By Ben Tanosborn
Whether Donald J. Trump closes his presidential experimental-gig resigning, impeached or misgoverning the entire 4-year term, he is a sure bet to enter America’s history books as an embarrassment to a nation and to the electorate that put him in the Oval Office; also a disgrace to a political party that sold its conservative ideals for thirty shiny pieces of illusory, legislative hope.
That’s on the praying expectation that Trump’s unskilled jugglery of US foreign policy is firmly kept in check against any possible attacks of madness. I believe many, if not most of us are really afraid to ask whether our government in Washington has the necessary “fool-proof” safeguards-in-place to prevent a nuclear holocaust. And lacking an answer to that unasked question, here is the ultimate survival concern: Can Americans feel safe and secure if they have to place their trust solely on the chivalrous efforts of a couple, or three, 4-star generals? Yes, generals who might be honorably-intentioned but are part of a questionable military that has yet to win a war in seven decades, notwithstanding Ronald Reagan’s truly comical episode in Grenada.
Publicly we are told that the President of the United States, as Commander-in-Chief, has “the one and only finger” on the nuclear button, the Gold Codes that could send us all, prematurely, either to a believers’ godly paradise; or, for non-believers to a limbo of dusty-smithereens. Yet we flaunt our system of government… where our most precious freedom, that to be alive – our very existence, depends on an elected rabid unicorn.
As we mark a year from the time Trump was elected, my journalist-friend from India’s dictum of a year ago reverberates ever more strongly, to the point of muffling any possible denial to the sad fact that Americans are finally getting their just deserts… to the point one-third of the nation, representing his combo Republican-Populist base, is willing to self-immolate, politically, if by so doing they perform surgical revenge on the other two-thirds.
Republicans’ ugly nuptials with narcissist Trump in order to bring to term a gluttonous, capitalist baby are bringing about a honeymoon lacking intimacy. A hopeful demolishing of Obamacare has not had so far the required legislative wrecking ball, and a new round of wealth re-distribution, from poor to rich, does not augur well for the unlikely couple… not while there might still be moral concern and civic decency in a handful of GOP senators. That, of course, remains to be seen.
But if personally or domestically things are not going well for Trump – with Muller’s investigation gaining momentum and key conservative legislation so far a total bust, in the international arena success follows in parallel. Despite the president’s claim that his recent trip to Asia was a “tremendous success” [in Trump’s never-ending use-misuse of superlatives, tremendous tops his list in the size-spectrum since he’s yet to discover gargantuan given his lack of curiosity for the literary] claiming that now he is in charge “America is back”; the reality that actually occurred in this trip is quite different.
If during this 5-nation visit he was given the courtesies afforded the leader of a major, important nation, such ceremonial adulation should not be confused either with direct or even indirect success for US foreign policy, politically or economically.
In his 20-minute post-trip briefing, Trump claimed credit for unifying the world against North Korea’s nuclear program; also an implied authorship in the paving of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”; and a call for US reciprocal trade relations with the Pacific Rim.
In truth, if you read the accounts of what took place from the press of the visited countries the differences grow from extensive to drastic.
In the economic realm, the creation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade zone in the Pacific Rim by 11 friendly nations, but sans the US, basically summarizes the economic component… where the US had no role. In the political arena, and the defiance by Pyongyang to continue with its fast-track program of regime-survival-through-nuclear-might, only China’s Xi Jinping offered a reasonable proposition to defuse the crisis with North Korea. The proposition: a direct and simple quid-pro-quo, in this case a “freeze-for-freeze,” where North Korea stops its nuclear and missile development, and the US and its allies rein in military exercises in their Korean peninsula front yard. That, of course, is something rejected a priori by the Pentagon.
To some of us, this trip yielded a much different reality than that being portrayed by Trump. China’s Xi Jinping shines next to our elected charlatan in both smarts and demeanor, giving us a precursory sign that the fate of the American empire has been written, perhaps giving entrance to smaller regional empires without hegemonic global ambitions, China and Russia logical present heirs in the coming power-division.
And that brings us to the Republican Party and its trials and tribulations with Trump. The enthusiasm the GOP had last January as President Trump was given the reins of the nation is continually diminishing, converting it into a mirage from a hopeful past.