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Cruel and Usual Trump


#1

Cruel and Usual Trump

Pierre Tristam

I don’t read the Marquis de Sade to beef up on hope for mankind. I know what I’m in for if I pick up “The 120 Days of Sodom.” For the same reason I know what I’m in for when I pick up the daily papers: I can’t be expecting Eckhart Tolle when I’ve been living the American translation of, so far, the 513 Days of Sodom. In that sense, it’d be futile to criticize President Trump for being the Marquis de Trump.


#2

The American public has a major opportunity to vote their values this November.


#3

“Asylum seekers are not criminals.”

Trump,on the other hand, is a “Criminal”, and must be put in an “Asylum.”


#4

In what way? Did you see the Democrats just help raise the military budget to 716 billion dollars? There is no voting your way out. It is a fantasy.


#5

Half of America secretly love him for it. That is a sick truth, but a truth none the less. And don’t pretend the Democrats are any better. We bombed the shit out of innocent civilians every damn day of Obama’s presidency just like Bush before him and Trump after him. Americans are a stupid and cruel people.


#6

The American public’s values are on full display today.


#7

So are the Latin American values.


#8

Not true. Democrats would not have dissolved the Iran agreement. They would not have sought to undermine Obamacare. And they would not have voted for the Trump tax cuts. The two parties are not the same. There are real differences. To your point, the two parties agree too much and too often on items like military budgets the country cannot afford. But sense says they are not the same.

A better idea is to vote democrat and then move the country to the left over time. That is what Republicans have done in the past 40 years, except in the other direction, of course. There is no way to reverse course in an instant, aka, in one election. But throwing your hands up and saying nothing matters and nothing can be done does not help anyone or anything. Democracy makes slow revolution possible. What you seem to want is sudden revolution and that requires something more than democracy. That sort of change requires an extreme right or an extreme left solution, neither of which is desirable.


#9

Hasn’t worked in over forty years…


#10

Trump knows a disgrace when he sees one, every morning, when he looks in the mirror.


#11

Not sure what you mean by your comment. Would you care to elaborate?


#12

Thank you for a wise and thoughtful comment! You are right, imo.


#13

Bob how did that leftward shift work out with Clinton ? With Obummer ? Under both administrations the Dem’s shifted further to the right. At this point our only chance is if enough people leave the dem party to let it die, and vote green or workers party.


#14

I am reluctant to be honest. It is exasperation that leads to that remark. The children should be returned to their parents, having said that, there probably isn’t a good way to do that all things considered.


#15

But you keep voting Republican in key presidential and off-year elections.

One of most underrated or perhaps under-considered stories of the past 30 years is Al Gore’s loss. He was the most progressive liberal Democrat that has competed for POTUS since FDR.

That said, you could be correct. We will probably never know what the country would be like if a true liberal was POTUS for a term. Someone like Warren or Sanders.


#16

It worked out badly, very badly.

That said, why not work to make the D party the green party and the worker’s party. Isn’t that what it was supposed to be?

To your point, Obama was perhaps the greatest disappointment of all. However gifted he was and is behind a podium with script, he was an abysmal, anemic advocate for liberal causes. For example, his defense of his own ACA was a near complete failure. Obama did not use the bully pulpit to refute conservative talking points and got clobbered in both mid-term elections, which handed the US to the sorry federal government it has today.

Clinton was an economic conservative and a social liberal. His end welfare stance was typical. Of course his off field injuries probably cost Gore, a much truer liberal, the election. America lost a precious opportunity when it failed to elect Gore. And yes, I believe the Nader campaign, as much as I truly admire Nader, made a critical difference.

Hopefully a strong liberal voice with global appeal will emerge. Who in 2008 could have predicted Trump would be POTUS in 2016?


#17

WTF? I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life. And, after over 40 years of pure bullshit from Democrats, I will never again vote for one of them, either. To put it simply, the Democratic party allows a small sprinkling of progressive voices to be heard from the margins when it suits them. It’s a lesser-of-two-evils strategy that has successfully hoodwinked progressives into opposing Republicans for decades while the Democrats became neoliberal, elitist war-mongers. You will never see the Democratic party become “the green party and the worker’s party.” Never. Why not? Because there’s no money in it. It will not be allowed. But, by all means, keep voting if it makes you feel better. Pray, too, if that helps you believe things will get better.


