does not tell us much about the hidden world of derivatives. It does not tell us if corporations are doing anything about development of new products and not just new markets.
Trump’s method of draining the swamp is to continually send out false messages. In spite of the place the free press holds in the U.S. Constitution, he calls the press the greatest danger to America. He sincerely believes that the free press is the cause of the swamp. He has done nothing to improve the open sharing of the truth with Americans. His previous White House spokesman became a stand-up joke as he tried to explain what Trump was up to.
In an effort to stop stirring up the muck in the swamp, he put in charge of government departments the people who most criticized those departments. Most of these people who were dropped into the swamp have turned out to be alligators. What they do best is attack each other. Even at the Boy Scout Jamboree, which is held once every four years for young men to learn more about the philosophy of scouting, Trump talked about the fake press and the need to prosecute Hillary Clinton. On stage, there were two cabinet members who are Eagle Scouts who showed their belief in the Scout pledge. They did not try to stop Trump as he turned his speech into an imitation speech to the “Young Guards.” Trump’s misconstrued concept of loyalty should be a warning to all Americans.
The attempted repeal of “Obamacare” is symbolic of the way that Trump and the Republican Congress operate. Health care is probably one of the most important issues in America, but both the House and the Senate operated as if more than half of the population in America did not exist or matter. The most disconcerting characteristic of the current government is that the House, the Senate, and the White House have all used the same tactic: deal in private with only party members present.
The Paul Ryan House of Representatives forced through a repeal of the ACA by planning the bill in complete secrecy without consulting other Republicans, let alone the professionals who would have to implement the law. Mitch McConnell used the same tactics, which explains why many Senators were unhappy. Trump works in isolation from others, and is often not even aware of the true nature of issues. He shoots at issues and non-issues with the same vehemence, then leaves his staff trying to figure out what he meant. The orders from the White House concerning immigration are not consistent or logical. Trump is allowing people in from countries that have actively supported terrorist activities, but denied admission to people from other countries that have not exported terrorism. ICE has picked up and deported people with no criminal record. Families have been broken apart.
Trump believes that there was massive fraud during the 2016 election, but he offers no proof. He does, however, establish a commission to study voting fraud, and Trump has the gall to say that those states which do not hand data over to Big Brother must be hiding something. What a duplicitous line, as in, where are your tax statements, Mr. Trump?
What is the result of all of this chaos in congress and the White House? As one “fake news” commentator said, the world is no longer looking to America for leadership. It is not so much that America has lost influence, it is that America is no longer relevant to the rest of the world.
Trump has surrendered world leadership to Germany, France and Russia.
Paul Moore lives in North San Juan.
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Parents are becoming aware of the use of critical race theory in their children’s instruction, particularly as distance learning has given them a window into their classrooms.