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Time for a Trump Carnage Index


#1

Time for a Trump Carnage Index

Betsy Hartmann

In his book Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic, psychiatrist James Gilligan describes structural violence as “the increased rates of death and disability suffered by those who occupy the bottom rungs of society, as contrasted with the relatively lower death rates experienced by those who are above them.” By that definition, the Republican repeal and replace of Obamacare in the House of Representatives on Thursday was an act of violence. The victors’ gloating made the spectacle all the more hideous.


#2

By all means let's start a carnage index on Trump, overlooking, for the moment, that such an index should have been put in place decades, ago. Since we have the data available, why not create one for Bush and one for Obama, too (who Hartmann conspicuously fails to mention) or is this a Republicans, only, thing with Hartmann? If it is to have any relevance, it shouldn't be.


#3

" In the eyes of Congressional Republicans, the lives of the poor, old, and disabled are worth less than those of the healthy, wealthy white men who rule the country."

It's worse:

In the eyes of Congressional Republicans, the lives of the poor, old, and disabled are worth less than the horror of saddling the wealthy (who have been taking almost all income due to productivity increases in the decades since the huckster or deluded Reagan) with a tax increase, moving the tax rate on just their unearned income from 20% to 23.8%, a little closer to the 35% rate paid on the earned income of the rest of us - such a horror.

I think it's the principle of the thing: There should be no redistribution downwards. it should only be upwards!


#4

Toss in the Clinton carnage index as well as Bush 43 and Reagan.


#5

I agree that some sort of index to tally mister Trump's worst offenses is necessary. That index should include instances of 'carnage' but more important, those offenses which his republican base cannot but accept that he let them down, made empty promises, carried out energy policy that will do harm to natural and human environs. His base electorate and his media apologists who hoped for more than class warfare and racist division between all Americans and other nations must somehow admit how they are being deceived.

Furthermore, it's absolutely correct to make specific distinctions between republican and democratic party leaders, their policy and agenda. Clinton and Obama have a better record of avoiding conflict than all republicans since Isenhour.


#6

An excellent and much needed Index, to be created/tallied/enforced(?) by the likes of the World Health Organization or other global entity.
And once the "carnage level" gains a specific level of structural/systemic violence in any of several major categories, the individual or group, say, for instance the USA's trumPence+bannon Cabinet would be indicted, e.g., for Climate Crimes Against Earth & Humanity, then tried by the World Court(?).


#7

What we are seeing, I believe, is a right-wing revolution funded by the likes of the Kochs and Mercer, in which all progressive measures undertaken since the New Deal are being rolled back--Obviously, Social Security and Medicare have been at the top of their list going all the way back to the New Deal era--The GOP "health care" bill doesn't just attack the ACA, but Johnson's Great Society Medicaid program--Trump & Priebus musing on changing the First Amendment, creating federal libel laws to protect the president from criticism, a GOP congressman demanding that the FOIA not apply to his committee's dealings--The states that are signing on to a constitutional convention, which the states could initiate, in order to further the reactionary agenda, balanced budget amendment, and, who knows, a "personhood" amendment--Many of the things under attack are historically the results of crises like Watergate and the CIA's worst excesses--reform measures which were undertaken by a bipartisan political establishment, which no longer exists.


#8

I'm reminded of "preexisting conditions", a construct that renders the concept of "health care" totally null and void as social 'good' in that true care of health is so far anathema to the formulae by which predatory capitalism runs its amucks which cause the vast majority of those preexisting conditions.

predatory capitalism=schizophrenia ... ah yes the two pillars of the dog and pony/snake oil show wrapped in and hugging serial flags


#9

What is your point? There were other bad leaders besides Trump so let ignore Trump? Pinochet, Stalin and Caligula were pretty horrible too.


