END OF THE LINE
Saga of the Gold-plated Grifter
By Truman Goodspeed, Editor
I. The Man
We have come full circle. The grand experience began when we selected as leader a much-celebrated man who could not tell a lie, and it ended 45 presidents later with the election of a psychopath who could not tell the truth. The recent election revealed a cataclysmic shift in sentiments of morality and common sense in America. Thus, John Rawls predicted the death knell for our society in 1971 when he wrote:
“…the representative member of a well-ordered society will find that he wants others to have the basic virtues, and in particular a sense of justice. His rational plan of life is consistent with the constraints of right, and he will surely want others to acknowledge the same restrictions. In order to make this conclusion absolutely firm, we should also like to be sure that it is rational for those belonging to a well-ordered society who have already acquired a sense of justice to maintain and even strengthen this moral sentiment.”
With a psychopath at the helm, this is no longer a well-ordered society. Alas, that vibrant community which first came to life under the pen of Thomas Jefferson has now been relegated to the pages of history. Now we are simply treading water until another power–most likely mainland China–becomes the dominant force in world military and economic affairs.
The obituary reads; born July 4, 1776, survived a revolutionary war, a civil war, two world wars, several regional conflicts and died 240 years, 4 months and 4 days later.
Almost every schoolchild has heard that story about Washington, where at the age of six, young George went to his father and stated that he could not tell a lie, and therefore admitted he had taken a hatchet and damaged a prized cherry tree. That story, of course, was a popular and long enduring myth created by the first Washington biographer, Mason Locke Weems, in an effort to sell more books. However, make no mistake, that time honored slogan which otherwise encapsulated the life of George Washington, “First in war, first in peace, and firstin the hearts of his countrymen,” could not have been more true. The man was not just a daring soldier and effective politician, but also a messenger of truthful facts; his honesty was beyond reproach.
Over a century ago, the Pall Mall Gazette published the first recognized account of the term psychopath, as it is known today. It was reported during a murder trial, one Dr. Balinsky testified, “the psychopath is an individual who’s every moral faculty appears to be of normal equilibrium. He thinks logically, he distinguishes good and evil, and he acts according to reason. However, of all moral notions he is devoid. Beside his own person and his own interests, nothing is sacred to the psychopath.”
More recently, the psychopath is referred to as one afflicted with an antisocial personality disorder. The disorder, according to Kazdin, is the presence of a chronic and pervasive disposition to disregard and violate the rights of others (citation omitted). Persons with this disorder have a pervasive disregard for others (e.g.,lack of empathy, conscience, guilt or remorse) that is typically and characteristically expressed through a violation of the rights of others (e.g.,through criminal, exploitative, abusive, or other comparable
behaviors). The disorder is diagnosed by the presence of repeated failures to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior, exploitation of others, deceitfulness, lack of remorse, impulsivity, aggressiveness, reckless disregard for the safety of self and others, and irresponsibility (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Antisocial personality disorder is one of the most harmful and destructive mental disorders. Ibid. It is, then, a small wonder that many of the learned political operatives of every party stripe have warned that this mentally ill individual, our Psychopath, could initiate the nuclear option, putting an end to the human race, as we know it, at any time.
Psychopaths are not exactly a rare breed in American business. One study has found that 21 per cent of corporate executives in the United States had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits―roughly the same rate as among prisoners. According to the report, the rate of psychopathy in the general population is one in a hundred.
This man is no run-of-the-mill psychopath. On the contrary, he is an extraordinary Psychopath. He is wealthy by any standard. Further, he is a liar and cheat, both of which are necessary items in the tool box of the con man; and make no mistake, this is the most gifted con man to appear within the last three or four generations. Moreover, he is racist, sexist, a xenophobe, a fascist ideologue, and a purveyor of hate, filth, mistrust and division. There is nothing in his character or conduct to dispel the descriptions offered. Thus, it would be appropriate to explore in depth some of the twisted avenues that lead from this man’s mind.
Many critics compare his personality and conduct with that of Hitler. In this author’s view, that is a slightly mistaken comparison. While Hitler was promoting essentially the same fascist ideology as this Psychopath, the governmental similarities end there. Hitler had far superior oratory skills. In addition, Hitler had an advanced social agenda―an agenda that is overshadowed by the horrifying atrocities of the Nazi regime―and obviously knew how to implement the same. Other than vague utterings related to jobs, trade and immigration, this man had no discernable or sustainable policy, and is too self-absorbed to have any clue about how to govern others appropriately; indeed, his only expertise in government lay in the proposed destruction of it (e.g.drain the swamp).
A more accurate comparison matches the Psychopath with the leaders of the authoritarian dictatorship that has held court in North Korea since the signing of the armistice that ended hostilities and divided the Korean peninsula into separate factions. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) holds all power within the country. The supreme leaders of the DPRK have been Kim II-sung, his son Kim Jong-un, and his grandson Kim Jong-il.
When the son Kim Jong-un died in December 2011, the grandson inherited absolute power and sent many of his subjects to prison camps for a term of six months at hard labor for “not crying hard enough” at his father’s funeral. It was also reported that the grandson Kim Jong, with slim evidence, but fearing a coup attempt, fed one of his uncles to a pack of dogs that had been starved several days precisely for that purpose. Now the foregoing report of a canine attack has since been identified as a likely a piece of satire that originated in a Chinese newspaper. Whether or not true, it has been confirmed that the grandson likes to execute his perceived rivals by mortar rounds, 50 caliber machine guns and flamethrowers. These same thin-skinned and vain qualities are apparent in the Psychopath. He takes offense to any perceived slight, and viciously attacks the source, be it a judge in a court, a woman with an opinion , the parent of a dead war hero, a disabled person, or a member of the news media.
The Psychopath is a wealthy man. He is a billionaire innovator and entrepreneur, but not in the same sense as one might view Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, Warren Buffett the investment guru, or Mark Zuckerburg the social media giant. Rather, he is an innovator because he revealed how one can turn stupidity into nearly a billion dollars and an entrepreneur by demonstrating how to turn loans, threats, and exaggerations into even more billions.
Trump the innovator received millions of dollars in loans from his father, and frittered away most of those funds through poor business decisions. A clandestinely exposed tax return for the year 1995 reveals that he mismanaged three Atlantic City casinos, lost money on an airline venture, and lost even more through the ill-timed purchase of the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. The sum of his misadventures totaled 916 million dollars. At that time, his business empire was under water and he was insolvent; his liabilities far exceeded his assets. However, he had at his disposal the carryover tax credit relevant to the reported massive loss for each of the next eighteen years, which in effect amounted to an annual grant of nearly 50 million dollars from the public fisc—all of which added up as an expense to the American taxpayer.
While use of a business carryover loss and credit against subsequent taxes owed was not new, and has in fact been entirely legal for some time, this method of using business incompetence to launch a financial empire is one of the more strikingly novel—if not bizarre and dishonest—ideas of modern times. The resulting conglomerate now includes Trump ownership or controlling interest in more than 500 businesses, with some 3,500 legal actions commenced in the management of those businesses. Likewise, the legal actions included several business bankruptcies, and were often related to a large number of business failures.
Next come loans that he received from various sources. The loan concept that underlies the Psychopath’s lavish lifestyle and partial acquisition of his business empire is simple; it is called living large on other people’s money. As reported, some of the loans came from his father, various financial institutions, taxpayers, and from undisclosed places that might prove rather unsavory. In consideration of some of the possible sources of loans from countries like Russia, Qatar, and others, with quid pro quo in mind, one can easily summon up scenarios that might get one prosecuted for treason or sedition.
Overall, the innovative and entrepreneurial Psychopath has proven to be an egocentric parasite and flamboyant promoter, and, unlike most other billionaires, lacking any shred of conscience or humility.
Some insight into the loan aspect of “empire building” can be gained by looking at the example of a similarly endowed wealthy man, Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
McCourt purchased the Dodgers and nearby real estate in 2004 for 371 Million dollars. An extremely nasty divorce proceeding revealed that over the next eight years, McCourt and his wife Jamie diverted some 108 million dollars from team coffers to finance four mansions and various personal expenses―including $150,000 a year in haircuts and other items such as big salaries for their sons, who apparently were figureheads in the Dodger organization, and nothing more.
Due to the aforementioned frivolous personal expenditures, by 2011 the Dodgers were a staggering $433 million in debt. Independent analysis revealed that McCourt had put almost nothing into the purchase price, and further, was lacking in personal financial resources (unlike Trump, he had no daddy to bail him out). It happened that McCourt was siphoning so much money out of the business that he had to take out loans on two separate occasions to meet the Dodger payroll. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig got wind of this and seized control of the team’s financial affairs. In 2012, the team was sold to a consortium of investors for 2 billion dollars.
At the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, former New York mayor Michael Blumberg delivered a scathing speech during which he labeled Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump a “dangerous demagogue” who was running a scam to win the American presidency. “I’m a New Yorker,” he said, “and I know a con when I see one.” Blumberg’s assessment was spot on.
