The Real & Present Dan­ger of Don­ald J. Trump: Play­boy & Pres­i­dent

People's Review - - LEADER - BY PRABASI NEPALI

Don­ald J. Trump demon­strated his un­fit­ness for the high of­fice of the Pres­i­dent of the United States (POTUS) right from the very start, be­gin­ning with the pri­maries of the Repub­li­can Party. Af­ter one year in of­fice, this has be­come even more in ev­i­dence. But at the same time, he has also demon­strated that he is an acute and present dan­ger, not only for his own coun­try­men, but also for the world at large, be­cause of the out­size role of the US in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs. The ut­ter ab­sence of any sav­ing grace, makes the mat­ter even worse. Last week, Trump again demon­strated his very weak lead­er­ship as a na­tion was griev­ing af­ter the lat­est school shoot­ing that cut more young lives trag­i­cally short. Such mass shoot­ings or mur­ders have be­come the ‘ new nor­mal' and in­evitable. As be­fore, just as quickly some law­mak­ers, as well as Pres­i­dent Trump, cyn­i­cally tried to shift the conversation – this time to men­tal ill­ness. Last year also af­ter the hor­rific shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas, many pi­ously called for bet­ter men­tal-health care, largely try­ing to di­vert at­ten­tion from the big­gest is­sue of guns. Ac­cord­ing to CNN's Fa­reedZakaria, writ­ing in “The Wash­ing­ton Post”: “It's also breath­tak­ingly cyn­i­cal be­cause the politi­cians who use this rhetoric are typ­i­cally the ones who also aim to cut fund­ing for men­tal health treat­ment.” All those that are con­cerned about gun deaths in Amer­ica should rec­og­nize the star­tling clear fact that this prob­lem is unique to Amer­ica. The gun-re­lated death rate in the US is 10 times that of other de­vel­oped in­dus­trial coun­tries. Thus coun­tries such as Ja­pan and South Ko­rea have close to zero gun-re­lated deaths in a year. The United States in con­trast has around 30,000 ! In­stead of hit­ting the nail on the head, Trump tried to ex­plain the lat­est mass shoot­ing by de­scrib­ing the cul­prit: “He was a sick man, a de­mented man”. How­ever, this was clear de­cep­tion, a dis­tor­tion of the facts and a stark eva­sion of the nec­es­sary re­sponse ex­pected by mil­lions of Amer­i­cans. Thus, to take an­other com­par­i­son: The rate of men­tal ill­ness in the United States is nowhere close to 40 times the rate in the UK, but the rate of gun deaths is 40 times higher. The men­tal ill­ness line of ar­gu­ment should, there­fore, be shelved. As with many other as­pects of pub­lic dis­course, Trump ac­cord­ing to “The New York Times” (NYT) colum­nist Roger Co­hen, is us­ing the im­mense pow­ers of the Amer­i­can pres­i­dency to “drag Amer­i­cans down with him into the vor­tex” and that the most sig­nif­i­cant, and omi­nous achieve­ment in his first year in of­fice has been “the cor­rup­tion of the Re­pub­lic”, so much so that “he has soiled the dis­course that a kind of numb­ness has set in.” Co­hen con­tin­ues with his re­lent­less and dev­as­tat­ing cri­tique of a man who poses the great­est dan­ger to Amer­ica [and with his ‘Fire & Fury' to the world in gen­eral], and who is “so unerring in his detection of hu­man weak­ness, so at­tuned to the thrill of cru­elty, so aware of the ma­nip­u­la­tive pow­ers of en­ter­tain­ment, so un­re­lent­ing in his dis­re­gard for truth, so con­temp­tu­ous of ethics and cul­ture . . .” The lack of in­tegrity, an ab­sence of a moral com­pass and nar­cis­sism in Trump was also man­i­fested ac­cord­ing to Ni­cholas Kristof, an­other NYT colum­nist, in the on­go­ing scan­dal of the pre-elec­tion US Dol­lar 130,000 pay­off to a porno­graphic ac­tress to keep quiet about an ex­tra-mar­i­tal af­fair with Trump. It was bad enough that Trump cheated on Me­la­nia right af­ter she had their baby Baron, but the pay­off and re­ported cover-up just be­fore the cru­cial pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in Novem­ber 2016 re­flects heav­ily on Trump's [lack of] char­ac­ter. Un­for­tu­nately, ‘Trump's taint' is spread­ing [like can­cer] to the White House, his ad­min­is­tra­tion, his law­mak­ers and the Repub­li­can Party to such an ex­tent that “the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is now metas­ta­siz­ing” [!] Trump con­tin­ues to demon­strate a com­plete lack of