#10

And in three and a half years when Trump is running for re-election and 24 million have lost their health insurance and wide spread poverty is sweeping up the nation at an unprecedented rate, Trump will blame immigrants, a liberal media and China's lower costs of production for all of our economic woes as the American public eventually re-elects him for doing such a great job the first time around.
The corporate media will hail his re-election as a victory for "family values" as they smother the public with stories of great success for the celebrities du jour and the tremendous gains in the stock market. The poor will continue to struggle but feel some what comforted by the fact that they can still buy any weapons they want, as enshrined in the Second Amendment, and lash out by massacring other members of the 99% with their newly acquired assault rifles.
The healthcare system will continue to be promoted as the "best healthcare system in the world"... if only one could afford it and that if you really wanted good healthcare, you could do what any patriotic American should do and sign up for the military so that we can vanquish the enemies of corporate America around the globe.
Meanwhile the Trump faithful will eagerly sign up for 'law enforcement' positions across the country so that they can have a chance to round up and arrest those 'bleeding heart liberals' who yak endlessly about peace, compassion and unity. If they're really lucky, Trump's newly fashioned storm troopers may even get the opportunity to gun down those 'enemies of the (corporate) State and receive the Medal of Honor for their service to the country. The Trump faithful will be unwavering in their support blaming the worsening State of the Union on 'outside forces' and pledge to be more vigilant in their pursuits of "socialists, liberals and foreigners'.
Progressives have a tall order in trying to deprogram the millions of bitter Americans who have bought into the Republican narrative. Corporate media has supplied those same bitter people with endless knee jerk responses to topics like universal healthcare, down sizing the military and raising taxes on the rich, which from the perspective of the 1% are the greater threats to their wealth than the proverbial mob armed with pitch forks (or modern assault weapons in today's America) or even a global pandemic.
Meanwhile our public education system, which used to be our best defense against such grotesque inequalities, has been almost completely co-opted by Corporate America to replace core teachings like critical thinking skills and learning good governance with a combination of religious studies, a corporate friendly revised history of the world and essential computer skills to better prepare them for the workforce. Endless dead end minimum wage jobs will be offered for those 'lucky enough' to graduate and find employment for some faceless company that demands complete loyalty from every worker but in returns gives none back.
Don't like your school? Good news! For a few dollars extra and your school voucher, you can shop around other company schools where their under paid, over worked, disrespected teachers can give you an even better education than those silly schools of the past.
The carnage didn't begin with Trump, he's just an excellent example of what happens when corporate America runs the show. The "lesser of two evils" political system that has reigned for over 75 years has never been seriously threatened with an "Age of Enlightment" moment when the majority of people rejected the corporate model outright. And unless that "Age" arrives soon, we're all doomed to a dystopian future wrought with inequality, mass suffering and eventually extinction.


#11

Couldn't disagree more with your last claim about making distinctions. A dead body is a dead body and all deaths are equal human losses. It's totally appropriate to have a carnage count for every U.S. president: Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower ... well, you get the picture. If kept accurately, one could then say, accurately, that President X's administration caused far fewer people to die than President Y. Absent that, it's just relatively meaningless partisan politics, isn't it?


#12

Failure to make distinctions (such as choosing the lesser of two evils) is the intended outcome of rightwing propaganda. In 1994, some foolish environmentalist turned environmentally conscientious voters against a proposed extension of the San Diego Red Trolley through Mission Valley. The argument was that it would 'harm' the San Diego River. Fortunately, distinctions were made and the measure passed. The result was marvelous riverbank restoration and water flow clean enough to restore salt marsh estuary of Mission Bay. Your argument, TMorgan, in this case would have left the river in its dilapidated condition, and area freeways even more overrun with traffic. Your anarchist attitude is destructively stupid. Whose side are you on?


#13

Space Cadet, let me add a few points that bolster your assessment of our chances of survival. Trump's full support of globalization was made clear in his proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Tar sands fuel oil is so crude it is only fit for the large diesel engines of trans-oceanic freighters. The more dependent we become on the global economy, the more vulnerable we become to any disruption of fuel supply. Moreover, the global economy disables the lesser - though no less fundamental - local and regional, State and national economies. Once enough nations are completely dependent upon globalization, disruption of fuel supply would lead to chaos, principally between militant rightwingers against others of any political persuasion. Mister Trump may be looking forward to proclaiming his trademark "You're fired" to the victims as their remains are cremated in mass.


#14

Those who are on Medicaid have access to primary care when they become ill. Those who do not have Medicaid or who are removed from it, will nevertheless become ill. Some may die. Good riddance many conservatives may say. But many will find their way to expensive emergency rooms. They have no alternative to shifting the cost of uncompensated care to those who have insurance-- me and thee-- in the form of increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles. As these increase, more people and companies become priced out of the market to send more people to the emergency room to shift more costs. So we are all in this together. Also, this is why about ten years ago the Institute of Medicine, the medical branch of the National Academy of Sciences-- whose mission is to advise the Congress on medical matters--said that the healthcare system in the United States is unsustainable in the 21st Century.