To understand how a con is perpetrated, it is best to look at the confessions of an admitted con man. The most useful statement from the movie based on a biography of the life of Frank Abagnale, telling, because it correlates exactly with what the Psychopath knows about government service, is this: …Abagnale took the helm of a 747 jet—and he didn’t know how to fly a plane. He related, “I promptly put the giant jet on automatic pilot and hoped to hell the gadget worked, because I couldn’t fly a kite.”
When exploring the nuts-and-bolts of a particular confidence game, one can find no better example than that supposed bastion of higher learning known as “Trump University.” Trump University opened its doors in 2004. Despite its misleading name, it was not an accredited college or university. It did not confer college credit, grant any form of degree, or grade its students. It ceased operation in 2010.
Use of the word “University” in its title was a misnomer, because the limited liability corporation never had any students. Now these individuals thought they were students, but in fact, they were only clients, or, more precisely, hapless and unassuming targets for a con game. It appears that many of these real estate mogul hopefuls had an idea that a course or two in peddling properties would lead to a life of luxury. Well, as the old saw goes, “there’s a sucker born every minute;” and Trump made the most of it.
Nor were there any teachers, as one might expect when attending a legitimate university. Indeed, the “professors” at Trump University were simply salespeople. Their primary mission was to sell…sell…and up sell, according to former Trump University “professor” James Harris, squeezing every possible dollar out of the aspiring entrepreneurs. The “instruction” began with an introductory seminar at which the attendees were urged to sign up for additional “classes” ranging in cost from $1495.00 to the so-called $35,000.00 “Gold Elite” program.
The curriculum, if one may use that word, consisted of various methods of dealing with real estate ventures throughout the United States. Problem was, many of the written instructions were patently illegal in a large number of states; and the Trump “professors,” being only salespeople, and not qualified educators, were completely ignorant of this fact. Thus, it was only a matter of time before the myrmidons of law caught up with Trump and his investment partners.
Trump University was brought to court on two class action lawsuits originating in California, and was also sued by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for fraud, and running a “phony university.” In November 2016, Trump settled the cases for 25 million dollars, with an additional one million dollars in penalties to the state of New York for violating state education laws. Quoting Eric Schneiderman: “Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6000 victims of his fraudulent university.”
Unfortunately, like most other white-collar frauds, no one went to jail for this swindle. “Yes, Virginia, there is still a con man lurking out there.”
To understand how threats and intimidation add to growth of a business, one only need look at the numerous contractors who performed construction and other services on Trump properties. Some were denied fees earned and given the option of suing to obtain relief. Rather than participate in long and costly legal proceedings, many of the contractors simply chose to write off the transaction as a loss, and chalk it up as a lesson learned about whom with to do business. Avoiding payment with the threat of a frivolous legal proceeding that often ends up costing more than the underlying debt is a species of theft, no matter how one chooses to dress it up.
In matters of speech and behavior, most of the First Family seems normal, in spite of a grossly abnormal patriarch. Surely, not one sane person who saw those flailing arms and that grotesquely contorted face this man exhibited during a campaign rally while mocking disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski when he said, “Ahh, I don’t remember what I said! Ah, I don’t remember!” can call this man normal.
If the Psychopath were a dog, he would have been euthanized long ago. If he had lived in colonial times, he would have been imprisoned for the outrageous methods he uses to shake down and abuse others. In addition, escaping debt through bankruptcy was not a viable option in those days; it only existed sporadically before 1898. But one thing is certain; since dueling was a quasi-legal endeavor in the colonial era, there is no way he could have survived to the ripe age of 70 with an endless line of duelers waiting to bring justice to the long train of insults he has delivered.
Abnormalities and wishful fantasy aside, this is a contemporary man; one vested with the same rights he often attempts to deny others. This allows the Psychopath free speech and an opportunity to gain sympathetic followers in the same fashion as a race evangelist from another era, one Houston Stewart Chamberlain.
The Psychopath is an opportunistic liar, especially when any issue arises that interferes with his grandiose self-image. This aspect of his mental disorder would not allow him to admit that he had lost the popular vote in the recent election. Thus, it was easier for him to lie and claim that millions of votes in question (only questioned by the Psychopath) were obtained by fraud. Every election supervisor in the United States, Democrat and Republican alike, debunked this claim.
Further, it is hardly surprising that a confirmed liar would greatly exaggerate his wealth—especially one that is constantly promoting an aura of grandiosity. One of the Psychopath’s larger lies is the value he places on the so-called “Trump brand.”
According to the Psychopath, that brand should be valued at 3 billion dollars. Qualified analysts, however, place the value closer to 125 million. Thus, one can choose between his inflated value of self-worth and that estimate of a company that more accurately and fairly rates such matters.
Journalist Walter Lippman in his 1922 book Public Opinion, as used in social science and racial profiling, first introduced stereotyping a class of people. J.M. Jones further refined the concept into three classes:
racism, which is joint operation of personal stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination to create and support disparities between members of different groups;
2.Institutional racism, which is intentional, or unintentional, manipulation or toleration of institutional policies;
3.Cultural racism involves beliefs about the superiority of one’s racial cultural heritage over that of other races. Thus, cultural racism includes elements of (1) individual and (3) cultural racism.
Simply stated, the racist adheres to a belief that other races are inferior to one’s own race, and therefore, one is vested with a moral right to dominate, segregate, humiliate, or even eliminate other races.
Now we come to our Psychopath. Heredity and environment are the building blocks of a personality. Trump was nurtured in the finer points of hate, intolerance and contempt for the rights of races other than white in his father’s real estate laboratory. The experiment, as a number of federal housing discrimination complaints against the Trump Real Estate Empire reveals, was a success. Indeed, Fred Trump, who died in 1999, is a legend in housing racial discrimination. The racist lineage goes back a long ways; in 1927 someone by the name of Fred Trump, who would have been 21 at the time, was reportedly arrested at a rally of the Ku Klux Klan in New York City.
When an upstart black man became President of the United States, it came quite natural―like stepping into a pair of warm, comfortable slippers―for Trump to deny, through his relentless pursuit of the long debunked “birther” issue, that the black man was a legitimate citizen. Nevertheless, this matter was simply one item in the Psychopath’s large and growing catalogue of racist conduct.
This is a land, by constitutional right, where one is innocent until proven guilty. In the mind of the Psychopath, however, every member of an “inferior race” is guilty, not until, but even after, being proven innocent. That is how it went with a group of black and Hispanic men commonly referred to as the “Central Park Five.”
They were five young men ranging in age from fifteen to eighteen years old who were arrested and convicted in the 1989 beating and rape of a 28-year-old jogger in New York City’s Central Park. The Psychopath took out full-page ads in four New York newspapers demanding the death penalty for the convicted offenders. In 2002, a new investigation revealed beyond all reasonable doubt that serial rapist Matias Reyes alone had committed the crime. All five of the convicted offenders were exonerated and freed after serving between six and thirteen years in prison. The city of New York paid the wrongly convicted five a total of 40 million dollars. Out of racially motivated hatred, Trump refused to apologize for the ads, or to admit that the teenagers had been wrongfully convicted. Instead, he doubled down, and continued to press the “alternate fact” that the five were guilty, and should have been executed.
Burning hatred for “different appearing” people was not reserved for blacks and Hispanics; Trump’s attacks against people of the Muslim persuasion are also well documented, and need not be further expounded upon.
Hispanic migrants, primarily of Mexican nationality, had been crossing our southern border for decades to perform labor for farmers that most whites found beneath their dignity. Indeed, except for that labor, many a farmer’s crops would have lay rotting in the field. However, our Psychopath decided that since a handful of the migrant population out of the millions who crossed the border had committed crimes, that all Mexicans were “rapists and criminals.” Later, he even referred to those so-called criminals as “murderers.”
There is one final piece of evidence that confirms the success of the Trump racist social engineering experiment. On December 15, 2016, Trump spoke to a mostly white crowd in Pennsylvania and thanked the “smart African Americans” who did not vote. Those blacks who did vote supported his opponent 88% to his 8%. Thus, it appears that one of the things this man learned during the election cycle was how to use sarcasm to humiliate a class of people he has always found inferior.
Without doubt, moral deficiencies in individuals can be accurately identified (or exposed) by the people or organizations that choose to associate with them; indeed, “birds of a feather flock together.” Thus, it should come as no surprise that self-styled Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Dukes, gave a ringing endorsement for election to the Psychopath. In addition, of the meager handful of newspaper endorsements he received came that of a white supremacist (KKK) newspaper, The Crusader.
Precisely as postulated by Jones, over the course of adulthood the Psychopath has woven a large and convincing tapestry of racist conduct. Yet, loyal Trump supporters continue to vehemently deny that their leader is a racist. Clearly, an intelligent mind—one uncluttered of bias and intolerance —could not entertain such a thought.
Sexist is an adjective relating to, involving, or fostering sexism, or attitudes and behavior toward someone based on the persons gender; a sexist remark; sexist advertising. As a noun, the word describes a person who has sexist attitudes or behaves in a sexist manner.
There is no distinction to be made between the filth that drives the Psychopath’s gutter instincts and his disdain for the female gender. This is because he does not just marginalize women; he downright degrades and humiliates them in every way possible. He gave a small glimpse into that window of filth during a Republican Party presidential debate. In a depraved exchange with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, he boasted of the adequacy of a certain human appendage before a shocked national audience numbering in the millions.