#18

NorthernBob you’re worst then lost…you are lost but think you know where you are going. Good luck with your reality.


#19

The “you” was not you personally. I was referring to the majority of Americans who have voted Republican a great deal in the last two decades across the country. Look at the number of Republican governors. Currently there are 33 republican governors to 16 democrats with 1 independent. In the federal government now, the republicans hold majorities in all three branches. I’m sure you know this. It’s hard to blame a minority party for not being bold. They don’t have the support to be bold. There was a time when FDR passed major legislation in favor of workers and more recently, a time when a republican called Nixon created the EPA. I believe, perhaps delusionally, that time can be reclaimed. I understand your frustration but I don’t think dismantling the party that historically has supported the working class is the way to gain power. I say don’t be discouraged by the weakness of the democrat party. Instead, fuse its spine with better candidates and stronger liberal policies. Even better, join the party, get involved, and support those better candidates. Waiting for them to show up at the ballot box, I would agree, has not worked. All that said, if they hand the party of to Oprah in the next election, I will probably join you in seeking to tear it down. The US does not need another self-absorbed billionaire as POTUS.


#20

Ok.

Perhaps you should look at almost every other first world nation. These other countries are much more socially progressive than the US. Britain has a public health care system where doctors are paid on government salaries. Canada, essentially, has medicare for all. France has very generous benefits for mothers with newborn children. Italy mandates more then double the number of vacation days as the US. Germany has invested very heavily in green technology, wind in particular. Japan offers lifetime employment. Sweden, Finland, and Norway are all famous for their very generous social safety nets. Several countries are now contemplating experiments with UBI. And if you think you can dismiss all of this by saying “they’re all depressed and imploding” then I suppose there is nothing anyone can say. The fact is, daily life in these countries for working people is more humane and secure than it is for their counterparts in the US.

The US is the least progressive (you could say the most “conservative” in the American sense of “conservative”) democratic nation on earth. It’s the only country where thousands seriously consider the political philosophy of Ayn Rand (including speaker Ryan).

That said, America has had bold progressive programs in the past. Less than a century ago, FDR implemented an historically progressive set of laws that revolutionized American life. Programs passed after WW2 created America’s middle class, sending hundreds of thousands to college, building then world leading infrastructure, highways, airports, etc. LBJ once trumpeted a war on poverty and a Great Society. Even right-leaning Nixon created the EPA.

Not being lost is about knowing where you want to go. I know where America needs to go. And i think I know the political movement required to get there. I would agree that America is not there now and may not head that direction for another generation. But it will go there, in time. It will have no choice.

By 2040, white Americans will be in the minority. This demographic trend alone, combined with the disproportionate poverty of non-whites, will move America to the left. In addition, robotics, AI, automation, and globalization will also force countries to the left. These technology changes will displace millions of blue- and white-collar workers. To glimpse this future, look at what Shentong (STO) Express has done in their factory: 200,000 packages a day sorted by robots with 4 workers to keep the robots in service. Or IBM Watson’s latest AI triumph in debates with humans. Why would anyone pay for a human accountant, lawyer, or doctor that could do no better than an algorithm? That day is arriving sooner than later.

In my view, in this world, conservative economic policies will not be able to deliver economic prosperity for the masses. The pull-yourself-up notions of American libertarians will ring hollow and be utterly impractical. A new form of government will emerge, something beyond the democracy we have now. The “next system project” in the US is working to figure that new system out.

In this world, at this time, none of us can say exactly where “we” are going. That said, I don’t believe venting frustration with current leaders and government without taking action helps anything. Democracy does not work well on auto-pilot. If Americans want different policies, like people enjoy in other first world democracies, they have to cast smarter and more prudent votes to elect better leaders.

Friendly (not being a jerk) note: it’s “worse than”, not “worst then”.