The elections are over. Donald J. Trump is the 45th president of the United States of America. Popular vote notwithstanding, allegations of electoral fraud notwithstanding, alleged ‘Whitelash’ notwithstanding, alleged Russian meddling notwithstanding and most importantly the debate over size of the the crowd on Inauguration Day in the national mall notwithstanding he is now the legitimate occupant of the White House for the next 4 years. The sooner the liberals who pride themselves for being the side that sides with facts and figures accept this ‘fact’ the better it is for their credibility. By living in denial they are only contradicting their ethos and thereby engaging actively to undermine it.
Donald Trump is no Barack Obama. That much should be abundantly clear by now. He is ‘The Donald’. If Obama was night then Trump is day (pun intended). Therefore, comparisons are inherently flawed and futile. He has his own unique style when it comes to his attire (the golden mane and the xtra long tie) , his manner of speaking (the endless braggadocio, the gestures and the name calling), his tweets (some call them rants), his diplomacy (his about-faces like no-NATO to yes-NATO, Taiwan-Love to endorsement of One China, his bromances with autocrats like Putin and his dissing of allies) and of course his many-splendored handshakes (called the Power Grab – Watch it here ).
The thing everybody needs to understand is that for Donald Trump this transition from real estate honcho to the POTUS is no big deal. He simply moved from the Trump Mansion (NYC) to the White House (DC). It was just a minor matter of a change of address, a bigger private plane with unlimited skymiles and a new Twitter handle which had the eyes and ears of most of the free world……Everything else is the same. Isn’t it?
He still has his most trusted advisor in his daughter Ivanka by his side (debatable though with Bannon around now), he still surrounds himself with acolytes who will act merely as rubber stamps and do his bidding without any ethical considerations and regard for the propriety of their actions (Sean Spicer, Michael Flynn, Kellyanne Conway who can’t seem to parrot the Trumpisms fast enough), he still has access to his old Twitter handle to vent and rail against anyone he wishes to and at a time of his picking. Last but not in the very least, he still gets to run his business by way of proxy (his sons). So you see not a thing has changed for Donald Trump.
He feels that he can run America exactly like he ran his corporation and his reality shows. The only problem here is that the whimsical arbitrariness of this autocrat doesn’t simply mean a fall in ratings or the shuttering of a casino but now dictates the economic, social and cultural fate of a nation of 350 million and reverberations the world over.
We all know the (in)famous ‘stans’ of this world namely Pakistan and Afghanistan are characterized by tribalism, feudalism, religious bigotry, misogyny, autocracy and chaos & turmoil etc. This administration sadly seems to be working off of that very blueprint to create a new Stan namely – Trumpistan.
Tribalism – The words (playing the whites against the hispanics and blacks) and actions (travel ban, border wall) have a nation so divided along racial lines that America’s tag of the worlds ‘melting pot’ is under serious threat.
Feudalism – Plutocrats abound his cabinet. They have been rewarded for their support of the Monarch with plush positions in his administration their credentials (or lack thereof) notwithstanding (Betsy Devos and Andrew Pudzer).
Bigotry – A brazen and concerted attack on Islam and a rising tide of anti-semitism (the omission of Jews in the White House Holocaust statement definitely wasn’t an oversight) and the crusade against the Hispanic population point to a White House which is steeped in prejudices.
Misogyny – The war on women continues unabated with the frontal attack on the woman’s right to choose (implicitly by defunding Planned Parenthood), and the despicable public spectacle of putting a woman in her place (the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren by the Republican leadership in the US Senate by invoking the arcane Rule 19 and by extension silencing of a black icon the Late Coretta Scott King).
Autocracy – The litany of executive orders passed by this president without even consulting his own cabinet is behavior emblematic of an autocrat who wants to run by edict rather than by consensus. The blatant shutting out of the mainstream media (mostly outlets perceived by the administration as being liberal sympathizers) from posing questions to the White House is yet another incriminating example.
Chaos & Turmoil – The resignation of the NSA (malfeasance being investigated), the withdrawal of the candidature of the Secretary of Labor and the withdrawal of the NSA pick as a replacement for Flynn, the gross ethics violation in the Kellyane Conway plug for Ivanka’s business, the bellicose posturing and the alternative facts spewed by Sean Spicer day in day out, the allegations and investigations into the parley of Trump campaign staff with Russian operatives during the campaign and before assuming office, the dissing of many heads of state by the POTUS all point to a White House machinery in turmoil and one whose actions so far have been harbingers of chaos.
It would hardly matter to the health of public discourse of a vibrant democracy if a few people like me who write blogs (opinion pieces) stop penning them. But imagine what would happen if a huge swathe of the mainstream media is branded by government sanction as the purveyors of “Fake News”. Who will then act on the public’s behalf to hold the halls of power accountable for their actions?
Media is imperfect as there will always be biases but so are We the people. Why hold the media folks to a different standard then? We elect the Legislative and the Executive branches (directly and indirectly) to go work for us but they too belong to a certain political persuasion which might be opposite to ours and yet we trust them to work for us. Then why not trust the media even if they don’t appeal to our ideological sensibilities??
This is the very reason the media was created as the fourth branch of a democracy to be the watchdog on our behalf and report back the actions of the renaming three branches to We the People. By presiding over and fomenting the delegitimization of the free press the President is actually fomenting the delegitimization of the fundamental constructs of a democratic society. This is exactly what happened in the ‘stans’ of this world.00