Well. It has been a long time since I have posted anything political. And that is because frankly, it has been just too depressing a topic to really talk about lately, particularly when I try to put it all in historical perspective, which is what I do – after all, I am a historian.
Not to be too dramatic, but I am really, really worried.
I know a lot of people out there are thrilled that their candidate won the election. And there are many of them that are tired of being nice to people and are thrilled that he won and feel his victory means they can do what they want; they have been given permission to let out their worst behavior. Sure, some of them probably voted for him out of a false sense of understanding what it would mean if he won. Many people, feeling fear at the unknown and the uncertainty of the future, feel that our political establishment has let them all down. And let’s face it, it has, in spades. The powers that be have allowed much of the financial benefits of our market economy for at least the last 30 years or more to go to the privileged few, rather than the many. And to do that, they have allowed our political system to be undermined, twisted, distorted, and manipulated by those same people. After all, many of the people in the political system benefit from it being screwed up the way it is. Why do you think that so many politicians are millionaires?
And yes, Hillary Clinton is herself also a creature of that political establishment, and the odds that she would have done much to overturn it are slim. And so some 62 million people voted for someone who was far, far outside the political establishment. Sure, it was a big middle finger to the entrenched political establishment that has let all of us down. But the election of Donald Trump as our President has also meant that there is going to be a lot of collateral damage that is unintended and completely unpredictable. And that, my friends, is why I am worried.
It should be obvious by now that Donald Trump has no impulse control, no real intellectual curiosity, and no thought for anything or anyone else but himself. He is, as I once described him way back in the 1980’s, “the physical embodiment of narcissism and greed”. He does not see the office of the President as public service, as a responsibility that he has been entrusted with by the American people. He sees it as a way to boost his brand. Why do you think he does not care one whit about all of his conflicts of interest? Because they are not a bug of his Presidency, they are a feature. He has surrounded himself with family and others that have no qualifications for any sort of high office, but are loyal to him, at least for the moment. And apparently, he regards that loyalty as the only thing that matters. I think that is why you see so many of his sycophants tying themselves into knots on television, trying to rationalize his behaviors to the world. But there is no way to rationalize it because it has no real logic, aside from the preservation of the ego and fortune of one man.
We have handed over our country to a powerful man who lives moment to moment, with no thought of anyone but himself, and who has such a thin skin that he literally cannot let any insult go unchallenged.
I think a lot of people still do not fully understand what that means.
Quite possibly, it means that we are almost certainly on the verge of experiencing the most corrupt and scandal-ridden administration that this country has ever seen. One that will make the administrations of Warren G. Harding and Ulysses S. Grant look like unambitious underachievers. And frankly that is probably the best outcome we can expect.
At the worst, our country may truly be on the verge of something so unpredictable, and unforeseen, that we as a society will find ourselves struggling to deal with it, and before we truly understand what is happening it may spiral completely out of control.
I cannot think of any time I have ever wished I was more wrong. I hope it is so.