At another debate, Fox News anchor and moderator Megyn Kelly requested a response from the Psychopath to her assertion “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” His response was “only Rosie O’Donnell.”
Later, the Psychopath described his encounter with Kelly on Cable News Network (CNN) as, “there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Two weeks later he attempted to walk back the comment during an interview with ABC News by saying he meant Kelly’s nose when he said “whatever.” Au contraire; he could have more easily said nose. He chose wherever (which he obviously later tried to change to whatever) because he clearly meant something other than nose. Regardless, after a series of threats by the Psychopath and his surrogates, some veiled, and some graphic like “Let’s gut her,” Kelly made the decision to hire private security guards for herself and her family.
Next came the early morning tweets disparaging former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who the Psychopath had earlier called “fat” and “Miss Piggy.” While most others were sleeping, the early rising Trump called Machado “disgusting” and a “con.”
An Access Hollywood tape finally revealed this misogynist’s inner thoughts on the subject of female gender during a conversation with ABC host Billy Bush. Trump indicated that he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet during filming, and then said:
“I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.”
Most lawyers call such conduct a sexual assault, and label the perpetrator of the same a sexual predator. However, common sense was stood on its head when ABC fired Bush for listening to the lewd and predatory comments, while the public elected the source of the filth to the highest office in the land.
Following release of the Access Hollywood tape, TPM came out with an article
chronicling four decades of similar conduct by candidate Trump. Further, after Trump claimed that he “never acted on such thoughts,” numerous women went public and accused the candidate of various forms of inappropriate sexual behavior. The Psychopath, of course, labeled all of the allegations as “lies,” and in typical fashion, threatened lawsuits “after the election.”
It must be a great source of pride (or envy, perhaps, for those who were left out of the action) to those women who voted for the Psychopath—our very first self-styled, vagina grabbing President!
The subject of xenophobia can be dealt with briefly. Inflammatory comments concerning Mexican and Muslim immigrants are all that is needed to demonstrate the xenophobic mania now reposing in white conservative groups. The obvious champion of this mindset and movement is the Psychopath. His divide and conquer strategy works well with this group. Moreover, it can be accurately stated that xenophobes and racists are not distant cousins; they are more appropriately described as blood brothers.
Groupthink is a destructive phenomenon whereby groups of people form an association and start to think collectively as one mind. Against this backdrop, it would be useful to review the backgrounds of the advisors and appointees of the Psychopath to determine what might come out of the think tank that now resides in the White House.
Roger Ailes has been a confidant and advisor to Republican presidents dating back to the administration of Richard Nixon. Likewise, he formed a behind-the-scenes relationship with presidential candidate Donald Trump. He also built the Fox News Group into a media giant. Under Ailes stewardship, the finished product had such a conservative slant that many centrists thought Fox might better be labeled as a political party than as an unbiased outlet for news.
In 2014, serious problems arose when allegations of sexual harassment against Ailes were published in a book by Gabriel Sherman. Sherman claimed that Ailes offered a television producer a raise if that producer would sleep with him. Ailes and Fox denied the allegations.
On July 6, 2016, ousted Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes for “termination of her contract after she rebuffed his sexual advances.” Three days later, author Sherman identified six new victims of Ailes’ sexual harassment. This prompted Fox News owners, the Rupert Murdoch family, to conduct an internal review of Ailes conduct. Following that review, it was reported the Murdochs had given Ailes an ultimatum―resign by August 1, 2016, or be fired. On July 21, 2016, Ailes tendered his resignation and reportedly received 40 million dollars via an exit agreement.
On September 6, 2016 21st Century Fox, the parent of Fox News, reported that it settled the Carlson lawsuit for 20 million dollars. Thus, here we go again, pay it forward, and start the cycle anew. No professional woman―out of those who might be considered “sexy” or “pretty”―is safe. Through behavior alone, Ailes and Trump, along with those who attempt to justify or conceal their sleazy conduct, have enshrined themselves in the sexual predators Hall of Fame.
Paul Manafort is a lobbyist and political consultant. He became Trump’s campaign manager after Corey Lewandowski was terminated. Following revelation of a business arrangement involving illegal funds with former Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovich, on August 19, 2016 a new campaign leadership team replaced Manafort. It has been confirmed by the New York Times that just prior to the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, Manafort was under active investigation by several federal agencies, including the FBI and CIA, for his murky ties to Russian activities.
Stephen “Steve” Bannon
Stephen Bannon has been practicing a neo fascist ideology for most of his adult life. His worldview comes from the darkest philosophy known to man, and culminates in a belief that progress and equality are “poisonous illusions.” He is now the closest advisor to the most powerful office in the free world. It was a natural act to bring this man aboard because Trump, as his first Executive Orders clearly reveal, never even ran for the office of POTUS; he thought of himself more as an elected authoritarian dictator.
Kelly Ann Conway
Kelly Ann Conway joined the Trump campaign shortly before the election. She appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press as a guest of moderator Chuck Todd after the inauguration. Todd queried her for a reason, concerning the Trump campaign’s inflated estimate of crowd size for the inauguration ceremony, “Why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood? Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House office…” Conway responded…”You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that….”
Alternative facts? We have arrived at a juncture in our democracy where facts are no longer facts—people are to close their eyes, plug their ears…and swallow whatever falsehood the Trump administration chooses to feed them. So all of America is forced (upon threat of media banishment) to listen to a sales pitch every bit as fraudulent as the one delivered at Trump University. Such blatant Orwellian practice dovetails quite nicely with a fascist plan to replace our constitutional republic with an authoritarian dictatorship.
Conway was at one time a respected pollster within conservative circles. The only question remaining is when she became a bald-faced liar. Was it before, or after joining the Trump campaign? The guess here is before, since she received a law degree back in 1992. “Law mongering attorneys…turning black to white…green to grey, and what is straight to a crooked ply.”
Prior to election season, Mike Pence was viewed in some circles as a champion for conservative values. This mistaken impression was promptly nixed when Pence became the running mate for the Psychopath at the Republican Convention. If ever there were an event for verbal gymnastics in Olympic competition, Pence would win the gold medal hands down.
At first, there had to be some sympathy for a man who—almost on a daily basis—was forced to soft-pedal the outrageous statements and antics of his boss. However, his tormented distortions of truth soon made it clear that he was nearly as dangerous as his running mate. By selling out principle to sanitize the freakish outbursts and behavior of the Psychopath, Pence proved himself little more than a linguistic pimp. Thus, it is small wonder that true conservatives like George Will decided to leave the Republican Party altogether.
United States Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican from Alabama, supported the Trump campaign almost from the beginning. It was clear that he was job hunting, searching for a way to advance a legal career stalled by past racist comments.
In 1986, a Senate committee denied Sessions a federal judgeship after colleagues testified that he used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoke marijuana.”
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 on
October 3, 1965 at Liberty Island, New York. He called the 1924 law that it replaced, which imposed a racist quota favoring Northern European whites, “a cruel and enduring wrong, a harsh injustice and un-American in the highest sense.”
In an October 2015 interview with Stephen Bannon, Sessions put on display his Aryan preference when he praised the outcast law and said that between 1924 and 1965 it had “created really the solid middle class of America , with assimilated immigrants (white, of course), and it was good for America.”
Despite having made such statements, at his confirmation hearing Sessions labeled the allegations of past racist comments as “damnably false charges.” Nevertheless, like his boss, Sessions must be judged by the words which come from his mouth; and his denials bear strong resemblance to those of a fellow Alabamian from several generations back, former Alabama Governor George Wallace.
Wallace, it will be recalled, stirred the pots of racial unrest to make a strong showing in presidential politics. He spent most of his adult life as an avowed racist, often attempting to block federal court orders of desegregation. His star began to fade after an assassination attempt left him paralyzed and wheel chair-bound. His political aspirations dashed, toward the end of his life, he orchestrated clumsy attempts to portray himself as a model for tolerance and cultural diversity. If nothing else, his act provided comic relief for the masses. Nonetheless, Sessions used the same ploy, with decidedly better results.
That marvel of the universe—the human brain—does not work like an electrical circuit board, where a defective circuit (as represented by a racist attitude) is simply repaired by finding a different route. On the contrary, once a synapse fires, the circuit thus formed can only be reversed by dementia.
William Faulkner (1897-1962) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. Due to growing up in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era, Faulkner was witness to full-blown racial intolerance, and he featured the “ineradicable curse” of racism in his novel Absalom, Absalom! Inevitably, we are informed that only one cure for the racist attitude exists—it is called a grave.
Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as Secretary of Education despite unfamiliarity with major provisions of federal education law. On January 21, 2017 women joined marches across the country ridiculing her as an out-of-touch billionaire. The astounding ignorance of this woman in matters of public education aside, citizens should be alarmed by a small glimpse into her family history. She is married to Dick DeVos Jr., heir to, and president of, the often-troubled multi-billion dollar Amway Corporation.
