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The Trump Standard


The Trump Standard

Robert Reich

What did Trump say when confronted with proof that his son jumped at the prospect of meeting with a “Russian government attorney” offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his candidacy?


“But Donald Trump doesn’t live in a world that has any standards at all, and he never has. His entire approach to life, to business, and now to the presidency has nothing whatever to do with standards. It’s about winning, at all costs. Whatever it takes.”

In case you missed it, Trump has a long, long, long history with Russia, never mind the other “standardless” actions on his part: http://www.npr.org/2017/07/12/536767758/trump-campaigns-russia-enablers-join-long-history-of-political-skulduggery – 30 years’ worth.

One wonders how Trump was able to continue money-making after so many bankruptcies. One wonders why women allowed themselves to be bought off. And finally, I wonder if Congress will enact laws that make all business dealings with nations such as Russia pass through rigorous standards and requirements or no permission granted – after Trump is off the presidential platform, at least. His recalcitrance, lies, and criminal actions will surely encourage others to do the same if they go unchallenged. (I’d like to see the lot of them jailed for about 20 years at least. I’ll never forgive Gerald Ford for “forgiving” Nixon his crimes. And Obama for not challenging GW Bush for his approval and use of illegal torture, black sites, and other “crimes and misdemeanors”. Why do we elect such wimps for presidents, except when we don’t? Sigh…)


"We humans live by stories. A shared story is the basis of the ability of any people to live together as an organized society. A society’s ability to organize as a secure and prosperous community depends on the authenticity (validity) of its story. Authentic stories are generally the product of the shared experience of a people and take form through largely unconscious processes extending over generations.

There are also inauthentic sacred stories fabricated to serve the interests of a ruling class at the expense of the rest.

We currently organize as a global society by such a story, and we bear the tragic consequences."

  • David C. Korten, “Change the Story - Change the Future” (A report to the Club of Rome (2015)


I think we are all going to have to be re-born - as individuals - as nations - if we are to survive.


I also note many of the “stories” of Christianity, designed to “serve the interests of the priesthood at the expense of the rest of the believers”. Jesus occasionally protested against the power of the priesthood, but those protestations are mixed with other “stories”. And followers often create their own self-serving beliefs…


Reich nailed it that Trump has no ethics. And neither does Donald Jr. it seems. A writer recently traced Trump’s lack of ethics back to Trump’s grandfather who immigrated to the US. Someone in the Nixon White House said they lost their moral compass. I don’t think Trump ever had a moral compass to lose. But if lack of any ethics were not enough he is also a white supremacist and a fascist. All of this is a pretty bad combination and makes us realize that white supremacist and fascist views are much more popular in the US than anybody realized, unless perhaps they were reading Breitbart News or one of the neo-Nazi websites. While many have rightly pointed to the excesses of corporate America there are also some serious problems right here in the trenches. There seem to be millions of people with what I would call ugly views. And, they are trying to take over this country.


The global empire economy disempowers the lesser though no less fundamental economies - National, State, Regional and Local. Similarly, automobiles disempower urban modes of travel and transport. - walking, mass transit and bicycling. Automobiles are an impediment to other modes and disempowers its own means of travel thru sheer numbers. Globalization disempowers lesser economies inevitably to its own futile end.
(ode to a carbon tax)


What Mr Reich says about Trump is all correct except for one thing. Trump didn’t win the election, Clinton and the Democrats lost it!


“There seem to be millions of people with what I would call ugly views. And, they are trying to take over this country.”

You are so right! During the 2016 campaign, I noticed this more and more. Trump really brought out the worst in many of his supporters at the rallies especially. The scary part is that, even if he goes, they are still here.


To: Annie12 and Wellan

Because this is an economic thread - I would like to reply by adding to the thoughts of David Korten that I posted originally here, and to which you both responded - in different ways.

First, I am secular in outlook, though raised as a Catholic in Montreal, Quebec.

For me, a geologist by formal university education, and a mountaineer by avocation - an ice-age hunter thru descent - atheism is as untenable as conventional religious dogma.

I do not know why this Universe exists - or whether there is even an answer to “Why” ?

Further, for me it is a logical absurdity to claim, be one the Pope or Richard Dawkins or Lawrence Krauss, that one ‘knows’ in any meaningful sense.

A mountaineer, indeed any adventurer or explorer, is habituated to living in uncertainty and making life and death decisions amidst the uncertainty.

But I digress - let me summarize what I have learned economically from Thomas Piketty’s book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (2014), in his own words. This will amplify Korten’s whom I quoted previously:

“To my knowledge, no society has ever existed in which ownership of capital can reasonably be described as “mildy” inegalitarian, by which I mean a distribution in which the poorest half of society would own a significant share (say, one fifth to one quarter) of total wealth.” (p.258)

“The most striking fact is no doubt that that in all these societies, half of the population own virtually nothing: the poorest 50 percent own less than 10 percent of national wealth, and generally less than 5 percent.” (p. 257)

“The inescapable reality is this: wealth is so concentrated that a large segment of society is virtually unaware of its existence…” (p. 259)

“Housing is the favorite investment of the middle class and moderately well-to-do, but true wealth always consists primarily of financial and business assets.” (p. 260)

Here - Piketty’s summary of the first half of his book (p.234):

“The principal lesson of this second part of the book is surely that there is no natural force that inevitably reduces the importance of capital and of income flowing from ownership of capital over the course of history.”

“Progress toward economic and technological rationality need not imply progress toward democratic and meritocratic rationality. The primary reason for this is simple:”

“technology, like the market, has neither limits nor morality.”

I think, for me, this explains in good measure why half the eligible electorate does not vote.

It explains our apathy - many - perhaps most - possibly all of us - are “morally injured” - and that would include the one percent. We are all “civilized” - are we not ?

It explains our sleep-walk towards oblivion.

One is drawn to conclude that ‘money may indeed be the root of all evil’.

If that is so - then we have a much bigger problem than the many existential threats we already face.

In Calgary, in the smoke from wildfires to the West.


And yet, all of that not withstanding, he still has 36 percent of those who were polled saying, “Hey, what a guy! We are so lucky to have him running the show” – and running the show is an apt characterization of what he’s doing there in the Oval Office, D.C., USA.

People are calling him A New Hitler or A New .Stalin, but however much he might wish this error true, no Trump Troopers are grabbing up his colorfully outspoken enemies likr Robert Reich here, or Jeith Olbermann for their spoken word YouTube both calledb"Resustance." A self respecting trumpotalitsrie would have already had those trek plush a lot others who, if he werev a true political monster he workf have his must effective opponents – Bill Mahrt. Reich, Olberman Strven Colbert, all would have become decaparacefos and would be sharing the fiscpmforts of Abu Grain 2.0 here in our very own max security prisons, or into mental health lock ups and given shut up shots, He jasn’the power yet to organize show trials or local home grown death squads, although local cops are trying to kill off enemies of the state by imspiring local cops to do as much as they csn.

I don’t think he’s going to go Full Musdolini on us. He just keep Tweeting hid Twits (hard to take that as the 140 caracter Mein Kampf my don Drumpf and everybody should just Krio up the exposes and ridicule.

He’s a dangerous off color dictator wanna and I can only view him as an Uncoe Military o
What I can say about me, his birth mother, his adopted mother – we all acted in the best good faith we could and did the best we could under the circumstances alll the Uncle Miktyr in Teitterlan, and I’ll only believe he"s mire than jusrt a goofball threat to good governance, what little we had of it until Reich, Pldernan, Colbert, Dan Rather, et all end up as deceparacedos.