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Est. April 5, 2002
December 13, 2018 - Issue 768

There's Talk of Impeachment,
But What of the Fate of the People?


"With every cut in government programs that
provide for the most vulnerable among us, Trump
and his Republicans will continue to move the wealth
of the nation upward, toward the top 10 percent. 
Already, the disparity in wealth between the top
10 percent and the bottom 90 percent is alarming
even those at the top of the income scale."

There has been talk of impeachment of Donald Trump for nearly as long as he has occupied the Oval Office, for unending offenses against the people, the government, and the planet, and the latest reckless threat he has made is that he'll shut down the government if he doesn't get his southern border wall.

For Trump, shutting down the government is just as easy as winning a trade war and we know how well his “trade wars” have been going. He hasn't won one, yet, but he keeps trying to spin the outcomes as a win for him and a defeat for the rest of the world. The North American Free Trade Agreement remake, for example, when analyzed, shows it to be a bit of tweaking here and there, but it's pretty much the same old NAFTA and still lacks protections for the workers on all sides, for the environment (including healthy food), and for health and safety for all concerned.

Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down the government if he doesn't get his border wall, never giving a thought to the approximately 600,000 federal workers who might be left for an undetermined period without a paycheck. He doesn't care about that because he doesn't care about federal workers or their families or the agencies of government that he has attempted from his first day in office to throttle or eliminate. Examples are the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior and any number of agencies that protect the quality of air, water, and food. It just doesn't matter to him.

Since he has never had to go without his diet soda and Big Mac or anything else for that matter, he just doesn't care about the reality for the families left without a paycheck. He is the only candidate in the 2016 Republican primary elections who said that American workers are paid too much and, therefore, they are not competitive in the global economy. No one at the time asked him what level of hourly pay would be “competitive” in a global economy and he wasn't forthcoming. Even though his base contains a large percentage of wage working men and women, his disdain for them and their financial problems doesn't stop them from supporting him in anything he does or fails to do.

His comment about America's “high wages” shows him to be just another run-of-the-mill Republican politician whose instinct is to protect the power of the rich and that of Corporate America. He's doing a great job at that, especially in the wake of his tax cut scam, most of which accrued to the two power sources just names. He's included, of course, in both of those groups and is a direct beneficiary of his actions as president. There are many other personal financial benefits to his being president. The money being paid at his establishments (hotels, clubs, and golf courses) by foreign governments and their lobbyists and well-heeled citizens is exactly what the nation's founders were talking about when they included the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8) that generally prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives).

The president never gave up his effective control of his businesses, his corporations, his properties, or his accumulated wealth by turning over their operation to his sons, with whom, he wants us to believe, he never discusses any of his private affairs. His hush payments to a porn star during the presidential primaries also was a private transaction, not a breach of election or any other law, he wants us to believe. In other times, presidents and holders of lesser official positions have been, in effect, run out of town for such behavior.

Such behavior in 2016 and since, however, seems to have become acceptable to his evangelical base, who claim to believe in the literal reading of sacred scripture, which seems to forbid having “congress” with porn stars. The convolutions of evangelical leaders and preachers who are wedded to Trump and defend him without limit should have their congregations laughing them out of their pulpits, but Trump persists and they continue to honor and fawn over him. He requires that and will appear to do their bidding, even though they simply provide cover for some of his more egregious acts. Also, they vote...and they vote for him.

When the snake oil salesmen of the nation's horse-and-wagon era came into a new community (usually for a very short stay), they could salt the crowds with some of their own paid shills, who would start off the purchase of the bottled elixir, even though they didn't know what was in the bottle. Soon, the supply of the all-purpose curative was exhausted and the snake oil salesman was off to the next community. Trump has tapped into the psychological knowledge of the manipulation of a population and has been a success. Reality television, from whence he came, taught him much about manipulating audiences. Reality TV is about the lowest form of entertainment (cheapest, too) and Trump has shown himself to be the lowest form of presidential material. In his view, however, he is a success in that he is making money and controls much of the power of the most powerful nation the world has seen.

With every cut in government programs that provide for the most vulnerable among us, Trump and his Republicans will continue to move the wealth of the nation upward, toward the top 10 percent. Already, the disparity in wealth between the top 10 percent and the bottom 90 percent is alarming even those at the top of the income scale. What do they fear? The same thing the snake oil salesmen of old feared: The people might find out that the bottles contained little or nothing of value and would begin to tear apart the wagon, set the horse free, and ride the salesman out of town on a rail.

Although Trump's contempt for working people hasn't reached the tar-and-feather stage yet, his time may be coming, as the Mueller investigation of Trump and his campaign seems to be drawing to a conclusion or conclusions and it doesn't look good for salesman Trump. The president has said that he has done nothing wrong, nothing that would bring impeachment, he is arguably the greatest liar that any nation on earth has ever seen as head of state. Just about nothing he says can be taken at face value, so the world has to wait to see how his irrationality plays out. That's no way to run a snake oil wagon.

And, he is obsessed with his wall, which would cost tens of billions of dollars and not keep people out. For Trump, the wall seems to be a mythical IUD, designed to keep out all of those people who come here for asylum and to work (and, they will reproduce themselves, one of his great fears). His racism knows no bounds and his useless wall would be a monument to himself: Ugly, forbidding, destructive of the environment, and costing untold amounts of money that could provide schools, hospitals, clinics, and programs for the people. Wage workers deserve much better than Trump and his cult followers. 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.




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David A. Love, JD
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