Now the people in West Michigan are quite grateful that Amway Corporation
co-founders, the DeVos and Van Andel families, have contributed to the construction of many public buildings. However, that civic pride should be tempered by the manner in which the wealth that financed those buildings was accumulated.
The business started out as a home cleaning product manufacturer and supplier. Amway—like Hewlett-Packard—had its humble beginning in the garage of a family member. The business grew at a rapid pace, and before long, it focused on selling franchises, rather than cleaning products. Thus, in the objective view, it was thought of more as a “pyramid scheme,” than a company selling home cleaning products was, and for good reason. Such is the outcome when people at the top of a vertical oriented business make much more money selling tapes, books and seminars, than they can earn off commissions from those recruits at the bottom who are merchandising cleaning products only.
Those who were fleeced by the Trump University fraud can relate to the victims of the Amway juggernaut. The targets were lured into high-pressure seminars with a promise of pie-in-the-sky riches. To get people into the seminars, the sponsors were instructed to avoid using the Amway name. This diversion became necessary after many previous victims of the business model—and the relatives who supported them by buying Amway products—began referring to the company as “Scamway.”
To get into a seminar, each invitee usually paid a fee of $250.00. Some invitees were admitted entry at no cost as “guests of distributors.” Once inside, the invitees were urged to buy tapes and other sales related materials (which in one case topped out at $192,000.00), and pay a franchise fee (usually $5,000.00), after which they could begin marketing products and harvesting amazing profits!
Fact is, some success stories emerged from these pressure cooker seminars, but the number of victims and broken dreams came exponentially in much larger numbers. Problem was, most of the seminar invitees had no aptitude for sales; beyond their immediate family, they could not sell a parka to a t-shirt clad Eskimo in the middle of February. The seminar sponsors knew this, but took the money anyway.
Following a fraudulent billing scheme to avoid taxes, which appears to have begun some time in 1965, and after avoiding extradition for criminal prosecution in Canada, Amway, on November 10, 1983, with the approval of owners Van Andel and DeVos, pled guilty to criminal charges that they:
…unlawfully did, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defraud her majesty the Queen in right of Canada and the Government of Canada of an undetermined amount of property, money or valuable securities of a value in excess of twenty eight million dollars (28,000,000.00)…with respect to goods purchased by…Amway of Canada Ltd. from…Amway Corporation and imported into Canada.
On that date the Amway Corporation paid a fine of $25,000,000.00, the largest fine ever levied at the time. In addition, the judge in the case noted that the fraud was “premeditated and deliberate.”
However, the leopard never changes its spots. Twenty-seven years later, Amway
Corporation, then, as now, under the control of Betsy DeVos’ husband and corporation president, Dick DeVos Jr., on November 3, 2010 agreed to pay 56 million dollars to settle a case alleging that Amway operated a pyramid scheme.
Now back to the Secretary of Education. From her confirmation hearing before the U.S Senate, it is clear that DeVos has never had a desire to learn the finer points concerning public education. Rather, she has been on a decade’s long crusade aimed at destroying public education through implementation of a so-called “voucher system.” Now she has a bully pulpit from which she can further, and perhaps accomplish, her mission. If she is successful, the well connected and their families will have access to quality education; all others will be forced to scramble for leftover crumbs.
James Norman Mattis
On November 13, 2015, the Psychopath stated in a speech “I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.” That is a rather curious statement coming from a person who never served in the military, or even had any intimate knowledge of military affairs. But on September 6, 2016 he pulled a reversal and stated, “I am going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS.”
So, who did the Psychopath select as his top general and Defense Secretary to carry out this conflated and confusing policy? The choice was a retired marine general, whom he fondly referred to as “Mad Dog Mattis,” who was later confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
In reference to leaders, Aristotle once stated:
…there is a rule of another kind, which is exercised over freeborn and equals, a constitutional rule, which a ruler must learn by obeying, as he would learn the duties of a general of cavalry by being under the orders of a general of cavalry, or the duties of a general of infantry by being under the orders of a general of infantry, and by having the command of a company or regiment. It has been well said that he who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander…
There is no need to inquire into bona fides of why the Psychopath would choose a man with the nickname “Mad Dog” for Defense Secretary. It is enough to know that such a moniker would have a certain appeal to a person who is himself reliably unstable, both in mind and in policy matters, and never served under, or learned to obey others.
Contrary to the catastrophic visions evoked by his nickname, Mattis may be the one person in the Trump administration that saves us from disaster. From his confirmation hearing, it is apparent that his views (including later comments on climate change) are very different from other members of the Psychopath’s team. It necessarily follows that this appointment is the single positive development flowing from the 2016 presidential election.
Moscow on the Potomac
The most influential Trump associate is not even listed as a cabinet member or an advisor. That de facto associate, the elephant in the room, so to speak, during the 2016 presidential election cycle was none other than Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.
Putin’s motive for interference in the presidential election was clear; he desperately wanted the crippling economic sanctions levied against his country by America and the European Union for Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine lifted. To clear the way, he needed a supporter in the White House and a friend in the U.S. Department of State.
Putin used a movie directed by John Frankenheimer, “The Manchurian Candidate,”as a template in his effort to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. His master plan called for gaining access to, and control over, the inner workings of American government to get the sanctions lifted, and ultimately, completion of a long-ange objective to split apart the western alliance of nations—a ploy otherwise known as “divide and conquer.”
In the movie, an American patrol is captured by Chinese communists during the Korean War. One of the soldiers is programmed to become an assassin, and two years later, he is ordered via a psychological trigger to kill a presidential candidate.
Two storylines play out under the Manchurian Candidate theme, one that is highly speculative, and a second that is very believable.
In the first narrative, a 35-page dossier was compiled by former British Intelligence (MI6) agent Christopher Steele. The material in the report remains largely unsubstantiated, the key elements of which will most likely never be verified since the presumed source of the report, Russian spy Oleg Erovinkin, was found dead in his car under suspicious circumstances. The report claims that Donald Trump was “groomed” for five years by Russian authorities to become President of the United States. It went on to state that Russian intelligence operatives had video evidence that Trump hired prostitutes to perform lewd acts in the presidential suite at the Moscow Ritz Carlton.
The inference follows, of course, that blackmail would serve as a psychological trigger; if Trump did not follow the instructions of his handlers, his pornographic encounter would be aired for public consumption.
The second scenario is not only more believable, but probable. Putin’s modern version of the psychological trigger was exposed by U.S. intelligence agencies; he ordered Russian hackers to ferret out damaging information on one of the candidates and directed that results be turned over to WikiLeaks for public dissemination. In this fashion, Putin effectively “killed” one candidate, and at the same time greatly enhanced the opportunity for his handpicked candidate to be elected.
Following inauguration, the Psychopath selected ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson as his candidate for the position Secretary of State. Tillerson’s nomination should have been scuttled—even before partisan debate on his confirmation. His company had lost an estimated one billion dollars as a result of sanctions against Russia following the Ukraine invasion. Further, Tillerson’s cozy ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin resulted in Putin awarding Tillerson the “Russian Order of Friendship Prize” in 2013. Clearly, there is no middle ground here. Due to bias, there was no way to deal impartially with one of the more important items on the Secretary of State agenda, which, of course, was sanctions against Russia. Tillerson’s Senate confirmation was either a monumental display of dimwittedness, or a clever stroke of Machiavellian genius.
On November 18, 1956, Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev attended a party at the Polish embassy in Moscow. He gave a scathing speech directed at the American people, the last three words of which were “my vas pokhoronim.” A rough translation from Russian to English came out as “We will bury you.”
The era during which those words were spoken must be taken into account. It was a time when the United States and Russia were embroiled in a nuclear arms race, and every American who was not building a bomb shelter in their back yard was at least thinking about building one. Fear of a nuclear holocaust in the 50’s was palpable at the national level.
There have been several differing translations of the Kruschev comment over
the years, but at the time it was made, American authorities, to allay the rising level of fear, said what Kruschev really meant in his speech was “We will bury you, politically and economically.” Yet, Americans continued to build bomb shelters until President Kennedy backed the Soviets down in what became known as the “Cuban Missile Crisis” in 1962.
Decades later, we note the political part of the prophecy attributed to Kruschev has come true: Putin’s handpicked candidate sits in the White House, and Putin’s friend commands world affairs from his Secretary of State position. Moreover, the other shoe—the economic one—is on its downward stroke. Kremlin policy is now issued from Washington, D.C. Kruschev—whereverhe is—must be pounding his shoe in delight.
Early in April 2017—not even 100 days into his presidency—the Psychopath flexed his Commander-in-Chief muscles. He ordered a Tomahawk Cruise Missile attack against an airbase in Syria, ostensibly in retaliation for Bashar al Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own citizens in the long running Syrian Civil War. Fifty-nine missiles were launched.
First, it should be noted that this use of Executive authority was in violation of the War Powers Act, which requires a president to obtain consent from Congress before initiating an act of war. Not many people in Congress, or in the world community for that matter, would have complained if this had been a legitimate surprise attack against a genocidal maniac. All military assets on the base, including the runways, aircraft and related equipment, and even the known cache of chemical weapons should have been destroyed. It was an opportunity to administer some of the same medicine to Assad and his supporters as he has been dispensing without restraint. Nevertheless, in reality, this cruise missile attack was just the latest episode in Trump’s life-long quest to be “king of the confidence game.”
