Saturday, November 12, 2016

President Trump

So far, one can't get a very warm feeling about what a Trump presidency will be like.  It is looking like Trump may have no actual interest in governing, and that he is going to turn that over to the loony part of the Republican party.  That may, in essence, mean that as far as day-to-day activity goes, Mike Pence will be President.  God help us.  Pence is not a smart man.  As far as the law-and-order side of things go, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie keep popping up.  Geez.  Then you've got Ben Carson and Sarah Palin. And the guy in charge of them all, Donald Trump.  Holy shit.

My main intention with this blog has been to point out that Republican attacks on government are tremendously counter-productive.  While government often is wasteful and poorly-run, it is also necessary for a functioning society.  Republicans, instead of working to make government better, have been working to destroy it.  That is the worst possible thing that could happen, if your goal is a civil society.  The forces unleashed by the Presidential campaign are going to be very hard to bottle up.  The mood of white folks in the middle of the country is very ugly.  The shock and anger in the big cities is building.  My fear is that instead of fizzling out, the protests against Trump will keep slowly building, and eventually breaking out into civil unrest.  Then you'll have a government run by Trump and his rather incompetent minions cracking down on big city protestors, while rural folks cheer them on.  The rural/urban divide could potentially become the front for a low-level civil war.

However, if that terrible outcome doesn't actually occur, you still have a likely best case scenario of an incompetent administration screwing up an already damaged economy.  As I've said previously, folks in the middle of the country have suffered as factories have closed and jobs have disappeared.  No matter what Trump said he'd do on the campaign trail, fixing that is a damn near impossible task.  If we are supposed to take comfort in Trump's business record, I think we are in serious trouble.  His whole career has been made up of a bunch of grandiose plans and over-the-top bluster followed by miserable failure.  Finally, he gave up on actually selling products and real estate, and sold his image as a loud-mouthed blowhard.  Somehow, he was able to sell himself to nearly half the population to be President of the United States.  By fueling racial resentment and making ridiculous claims about bringing the post-war industrial economy back to the Rust Belt, Trump has again massively over-promised, and will almost certainly fail. His scapegoating of minorities for America's problems reinforces the mindset already flourishing in rural areas. I can't see anything good coming of his Presidency.  For four years, the government will become weaker and more incompetent, while anger and internal resentment will build.  What happens when somebody strikes a match to the massive pile of dry tinder? 

Hopefully, I am completely wrong about all of these possibilities.  Hopefully, the Trump presidency will be a model of government efficiency and civility, and the economy will flourish.  Hopefully, all the people I thought were racist will actually be correct, and that the whole cause of increased racial tension in the country welled up from President Obama personally, and when he retires from public life racial harmony will ensue.  But I don't believe any of that will happen, and I fear that the late 20th century and early part of the 21st century will be seen as a turning point in American history.  The Trump presidency could make the Bush and Obama administrations look good in comparison. 

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