Tag Archives: Trump

The Trump Administration: Children in a Fantasy

The American philosopher Ken Wilber called Trump, when he was running, “the boy who would be King,” by which he meant that Trump was at the psycho-emotional level of a young child, and urged voting against him:

Not because he is a big alpha figure who would bust up the establishment. Not because he’s vulgar. Not because lacks a coherent policy vision. Those things can actually be evolutionarily potent in their proper measure. No, the real problem with Donald Trump is that in important lines of development he is arrested at the level of a five-year-old. Keep nukes out of the hands of children. Make sure to vote!

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[For more on what is meant by “development” see my article “Integral 102”]

Now that Trump has tapped Steven Bannon for his inner circle, I looked at a Breitbart article (Bannon is a Breitbart executive). The article made the “argument” that the key to women’s happiness was to “uninvent” the washing machine and the birth control pill, both of which had made them completely “miserable.” First, nothing is ever uninvented. Once technologies catch on – especially labor-saving devices – for better or worse, we seem to be stuck with them. Second, if anything needs to be “uninvented” is it really the washing machine? Not the nuclear bomb? To think that these things can be uninvented and that there’s not a population problem is to live in a fantasy world. They want women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen – no wonder they were against Clinton for President!

Trump also speaks of using nuclear weapons, imperiling us all, as if only the US has them! Or only the US and Russia. As if he doesnʻt know that there are at least 13 nuclear states. And his responses to questions about their use is consistent with that of an adolescent boy: “Then why do we have them [if not to use them]?” This shows no understanding that nuclear weapons, to the extent that they have any valid use at all, are deterrents.

Finally, as far as I have observed, Trump has not once used the word democracy in his campaign, a campaign that has shown nothing but contempt for the idea. If things go the way many are predicting, Americans will have – proudly – voted their own, hard-won rights away by handing the nuclear codes, the Bush-Obama surveillance apparatus and the power of commander-in-chief of the US military to a child.

 

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The Age of Hubris

hu·bris

ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/
noun
  1. excessive pride or self-confidence.
    synonyms arroganceconceithaughtinesshauteurprideself-importanceegotismpomposity, superciliousness, superiority;

    • (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.

One thing that has struck me recently is the utterly casual way in which many of the central tenets of American (and increasingly other developed countries’) democracy are being undermined and abandoned. As I wrote in “Reason’s End:”

In his 2007 book The Assault on Reason, former Vice President Al Gore saw the same alarming trend. Gore held that reasoned discourse, the “central premise of American democracy” was imperiled by changes in the media and the politics of wealth. Supporting this contention, Princeton University released a report claiming America was no longer a democracy at all, but an oligarchy. When the Citizens United decision, SuperPACs, blows to the Voting Rights Act and the end of internet neutrality are taken into account, the veracity of these claims is hard to deny. So the real question is: what caused this fundamental shift in the American consciousness?

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It is the hubris and bluster seen on the Republican side of the presidential race in particular that show these trends most clearly: a casual move toward blatantly racist rhetoric of a kind that was still intolerable as late as 2007! Trent Lott’s mere tone of nostalgia over Strom Thurmond’s (racist) past – at Thurmond’s funeral no less, where his shortcomings might be overlooked – lost him his spot in the Senate (where he was the number 2 Republican).

As NBC News reported on Nov. 16, 2007:

The smooth-spoken Lott found himself in hot water in December 2002 after Thurmond’s party.   Lott said Mississippi voters were proud to have supported Thurmond when he ran for president on a segregationist platform in 1948, and added: “If the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years either.”

A few days later, Lott issued a statement saying he had made “a poor choice of words” that “conveyed to some the impression that I embraced the discarded policies of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I apologize to anyone who was offended by my statement.”

But the damage was done. President Bush distanced himself from Lott’s remarks, telling an audience the comments “do not reflect the spirit of our country.”

But Trump gets away almost daily with statements that far outstrip Lott’s. Suggesting going after the families of suspected terrorists met with silence (admittedly an awkward one) and left Trump time to repeat it (this was “light” morning television!).