The Grifter revealed another of the many weapons in his con man arsenal with his
emotional comment on national television about those “beautiful babies” who were assaulted in the latest chemical attack. Other than his own children, Trump the narcissist never gave a tinker’s damn about any children, let alone those not-exactly white children of Middle Eastern descent. Furthermore, under “Trump Doctrine,” the parents of those children have been denied refugee access to the United States, and those who are already here—in his mind—should not be allowed to travel anywhere. In the Grifter’s twisted lexicon, “beautiful babies” is just another tool.
Fact is, before his disingenuous, bleeding-heart outpouring of love for the “beautiful babies” of Syria, Trump had already made a down payment on his debt to Russia by reporting an hour in advance to his handlers in Moscow that attack was imminent. This was not only an end run on Congress, but it also gave Russia and Syria an opportunity to remove all mobile assets from the attack target zone.
Under deconfliction policies between the U.S. and Russia, a one-hour notice before a military strike would be the usual method of operation. Nevertheless, Russia has repeatedly forfeited the right to such notice; they were still under sanction for the 2014 invasion of Crimea with masked soldiers bearing no unit insignia. Crimea at the time was Ukranian sovereign territory and has since been annexed to the Russian Federation. Furthermore, Russia on every occasion has thwarted international attempts to halt Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people. Consequently, there are only two places on earth where Assad can avoid being hunted down and executed for the genocidal acts he has committed; one is the fortified compound he and his family live in at present, and the other would be Moscow.
This demonstration of raw power may have been quite gratifying for the Psychopath (e.g. DSM-5, No 2.), but for the taxpayer, it was an unwarranted expense of nearly 44 million dollars.
Like children, Trump and Putin will play nice for a while in the sandbox they have created. Regardless of backroom deals, eventually they will have to move on to the adult world, and a difference in opinions. Both of these men are psychopaths, but wired in a different fashion. Thus, it should be an interesting case study for psychologists when liar and cheat meets cold-blooded killer in a no holds barred contest. Needless to say, it will not be a good day for the rest of the people who live on this planet.
From the mostly raucous and disjointed ramblings of candidate Trump on the
campaign trail, it might be supposed he meant to focus on jobs, trade and immigration as subjects for consideration. Jobs and trade are for the most part inextricably intertwined, but for sake of clarity, will be addressed separately.
In the event that some of our slow on the uptake brethren may still be wondering how the Emperor of Stupidity turned a series of failed business decisions into a billion dollar empire, it will be spelled out; a tsunami of confidence games.
The art within such deals is a streetwise cunning; an unswerving willingness to
lie, cheat and intimidate one’s way through each transaction, followed up by turning pit bull attorney Michael Cohen (of “Let’s gut her” fame) loose on all who show any sign of buyer’s remorse. Without doubt, the Psychopath is the most accomplished grifter of the present era, and he used this ability to convince those living in the rust belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that he alone could, and would return lost manufacturing jobs.
The peripatetic centerpiece of Trump’s campaign, at one time a plan to return jobs to America (and at other times a plan to “drain the swamp”), was revealed initially by his complaint against the Ford Motor Company for announcing construction of an auto assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Trump insisted (and continues to do so via twitter) that a 35 per cent tariff on any and all products returning to America from industries which had outsourced their labor to foreign countries would bring back lost jobs. Ford Motor, one of hundreds of companies with similar policy, was a convenient whipping boy for the Psychopath. For two separate reasons, his con man-induced smoke screen was, and continues to be, wrong.
First, most of the corporations that are outsourcing jobs are public companies, which means they are controlled by a board of directors and shareholders. Any chief executive officer who fails to meet novelties presented by competition within an industry will soon be out of a job, and any corporation that fails to enhance the bottom line by neglecting to find the cheapest source of labor will even sooner be out of business. These concerns are addressed annually at shareholder meetings, and no business can be forced by a government to operate at a loss. Insofar as private companies are concerned, even Trump the hypocrite has outsourced labor to foreign countries.
However, the second, and largest reason for losses in manufacturing jobs, has nothing to do with corporate decisions, and everything to do with automation, which allows factories to produce more goods with fewer people.
Beginning for the most part in the late 70’s, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer driven robots began replacing humans. Some estimates claim as much as 80 per cent of manufacturing job losses can be attributed to this type of automation.
What was needed after good paying blue collar jobs went on the decline was
initiative by workers to educate themselves relative to the emerging computer world at one of the numerous community colleges located throughout the United States. Instead, they sat on their couches, waiting for someone to knock on their front door with a job offer, wallowing in self-pity and resentment, as appropriately educated foreigners were imported to fill vacancies. The want ads in every major city are now, and have been for decades, filled with such opportunities. Donald Trump successfully targeted this group with his flim-flam offer to return non-existent jobs.
Any manufacturing jobs the Grifter might bring back would be followed by disaster for any company that submits to tariff intimidation. Apple is one of the most successful companies in the world, American or otherwise. The company builds its flagship model I Phone in China at a labor cost of approximately $1.50 per hour. Apple could buy into the Trump initiative and bring the assembly operation to this country. Assuming an increase in cost of labor to bare minimum wage, is there anyone out there who would pay three thousand dollars for a phone that used to cost eight hundred?
American trade, in every form, now bears the Bannon-Trump imprimatur. “Make
America Great Again” has been exposed as little more than a code phrase for protectionist policy leading to a fascist paradise on an isolated white island—similar to the way Hitler made Germany “great” in 1933. However, history informs us that a hobnail boot on everyone who is not “pure” fails miserably as part of trade policy in a multi-cultural world.
In addition to the frightening 12-year reign of the expansionist Third Reich, history is rife with examples of destructive economic fallout caused by protectionist policy. One can envision North Korea, where the highest paid individuals—government employees and soldiers—have to moonlight by sneaking over the China border and taking part-time jobs simply to make enough money to feed their families. Next comes former East Germany, where citizens who sought to escape that oppressive economy were routinely murdered. Then there is Romania, a country where Olympic star Nadia Comaneci lived in abject poverty, despite being a world-class gymnast and adored by more than a billion
people worldwide. In November 1989, she risked her life by fleeing Romania, crossing the Hungarian border and eventually seeking asylum in the United States.
Following a near meltdown of the global economy in 2008, world leaders redoubled their commitment to free trade. However, that trend has been reversed. During and after the most recent G-20 Conference in March, 2017 it became clear that Bannon and Trump had succeeded in implementing their twisted brand of protectionist policy. This reversal was anticipated, most likely by the day after election. Again, the Psychopath has conned his adoring public into believing that his destruction of the global economy will somehow benefit the American blue-collar worker. However, the dynamics driving his economic policy and the impending disaster are clear—greed and profit.
Two years before the 2008 real estate collapse, Trump was hoping for a crash. He was heard saying, “I sort of hope that happens because people like me would go in and buy.” The Psychopath and his associates used a similar business model when they moved into foreign markets following the demise of the U.S.S.R. Exactly how much profit came from those ventures is likely hidden in the tax returns he refuses to release.
Now in control of U.S. economic policy, the Grifter stands to increase his meager billions into mega billions by intentionally destroying the global economy and buying up the parceled-out remnants. Corporate raider and vulture capitalist Carl Icahn made billions in the same manner by purchasing undervalue stocks, gaining voting rights, and making outrageous demands that often led to splitting up companies and selling them piecemeal.
Finally, under protectionist policy, a wall along our southern border would be a great hindrance to Americans who one day will have to flee to Mexico to find decent employment.
Immigration is, has been, and always will be a perplexing issue. It is not at all helpful when a swaggering blowhard attempts to remake history for the purpose of legitimizing a racist immigration agenda. In his effort to support Trump administration policy concerning immigration, on November 18, 2015 Rush Limbaugh during his live broadcast stated:
“As you know, I’m a history buff. I think there are a lot of lessons in
history, and I want to share some history with you. I’ve spoken
frequently in recent months about how immigration to the United
States was more than curtailed. It was suspended in the early 1920’s.
From 1924 to 1965, we didn’t have any immigration. You’d be
amazed at the number of people who are hearing that for the first
time and don’t know it.”
It would be tragic—not amazing —if any people actually believed the drivel he was spewing that day. Further, the foregoing statement was not made during a period of Limbaugh’s life when he was under the influence of narcotics. He is referring, of course, to the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924, which suspended nothing, but did create bans and quotas. Anyone can read the actual statute and realize a typical Limbaugh embellishment in the statement “we didn’t have any immigration.”
Briefly, the act placed a 2 per cent quota on how many immigrants the U.S. could take from certain countries, based on how many individuals from that country were already living in the United States. It did, however, ban all Arabs and Asians, and placed smaller quotas on Africans. Furthermore, the supporters of the act favored “white Americans” over “American Jews.” No wonder Lyndon Johnson came down hard and harsh on the repealed act in 1965.
