The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - Peter Josie

The re­sults of the last pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in the United States left many baf­fled. Un­like some well-con­nected friends, I fully ex­pected Don­ald Trump to be sworn in as the 45th Pres­i­dent, but I liked Hil­lary. Mrs. Clin­ton was a pop­u­lar can­di­date with a rec­og­niz­able in­ter­na­tional name and stature.

On the other hand, Trump has what most Amer­i­cans would die for: money, which to Amer­i­cans is what mat­ters most. And it’s un­der­stand­able! “In God we trust” is not an empty han­ker­ing after the di­vine. Its im­print on the almighty dol­lar bill is no ac­ci­dent. Amer­i­cans un­der­stand the lan­guage of money bet­ter

than most. We can doubt that at our peril. And it’s not just the cur­rency of lan­guage, it’s in ev­ery­thing they think, say and do.

Then there were the vi­cious and cun­ning at­tacks by Trump on Pres­i­dent Obama’s place of birth. He aroused ev­ery dor­mant racist and bigot in the USA. Trump must have known that nei­ther Obama nor any for­eigner could trick the Amer­i­can elec­toral process, and emerge as pres­i­dent of the United States. Yet he per­sisted in ha­rass­ing Obama, know­ing that his claim was false. Trump lied be­cause some Amer­i­cans are pre­pared to be­lieve any­thing big money says, no mat­ter how asi­nine.

To my mind, two other mat­ters por­tended Trump’s vic­tory. The first was when he boasted that he could shoot some­one on Fifth Av­enue and noth­ing would hap­pen to him. The mes­sage to Amer­ica and the world was that money could pur­chase free­dom. The flaunt­ing of wealth was the cen­tre­piece of Trump’s elec­tion cam­paign. Yet he has re­fused to dis­close his per­sonal taxes.

The sec­ond was the way he was openly dis­re­spect­ful to Hil­lary Clin­ton and the mod­er­a­tors dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial de­bates. His harsh, un­gentle­manly con­duct said more than words could ex­plain. He dou­bled down with threat­en­ing body lan­guage, hov­er­ing closer and closer over Hil­lary, his far smaller fe­male op­po­nent. When I asked my US friends why Hil­lary wasn’t more ag­gres­sive, the fee­ble re­ply was that she was too well-bred, too classy for such vile re­sponses a la mode Trump. I sug­gested that one ought not to dress in white to en­gage a boar in a muddy bat­tle; their faces re­mained ex­pres­sion­less as of sheep sens­ing dan­ger.

There were other points to pon­der in the march of Don­ald Trump to the White House. Take the so-called Chris­tian evan­gel­i­cals, who crowded the Trump band­wagon, know­ing they were fol­low­ing an un­re­pen­tant sin­ner who had no use for re­li­gion or for God. It could not have been Trump’s hyp­o­crit­i­cal stance on birth con­trol and abor­tion that at­tracted these evan­gel­i­cals. Trump be­lieves money al­lowed him full ac­cess to any wo­man’s body. How does such an at­ti­tude trans­late to re­spect for an un­born child? How does it jive with a wo­man’s right to pro­tect her body from lech­er­ous men?

Those who un­der­stand pol­i­tics must have known the das­tardly po­lit­i­cal game that Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors played with Hil­lary. They abused their po­si­tions to ha­rangue her about miss­ing e-mails (and Beng­hazi?) fol­lowed by sin­is­ter dec­la­ra­tions by the head of the FBI. Did the FBI help swing cer­tain States against Hil­lary? Ob­servers are con­vinced that the FBI played a dirty hand in help­ing Trump win the pres­i­dency. Now we see that the FBI pales be­fore the rev­e­la­tions that Rus­sia helped elect Don­ald Trump as US pres­i­dent. The depth of the Rus­sian in­volve­ment was a sur­prise which is still un­rav­el­ling. What did not sur­prise me were Trump’s per­sis­tent lies. The man lies when he does not need to. It’s a patho­log­i­cal dis­ease he can’t con­trol or cor­rect. He promised to re­veal his taxes after they were au­dited. Its two years and count­ing, and still, no tax re­turns.

Trump may not be aca­dem­i­cally bril­liant but he’s no fool. He is a street-smart fighter and a con artist who has learned from the best mafi­atype lawyers and his busi­ness friends in New York City. Since as­sum­ing the pres­i­dency, Don­ald Trump has demon­strated at least two qual­i­ties which do no credit to the of­fice of the pres­i­dent. Firstly, his lim­ited grip on the use of English and on the thought pro­cesses that give rise to sen­si­bly spo­ken words. He falls far short of the speech pat­tern ex­pected of one who oc­cu­pies the oval of­fice. He seemed to also have missed out on Amer­i­can his­tory. He is a dis­as­ter when he ad libs.

He is al­ways in cam­paign mode, as if de­lib­er­ately avoid­ing his pres­i­den­tial of­fice. He be­haves as if the elec­tion cam­paign is still on­go­ing and he has not yet been elected pres­i­dent. Trump seems de­ter­mined to keep him­self among the less ed­u­cated grass roots. The more these types are ag­i­tated, the eas­ier to ex­plain their suf­fer­ing as the work of some­one else. Who will ex­plain to his base that their eco­nomic hard­ships are the di­rect re­sults of his huge tax cuts to the rich, his de­struc­tion of Obama’s healthcare plan, the loom­ing trade war with China and Europe and his wrong­headed poli­cies?

There is lit­tle doubt that Trump is all about Trump. Many Amer­i­cans and nonAmer­i­cans alike be­lieve that Rus­sia in­ter­fered in the last US elec­tions to help Trump win. How far will the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion be al­lowed to con­tinue? What will Mueller do if Pres­i­dent Trump re­fuses to obey a sub­poena to ap­pear be­fore him? What will a judge in a high court do if Pres­i­dent Trump re­fuses to ap­pear be­fore him to an­swer charges aris­ing from Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion?

How will congress act if Trump is found guilty of wrong­do­ing and re­fuses to va­cate of­fice? These are ques­tions that Saint Lu­cia and the global com­mu­nity ought to be in­ter­ested in and learn from. Fi­nally, what did you, dear reader, ex­pect from a man who only knows how to dis­tort the truth and spew out­right lies?

In her bid to be Pres­i­dent of the United States did breed­ing and class work against Hil­lary Clin­ton?

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