By Jason Taylor
The media and Trump are predictably strange bedfellows. Trump could not have been elected without the relentless and obsessive reportage the fifth estate has so generously given to him. That said, the extradition yesterday of politically corrupt Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash, who is complicit in the shadowy events of Trump’s campaign, will unravel Trump’s presidency.
I wish people would stop talking about ‘the Media’ as if they were all part of a homogeneous and monolithic group. At one extreme we have the unabashed yellow journalism of the supermarket aisle tabloids/rags, along with the targeted propaganda of hate radio and Fox, and at the other serious and responsible news organizations that actually DO try to be ‘fair and balanced’ like PBS’ ‘The Newshour’ and the BBC, with everything everything in between, some leaning left, some leaning right, and all of them deserving a very different set of marks.
The Trump administration, by contrast, IS more or less a monolith, having so far scored a solid ‘F’ with a majority of the viewing and listening public, if not his adoring fans for whom Trump can do no wrong since they share much the same philosophy and worldview.
Donald Trump wants to put us to bed every night with a scary story, that can expand in our imaginations into utter distrust of the Other, that menacing fictional creature who has been created by some of the most frightening leaders in history to justify their atrocities. Fictionalized terrorism by Trump, Conway, and others amplifies a fear that already lurks deep in many American hearts to such a degree that reality no longer matters.
Not that there aren’t plenty of real issues of concern. But this misdirection has many looking in the other direction while their pockets are picked and they are bled by the really scary people, over-represented in Trump’s Cabinet.
Approximately 67 years ago plus 6 days ago a certain GOP Senator demagogue made a speech in Wheeling West Virginia claiming there were Communists in the State Department. When pressed for proof he always had excuses. “I left the list of Communists in my other suit” etc. Other unsubstantiated charges followed.
He was tolerated by the GOP because the GOP having lost 5 straight presidential elections was desperate. While the parallels between Joseph McCarthy and Donald Trump are not exact there are similarities. The GOP today knows what Trump is. But they are willing to excuse his irresponsible behavior in order to cut taxes for the rich and destroy social programs and slash financial and environmental regulation.
After IKE was elected in 1952 and McCarthy extended his attacks to members of the GOP, the GOP no longer had a use for McCarthy and they helped censure him. Unfortunately, I think Trump will continue to have support from the establishment GOP as long as Trump supports the GOP’s conservative agenda of tax cuts for the rich cutting social programs and slashing financial and environmental regulation.
It is pretty clear by now that Trump’s main focus is himself. I am imagining that we may very well be blessed on our televisions and digital devices with an official Trump channel. All Trump all the time complete with an interactive interface. Of course, the interaction will be mostly Trump allowing his worshippers to listen witness him bloviating tweets 24–7. The spectacle, of course, will be a beautiful thing because it centers around the narcissist Trump himself.
Trump “thinks his followers are so stupidly loyal that they wouldn’t convict him for a murder they saw him commit”
The same crowd has absolutely no concern that the man or the party that criticized Obama as “soft” on Russia is now in bed with Putin. The crowd that called Ms. Clinton, one of the most transparent candidates ever, a greedy dishonest liar — does not care to see Trump’s tax returns or demand that he divest himself of his business interests.
The crowd that wanted Ms. Clinton locked up for her use of an email server doesn’t care at all that Trump and some cabinet members do the same. The stunning hypocrisy and lack of any values whatsoever are abhorrent. As long as Trump keeps promising to deport Mexicans and Muslims his base cheers him. It takes a special kind of loyalty to look at a migrant farm worker in California and think that is who is causing the gross economic inequality in America rather than Trump’s cabinet of Wall Street billionaires.
I find it interesting that in this first month, everything that Trump has proposed has dealt with destruction. Mass deportation, repeal Obamacare, insult Allies, insult NATO, kill the two-state solution, dismantle our intelligence, etc., etc., Whatever happened to infrastructure. which was supposed to modernize transport and create thousands of jobs? Oh, that’s construction. Apparently, Trump went out of construction when he “divested” his businesses and gave them to his sons. Now, as President, he is purely into destruction.
It would be easy to witness such a crime, and his followers would just dismiss it as more Trumpian “entertainment”. But it will be far less easy to dismiss the 36,000 murders he will commit every year by repealing the ACA.
How does that square with all the right-to-lifers in the GOP? Dismissing one rhetorical murder as just a campaign stunt is one thing. But ignoring tens of thousands of actual murders of your fellow citizens every year is something else. People who stand by and just watch as these people die are accomplices and are no better than the person pulling the trigger. Forget that the taxes on the wealthy which are part of the ACA would be repealed, too. That is just more Republican greed. Cheering on the deaths of so many thousands of innocents is ISIS-like, and is the new brand of American terrorism.
Trump has set up a brain trust and troika called Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka who espouse priorities that fly in the face of over half the country and he simply does not care. It’s called impunity and incompetence.
It isn’t “radical Muslims” who are inflicting so much terror on America. It’s the Republicans.