Nevertheless, there is a historical perspective to immigration that must be explored, because, if one is not a Native American, he or she is either an immigrant, or the descendent of an immigrant. It is an irony for the ages that this man wants to build a wall on our southern border to keep out what he calls “rapists and murderers.”
Some of the founders envisioned a United States of America that would one day cover all of North America, including Canada. This is apparent in a letter from Mr. Gouverneur Morris to one Henry Livingston dated November 25, 1803:
“I am very certain I had it not in contemplation to insert a decree de coercendo imperio in the Constitution of America. . . . I knew then as well as I do now that all North America must at length be annexed to us. Happy indeed, if the lust of dominion stop here. It would therefore have been perfectly utopian to oppose a paper restriction to the violence of popular sentiment in a popular Government.”
The early colonists considered the somewhat nomadic Native American tribes savages, and reasoned that as such, they were incapable of being domesticated into a European style system of government. Many of the original thirteen states even passed statutes making it a crime for whites to marry Indians, blacks or mullatoes. Upon this racist theory, they proceeded to take land that had been occupied for centuries, even millennia, by Native Americans. This they accomplished in the first instance by quasi-legitimate acquisitions from other sovereigns, and second, by treaties, which offered “take it or leave it” terms of ceding their land or facing extermination.
Extermination was not an idle threat. Such conduct was recorded in the memoirs of Tennessee legislator and frontiersman David Crockett:
…the sleeping village was completely encircled by troops, and, at one hour after sunrise, the attack was launched. Crockett wrote of seeing as many as forty-six Creek warriors seek cover in a house. “We now shot them like dogs; and then set the house on fire, and burned it up with the forty six warriors in it.”
Thus began the great land grab. Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain. The Louisiana Purchase from France followed. Most of the Southwest was gained in a war with Mexico, in which case the United States paid 15 million dollars for the new borders it established by force. Ulysses Grant later referred to the Mexican affair as “one of the most unjust wars by a stronger nation against a weaker nation.” Next came the purchase of Alaska from Russia, a parcel referred to by critics as “Seward’s Icebox.”
There was a common thread running through all these acquisitions; each parcel was obtained from sovereigns who, like the United States, invaded, plundered resources, and pilfered the land from its native inhabitants. Even the U. S. Supreme Court recognized this fact in the case entitled United States vs. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 US 371 (1980). A case for disgrace…
White settlers wanted every piece of land in sight. In addition to the traditional land-grabbing method of the day (treaties for which there was no intention to honor), there were also land thefts accommodated through forced relocations. Seminoles were moved from Florida to Oklahoma. Cherokees, who fought alongside Andrew Jackson against other Indians in the War of 1812, were nevertheless dispossessed of their property and sent West in a death march otherwise known as the “Trail of Tears.”
So apparent is the squalor and poverty on reservations where Native Americans are now serving their life sentences that even the United Nations is begging the U.S. government to return some of the stolen land to its rightful owners.
As if being a citizen in an uncaring nation —a country indifferent to its history of greed, betrayal and treachery in seizing the Native American homeland —were not bad enough, now, the levers of government are in the hands a Psychopath who desires to build a wall to bar entry to descendents of the very people from whom the land was stolen.
Immigration problems will not be cured with walls and demeaning, inflammatory
rhetoric. This administration has turned the so-called “American dream” into “Masters enforcing the American nightmare.” The proper handling of the issue would include laws, most of which are already on the books, that provide for documentation of one sort or another (visa, green cards, etc.) accompanied by strict enforcement.
Prior to the recent election, this country had been a model for inclusion, as referenced by Ann Gordon-Reed in Time Magazine. Following that vein, we should reinstate the American dream, and allow those who wish to become real American citizens an opportunity to do so. On the other hand, if immigrants want to come to the United States and plant the flag of their native country in their front yard, and refuse to learn the English language, they should be sent back to their true home. This is the only way to reconcile the fact that Europeans came to these shores over five centuries ago―uninvited―and swept across the North American continent like a white plague.
Rather than allow racist bigotry flowing from diseased minds to form the core of immigration policy, the interests of America—and humanity—would be better served if Trump and his pathetic band of Aryan soul mates were exiled on a cruise ship… bound for nowhere.
The background against which the recent election took place did not just appear overnight―as if by some wave of Blackstone’s talismanic wand; it was several decades in production. Indeed, for those who have been on this planet over 50 years, the country we now live in is not the same country we inherited.
To be sure, there has been a fair amount of dishonesty and abuse of authority in the government that serves us—from the township level, all the way to the White House. Power corrupts. Richard Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached, and Bill Clinton, who was impeached but survived a trial in the U.S. Senate, are prime examples of this maxim.
It has always been a struggle to find that ideal niche between fascist and Marxist ideologies, but a checks-and-balances constitutional republic, tainted on some occasions by human frailty, is the only way to fulfill that search. There was a day, back in the 1960’s, when lawmakers in Washington worked for all the people. During the week, legislators enacted partisan versions of a bill tailored to their differing conservative or liberal agendas. On weekends, House Majority leader Thomas O’Neill and House Minority leader Gerald Ford would meet on a golf course and iron out differences. On weekdays following, the legislation would be passed into law.
To paraphrase Lincoln… “Now we are engaged in a great civil war.” Rather than North versus South, however, it is a war of conservative against liberal; a raging culture war that has already torn apart the fabric of American society, the proof of which only needed emergence of an elected demagogue for confirmation.
Now the independent-thinking man or woman on the street might look at conservative poster boy Rush Limbaugh as a primary cause of the irreparable divide between conservatives and liberals. Not exactly—his career has been in a downward spiral since the day in February 2012 when he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air. Advertisers found this message beyond the pale and began jumping ship. Limbaugh’s business model has yet to bottom out from the aftershock.
Enter now into the void created by Limbaugh’s slide an acid-tongue harpy, one Ann Coulter. This conservative lawyer and “queen of rancor,” a priori, was delivered up from the bowels of hell.
Coulter, born December 8, 1961is sometimes referred to as an internet queen; her influence as a public figure has been tremendous. She is arguably the most popular conservative woman alive today, with a massive internet following.
Coulter’s rise as a narrow-minded polemic was predicted by progressive thinking
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
Thus announced, the ignorant book peddler arrived. Coulter’s matchbox-sized worldview is cluttered by insults, half-truths, fraud (plagiarism) and bigotry. She unapologetically bashes the liberal cadre of American college professors and their sources of material—progressive thinkers like Asimov and Stephen Hawking —neatly bundling and labeling them as “cranks.” On top of it all, she has self-righteously portioned off a section of heaven for herself and her disciples with the statement “I would be crestfallen to discover any liberals in heaven.”
Coulter is well educated. However, her brain—Nature’s greatest gift to every man and woman—suffers the crippling disability of working within the confines of a conservative straitjacket. There is no room in that tiny space to comprehend tolerance, humility or an ever-expanding universe. This woman took the baton from Limbaugh and proceeded to forever poison the waters of conciliation.
As the partisan culture war wages, both our national debt and a moderate voice of reason have been dropped into a bottomless black pit of no return. This hard fact of life landed upon former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R. Ind.) with brute force when his constituents voted him out of office for “not being conservative enough,” in favor of a candidate and policy promoting hate and continuing gridlock.
Speaking of the Tea Party opponent who ousted him, Lugar stated, “Unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator.” That statement, of course, rings true for most members of Congress today. Nothing short of bloodshed will end this modern version of civil war. As poet Santayna once so remarkably noted, “Those who forget the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
At the end of it all, this man, our Psychopath,did not just wake up one day, decide he wanted to be king, and take the throne. More than 20 other qualified candidates aspired to the same position. While refusing to accept responsibility for placing those in Congress who practiced hate and caused gridlock, the people instead chose to respond by electing the one candidate who was unfit and unqualified. Now we shall explore the minds of those people who put him into office.
The Trump Electorate
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Now a psychopath with a gun is not a very comforting thought, but the foregoing comment was never meant to be taken literally; rather, Trump used it to demonstrate the loyalty of his voters. For several reasons, he was correct.
In the general election, the Psychopath lost the popular vote by a 48% to 46% margin, but won the race in the Electoral College. There were two main groups within the electorate that swept him into power—closet racists and the white working class.
As an aside, this bloc of voters took offense to being labeled “a basket of deplorables.” In hindsight, they should have taken the label as a compliment, for the truth is decidedly more condemning.
As an identifiable group, closet racists need not be elaborated upon further. However, the white working class is comprised of Second Amendment zealots, and along with the National Rifle Association (NRA), remains so twisted and unyielding in their logic that even clinically confirmed mental patients can buy firearms any place in the United States. This group further trifurcates into subgroups of angry blue-collar Republican voters, conspiracy theorists and the walking about mentally ill. None of the members of these four distinct demographic groups—for individually separate reasons—were interested in truth, common sense or accurate reporting by the media. Passion, obviously, was the driving force for this voting community.
Over a century ago, German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer informed us about the strategy of using passion, and the self-deception of its disciples:
“Instead of working on your opponent’s intellect by argument, work on his will by motive; and he, and also the audience if they have similar interests will at once be won over to your opinion, even though you got it out of a lunatic asylum; for, as a general rule, half an ounce of will is more effective than a hundred weight of insight and intelligence.”
