Thursday, April 13, 2017

New Yorker: THE NON-TRANSFORMATION OF DONALD J. TRUMP


“It’s astonishing, isn’t it, how suddenly Donald J. Trump is being viewed, in certain precincts, as—what’s the word?—yes, “Presidential,” and all it took was for him to issue an order to launch fifty-nine cruise missiles against a Syrian airbase.”

That is not Presidential, it’s being reckless and it’s dangerous. Knowledgeable decisions, not impulsive decisions, with full consideration of what the consequences of your decisions might be, is being presidential. What presidents should do is put the best interest of Americans first; war does not.

Jeffrey Frank, the column’s author, has it exactly right: “What’s most worrisome about Trump is what’s been worrisome all along: that he doesn’t think through the consequences of what he says and does, and that he acts without a glimmer of consistency, or guiding principle; he’s a man of constant surprise. In that way, Trump is not unlike another erratic world figure, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, who also seems capable of acting in extremes, without warning, at any time, and at any level of incitement. That’s another way to view Trump’s Syrian strike: the risk of miscalculation, even nuclear miscalculation, just rose by many multiples.”

President Trump brags he is the ultimate deal maker. If he is such a magnificent deal maker, a maker of “beautiful “deals, here is his chance. The world is waiting for that big beautiful deal that brings peace to the world, not war. But Donald only makes deals that benefit his business interest,and the people who profit from war. Peace is certainly not good for Wall Street. Peace means no profit. Peace means giant layoffs when he says he is going to create jobs. Peace represents a significant conflict of interest for Trump, the armed forces, homeland security, and the defense industries.

Here’s Robert Reich’s perspective:

It’s as if a national-amnesia button just got pushed -- one able to wipe out memories of the actual Trump: the serial liar; fomenter of hate; accuser of Obama (and his administration) of spying on him, without evidence of them doing so; authoritarian who blasts journalists and judges who disagree with him; fleecer who’s using the presidency to make even more money; nepotist who’s appointing family members to the White House; crackpot who’s loaded his Cabinet with knaves and fools intent on doing the opposite of what their departments were established to do; unhinged and incoherent babbler with the attention span of a newt.

Suddenly we’re hearing about a new, more “moderate” Trump who’s in favor of NATO and is distancing himself from Steve Bannon and other proto-national fascists he brought with him into power; someone who’s “finally acting presidential” by dropping bombs on Syria and now a giant bomb on ISIS in eastern Afghanistan; someone, well, almost normal. Former Secretary of State John Kerry was said to be “absolutely supportive” and “gratified to see that [the bombing of Syria, in response to Assad’s use of poison gas] happened quickly. Others in official Washington are talking approvingly about Trump’s “resoluteness.” I heard a commentator this morning compliment Trump on “allowing his generals to do their jobs.

P-l-e-a-s-e. He’s the same person, folks. Don’t be so quick to normalize what’s really, truly, frighteningly abnormal.


What’s most worrisome about President Trump
 is what has been worrisome all along:
that he doesn’t think through the consequences
of what he says and does.
PHOTOGRAPH BY AL DRAGO 
THE NON-TRANSFORMATION OF DONALD J. TRUMP
By Jeffrey Frank














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