So, the firing of FBI director, James Comey, has refused to go away. No one believes our President’s version of the rationale behind the firing. At least no one I respect in the remotest way believes the President’s version. Few are even likely to know what Trump’s latest version of his rationale is. Nor does Trump seem to care.
The guy is just crazy.
I expect him to appoint a horse as a Senator next, like the famous Emperor of the Roman Empire, Caligula. Of course, the method of becoming both Emperor and Senator have changed a lot as the years have gone by. So Trump can’t actually appoint a horse. But that’s not to say they have necessarily improved that much. Trump looks to me to be just as unworthy of being President as Caligula was of being Emperor.
Fact is, though, Trump has an army working for him, just as Caligula did. And a Republican Coterie still lined up behind him. Talk about the ultimate politician! I can’t imagine a better example than Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate. It’s like Dick Cheney being Vice President. But that is what you get when you allow democracy to decide.
I think the problem goes back to high school. In America, high school elections are, virtually always, popularity contests. Student government has almost literally no power, the student body even less. Not that the leadership of the student body ought to have power. They are, after all, the winners of nothing more than popularity contests. Anyway, this is the model most of us have. We think of government as an extension of what we grew to expect from high school.
The biggest difference, in most cases, is that real governments are financed by real money, collected by the real power to tax people. Raising money independently, they spend it independently. Government, the real kind, has almost nothing in common with student government, where virtually all leaders of the former get their start, usually in college. The “popularity contest” nature of elections is somewhat subdued at the college level, but only a little.
I speak with some experience. Amongst the many things I’ve had the joy of doing in my seventy-three years, I was once a politician-in-training at San Jose State College, back when it was still only a College. Luckily, in retrospect, I lost an election early on, changed my goals in going to college, and transferred to a U.C. If I had stayed at San Jose I’m not sure I would have avoided the erosional forces that accompany every politician’s career, and I probably would have become a politician. There are extraordinarily corrosive forces working on all our politicians from the day they start down that path until the day they die. The power politicians hold over our lives is truly immense. With that power goes money, and with money goes corruptive forces
Instead, I became a very close observer of politics, a critic of people like Trump, Cheney, and thousands of others, and a rather cynical person. Perhaps the thing I most regret is that cynicism. I’ve grown to expect so little from democracy. It’s as if Churchill’s observation that “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others,” or something to that effect, is more a truism than just a clever saying.
How could we have ever elected Trump, an utter oaf, to the most powerful office in the world?
I don’t expect democracy in America to survive him. But then, when it comes to all things Trump, I’m a pessimist. Yesterday’s revelations that Trump shared formerly secret information with the Russians and his own ignorance of his doing so may prove to be the thing that dislodges his support amongst Republicans.
Maybe the institutions of democracy will prove up to the challenge. There is little indication, though, that the resistance to Trump is going to solidify and hold. Republican leadership, in particular, is still, mostly, eagerly lining up behind him.
At some point, though, even they may come to their senses. If they do so, Trump may yet prove to be merely a hard to believe footnote in history.
I think it unlikely, but it is possible.
Trump’s ace in the hole remains, as it has always been, war with North Korea. Every morning, I check the news to see if we are still short of that development. War would change everything. My fear is that, sooner or later, Trump will pull war with North Korea out of his sleeve and just play it. Trouble is, not even I am sure what the best response would be. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is arguably as crazy as Trump. The closer he comes to being able to strike the U.S. with his already existing nuclear weapons, the closer I come to supporting wiping Pyongyang off the map with our own nukes in order to get him. The hundreds of thousands of collateral deaths that would be entailed be damned,
Trump and Un in a stare-down. What a nightmare. Worse, even, than last week’s.