Democracy in Action

I am very impressed, if not always in a good way, by the Trump administration’s ongoing policy of posting details of White House press conferences on the internet.   I don’t know if previous administrations in the internet age did this, I suspect now that they probably did, but every time I search for some striking moment I see reported in the news (or more often in the comedy of Colbert, Noah, Meyers, Bee) , there it is on the official website.  

The principle of making government actions accessible to the public is a cornerstone of democracy.   Let the people know what the government is doing in our name.   Let the people decide how they feel about what we are doing, after seeing all the details for themselves.   Let the people then speak, and not just 40%, or 1%, and let the government reflect the will of the people and protect our interests, majorities and minorities alike.  This is the theory our democratic, republican government is founded on.

I heard the reports of the president’s recent public chastisement of a Trump critic, former CIA Director John Brennan.  Not only angry tweets, but cutting off Brennan’s security clearance.    Raising the ante in the argument in a way no previous president has ever dared to do.   It looks like the kind of petty thing an aggrieved tinhorn dictator would do, immediately before arranging the former top government official’s death. The official statement, which you can read here in its entirety, reads in pertinent part:

Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the Internet and television — about this administration.  Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets, and facilities [facilitates] the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.

Trevor Noah  said “unfounded allegations, wild internet outbursts and lying?  it sounds like Sarah Sanders is just reading from  President Trump’s daily schedule.”    Others have noted that Michael Flynn, former top presidential advisor, the fiery cheerleader who led the “Lock Her UP!” chants at the 2016 Republican Convention, a man who was forced to resign as National Security Advisor and later pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, still has his security clearance. [1]   The president’s outburst seems to be a fairly clear case of what psychiatry calls “projection.”   I know you are, but what am I?

I love the way the transcript is so honest and transparent that it shows the original language mistake:   and facilities [facilitates] the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.    

Stephen Miller, or some other young genius, must have been in a hurry, under pressure, to finish crafting the president’s polished written statement.  It was an act of restraint on the part of whoever wrote it, I think, not to point out that sowing division and chaos is clearly the president’s job.

That Trump himself, so challenged to marshal his “best words, very best words”, didn’t write the presidential statement is obvious.   It reminds me of a great scene from low culture.   In “Back to School” Rodney Dangerfield plays a rich buffoon who goes to college when his son is admitted.   In an attempt to impress his freshman English professor, played by Sally Kellerman, he hires Kurt Vonnegut to write his paper on Cat’s Cradle.   When Kellerman returns the paper to him, with a C, she tells him “whoever wrote this paper, and it clearly wasn’t you, doesn’t know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut’s work”.    The Dangerfield character promptly strikes back, angrily calling to tell Vonnegut he’s canceling his check and telling him, over the phone: “Hey, Vonnegut, read my lips– FUCK YOU!”

But all this is an aside, another of a million distractions.  The main thing, somehow, is not to look away.   The truth matters, it actually does. Remembering the inconsistencies week to week, day do day, is important. Participating in participatory democracy is essential.  Speaking calmly, and clearly, and pointing out actual facts, is the best way to convince people currently voting against their interests to wise up, straighten up, fly right.

Everything this president does is an attempt to enhance his own image, a fake “brand” of a brilliant, highly successful business genius with a Midas touch.   He is none of these things.  Just look at his colossal, hubris-driven failures in Atlantic City, where, prior to one of his more spectacular bankruptcies, the Artist of the Deal owned the top two casinos in that town and put them both out of business going deep into hock to build a third, the Mother of All Casinos, his idiotic Taj Mahal.  His genius was in not paying a penny out of his own pocket, stiffing thousands of chumps, retaining his reputation as a business genius.

His only business success in a life that started with millions from dad, and massive political connections that garnered him hundreds of millions in tax breaks,  was as a highly opinionated fake billionaire genius/mentor on “reality TV”.    He has not shown himself to be smart or successful in any business he’s ever been involved in, except as the abrasive, self-aggrandizing star of his long-running hit TV show where he played the man he pretends to be.    And that TV endeavor, I point out sourly, was produced by people who knew what they were doing.

“FAKE NEWS!” may resonate with those who can’t believe the mainstream news is not reporting how much the damned, ungrateful blacks hate the Klan, for no goddamned reason, or how much money greedy Welfare parasites are stealing from the government every year, or how many illegal immigrants sneak into the country to bust their asses at shit jobs where unscrupulous employers ruthlessly exploit them and the ungrateful aliens still won’t learn English.    

The idea of fake news is fake.   Do not go for the fake.  Stay tuned.  Don’t let these two year-old temper tantrum tactics make you so disgusted you stop paying attention.   We all need to pay close attention, and start getting busy heading into these 2018 midterms, which many are calling the most important elections in American history.   

I have nothing more to say about this, except to salute the tinhorn Trump administration for making these important presidential decrees available to the public, for pundits and comedians to discuss and for the rest of us to read over and think about while having our morning coffee.   Viva Democracy!   With the help of a merciful All-Mighty, and the hard work of millions of us, this threat to the planet too shall pass.


[1] On December 1, 2017, Flynn appeared in federal court to formalize a deal with Special Counsel  Robert Mueller to plead guilty to a single felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI.[18] He confirmed his intention to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s investigation.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s