Trump is no anomoly

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In the 1990s there was a tv show called Northern Exposures about life in Alaska. In one episode there was a chef who talked about a roux he once made from the essence of a hundred rendered a cows. I asked a chef about it and was assured that it was just a fiction invented for the show. This mystical roux is the perfect metaphor for President Trump. A lot of the left portrays Trump as an anomoly in American history, as break with the historical reality of the American executive. But Trump is exactly the opposite of that. Trump is the essence of American policy. He is the essence of our foriegn and domestic policy rendered of all its polite rhetoric and self deception.

Even at the personal level Trump exemplifies what the world thinks of as essentially American. Are there any French people surprised to see an overweight rich American tourist whp would rather sit in his hotel room than step out into the rain to honor the war dead of World War 1? But it is in the realm of policiy that Trump really epitomizes America for the world. Obama for all his faults, didnt make me cringe when he met with world leaders. But take for example his foreign policy, is his admiration for the killer Duterte so much different than the deference and support which Carter and Reagan gave to the killer Marcos?

When Trump was running for office I became slightly confused about the reaction of some Democrats to Trumps declaration that better relations with the Russians might be nice. But to some pundits on the left this was anathem. Peace with the Russians? Where are the pee tapes? Nobody could want better relations with the Russians unless they were being blackmailed. Right on time, following the election came the charges that Russia had thrown the election to Trump. This was patently absurd for a number of reasons none of which was it didnt happen. On the contrary it probably did but if it were not so depressing it would be laughable. I know the relatives of General Rene Schneider in Chile msut have seen some dark humor in the accausation after Kissinger sent money and guns in diplomatic pouches to his assasins because he wasnt amenable to a military coup of the democratically elected president Salvadore Allende. According to Kissinger the citizens of Chile had no right to elect a president who wasnt hand picked by America. If a few thousand murders to get the point across so be it. The fact that democrats were in such a tizzy was especially confusing when one recalls black members of the House of Representatives who sought in vain for a single member of the Senate to stand up in justifiable outrage at the systemic disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida during the 2000 election. Whatever effect Russian interference may have had the effect on the outcome paled when compared to the legal theft of voters rights every election cycle in America by the Republican party. If the effect of Russian interference can be said to have tilted the election in favor of Trump by merely pointing out the faults of Hillary Clinton where is the outrage over racist voter ID laws, the electoral college, uncounted provisional votes thrown in the trash whose cumulative effect has been to consistenly tilt elections towards right regardless of the expressed will of the voters?

Is Trumps immigration policy anything but the distillation of Obamas policy which removed undocumented immigrants at record levels from the country? Is this so far removed from the detainment of Muslim Americans without charge or suspicion by the Bush administration after 9/11? Is this so far removed from the internmt of Japanes Americans after Pearl Harbor?

When Trump decided to pull out of Syria the collective gasp of horror emanating from the left was surprising till one looked at who on the left was gasping the loudest. Imagine my surprise when I turned my head to the left and sitting there in the chairs were Ana Navaro, Bill Kristol, General Mattis and a host of others. I recognized them from somewhere. At first it eluded me where I had seen those Leftist critics of Presidential over reach before. Then like an echo I gasped in horror, They were the same people clamoring for war from the right under George Bush. Now they were on my side and I couldnt decide whether to laugh or cry. Of course those clamoring for war are never long disappointed in America and Trump backed down. How different really was this from Obamas support for Morsi in Egypt which disappeared like smoke when Mattis and Kerry decided he had to go. Morsi vanished like Obamas backbone in the face of American military desires.

At least the Democrats in Congress stood up to him when it came to our overfunded bloated military budget. There was no way they
were going to concede to an increase in the budget which in itself exceeded the entire military budget of Russia. No, he would have an extra 50 billion dollars even if that means we have to sacrifice the health and education of our poor and elederly. Its the least they could do.

In the end Trump is what is left of American policy when you strip off the hide and let it congeal down to its essence. He is no anomoly. He may more accurately be called the paradigm or perhaps the protoype of America at last revealing to Americans what the third world has seen for decades.