com­pas­sion in his im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy. While he has of­fered a deal for “Dream­ers”, he has also in­sisted on build­ing a bor­der wall to Mex­ico, end­ing a visa lot­tery pro­gramme and im­pos­ing curbs on visas for the fam­i­lies of le­gal im­mi­grants. Last week, the US Se­nate re­jected a se­ries of bills to pro­tect the “Dreamer” im­mi­grants, leav­ing in limbo the fu­ture of 1.8 mil­lion young adults brought to the United States il­le­gally as chil­dren. The Se­nate failed to muster the cru­cial 60 votes (out of 100) needed to move for­ward on four sep­a­rate pro­pos­als, in­clud­ing one backed by Trump and a sep­a­rate bi­par­ti­san bill that had been the most likely to win ap­proval in the deeply di­vi­sive Se­nate. Trump helped de­feat the bi­par­ti­san bill, which went down nar­rowly in a 54-45 vote, by la­bel­ing it just hours ear­lier as “a to­tal catas­tro­phe”. He in­stead backed a Repub­li­can plan that would have of­fered “Dream­ers” a path to cit­i­zen­ship but also com­mit fund­ing to build ‘Trump's Wall' and im­pose much tougher re­stric­tions on le­gal im­mi­gra­tion. In a mas­sive and hu­mil­i­at­ing blow to Trump, 14 se­na­tors from his own party op­posed that bill, which failed by an em­phatic 60-39 vote. Democrats com­plained bit­terly that Trump's un­com­pro­mis­ing ap­proach was sink­ing ef­forts to find an agree­ment in Congress. Se­nate Demo­cratic leader Chuck Schumer com­mented that “If [Trump] would stop tor­pe­do­ing bi­par­ti­san ef­forts, a good bill would pass”. In this area, Trump has dis­tin­guished him­self [again] as the great ‘Spoiler' and ‘Di­vider' of the na­tion – prob­a­bly the most nox­ious legacy in Amer­i­can his­tory. In the lat­est do­mes­tic/in­ter­na­tional de­vel­op­ment, Trump is slowly but cer­tainly be­ing snared in a web of de­ceit and dis­honor of his own mak­ing. And the ev­i­dence is mount­ing that there was def­i­nite col­lu­sion be­tween Trump's cam­paign and the Rus­sians. US in­tel­li­gence agen­cies have sub­mit­ted proof that var­i­ous Rus­sian agents/or­ga­ni­za­tions were in­volved in try­ing to in­flu­ence the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in favour of Trump and to un­der­mine the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal process. If this is ac­tu­ally the case, then the 2016 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tions were deeply flawed, Trump was elected on false pre­tences and the US Supreme Court should ipso facto de­clare his elec­tion null and void, and con­se­quently el­e­vate Hil­lary Clin­ton to the high of­fice. Af­ter all, she also won the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­lar votes by nearly three mil­lion! Of course, in real life this is an ex­tremely out­side chance. The fact is that, how­ever, the US spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in­ves­ti­gat­ing Rus­sia's med­dling in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, last Fri­day in­dicted 13 Rus­sians for al­legedly run­ning a se­cret cam­paign to tilt the vote. The stun­ning op­er­a­tion was launched in a bid to sow so­cial divi­sion in the US and in­flu­ence Amer­i­can pol­i­tics “in­clud­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion of 2016”. It is al­leged that the cam­paign was un­der the di­rec­tion of a close con­fi­dante of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and in­volved hun­dreds of ex­perts work­ing in shifts and with a bud­get of mil­lions of dol­lars. This is a slap in the face of Trump, who has re­peat­edly dis­missed claims of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence as “fake news” and a “hoax” de­signed to take away from his elec­tion vic­tory. The im­pres­sive de­tail­ing of Rus­sian in­flu­ence op­er­a­tions has al­ready cre­ated some­thing his­toric: “a di­rect and pub­lic charge that Amer­ica's main for­eign ad­ver­sary med­dled ex­ten­sively, ex­pen­sively and ex­pan­sively in the core of the Amer­i­can demo­cratic process, at­tempt­ing to in­flu­ence vot­ers, spread dis­parag­ing in­for­ma­tion about the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee, and ‘help' pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump take of­fice.” [Gar­rett Graff in “Wired”/ quoted by Fa­reedZakaria in his “Global Brief­ing”, CNN]

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