Another Week in Trump World
Well, it’s been quite a week. Donald Trump has returned from his Middle East/European trip, the Russia investigation is widening, we have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, and those are just the front-page grabbing stories. There was more going on, of course, that we want to take note of here in the Blast: trips to Cuba; Kathy Griffin; LeBron James; and, of course, Twitter. So, let’s work our way through another plastic fantastic Tony Danza tap dance extravaganza experience of a week.
1. Climate Change
Let’s be clear about how Donald Trump sees the world: it is a pure, mythical 1950’s white-man-on-top vision and Steve Bannon is driving that train! In keeping with that mindset, anything and everything “accomplished” by Barack Obama, anything associated with Obama – health care, climate change, relations with Cuba – must be eliminated. Like old sheet-wearing Southerners, it’s as if a Black Man has passed along his bottle of pop expecting the superior white man to drink from it! Not in this lifetime! To not see the inherent, petty, vicious racism behind Trump’s undoing of the Obama legacy in all that drives him --- along with Bannon’s perverse anti-globalist notions, is to not see what drives this administration. Bannon had stated their purpose was to “deconstruct the administrative state” but what that really meant was to “deconstruct Obama’s state.” So, America has joined Syria and Nicaragua as the Third Stooge that is not part of the Paris Climate Accord and we’re told this is “making America great again.”
2. Trips to Cuba and White House Chaos
A story that may have slipped under your radar was on the front page of the NY Times on Thursday: Trump Weighs Reviving Curbs on Cuba Trips. The lead sentence was simple and predictable (with my “bold” addition): “President Trump is considering reversing major pieces of the Obama administration’s opening with Cuba and reinstating limits on travel and commerce, citing human rights abuses by the Castro government as justification for a more punitive approach.” Let’s overlook the hypocrisy of Trump sitting down with the human rights abusing Saudis and working out a multi-billion dollar arms deal just last week and consider an interesting point, later in the article, which noted: “But he has not made a final decision on the steps he will take because of internal disagreements within administration over how far to go.” I bring this up because Thursday’s NY Times front page climate page story also said: “Against that backdrop, factions in the Trump administration are engaged in heated debate over whether to remain a party to the 195 nation agreement.” The chaos in this administration is startling, to say the least, and is only going to get crazier as we dive deeper into the Russian fiasco.
3. Kathy Griffin
Speaking of fiascoes --- how about that Kathy Griffin! “Poor taste” does not even begin to describe her stupid Trump de-cap stunt. But you may have missed Donald, Jr.’s quote (on Twitter, of course!) about it: “Disgusting but not surprising. This is the left today. They consider this acceptable. Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS.” Like his Dad, neither history nor syntax stands in the way of Don Jr. making an imbecilic Twitter statement. Apparently Don Jr. was oblivious to the Trump supporters who trolled the Obamas, Hillary Clinton and journalists since June, 2015 (comparing the Obamas to monkeys, terrorists, slaves, etc. --- while calling Hillary a “bitch” and shouting “lock her up” and wearing tee—shirts that read “Rope – Tree – Journalist - Some Assembly Required.”) Dad Trump has never disavowed any of those actions, btw.
4. LeBron James
Directly connected to Trump’s white supremacist base --- and their brazen empowerment since November 8, 2016 --- is the spray-painting of the “N-word” on LeBron James’s Los Angeles home. As LeBron noted: "No matter how much money you have, no mater how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We have a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America. Buy my family is safe and that’s what’s important.” For those who still do not believe in white privilege (including our stunningly ignorant President) reflect on that quote. Think about Michael Jordan’s father and Bill Cosby’s son being murdered --- being black in America is dangerous and those of us who glide along in a white privilege bubble (like this entire administration --- including Ben Carson!) need to understand how severe this problem is.
Beyond the “covfefe” storm the President’s Twitter account started early in the week, one last story from Thursday’s NY Times by Farhad Manjoo, entitled How Twitter is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation is worth reading (you can Google it, of course). Here’s the quote that is important: “Twitter is making the news dumber. The service is insidery and clubby. It exacerbates groupthink. It prizes pundit-ready quips over substantive debate, and it tends to elevate the silly over the serious.” And that is the primary communication tool of the President of the United States. What more needs be said.
Enjoy the weekend and welcome to June!