I’ve been depressed since November. I’d been in Europe for the previous 6 months, having reached out several times to friends in the US for reassurance that Trump would not win. I’d been plagued by nightmares of Trump destroying life as we know it. According to most, all signs had pointed to his losing the election, though a conversation with my step dad 11 days before the fateful day had given me pause. He was telling me about the breaking CIA investigation (again) into Hillary’s email server, and how he had a sinking feeling that it would cost her the election. It was one factor, certainly. Others included the unequal representation of US voters by the electoral college, the free media coverage Trump enjoyed throughout the campaign, voter suppression, voting machines that spoil and otherwise discard ballots, the jerry-mandering of voting districts (Karl Rove’s chief goal in getting Republicans to take state legislatures after 2008). The list goes on. The US elected a false populist, while a man who’d spent his life dedicated to real populism almost won.
People said to give him a chance. To do what, I wondered. It took 2 seconds to see that he was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. He’d jettisoned his sheep skin disguise when he left his reform and democratic days, probably before. I knew he’d do nothing that he’d promised, including divest from his thousands of conflicting interests. But hoped I’d be proved wrong. He boasted that he could shoot a person in broad daylight and walk away free. The voters, he said, did not care about his taxes. When accountability is unnecessary, why hide your true intentions? He won by saying that the system was rigged, and that he would change all that. So what has he done thus far? Appointed a cabinet that is a cross between a military junta and a corporate boardroom. China has already said (via several state-run papers) that if his pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is nominated, there will be large-scale escalation. Is the possibility of another World War worth risking to those who voted for him?
Congress is eager to undo the few social gains that Obama was able to make during his presidency. Their first day back on January 2, they voted to can the Congressional Office of Ethics, a body established in 2008 after the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal to better police their corruption. Very just folks, apparently. The Congressman who proposed the scrapping is under investigation by the very body, another great reason to jettison the entity. An unexpected public outcry made them scurry back to their desks and recant. Then they moved to eliminate federal funding for planned parenthood, and dismantle the Affordable Care Act with no replacement in sight. If actions speak louder than words, I think their intentions are crystal clear.
30 percent of judicial positions have remained unfilled thanks to an obstructionist Congress bent on blocking Obama at any price. Trump will not only make the supreme court pick but will be hailed for the judiciary nominations whose office he openly scorns and defies. After all, he is embroiled in more than 450 lawsuits currently, and regularly marches his team of lawyers out to defend his law breaking in the name of the almighty dollar and to defy requests to view documents made by the federal government. All his appointments reek of rewarding loyalty and an eye to destroy the office they govern. His intentions are clear. Grover Norquist couldn’t have done better.