John Minehan Added Jan 11, 2019 - 6:21pm
Trump probably wants to epitomize the best of America: a self-made man, one without illusions, who easily intimidates lesser men.
The reality is not quite that. 
He is more "self-gentrified" than "self-made," turning his father's multi-million dollar, safe, stogy General Contractor and Development company in Brooklyn into a (leveraged to the hilt) multi-billion dollar, international brand (albeit, one that is often a punch line).
He is a man who has to wallow in his own illusions to function, in that, like most master salesmen (or, less charitably, hucksters).
Finally, his being saved by the banks in the early 1990s (because they needed his name to rent his properties to be paid back) and what is shaping up to be a painfully avoidable impasse over the border , demonstrates he ultimately intimidates no one.
I am reminded of something said in the 2004 film, Master & Commander; The Far Side of the World,  "The simple truth is, not all of us become the men we once hoped we might be. But we are all God's creatures. If there are those among us who thought ill of Mr. [Trump], or spoke ill of him, or failed him in respect of fellowship... then we ask for your forgiveness, Lord. And we ask for his."     
Ana Ross Added Jan 11, 2019 - 9:55pm
Mogg tsur thanks I will do that
Thomas Napers Added Jan 12, 2019 - 2:07am
Great comment Opes.  It doesn't surprise me one bit that Ana chose to ignore it.  
Bill H. Added Jan 12, 2019 - 11:26am
The concept of peace with the Russians is admirable, but to have a leader that is a puppet of the Russians is intolerable.
Trump's entire objective is not only to just please his ego and enhance his financial standing, but also to appease those to whom he owes millions, which includes Russia.
Did this not become obvious as more and more of his advisors and cabinet were found to have Russian ties?
What we are seeing is the fulfillment of Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 promise that "We will bury you!".
Dino Manalis Added Jan 12, 2019 - 12:28pm
 Trump is a reflection of the frustration in America and Europe, it may be regarded as an anomaly, but quite appropriate for the times  we live in.
Ana Ross Added Jan 12, 2019 - 6:21pm
Thomas Napers I chose to ignore Opes comment because I happen to agree with it.  Did you see the part of my post which says that Trump is no anomaly?  Its strikingly similar to the part of Opes post that says that Trump is no anomaly dont you think?  I also agree that Trump addressed issues that were important to the working class but ignored by both parties since Reagan.  This was a crucial part of his win. What makes him similar to virtually every other candidate and hence again no anomaly is that like Obama who promised to have the most transparent administration in history Trump lied.  The idea that a billionaire real estate developer with a history of screwing his contractors out of their wages could masquerade as a man of the people is just another example of the decline in critical thinking by the American Public. The only thing I disagree with is that regulation was crippling business.  America has deregulated radically across the spectrum of industries since Reagan began to dismantle the regulatory function of government in the 80s.  All this has done is further concentrate wealth in the hands of those who already have it.  The swinging door policy of having industry lobbyist in charge of the agencies that are supposed to  regulate them is a recipe for the blatant corruption in government we are stuck with today yet after decades of this the wage of workers is lower in real terms than it was when Reagan took office.
Ana Ross Added Jan 12, 2019 - 6:43pm
mogg tsur while I disagree on what the outcome is  your analysis of the election is spot on.  One of the things overlooked by a lot of people is that candidates have for some time relied on what is called dial polling.  This is where they give a group of people dials and have them listen in real time to a stump speech.  They turn it up when they like what they hear and down when they dont.  Over time this has given rise to parties delivering speeches that are just word salads that did well the dial polls without any substance.  After being fed this pablum  for a couple of decades the relief that the public felt having two candidates (Sanders still is the most popular politician in the country) who spoke in actual sentences without filtering through these dial polls was evident.  What I find astonishing is that in a country of 350 million people both parties put forth the most reprehensible people in the country as candidates.  I count the nation lucky that Charles Manson was still in jail and not available for either party to recruit as a candidate or one of them surely would have.
Dave Volek Added Jan 12, 2019 - 7:17pm
I like most of what you said. I hope Mr. Trump is an anomaly in American politics for the next populist leader is more likely to be a little wiser in field of social psychology.
But Mr. Trump did resonate--and still does--with many Americans. For that I give him credit, but I doubt he is going to find solutions to their plight. 
I spent six years in party politics and found it to be a semi-dysfunctional culture, which eventually spills into governance and societal attitudes. Somehow I invented another system of governance--one without political parties. You might be interested in hearing about Tiered Democratic Governance. 
Ana Ross Added Jan 12, 2019 - 7:41pm
Dave Thanks for the link. I will read your book.  That in itself is something to be proud of.  Having looked at the web site it looks promising.  I'll let you know what I think after I've read it.
Ana Ross Added Jan 12, 2019 - 8:01pm
Opes You are not so naive to think you see enough of the bad on both sides of the political marker to know which has done the worst, do you?  
As to which is the worst thats a judgement call.  Which has done the most to lead America away from any semblance of democratic principles I think the numbers speak for themselves.  Trump lost the popular vote by millions of votes yet the republicans hold the white house.  Republicans lost the popular vote by 8% in the senate but hold the majority of seats.  The house of Representative give Republicans about 4% more seats than they have of the popular votes due to gerrymandering.  In terms of state governments the advantage republicans have from redistricting is so egregious it may be impossible in some districts to ever return to the voters having a fairly apportioned representation.The tactics of Mitch McConnell refusing to seat a justice nominated by the president 14 months before he left office is shameful and has again allowed republicans to unfairly hold a majority in that body too.  Which party is the most uncomfortable with democracy? No question the numbers speak for themselves.
