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Est. April 5, 2002
June 20, 2019 - Issue 794

All Good Things
Must Come To An End
But What About The Bad?


"Trump loves dictators, as he has shown with his
cozying up to the murderous Saudis, with Duterte
of the Philippines, with Kim of North Korea, and
many others.  He loves their power and wishes he
had it.  He does not have it, though, and that's a
good thing.  If power needs to be tempered by truth
and justice, those two elements of a civilized society
will never be found in the vicinity of Donald Trump."

Reality television shows come and go, some stay for several seasons, but the U.S. has become like a reality show, since the advent of Donald Trump and his threats to continue into a second term...and beyond.

Trump has speculated about what his “toughs” would do if he does not win reelection. It just a thinly veiled threat from someone who believes that the police and the U.S. military would keep his sorry character in the White House beyond the two-term limit. That would be in addition to his base of gun-bearers.

On television, a character in a reality show can pretend to be the ultimate boss, who makes decisions that no one can dispute, kind of like the head of the Trump business enterprises, who can look over some of his minions and say to one, “You're fired.” That's how Trump worked “The Apprentice” and it was all fun and games, except for the fired one. He loves the drama of dashing the hopes and dreams of his apprentices and it may be the only time he can form a real smile on his face.

But the real world is not reality TV and the star of such a show does not belong in the White House, because Trump is not capable of acting in any other way. He thinks the nation and the world should do what he orders and demands and that's not how the real world works. He does not know how the real world works, since he grew up in a cocoon of riches showered on him by his daddy and he has nothing but contempt for anyone outside of his self-created world, a world in which he is the center.

There has been plenty written about his malignant narcissism and his mysogony, his racism and his unfettered hatred of Islam and Muslims, so it is not necessary to rehash those fatal character flaws or any of his others, but what about those who work for him? What kind of people are they? No one who works for him can fail to see what he is and how his totally erratic behavior affects the American people and people of so many countries around the world.

To understand how they can do this, one has to return to the reason people will flock to the try-outs for any reality TV show. True, they get some compensation for it, but it's not like paying professional actors for their work, so producers and network and cable big shots like “reality,” even though the shows are far from actual reality. And, they get to share the screen with a media-produced celebrity like Trump, so that they themselves might become celebrities, as some have done. Where they go from there is anyone's guess. The humiliation that goes with reality TV is part of draw. Audiences apparently love to see people humiliated and that goes way back to radio's “Queen for a Day,” in which the “queen” has to spill her guts about the tragedy of her life before an entire nation. Then, she gets several prizes to soothe her travails. The equivalents are here on television today, in any number of shows that give us the “reality” of life in the only “superpower” on earth.

The humiliator-in-chief has made it a routine for a president of the U.S. to humiliate staff, opposition politicians, the press, elected foreign leaders, critics of every kind from anywhere in the world. His supporters like his style and his closest advisers keep egging him on in the destruction of all democratic norms of the U.S. and near destruction of the intricate foreign relations that have been what has kept the world from another global war, even as tenuous as those relations have been. Those relations have favored global corporations and not citizens, either here or internationally. The nations of the world are in a precarious position, economically and politically and Trump has added fuel to the fires that already were burning or smoldering. He's become the ultimate torch man among nations.

He, like presidents before him, does not like democratically elected leaders of smaller and weaker nations, who will not do the bidding of the U.S. They preferred pliable leaders, installed by the U.S. But Trump loves dictators, as he has shown with his cozying up to the murderous Saudis, with Duterte of the Philippines, with Kim of North Korea, and many others. He loves their power and wishes he had it. He does not have it, though, and that's a good thing. If power needs to be tempered by truth and justice, those two elements of a civilized society will never be found in the vicinity of Donald Trump.

The president's latest erratic order is the removal of a million or more undocumented aliens. He sprung this on his agencies, many of whose staff learned about it in the media, although he claimed that they all were previously informed. If the incarceration in cages of children of asylum seekers and the permanent separation of untold numbers of families was the big atrocity of the past year, that will pale in comparison with the chaos among families and communities, if he starts rounding up people to incarcerate, then deport thousands, then millions, without so much as a nod toward the law and the U.S. legal system.

Justice never has occurred to him. He does not know what it means, going back years, to the conviction of the Central Park Five, who were wrongfully accused and tried for the horrific attack on a lone woman jogger in the park. He took out a full page ad in a New York paper, calling for their execution and, years later, when they had been exonerated through DNA evidence and their having spent years in prison, he has refused to apologize (he doesn't do that) and today, he still refuses to apologize and said this week that there were people on both sides of the exoneration. “They confessed,” he proclaimed, apparently never having heard of obtaining confessions by torture. Don't forget that he favors torture and it wouldn't bother him that they could have spent most of their lives in prison because of torture confessions.

The young men, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise, are the subjects of Netflix's “When They See Us,” and they have received some compensation for their conviction and incarceration from the City of New York. Trump opposes that, too, although the real perpetrator has confessed and is already doing time for other crimes. The only reason that anyone would hold that opinion is racism and Trump oozes racism, mostly when he speaks and mostly when he acts or when he issues an order. His order for a terroristic roundup of families for deportation is another example of his racism, for the majority of his targets are people of color from Central and South America. No one can tell when or what he will order next and his dwindling cadre of “advisors” will not make a move to stop him or curb his irrational impulses. Worse, he is backed in his know-nothing adventures by the entire Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. For some reason, they are not willing to move to curb his behavior, even though much of what he has perpetrated (trade deals) in the world have hurt them and their financial backers. They are afraid of him and they stand like deer in headlights, as he breaks down democratic norms, the U.S. Constitution, the press, and any other institution that he feels has crossed him in any way.

He apparently imagines himself king of the boardroom, as in “The Apprentice,” in that he can do what he wants and no one can touch him, because he's the boss. He believes that the president can do anything and get away with it, but the U.S. is not a phony reality TV show. There are real life repercussions for what he is perpetrating on the American people and many are finally waking up to the lies that make up Trump World.

His world is a danger to the real world: He has denied human involvement in the disastrous climate change and global heating, he has no plans for universal health care, he has no plans to rein in the banks, the pharmaceutical corporations, and the insurance industry. He has promised (falsely) that he will bring back jobs in coal and manufacturing industries that would take decades to accomplish, even if he wasn't lying about it. He will open up any of the America's sacred places for gas and oil production, despite the destruction involved.

The Trump base loves it. He's the “bad boy” that they could never be and he promises to destroy the “elites,” who are keeping them down. He pretends to be a populist, but it's a right-wing populism that is reminiscent of fascist governments in other countries, where the people are nothing but pawns for the leaders, although they provide the form of a democracy. In such a state, they can vote, but they have nothing to say about the direction of the country.

Trump's base is okay with that, because they believe what he says, just like the medicine show hucksters over the past several hundred years, who told the credulous crowd that what's in the bottle will cure just about anything that ails them. It was both entertainment for the (mostly) country rubes, but it fleeced them of their money for elixirs that did not work.

The president was at it again this week, preaching to an adoring crowd of his unquestioning supporters in Orlando, in the opening rally of his campaign for reelection in 2020. They appear to have no need to know anything about what's happening, because they believe their dear leader. Soon, they and their leader will learn that this isn't a reality show that you can turn off at the end of the half-hour and that it will possibly take a generation or two to rebuild what has been destroyed by this administration, if that is even possible. 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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Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
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