By Ben Tanosborn
We have seen Donald J. Trump in many settings, performing many roles… some of us for as long as 4 decades that he’s been in the public eye; and all of us during these last 19 months that he has been wearing the new sartorial duds of a politician: first as unlikely candidate for the GOP nomination to the presidency in June 2015; then as sure-to-fail candidate to the presidency; later surprisingly becoming president-elect last November; and now as full-fledged president of these United States of America, informally sporting the US ostentatious, self-imposed title of “leader of the free world.”
Trump, the messenger, a self-proclaimed prophet denouncing many of our societal ills has now become the constitutional messiah in charge of miraculously curing them. Bona fide problems which have become inherent in America because of a government that for the last two-plus generations has not served the people well, gave Trump a mostly-right message to deliver, and later the baton to run with it. First, an immigration problem that had been purposely unattended; also, acceptance of globalization without providing adequate safeguards; and, for way too long, our cult to empire disguised as national defense… all these things giving berth to a social and economic malaise in America, providing an open door to a healer; or, as evidenced by recent experiences, a quack… yes, the healer we have elected might as well be called Donald Quack.
For some strange unreason, and faithfully willing to discard the obvious, many if not most of us became Charlie Brown hoping Lucy wouldn’t fool us again removing the ball (football) as we try to kick it. Except that Donald Trump isn’t mischievous Lucy Van Pelt, and governing these United States is not a trick performed in a Peanuts’ playground. If there were expectations that the presidency would change Donald Trump, bring him to a sober reality, he did the Lucy-thing and made fools of us. And that includes those of us who did not vote for him, yet were predisposed to give him a chance.
During the transition period, from being elected to his assumption of power, Trump continued to be Trump to the delight of Hillary’s baptismal deplorables, and the concern of those of us who had hoped for a greater effort in unifying what we had thought to be a viscerally divided nation. Vying for cabinet positions, honorable and not so honorable, candidates marched through the gates of Trump Tower and elevated to the penthouse to render tribute and present credentials to America’s new Charlemagne. We came to see firsthand the corruptive, and addictive, nature of power perhaps best exemplified by a dignified, and 2012 presidential candidate for the GOP, Mitt Romney.
Candidate Trump’s message, by chance or design, hit a bull’s-eye with those personally affected economically, and thrashed to the side; and should have hit home as well with those who haven’t been brainwashed into thinking that the world is our oyster, and God has granted us all rights and privileges to run the world as if our own empire. However, recognition that our foreign policy for the Middle East has been masochistically flawed, ditto for Russia, creates problems and confrontations that cannot be easily resolved. Not only are there contradictions in long-standing national policies, but the prospect of an ongoing personal conflict of interests (economic and social), allowed to be brought into the presidency, does not bode well for Donald Trump’s new role.
President Trump might succeed in de-criminalizing Vladimir Putin for the gang-rape he’s being accused of by dementia-ridden John McCain, the Pentagon, and a US State Department still being run by neocons. But even if Russia gains stature, and Daesh (Isis) is brought down to its knees by a consortium of nations led by the Vlad-Don brothers, Palestine will continue under the thumb of Netanyahu; and possibly hotels will be constructed and licensed with the Trump imprimatur in world-forgotten pre-1967 Palestinian territories where 600,000 Israelis now live.
We ask ourselves if all these mostly unpopular executive orders by the POTUS making the news in just his first 10 days in office foreshadows what’s to come, perhaps in even bigger strides, during Trump’s presidency. And, how might the country have reacted if the 3-million vote plurality for Hillary Clinton had been 6 or 9-million… well, perhaps not Hillary but some other semi-popular candidate.
Well, I keep thinking of the November 9 email I received from a peer in Delhi who as a post-mortem to the election wrote: “Americans finally received their just deserts in their election of Donald Trump.” And we are starting to see just what our just deserts are.