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Tuesday, December 20, 2016
The True Face of America Revealed
Donald Trump has done us a tremendous favor. He has torn the cover off political and economic reality in America. The United States is run by the rich for the rich. The rest of us exist simply to make them richer. Until now, the government could hide this truth with social placebos. Within it, there were conscientious people who even helped the “99%” – Teddy Roosevelt. FDR, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Barach Obama – with attempts at far-reaching programs designed to protect us from corporate greed. These programs are in jeopardy as the New reality approaches, and all for profits. The United States government is big business, always has been, and the president-elect says he knows how to run a business. We shall see.
Trump's cabinet selections only go to prove his ties to Corporate America, four billionaires among a group of people consistently opposed to the principles of the very posts they are planning to assume. Cronyism and nepotism are openly displayed; the Spoils System is back. We have put the fox in charge of the hen house. More than a few hens will disappear. More than a few eggs will be broken. Basic human rights will be in jeopardy. Social programs will be gutted. The draft will be re-instated. Polution levels will rise, profits across the board will go up but do not expect wages to keep pace or jobs to come back. Old rich white guys rule the roost openly, in plain sight. Plutocracy rules! Do not kid yourself: democracy is dead.
This is not sour grapes. This is dread. This is reading the writing on the wall and saying, “We've been here before, not America, but people.” Donald Trump lost the election by nearly three million votes, about the margin that George Bush won re-election in 2004 over John Kerry, the only time in this century that the Republican candidate for president won the populoar vote. He claims it was a landslide. He won 306 electoral votes, only 36 more than the 270 required. He claims that was a landslide, too. He claims a great many things and, having said them, he seems to believe them to be true even when provably false. And yet, and yet: he is president-elect. It makes me wonder if Trump, who yelled so loudly that the election was rigged, actually rigged it himself. The one who cries foul even before the first vote is cast just might be the one who smells.
This Christmas season, the lyrics to the song have changed: “It's beginning to look a lot like Moscow everywhere you go...”
Democracy can be ressurrected. It comes down to this: we need to find three Republican senators who will vote with their consciences and not with their party. All we need are three on any given confirmation or legislation. Hard to believe that what remains of democracy depends on three votes, but it does.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..