In many governments the candidates for the highest station are above the law and if they attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it.
Trump came to us in 2015 and was elected on lies. He is in the White House not because of competence or any burning ambition to serve his country, but because he cast himself as the people’s crusader to hollow out the swamp and breathe new life into American industry.
He entered politics with fraud and falsehood and his ordinary and vulgar acts of intrigue were designed to depose and destroy those who stood in the way of his greatness, and until we have recompensed him, until we ourselves have been instrumental in promoting his happiness, we feel ourselves still loaded with that debt which his past services have laid upon us.
Sound familiar? The day after the mid-terms from the rostrum of shame, President Trump read out the names of Republicans who lost and offered “no love or embrace”, Carlos Cubulu, Mike Kaufmann, Barbara Comstock, Peter Roskam, Erik Paulsen, Bob Ugan, John Faso and Mia Love.
For those counting, that’s eight fellow Republicans Trump name called because they didn’t bend in the right place. His duplicitous reign may very well continue, but the Republican Party no longer fear him, and clear association was drawn to the strength of the blue wave and Trump’s repulsiveness.
Flake made clear on the floor of the Senate during the week that he would not vote for any more of Trump’s judicial nominees until the Senate votes on a bill to prevent special counsel Robert S. Mueller III from being fired, a pledge that could complicate Republicans’ hope to confirm any of the 32 judicial nominees pending before the full Senate or advance any of the 21 nominees waiting for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s endorsement.
Polling has long indicated a majority of the population want regular order restored and the aisles crossed in pursuit of common-sense policy, but Trump is not for order, regular or otherwise, because he continues to undermine our electoral integrity. He offers no evidence of voter fraud because his base requires none, instead he peddles a variation of his 2016 nonsense, this time involving a change of shirt, hat and circling vehicles. “I’ve had friends talk about it when people get in line that have absolutely no right to vote and they go around in circles……and vote again.”
In normal times the highest civil magistrate would be entrusted with the power not only of preserving the public peace by restraining injustice, but of promoting the prosperity of nation states, by establishing good discipline, and by discouraging every sort of vice and impropriety. Such magistrates would prescribe rules which not only prohibit mutual injuries among fellow citizens but command respect for office.
Why was a bipartisan bill to prevent interference of the Mueller enquiry necessary? Because we have a magistrate who tears at the fabric of life and is decades long in his disdain for any law which does not advantage him. Trump is not of civil society and has no natural love for it or any desire for the union of mankind to be preserved.
He has never been politically tethered to the sensible because being precisely the opposite is what got him into the presidency. He understands deeds rival words and frequently reminds us of his enormous achievements……….the economic health of the economy, the roaring stock market, the inactive unemployed because of all the jobs he has created, and all of this is true, but this story started in 2010.
The takeaway is clear. Trump is still working off the base built by President Obama. The economy added more jobs in every year of his second term than it did in Trump’s first year. The economy is estimated to have gained 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, but that pales in comparison with the 5.1 percent and 4.9 percent growth in the second and third quarters of 2014 under Obama.
Trump called the economy a disaster during the campaign, and now brags about the low unemployment rate, the positive jobs reports and growth in GDP. So, if Trump is taking credit for the impact of the tax cut on economic growth, he needs to accept blame for the massive boost in the deficit which will scar generations to come.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something,” wrote Upton Sinclair in 1935, the great American muckraking journalist, “when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Trump is not compromised by salary because he doesn’t take one, but he remains conflicted because of his self-dealing and undermining of tradition and laws. If he had conscience, he would understand that when he viciously attacks the nations fabric, independent judiciary, media and intelligence agencies, all 17 of them, he undermines the existence of civil government which depends upon the obedience paid to the supreme magistrate.
There was a time in our 241-year-old history when Congress was such a magistrate and where committees of enquiry functioned as they should, in a bipartisan way. Politics has always been present and testy discourse a feature of house and senate life, but rarely has a White House been more deplorable in its conduct and a President more infantile and lawless.
The story of Trump is the European version of our 1940 past, of closed boarders and deep suspicion of neighbours, which didn’t have a good ending then, and Trump’s incessant attacks on science and government won’t end well now.
The fires raging in California have been caused by strong winds roaring through dry terrain and human action through tools, toys and mistakes, but in much larger part, the fires are an act of god, climate change to be precise, and it is the response from government departments and the spirit of the community which has brought this under control.
Trump continues to attack government agencies, the same ones which have made it possible for him to communicate directly to his 60 million twitter followers. The internet was born not through industry but through scientific agencies, and Trump’s administration and private sector beneficiaries would do well to understand this.
“It is impossible to get an executive of an internet company to understand anything if the value of his (or her) stock options depends on not understanding it.” There are two things in particular which venture capitalists who run such companies have a vested interest in not understanding.
The first is the state is not the almighty pain in the backside they claim it to be. To listen to some of them you’d think the only thing standing between us and paradise is the nation-state, with its clueless legislators, obsolete laws, red tape and regulatory impulses.
When the European court of justice dared to decide that people had a “right to be forgotten” corporates were aghast at how Europeans were opposed not only to free speech but to innovation itself.
The clear accusation was that anything tech companies do is innovation, whereas all public agencies (of which courts are one) do is impose a brake. The reality is that without the state and it’s so called sinister agencies these corporations couldn’t exist, never mind thrive. It is precisely the role of the state which provides the courts and the legal system that protects their intellectual property and infrastructure.
Or, as Senator Elizabeth Warren put it: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory……….but part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
The second thing the brains of Silicon Valley have a vested interest in not understanding is all of their wealth stems ultimately from something built by the nation-state, and some of it depends on things built by people who gave it away for free. For without the internet, which was not built by private enterprise, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Yahoo or Microsoft, but the US government, none of these digital corporations would exist.
When the 45th magistrate cries foul, de regulates everything he can get his hands on while talking a story of growth which started under President Obama, he would do well to understand the connecting plug to his obedient followers will one day be severed because there is a greatness in America that Trump has never understood, and not even his twit machine spreading false rumour and outright lies will change this destiny.
When the Republic stood for self-awareness and understanding, self-preservation was possible because men and women were taught to applaud whatever promoted the welfare of wider society, and to blame whatever was likely to hurt it, and now the blame is squarely directed at President Trump, the offensive magistrate, for all the division and injury he continues to cause.