Cacophony of Crap: The Trump Decades
Cacophony of Crap, Mess of Merde, Superadundance of … well, you get the idea! The man has been in office for just about 194 days. Roughly 16.693 million seconds. I’m exhausted, and not shy about fessing up!
Remember when President Donald Trump fired James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Within a day or so the president said, about the firing: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” We all screamed obstruction of justice. Remember? Wait. What? “Who’s James Comey?” Feels like eons ago!
There’s good stuff happening in the Time of Trump, for sure. Check on your retirement accounts. You’ll smile. For me, at least, work abounds. Paying work. And, in less than three weeks, the moon will place itself in the path of the sun for a few moments, and I expect to be seeing it in Greenwood, South Carolina.
President Trump takes credit for the rising markets. My law practice? He knows from me not at all, but if he did he’d surely be telling I’d be worse off, bigly, with Crooked Hillary. The moon and the sun, aligned? Who knows, but he’s not without an ego as Big as the Ritz.
In my lifetime the world has never seemed so chaotic. I was alive for the Cuban Missile Crisis, but just five-years-old. (I recall my dad buying canned goods and storing them in a small room adjacent to our home, as if anyone might survive the 20 steps to the “pantry.”) Secretary Nikita Khrushchev and President John Kennedy went at, for sure, but both of them “owned” Superpowers and got the notion of standing down.
Today, our leader sees us weakened, put upon by nations large and small. The world presents complicated challenges, but our guy doesn’t know how to rise above any of them. Instead, he tweets. He effing tweets!
What of it? Garrison Keillor wrote We Will Survive This for the Washington Post’s August 1 issue. (I think he did, really and truly, grow up in Lake Wobegon!) Maybe. But maybe not.
The world damn near fell apart between 1939 and 1945. The world order we developed thereafter did not happen without blood, sweat, and tears (to the nth) and several more wars—hot and cold—in the ensuing decades. But that process left us pretty stable and pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good for many years. Too many got left behind, capitalism ran amok here, and other countries starting getting bigger pieces of the pie, but … pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.
And now we have a Boy Prince—yes, he’s 70, but he’s a boy in every imaginable way—at the helm, with no sense for the dangers which face us. Win. Win until we’re sick of winning. That’s the message and the plan. Thin. Very thin!
We can’t ignore the stress which our Fearless Leader places on world systems. I’ve never seen so many potential tinderboxes, each awaiting its own spark. Sparks do fly, always, which is why competent leaders find ways to limit the quantity of “fuel” for fires. Not so much, now!
One among a myriad of other Trump-ian, I don’t know, annoyances—annoyances seems lame here—bothers me. The man seems to be believe he can proclaim, or act, and no one else will react. So, when he claims our trading partners have taken advantage of us and threatens tariffs or worse, he seems to believe they will bow down and say “How can I rectify my offenses against you, O Mighty One?” Instead, they’re going their own way. Mexico works on trade deals with others. Pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has other countries moving forward without us. And pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord leaves us doubling down on yesterday’s energy sources, while China and others lead. Time will tell on these and other similar issues, but the propensity for unilateralism—premised on the notion that everyone will cow-tow to us—represents just what we ought to expect from a child’s mind.
Maybe the new Chief of Staff, General John Kelly, will bring things around. Hope abounds, truly. I’m less sanguine than Mr. Keillor about surviving the Sturm und Drang, so I applaud any calming influence, even if it gives President Trump more opportunities for those wins he promised.