As history now tells us, the Psychopath deployed his lunatic asylum-style campaign “all in,” and successfully.
Now to the bare facts; 2016 presidential election exit polls as to race show that 70% of voters were white, 12% black, 11 % latino, 4% Asian and 3% other. In the largest voting bloc among this group, whites, Trump was favored by 58% to 37%.
In relation to education, college graduates favored Clinton 49% to 45%, while high school graduates favored Trump 51% to 45%.
Relevant to gender, males favored Trump 53% to 41%, while females, 52% of the
electorate, favored Clinton 54% to 42%.
In consideration of the well-traveled publicity surrounding Trump’s degrading and misogynistic attitude toward the female gender, only a 12-point deficit in this gender survey is astonishing. Further, taking into account the embarrassing revelations found on the Access Hollywood tape, there naturally follows only two credible streams of theory as to why any woman from any background would desire to vote for Donald Trump.
One stream empties into a Freudian gulf, where each introverted female harbors a latent fantasy of being molested by a vagina-grabbing billionaire.
A second stream reveals the brazen, extroverted woman—that woman who openly accepted the invitation to slither into the gutter and wallow in the filth and perversions of Donald Trump. During the election season, the public tuned in to observe news events, but instead, was forced to watch as spokespersons for this arrogant coterie of shameless women, like bitches-in-heat, sat on CNN (Cable News Network) discussion panels and expressed their unswerving admiration for the pied piper of filth. It was enough to make one’s stomach wretch and skin crawl. Fifty years ago, no respectable man would bring this species of trash home to meet mother.
The foregoing introvert-extrovert tag is a Scarlet Letter of sorts. It may not be branded upon every female Trump supporter, but for the larger majority, the tag and its implication is not open to dispute.
That group identified as closet racists is comprised of college educated and otherwise intelligent and well-informed members of the public. Much to the chagrin of southern members of this group, the Jim Crow era (1880’s to 1960’s laws that legalized segregation between whites and blacks) was ended by a series of civil rights acts. In the employment setting, everywhere, they lament the day when they could openly ask, “You mean you’re choosing Black Sambo over me?” Further frustrated by hate crime laws enacted in all of the states, the last place for racists to vent their hatred without fear of prosecution is within the privacy of a voting booth.
These wrong-headed people long for resurrection of the idea that people of color are less than human. Indeed, they aspire to that universally condemned proclamation by Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Roger Taney in the Dred Scott case. In relation to Negroes —according to those who attended reading of the judgment —he croaked out in a hoarse whisper:
“They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it…”
Nowadays, closet racists everywhere entertain private (and sometimes not so private), demeaning jokes about people of color. A case in point is the comment on social media by a West Virginia nonprofit director. Pamela Taylor referred to the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, as an “Ape in heels.” Taylor was subsequently fired from her position. Additional fallout came with the resignation of Clay, West Virginia Mayor Beverly Whaling, who reportedly responded to Taylor’s Facebook posting with her own comment of “Just made my day, Pam.”
According to a Washington Post article, the town of Clay has about 470 residents in a county of 8,910. Two tenths of one per cent of the county population is African American, and more than three quarters of the presidential votes cast in the county went to the Psychopath.
Consequently, the perceived intellectual reasoning power held by this class of otherwise intelligent individuals is fatally compromised from the outset by racial hatred. The chain of evidence here dictates that, in droves, they would cast votes for an individual they could readily identify as a racist.
Unfortunately, as author William Faulkner reminded us, attitudes within this group will only change one by one―as the Grim Reaper marks his recruits.
Angry Blue Collar Republican voters
The blue-collar worker—once a dominant force in American politics—is a rapidly vanishing breed. Progress is the culprit. Unfortunately, members of this group cannot seem to wrap their minds around the idea that one machine and a handful of workers can finish the same job that took tens of thousands of laborers in building a pyramid during the era of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Artificial intelligence (AI) and computer driven robots hasten the demise of this group at an even quicker pace.
Palpable discontent in the workplace brought about a revolution of sorts. Looking for a way out of their progress-induced dilemma, workers in the 1970’s bought into the charms of President Reagan. In the larger picture, previous blue states turned red. In the smaller picture, this political conversion was the genesis of the blue-collar Republican voter; without a doubt, the most misguided and self-defeating bloc of voters in the history of demographic research. In reality, these voters succumbed to a United States Chamber of Commerce master plan to subjugate workers for the benefit of business owners; that master plan being profit at any cost, with fewer road blocks.
It all began with a myth—one still bandied about in conservative circles—that Reagan ordered, and was thus credited, when the Berlin Wall was torn down. It is true that Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.” What actually happened had nothing to do with Reagan’s demand. One gate was opened by mistake, and East Berliners flooded into West Germany, as recorded in The Collapse, a well-researched book that chronicles events leading to the end of Soviet influence over East German politics, and eventual unification of the divided country.
Nevertheless, these blue-collar workers were enamored with the Reagan aura, and fully bought into the conservative mindset. Rush Limbaugh, and eventually, Ann Coulter, became their heroes.
Conveniently forgotten in this reversal of political allegiance were the sacrifices made by their labor progenitors (parents, grandparents, etc.). These were the individuals who put up resistance when railroad barons sent mercenaries out to kill those people who would not sell their land at a pittance for rights-of-way, objected to children working in factories and went on strike to demand fair wages. The efforts of these pioneers resulted in collective bargaining, paid vacations, family insurance plans, child labor law, a 40-hour workweek and just cause for termination of employment.
The euphoria that came with this “Reagan revolution” was short-lived. At the national level, blue collar Republicans sent people like Ted Cruz to Congress. Cruz, on a personal vendetta to defund the Affordable Care Act, used a childish 21-hour filibuster in Senate chambers to shut down the U.S. government in October 2013. Financial services company Standard & Poor has estimated the total cost of the shut down at 24 billion dollars, which did not include the cost of damage done to the country’s creditworthiness.
They watched vindictively as foreigners were brought in to fill higher paying jobs they could have taken with a small commitment to continuing education. Likewise, people wearing turbans bought every mom and pop motel in the United States, and nearly every convenience store. Latent xenophobic fires were kindled.
At the state level, they elected legislators who, in state after state, promptly codified so-called “right-to-work laws.”
So they traded job security for the “right to work,” and stayed devoted to that principle right up to the day company security guards escorted many of them from their work station to the parking lot and unemployment line; simply because a new supervisor didn’t like the way they parted their hair.
For those who remained employed, research indicates that wages in right-to-work states are 3.2% lower than those in non-RTW states. This equates to about $1,500.00 less annually for the RTW worker.
Furthermore, many of those still working were reduced to a 32 hour work week, so
employers could further enhance the bottom line by cutting out the massive expense of group family health insurance.
Small wonder the search for “greener grass” that brought a reversal of political allegiance turned to frustration and anger amongst blue collar Republicans. Not only were they losing their jobs, but also they had to go to the supermarket and watch people on public assistance buy steak for their families, while hard workers were forced to exist on hamburger.
However, the largest problem was the bleak future that lay ahead. There was no
chance for advancement. Excepting one-parent households, every family had two wage earners struggling to make monthly payments on a pocketful of maxed-out credit cards. They had that feeling made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford of “I owe my soul to the company store;” the company store, of course, being the credit card companies.
So there existed in this blue-collar voter bloc disillusionment, starting with disenchantment, moving on to resentment and culminating in unbridled anger. This group was open to a populist message. What happened next was predictable.
Thus disenchanted with both Democrats and Republicans, this group decided
to throw a Molotov cocktail into that institution they recognized as the political elite. That “cocktail” came in the form of a vile, fascist ideologue named Donald Trump; and the con man played this misguided group like a violin. The music that came from that violin was heard throughout the summer of 2016 at Trump rallies: “Lock her up, lock her up….”
There is no reliable way to assess the number of conspiracy theorists who voted in the last election. However, their existence can be confirmed by listening to calls into radio station talk shows throughout the United States, or by recording the number of fake news tabloids like the National Enquirer that fly off supermarket shelves.
We are all conspiracy theorists to a certain degree. That part of the human brain that breeds skepticism in everything we see and hear ordains as much. Nevertheless, what separates healthy skeptics and hopeless conspiracy theorists is a willingness to make distinctions between fact and fiction.
Hopeless conspiracy theorists look at shootings like the one that took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Massachusetts where 20 children and six staff members were systematically shot down in cold blood by one Adam Lanza, and claim that the entire affair was carried out by “government crisis actors,” as a ploy to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment right to carry firearms. They will stand on a stack of bibles and swear that the murderous rampage never occurred.
Nevertheless, in spite of their malign beliefs, such garden-variety conspiracy theorists are harmless, at least until Election Day, where in the voting booth they become dangerous. However, there is another breed of conspiracy theorist that is dangerous every minute of every day—the home grown terrorist.
