Thursday, April 27, 2017


This early Trump presidency has felt like a non-stop, loud, vulgar Jeopardy show. The president choses noise over talk, primal argument over reason, preferring to invade rather than to be invited in. He literally has "occupied" the media non-stop, in North Korean fashion, and left the country gasping for breath. Nevertheless, his base remains solid behind this "Kevorkian" style and he is able to make his flock of Neanderthals drink up the potion which will hasten their own demise.

The lower tax rates for the rich mostly will only end up furthering the budget deficit. Former experiments show that lower taxes never cause economic growth. The healthcare bis in the making is a convoy heading for social meltdown (pre-existing conditions not covered). All environmental regulations and protected "monuments" are under revision. Women's health issues are returned to the "executioner" states (one knows what that means in the South). Protectionism rules. Allies are scorned. The dismantling of the state continues through a sort of induced coma, Steve Bannon's signature style. The Trump presidency becomes every day more a conspirational family trust, aided by a board of mostly white men. The taste of this regime is already turning the US into some "Americastan" covered in faux marbre and gold lame.

Nevertheless it has to be recognized that the president's permanent coup against truth is working out. He piles up denials, lies and reversals which throw all off balance. He is able to present contradiction as the new gospel and gets away with it, after having spooked the chorus of his out-of-touch critics. His base loves to see the pundits and elites receiving a black eye. The decibels leave his "fans" numb, to the extent that they forget that they are applauding their own funeral march.

Obviously there is a larger issue. Since the beginning, America has stood for a set of ideas which remained the envy of most, even if their implementation was often far from perfect. The American experiment became a touchstone and a rallying point for immigrants who ended up being the foremost contributors to a creative, open, generous narrative. The current situation is too recent to come close to an overhaul yet, but in 100 days this evidence-denying administration was able to let loose a political twister.  A rebuilding is possible but it will come at a cost.

The controlled derailment internally is made more complex through a foreign policy (?) that has gone rogue.  It follows a potential accident/miscalculation-prone path without consistency. This is already activating unforeseeable consequences internally in areas like trade, the independence of justice, race, gender, environment, services, technologies. Without foreign input the start-ups will die off and new technologies might become unattended. In the absence of any convincing strategy, the trust of allies will suffer and the distrust of foes will grow. The State Department's upper level is understaffed and cuts in the budget will make it impossible for the pax Americana to face the new strategic challenges (AIDS, famine, refugees, Ebola, terrorism, security).

The president will appear at a rally at the end of the week. He loves the adoring crowds in "his" private domain but does not dare to venture in the opposition's (mostly) coastal strongholds. He runs the risk of becoming a prisoner of "fake news" and "alternative realities" of his own making. He enjoys so much walking in delusion and hates to feel resistance, amused skepticism or plain disbelief in others. Now that he "must" start to confront the outside world, starting in Brussels and Taormina next month, he had better realize that outside of the bubble there is little love to be found. This unhinged alter ego of the baby-fat North Korean leader loves to play with his toy soldiers.  He might get burned by the booby-trapped one in their midst or, paraphrasing Proust, go the Putin and Erdogan' s way.

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