|Trumped by Steve Jonas|
January 24, 2017
“Trumped” is a word that has at least three distinct dictionary meanings. One refers to card games in which a particular card or a particular suit outranks another, at all times during a given game, as in the game of Bridge. Then there is: “to excel; surpass; outdo.” And then there is “trumped up,” that is “to devise deceitfully or dishonestly, as an accusation; fabricate.”
After this U.S. election season, another meaning may well be added to the list, if not in the dictionary cited, then perhaps in one or more others. That would be something like “to be taken in/mis-led by, to be beaten by, to be evaded by, to be assaulted verbally and/or physically by, to be civilly or criminally discriminated against by, Donald J. Trump.” In the context of Donald J. Trump, “Trump” is of course a proper noun. However, since USA persons have never met a noun they didn’t want to verb, “Trumped” will like take on another verb identity in the U.S. lexicon (if not in that of English in general).
Many of us political observers/analysts have written extensively about this particular Trump for quite time. One question about him that many of us have dealt with over time is: “is he crazy or “crazy like a fox.” After being on one side, then the other, I have now come firmly on the side of “crazy like a fox.” I think that this man is not out-of-control, ever. I think that he only appears to be, on occasion, and I think that that is planned. Since he started the Republican Party towards an openly racist platform in 2011, when he was one of the inventors of the fake news story about President Obama’s birthplace, religion, and etc., he has had the whole thing completely under control.
In sum, I think that his speeches, gestures, yelling, put downs, personalization's and vehement personal attacks, are all planned, and unless he is really good at improv as an actor, rehearsed. After all, if Hitler could rehearse all of his seemingly “spontaneous” gestures, facial expressions, and etc. (and it turned out that he did), Trump could too.
Trump is a past-master at following the number one Lee Atwater dictum of how to practice effective politics: “always attack; never defend.”
Trump may well write his famous tweets himself, but who can say that they are not ghost-written. For he never seems to be sleepy during the day, and if he is up for significant hours during the night, following events and then tweeting about them, when does he sleep?
But what is happening now? How are we and the nation going to get “Trumped” in this newest sense of the word? Following what has been going involving both Trump, his cabinet-designees, and his staff appointments since the election, l don’t think that he is going to stay in the Presidency for very long. (From the progressive side, I don’t think that this outcome should be met either by cheering or even feeling of relief for, as I have written, Mike Pence is even, in some ways, more dangerous than Donald Trump.) I think that either he will be impeached (as I have projected in the past) or he will resign, with the appropriate flourishes about “patriotism and being able to serve the country better” on the one hand, and a series of vicious personal attacks and attacks on the media on the other. The latter—leaving aside the Trumpian character being discussed—well merited, as the mainstream media in the United States is a national and international disgrace.
If he hangs around long enough to be impeached, by his own party of course, it will have to do with policy. As is very well-known, the Military-Industrial Complex is an essential engine of the US economy. If it were not for the massive Federal government spending that supports it, the U.S. economy would likely collapse, not to mention stop enriching a cabal of defense contractors, hangers-on and sundry affiliated plutocrats that constitute a singularly malevolent power within the folds of the so-called Deep State. So, any Trump-talk against NATO is against the interests of the dominant sector of the U.S. ruling class.
One must also note that talk of cozying up to Russia has, unfortunately, entrapped more than one progressive into thinking that there is a “good side” to Trump. There isn’t. (I am not oblivious to the huge bonus of de-escalating tensions with Russia, a peer nuclear power, a good that requires no further comment. If that is accomplished, it is something entirely desirable, for the United States and humanity, and something that no genuine progressive can obstruct or complain about. However, I will be explaining my rationale for suspecting even this promised deterrence in a future column.)
Saying that Trump would be a “good fascist” because he might get some reduction in the number of nuclear weapons on both sides (so that mankind could be wiped only five times over by a nuclear war instead of ten times] is like saying that Francisco Franco, the fascist Dictator of Spain, was a “good fascist” because he didn’t come into the Second World War on the side of the Axis Powers. Why he didn’t even take over Gibraltar from the British, which he could have done easily, in June 1940, when Britain had all it could do just to get most of its troops home from Continent through Dunkerque and then prepare for the Battle of Britain. No, Franco was a smart guy, and had a pretty good idea that the Allies would eventually win, especially after the U.S. came into the War, which they eventually did. But, back to policy.