The “real” Trump Brand is not even about money. That “brand” was on full display during the election campaign season; a siege mentality (drain the swamp) that was designed to create the same kind of hate and mistrust of the government that led Patrick McVeigh to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
McVeigh and several co-conspirators constructed a fertilizer bomb in a Ryder rental truck and set off an explosion that destroyed the structure and damaged several other buildings in the downtown area, left 168 confirmed dead, including 19 children, and injured 680 others. McVeigh was apprehended on the same day, and claimed before he was executed that the attack was retaliation for the government’s 1992 assault at Ruby Ridge and the 1993 Waco siege.
The events that led to the incident at Ruby Ridge were in fact a clear abuse of governmental authority. At least one government agent, and perhaps more, should have been sent to prison. It began with an attempt to serve a bench warrant for the arrest of Randy Weaver on weapons charges, and ended with the deaths of one law enforcement officer and two members of the Weaver family. The pertinent facts were recorded in a memo by FBI Assistant Director Danny Coulson:
“Something to consider/1. Charge against Weaver is bull shit…2. No one saw
Weaver do any shooting/3. Vicki has no charges against her/4. Weaver’s defense. He ran down the hill to see what the dog was barking at. Some guys in camys shot his dog./ Started shooting at him. Killed his son. Harris did the shooting[of Degan] he[Weaver] is in a pretty strong legal position.”
The surviving members of the Weaver family filed a 200 million dollar lawsuit against the federal government. In an out-of -court settlement (August 1995) the government awarded Weaver 100,000 dollars and his three daughters one million dollars each.
McVeigh used the foregoing abuse of governmental authority as license to brutally murder 168 Americans. This is the species of dangerous conspiracy theorist that can be expected to spring into action when Trump urges his followers to “drain the swamp.”
In the Waco siege, Branch Davidian leader David Koresh had been under the government microscope for months. Early in 1993, the ATF, FBI and Texas National Guard laid siege to the Branch Davidian compound for 51 days. On the final day of the siege, April 19, 1993 United States Attorney General Janet Reno ordered the tank-led attack that resulted in the deaths of four government agents and six Branch Davidians. Eleven of the cult members escaped and were later arrested; however, millions of Americans watched 76 other Branch Davidians die in a fierce conflagration viewed on the evening news. Many of the cremated-alive victims were children.
The Attorney General of the United States is expected to use discretion and exercise good judgment. Nevertheless, this siege was the most egregious error of judgment in Reno’s career. Many of the agents present had also taken part in the Ruby Ridge affair, and were at the time under investigation. In addition, it was known by the government that Koresh left the Branch Davidian compound several times a month to go into town. He could have been apprehended without incident on one of those occasions. Instead, she laid siege while the cult members were bunkered in the compound, heavily armed, and prepared to fight to the death.
Speaking of errors in judgment, this brings us back to the Senate confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Sessions obviously lied during his confirmation hearing, calling official government records of previous sworn testimony by Senate colleagues “damnably false charges.” Racist conduct aside, this is not the kind of fact-avoiding person America needs as its top law enforcement officer.
Thus, while home-grown terrorists hatch plots to help the Psychopath “drain the swamp,” harmless conspirators sit in front of their computer monitors and other social media, exchanging fictions and building a new house of cards…one lie after another.
It naturally follows that the only appropriate landing spot for members of the conspiracy theorist group is the candidate who can tell the most outrageous lies.
Now we come to the mentally ill segment of the white working class. Personality disorders as recognized by clinicians and researchers can be found in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). A sociopath is defined as a person with three of the following personality traits:
A. There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following; having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.
2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.
3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.
4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.
5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.
6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.
7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing.
There is no need, or, for that matter, ability, to improve upon the findings of professional psychologists. Suffice to say, as the foregoing material provides, we can go through not just three, but every one of the traits listed in DSM-5 and relate them to tweets, speeches or behavior by the Psychopath.
His disturbed band of followers are not people found with a blank stare and spittle running down their chins. Outward, indeed, they seem normal, but their behavior exposes the defect. Metaphorically speaking, the individuals in this group are ticking time bombs. Anger, leading to impulsive and destructive behavior, arises whenever boundaries of their delusional beliefs are crossed. Reasoned thought has no part in the process.
To believe that those who attended Trump rallies came for any reason other than to hear and act upon what this man was thinking and spewing forth is pure folly. They loved what they heard as he insulted every member of the human family—with the exception, of course, of Aryans as a group. Moreover, they practiced what they heard when he urged them to intimidate the media and physically assault certain individuals, with a pledge to pay legal fees for anyone who “knocked the crap out of protestors” at his rallies.
This “psychopath inspired intimidation” is too reminiscent of Hitler’s “Brown Shirts,” who assisted in the rise of the Third Reich by moving into crowds and using clubs and blackjacks to silence people who appeared critical of Hitler’s speech. Thus, through association, approval and action, one is hard-pressed to argue against the fact that these rally attendees were every bit as psychotic as the man they adored.
It is an indisputable fact that mentally ill individuals in possession of CCW permits are the reason that no person (at least those who do not have security details) in this country is safe from road rage-like shooting incidents. Which brings us to a statement by the preacher to his choir:
“Hillary wants to abolish—essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people—maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The foregoing statement was clearly a veiled threat. It was a cleverly packaged suggestion urging a receptive audience to rise up and use violence against a political opponent.
Another example of the byproduct of his inspiration includes fights between supporters and protestors at numerous rallies…even after he was elected.
Recall after Michael Cohen’s “Let’s gut her,” comment, Megyn Kelly was compelled to hire private security for a full year for herself and her family.
However, of all the deranged activity that came from disturbed minds of Trump supporters, the most laughable incident occurred, ironically, at a comedy club in Hermosa Beach, California. Comedian John Caparulo made a phallic joke about Trump, and a female Trump supporter stood up, threw a glass at the comedian (which hit him) and left the club amid a chorus of boos.
In consideration of the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, not to mention other lewd suggestions by Trump during the election campaign, this post inauguration outburst had to come from one of Trump’s admiring introverts.
According to researchers, prevalence for any personality disorder in the United
States is 9.1 per cent. Specific prevalence rates for borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder were estimated at 1.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
Of the four groups identified in the Trump coalition of voters, this is the only one that is reliably quantifiable. More precisely, this is the group that sealed his victory.
Pennsylvania had 20 electoral votes up for grabs. 6.166 million votes were cast
and Trump won by 44,000 votes. Using the NIMH formula, 86,324 borderline psychotics voted, and 36, 996 full-blown psychotics voted.
Michigan had 16 electoral votes. 4.8 million votes were cast and Trump won by 10,700 votes. Again using the NIMH formula, 67,200 borderline psychotics voted, and 28,800 full-blown psychotics voted.
Wisconsin had 10 electoral votes. 2.976 million voted, and Trump won by 22,000
votes; 41,600 borderline psychotics voted, and 17,850 full-blown psychotics voted.
To be elected to the office of President, 270 Electoral College votes were needed, which Trump won 306 to 232. Mental illness and number crunching aside, the unprecedented upsurge in turnout in the presidential election reveals a compelling story: most of the people in this group had never voted for anything or anybody—a rather wide dragnet which includes those who otherwise might be considered conservatives, liberals, independents, Democrats and Republicans. To be clear, these people were not even voting for a candidate; in their delusional minds, they were inducting a kindred spirit into the brotherhood of the insane. Without their vote, Hillary Clinton would have won both the popular vote, and the vote in the Electoral College by a 278-260 margin.
There can be no solace in the fact that a Psychopath now sits in the Oval Office, but there is consolation—if not poetic justice—in knowing that it was the mentally ill who put him there. In addition, from what is known, and what is yet to be revealed, we may one day consider Benedict Arnold a choirboy when compared to the man who cleverly engineered the biggest surprise in presidential politics since Harry Truman upset Thomas Dewey.
Donald Trump’s empire will come crashing down at the next election. That is assuming, of course, that he does not do something mindless enough to annihilate a large portion of the human race in the interim. Demographics dictate as much. With closet racists dying, the white working class shrinking through attrition and 4 million young people attaining voting age each year, it is clear that the Psychopath will be a one-term president. Michael Blumberg, John Kasich or even Bernie Sanders could unseat him. Most unfortunately, however, there is nothing in the kingdom of man that might remove the stain he will leave behind.
The truly sad part of this development lies with the memory of millions of brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the grand ideals of the greatest society heretofore known to man. Their character of service was best defined in a deeply moving speech by retired General Douglas MacArthur at the United States Military Academy in 1962. The theme of the speech, given without notes, was:
“ Duty…Honor…Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be,
what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope, when hope becomes forlorn.”
Now the duty of a soldier has always been a constant, whether serving in the phalanx for Alexander the Great, braving the elements at Valley Forge, or marching through mud and blood for General Patton: defeat the enemy. However, there can be no honor in following the serial hallucinations of a psychopathic Commander-in-Chief. Furthermore, there can be no “country” like the one we inherited when nearly half its inhabitants have lost their moral compass.
John Rawls presented us with the boundaries of a well-ordered society in his landmark work of ethical and political philosophy, A Theory of Justice. When a society has strayed far outside those boundaries in the manner herein provided, we are compelled to believe we live in a society in rapid decline; just treading water, indeed.
Truman Goodspeed, Editor