By Robert J. Guttman
February 1, 2017
The Statue of Liberty must surely be crying these days as our nation of immigrants is now turning away immigrants.
Turning away immigrants from these predominantly Muslim nations is a publicity stunt by our new president. It will not protect the American homeland at all.
Terrorist attacks in recent years have been from American citizens. Saudi Arabia, home of many of the 9/11 terrorists, was not even included in this so-called “ban” which the president who has publicly called it a ban says it is not.
From the bizarre campaign to the twitter transition to the nasty and dark Inaugural address to the travel ban, delusional remarks about illegals voting in the election to the size of the Inaugural crowd, the strange opening acts of our 45th president are , to say the least, highly disturbing to our democratic values.
From his talk at the CIA to his talk today on February 1, 2017 discussing Black History Month, Trump launches into attacks on the media. Today, our 45th president said, “A lot of the media is actually the opposition party. They’re so biased. And really it’s a disgrace. They’re very dishonest people.”
He cannot trash the media enough in his speeches. It is so obvious he wants only a fawning press corps to praise his every word and deed. Talk about moving the White House press corps out of the White House to provide them more space in the Executive Office Building is bogus.
Trump is trying to diminish our tradition of a free press in almost every speech. The only thing he discusses more in every speech is himself. He is the poster child for a narcissist.
Now we have the term “alternative facts” as part of the 45th president’s vocabulary as well as those of his press secretary and White House Counselor.
What in the world are alternative facts? The term itself is upsetting especially from people leading our nation who play fast and loose with facts and the truth.
“Donald Trump, having propelled his presidential campaign to victory while often disregarding the truth, now is testing the proposition that he can govern the country that way. In the first five days of his presidency, Trump has put the enormous power of the nations’ highest office behind spurious-and easily disproved-claims.
He began with trivial falsehoods about the size of the crowds at his inauguration but has since escalated a more grave claim that undermines the trustworthiness of the nation’s electoral system. In a White House reception . . .for congressional leaders, Trump alleged that as many as five million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election, denying him a popular majority”, states Karen Tumulty in a recent front page article in The Washington Post.
He continues to talk about these non-existent illegal votes against him in the general election and continues to yell at Interior Department officials and the media about showing a less than massive crowd size.
His not to be called Muslim ban was a sloppy and haphazard roll out in order to keep a nasty campaign promise to his hard core followers to make America Great Again by keeping out immigrants, many who have in the past and would in the future, make America great again.
The idea of religious qualifications goes against everything America stands for and is incredibly ant-democratic and anti-American. It has the reverse effect of making people around the world who have seen America as the so-called promised land now as an angry and hateful place unwelcoming immigrants to our shores.
His Inaugural Address set the tone for a nasty and sad and unreal vision of America. As the New York Times editorial of January 21, 2017 states, “President Trump presented such a graceless and disturbingly ahistoirc vision of America on Friday that his Inaugural Address cast more doubt than hope on his presidency.
. . .It was hard to make sense of Mr. Trump’s distorted vision of America’s past and present.”
Our 45th president, who prides himself on not reading much but watching television frequently, has made an attempt to be as disruptive of governing as he can on a daily basis. He is showing his scorn for the federal government he is now in charge of, the legislative branch and the judicial branch.
He is all action without much thought to the Constitution, the law or what role Congress plays in all these matters. Where does he think he will get the billions of dollars he needs for his ridiculous wall except from Congress. And, of course, the American taxpayer will be reimbursed by some obscure tax on Mexico in the near future.
As one of my students said in my class last night his family flew into the United States and no wall would stop that type of immigration.
So far, almost everything in the first two weeks of his presidency, Trump has been disruptive, delusional and very anti-democratic in his talk and in his actions.
Our European allies are extremely nervous and the European Union which has been praised and supported by every American president since the 1950s, is being criticized by Trump and his administration. Obviously, transatlantic ties and foreign policy in general do not mean much our new president.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, on her recent visit to the white House, had to be the one to acknowledge publicly at a joint press conference that Trump supports NATO. The American president has called this very successful alliance “obsolete” in the past.
We have all known from the shameless and “alternative fact” filled campaign that , if elected, his presidency would go right on talking about delusional things that are in his head.
I just finished teaching a month long intensive graduate course on the Trump presidency at Johns Hopkins University. I assigned a hilarious but scary account of Trump called Insane Clown President by Matt Taibbi.
Taibbi states, “It’s an Alice in Wonderland story, in which a billionaire hedonist jumps down the rabbit hole of American politics and discovers a surreal world where each successive barrier to power collapses before him like magic. From a literary standpoint it makes perfect sense that Trump would be the grotesque and charmless protagonist that he is. His bellicose… vulgarity, and defiant lack of self-awareness make him, unfortunately, the perfect foil for the reflecting rot and neglect of the corrupted political system he conquers…. And now it is a shallow man who will take us wherever he pleases.”
This “shallow man”, now our 45th president, is taking us on a bumpy, scary journey on a delusional, disruptive and anti-democratic ride into the unknown. As the protests at the airports and the Women’s March prove, there is growing backlash to his young presidency already.
What will our untested, inexperienced, compulsive president do next?
We don’t yet know but we do know it will all be about one person and one person only: Donald Trump.