As I have said, BY HIS APPOINTMENTS THOU SHALT KNOW HIM. Remember, that the former Ted Cruz leadership, including Steve Bannon, took over the campaign when they came on board in August. This completed the appropriation of the Trump campaign by the formal far right-wing of the Repub. Party which began with Trump’s pick of Pence as the VP nominee. Trump — and it is likely not Trump himself who has made most of the picks, but rather the transition team under Pence’s leadership — has indeed loaded his cabinet with many top representatives of the dominant economic wing of the ruling class. It now has a control of the U.S. State unlike anything we have seen since March 3, 1933. This is the swamp on steroids.
They will not tolerate a whole series of Trump policies, like trying to make nice, or nicer, with Russia and possibly undermining NATO (see statements by General Mike “Mad Dog” Mattis, incoming Secretary of Defense), or actually building a physical wall at the Mexican border (a legal impossibility given land ownership, among other things) of which the incoming Secretary of Homeland Security, General John Kelly, is not supportive, to say nothing of his position on Russia as an adversary, not a friend.
Trump also has major differences of opinion with the Republican Congress on matters ranging from what should “replace” Obamacare (of which Trump was a leader of the racist campaign for its destruction, even though, again, Obamacare, originally and by definition is a capitalist Republican construct that favors the insurance industry at the expense of the public). Trump says that he wants to retain major features of it, which absolutely cannot be done financially without some kind of “mandate,” even if called by another name. He also says that he wants to preserve of Social Security, which many Congressional Republicans essentially want to destroy, by “privatization.” These conflicts would, in my view, eventually lead the Repubs. to remove him one way or another. But there is also an alternate version of my previously published alternate scenario, leading to his departure from the White House (if he ever actually moves there).
I do happen to think that both all the fuss over whether or not the Russians interfered in the election, whether or not Trump colluded with the Russians in said interference (and no documented proof of such interference has yet been made public, if it indeed even exists — if it does, that would be treason, of course), and whether or not there really is a “sex tape” (which, if one is actually produced, Trump would claim is photo-shopped and his supporters would believe him) will have little if any impact on Trump’s eventual departure from the Presidency. For I believe, in the end, that he is crazy like a fox and never thought that he could win the office (and indeed would not have had it not been for the Comey and other parties interference, a prime example of Ruling Class, not Russian, intervention.)
Following what he has been doing since the election, I have come to the conclusion that, not thinking he would win, Trump had three objectives in mind all along: one was to vastly expand his already world-wide brand (including possibly starting up a “Trump TV”). The second, related one, was to vastly increase his wealth and that of his family. (Of course, no one but his accountants know about how much he is worth, but whether it’s a lot or not so much, he is now in a position to vastly increase it.) He also knows, that for all of his squirming on “handing over the business(es)” hither and yon, there is no way that he will eventually be able to get out of being hung on conflicts-of-interest (over and over again) as well as the nepotism and emoluments statutes. The third was to establish his own, far-right, but Trumpist, not Republican, political party. It would be modeled on the European far-right parties, and of course he would be completely untrammeled (as if he is much “trammeled” now). In that sense, he could emulate France’s Le Pen trajectory.
And so, if impeachment is not set in motion, I do think that at a time of his own choosing, with a speech that will curdle milk at a thousand yards, he will resign, while rallying a significant chunk of his minority of electoral support to him personally (thereby giving the Repubs. a very serious problem). It will also present all of the anti-Trump forces, ranging from the (reactively) progressive wing of the Democratic Party, to a variety of non-socialist anti-fascist forces of various stripes, to a variety of socialist parties of various stripes, an historic opportunity to finally end the Civil War, rid the country of the plague of the Doctrine of White Supremacy, and point it in as progressive direction as can be achieved under capitalism (not that progressive, but better than we have now), under (I hope) the banner of a newly-minted Popular Front. More on the latter anon.
In conclusion, unless he is impeached, we shall all be Trumped, with the man having the last word, at least for now.