We may just be seeing the death-throes of the Right, and with Bernie Sanders, the resurgence of a solidly left consciousness after the years of the Clintons’ “New Democrats” (which are, in many ways,  similar to old Republicans). As I said in “Why I am a Leftist:”

… pendulums always swing back, and this happened with Obama and the Occupy movement, where leaderless revolution seemed to almost spontaneously emerge. There seems to be a progressive ground swell, with even fairly mainstream media like Salon and the Huffington Post making progressive arguments and even cogently showing their practicality (something the left wasnʻt quite so good at previously).

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Hawaiians in Trump’s America

Probably The New Yorkerʻs David Remnick said it best:

…no detestable remark, no flagrant display of ignorance, no scummy business deal has dissuaded his followers … Quote his most hateful eruptions – about Mexicans [so the majority of California are rapists? Think about that…]*, about Muslims [even the Machiavellian Dick Cheney was appalled at the idea of banning entire religions], about women [again, the majority], about African Americans – and the next day will still bring an arena filled with voters who find him incorruptible precisely because he is rich, and who vibrate to his blunt assessments of the American condition.

… and who want to give this man[iac] the nuclear codes. Like many, I didnʻt take Trump seriously because, ironically, I thought he wasn’t rich enough to win the election! Sure he may be worth $3.5 billion (or $4.5 billion as Forbes estimates), but itʻs all tied up in real estate and other ventures, so unless he starts selling off Trump Towers and his 50 golf courses, he won’t have the $1 – 2 billion it now costs to win the Presidency. Or so I thought. I’d underestimated the power of the free ride being given him by the media. Now the Republican Party wants to deny him the nomination through a brokered convention, which could be good news for most, but it’s bad news for democracy. (As is Clinton’s monopoly on Superdelegates).

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Photo: M. Puleloa

And now we have the Naʻi Aupuni constitution, so obviously forged from a template with its “Native Hawaiian sovereignty” – the sovereignty of Hawaiʻi lies in the country, not the federally-defined “natives.” Kaʻiulani Milham’s article on “What Really Happened” at the convention caustically states that one Fed Rec supporter was “crying like a little b****” when the constitution came out with support for independence. So now one must ask: is this the country Hawaiians want to be part of? Trump’s America? The one thatʻs the laughingstock of the developed world? The one thatʻs no longer a democracy (see the Princeton report)? The one thatʻs systematically dismantling its own – once envied – education system? The one that was to choose between electing Bush III, Clinton II, or Trump, who at his mansion in Palm Beach is called “The King?” Ask yourself: which is the hereditary monarchy?

One nightmare scenario that’s looking more and more likely is that Clinton beats Sanders on Superdelegates alone, then she canʻt beat Trump in the general election. Some predictions are looking this way, hence Sanders’s statements that only he can beat Trump and Cruz. With his positions on minorities, I think it’s safe to say that Hawaiians would not fare well in Trump’s America.

The US is now about $19 trillion in debt, which is over ten years’ tax revenue, and continuing to borrow about a trillion and a half each year. Much of this goes to the military-industrial complex, which has a budget of about a trillion. They say itʻs $600 billion, but thatʻs just the Department of Defense – much of what is spent on military operations is in other departments: Energy (nukes), Homeland Security (war on terror), CIA (which has a black – i.e., unknown – budget), etc. This is to maintain a network of 700 military bases in 130 countries (there are only 196 or so countries). All the while, about $17 – $24 trillion (its hard to estimate) in US assets is held in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands, etc. This amounts to one year of the US GDP. Ask yourself: which is unsustainable – the madness described above or a Hawaiian economy?

Iʻm not even anti-American – just concerned about what America is doing to itself through hubris and the calculated cultivation of ignorance, and about those who would willingly choose this path when they have other options.

  • According to Trump, of course. The majority of California is Latino, not necessarily Mexican, but most are.

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