Bill H. Added Jan 12, 2019 - 9:53pm
Opes - My thoughts and conclusions are based on what I have seen since even before Trump began running for office. He has had a "thing" for Russia and Russians for years. Also, since he could no longer get any loans after his 6 declared bankruptcies, he has been relying on loans from Russians.
Trump was working with the Russian mafia for more than 30 years. He was profiting from them. They rescued him. They bailed him out. They took him from being $4 billion in debt to becoming a multibillionaire again, and they fueled his political ambitions, starting more than 30 years ago. This means Trump was in bed with the Kremlin as well, whether he knew it or not.
Seems pretty damn obvious to me. 
Ana Ross Added Jan 12, 2019 - 10:47pm
Regardless whose side you are on in the govt shutdown we can all be thankful that at least one group of government employees wont be inconvenienced by it.  Thats right, our representatives will still be able to de-stress  in the congressional sauna and gym which remains open during the shutdown.  I wouldnt want Mitch McConnell to miss a set of squat thrusts with his trainer lest seasonal affective disorder should mar his otherwise sunny disposition.
Spartacus Added Jan 13, 2019 - 3:11am
Which party is the most uncomfortable with democracy? No question the numbers speak for themselves.
Losers still bitching and moaning.  Would you like some cheese with that whine, Ana? 
Democrats hate the democratic system when they are losing.  When they win, they corrupt every part of it.  We elected Trump as a response to the blatant corruption of our government.  Did you know that Democrats commit crime 2 to 1 over Republicans?  No question the numbers speak for themselves.
Ana Ross Added Jan 13, 2019 - 4:26am
Spartacus Did you know that Reagans administration had the most members indicted than any other administration?  Well that's how government goes aside from the massive fraud committed by the Republicans we lost the elections fair and square. But no I couldn't bring myself to vote for either candidate so I don't really have a Dog in the show. And I don't have any illusions that Hillary would have been a better President than Trump.  What I am sure of is that Had Hillary won I wouldn't have to cringe when in embarrassment every time she meets with world leaders.  What I am sure of is that your post about whining doesn't really constitute a counter argument.  And that youve made a mistake that is understandable gives your reading level.  Wine and whine sound the same but they are really different things.  What you meant was wine and cheese. Now get off the computer and let the grown ups talk. Go outside and play with your brothers honey.
Spartacus Added Jan 13, 2019 - 5:15am
What you meant was wine and cheese.
OMG.  You are not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Ana.  
Wine and whine sound the same but they are really different things.
LOL.  This is the best.  Did you just crawl out from under a rock somewhere?
Here, I'll spell it out for you sweetie.  If I had said "would you like some cheese with that wine", it would not have been funny at all.  It would have made no sense.  Instead, I said "cheese with that whine" . . . implying that you are whining about being a sore loser.  It's called a pun. 
"Pun": a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings.
I'm amazed at how dumb progressives have become.  There was a time when they could at least carry some intellectual weight into a discussion.  Next time, I will only use half my brain engaging you.  That should be fair.
Bill H. Added Jan 13, 2019 - 11:40am
Opes - I can't remember any past President who has been this cozy with one of our adversaries and other world Dictators.
"Spartacus" - I see you are following in the path of both Ken and Ryan with your namecalling and insults.
That seems pretty "Dumb" to me!
John Minehan Added Jan 13, 2019 - 12:11pm
This is interesting . . . .  I don't think te Border Impasse can end well for him.
Ana Ross Added Jan 13, 2019 - 3:13pm
Spartacus If I had said "would you like some cheese with that wine", it would not have been funny at all.
 Oh so whine and cheese was funny? I'm glad you cleared that up for me. I couldnt tell.  You know for all your big brains and stuff there is very little rational argument to your posts.  Take your first response.  I dont want to hurt your head with big words so if it starts to sting just look away.  When you remarked that democrats are responsible for twice as many crimes as republicans,  thats what we call a non sequitur.  That wasnt so bad was it ,only hurt a little bit. Anyway that means it was (its gonna sting again) irrelevant to the discussion at hand.  See I could have replied that men commit 10 times as much crime as women which would have been as relevant as your reply.  That is not at all.  What I did instead was to stay on the subject and mentioned that Reagan had the most corrupt administration in the history of the country (again going by the numbers).  Look I dont doubt that You would be a decent person if I were your neighbor.  I think we could probably sit out in the backyard and talk politics without being insulting or rude.  I know you love your family as I love mine.  So could we please be civil. Disagreeing with me doesnt make you a bad person and Ive long since given up rioting and murder as a political tool so if you'd like to engage in scintillating political discourse in the future can we agree to be if not nice maybe decent when we discourse.  If you arent able to make that reach I will understand but I wont respond further.  What do you say?  I'm reaching out with an olive branch to you and everyone who reads this post will judge us by our responses.
Bill H. Added Jan 13, 2019 - 3:32pm
Bill H. Added Jan 13, 2019 - 7:52pm
Patiently waiting!
Bill H. Added Jan 15, 2019 - 10:48pm
Still waiting!