Click to go to the Subscriber Log In Page
Go to menu with buttons for all pages on BC
Click here to go to the Home Page
Est. April 5, 2002
September 27, 2018 - Issue 757

The Laughing Stock

"If American citizens need any reassurance that,
all by himself, Trump has made the U.S. the laughing
stock of the world, they can read or watch any account
of his time at the General Assembly's podium.  He was
shocked by the reaction of his narcissistic recounting
of his greatness, because in his own mind, there never
has been anyone as great as he believes himself to be."

Critics of the Trump Administration have said for some time that Donald Trump, as president, has made the U.S. the laughing stock of the world.

On Tuesday of this week, he proved it. As he read carefully from a written speech before the U.N. General Assembly, he cited a long list of his accomplishments in the short two years since he was elected and became the “head of the free world.” He said he had “accomplished more than almost any the history of our country,” according to The Independent newspaper. They laughed.

Embarrassed, he smirked and said, “I didn't expect that reaction, but that's okay.” It's not unusual for him to forget things, including things he has said before, but this time, he forgot that he was not speaking to one of his rallies that are filled with his supporters, his “base,” but that some of the most sophisticated representatives of world diplomacy. They know that he does not represent the greatest of any aspect of the United States and they may have punctured his balloon of illusion just a little.

American voters should not make too much of his speech, but those who are not of his “base” can take comfort in the reaction of the gathering. If American citizens need any reassurance that, all by himself, Trump has made the U.S. the laughing stock of the world, they can read or watch any account of his time at the General Assembly's podium. He was shocked by the reaction of his narcissistic recounting of his greatness, because in his own mind, there never has been anyone as great as he believes himself to be.

The shock won't last long for, soon after his humiliation in New York (his home base), he was safely back in the White House or at one of his golf courses, where his staff and others can feed his ego and sooth the edges of his embarrassment before the world. Or, better yet, he can summon his base and go to the hinterlands, where his organized crowd of sycophants will make him feel as if he won a huge victory there at the gathering of nations. If they don't know it when they get there, he'll tell them about his greatness. And they'll applaud, over and over.

Everything with Trump is personal. It will be interesting to see what his reaction will be to his being laughed at by what amounts to the rest of the world. It will be difficult for him to retaliate against the entire world, so he will take it out on individuals. Crushing them will make him feel a lot better about himself, if that's possible. He already has said that he would not countenance Puerto Rico as a state, as long as Carmen Yulin Cruz remains the mayor of San Juan, the island's capital and largest city. The reason? She charged that he has been disrespectful and “insensitive” in dealing with the aftermath of last year's hurricaine. The federal government has not addressed the devastation of the island, even though 3 million American citizens are still dealing with the destruction and the attempt to rebuild. Rather than enlist all resources of the federal government, Trump blamed Mayor Cruz for being “incompetent.”

He would say that, of course, because first, she is a woman (and very competent at that) and second, he doesn't see the citizens of Puerto Rico as his equals, so they doubly do not deserve any help. And, don't forget, he was insulted by a woman leader, who is likely more competent to run the U.S. than he is. It will not be until he is out of office that Puerto Rico will be considered for statehood, if that's what they want. When he doesn't get his way, Trump pulls out all the stops to destroy whoever it is that has insulted him or failed to give him what he wants, not forgetting that this plays out in his own mind and no amount of advice from his closest staff can change his mind or deter him from retaliation.

What he will do in response to the humiliation of the world laughing on Tuesday to his boasts of all of the historic accomplishments he has made is anyone's guess. He already has lashed out against friend and foe on any number of issues, and not in any particular order. No one knows the mind of a narcissistic racist who wields such military power (not to mention his influence in wielding economic power around the world). So far, what he has accomplished is the destruction of social programs and protection of the environment and has furthered the destruction of workers' rights to unionization. These are some of the things that American citizens over many decades have fought for and which programs, laws, and regulations have made the nation and the world a better place. They have done this without vast sums of money from millionaires and billionaires and all of the politicians who have been bought by the rich. Citizen groups have won these victories, piece by piece, hard fought, through many administrations, and it has taken just one administration to begin the final destruction. Trump, though, is proud of those “accomplishments.” It's likely that that aspect of his personality and administration is what people were laughing at on Tuesday.

Trump has built little, but he has destroyed much, and the world knows it. That's why he will go to his base for another pep rally as soon as possible and he always has the cocoon of Fox News, his propaganda outlet, where he can be sure they will ask only questions like, “How did you get so good looking?” That may not be enough, because the laughter at the U.N. Tuesday was a slap in the face and he will need to act against someone or something to serve as an upper. His threats against Iran in recent days and this week in New York are things to consider for this purpose. Leftover wars from the Clinton-Bush-Obama era are not good enough. He wants his own war to win, as long as he doesn't have to take his bone spurs to the front lines.

So far, his staff's attempts to mitigate his worst inclinations (which could be disastrous for the nation and the world) have not worked and, with the Congress in the hands of the Republicans who have shown no signs that they will stand up to a bully, there does not seem to be much of a barrier to his worst impulses.

There are more than stirrings from the electorate, however. Women have begun to find their voices and are organizing politically and are running for office and winning. Black Americans and other minorities are organizing and have begun to change the climate, especially in the struggle against police impunity in killing black men and boys and, occasionally, black women. The tide of suppression and oppression might be turning, but it has taken a long time to reach the current state of the union and it will take a long time to bring it somewhere near equality and opportunity for all.

With the militarization of American police and the use of the military for police support and police work, the job of turning the tide from its rightward bent is going to be a tough one, especially if it is to be done peacefully, which is the only way the job can be done, so it will be lasting change. Much sacrifice on the part of the people lies ahead, but the work will be worth it, even in the face of some of the cruelest tactics and techniques applied to get and keep the people out of the streets. The powers that be will use everything they have to maintain the status quo (rich richer, poor poorer).

Donald Trump is just the one to represent his class and his family, to the detriment of the 98 percent of the rest of America. He doesn't have to be the one wielding the baton, the tear gas, or the firearms, but he is ready and willing to set it all in motion. Besides, no one knows how being laughed at before the U.N. General Assembly will set him off. People in the street are most vulnerable and that's what a bully like the president prefers to confront and conquer. At their core, bullies are cowards and when cowards are backed into a corner, they will lash out at just about anything. Be prepared. Columnist, John Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.




is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers