March 28th, 2017 |
Ever since Donald Trump leaped into the political pool, announcing his campaign for the presidency, we’ve been subjected to a masterful card-shark. He’s a hustler, an expert gambler, who has manipulated the nation as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a fascist clad in fleece attire. The media he denounces, yet loves, has actually catapulted him into the presidency. We cannot trust the enabling-press, and I don’t mean just Fox News.
His legerdemain has been mesmerizing. This trickster is non-stop entertainment, a constant, unavoidable performance. And we are welded to him. We wake up to his late hour tweets, and go to bed dizzy from his crazy twists and turns. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear “breaking news” all day long, reporting that there is no Trump news?
Never one to wear a poker face, his sour, petulant demeanor matches his bullying personality. His self-proclaimed trick-taking power, however, hides more than it reveals. Beneath it all, his braggadocious behavior is a cover, a stunt, to mask his ignorant impotence. Nevertheless, he keeps showing up at the card table, ready to play with us.
Donald Trump has now lost two card games. He didn’t have the hands (slight pun intended) to win; the cards just weren’t there. He lost to the courts in his attempt to enforce a travel band, and then again in his battle with Congress over healthcare. In so doing, he looked like a loser. But we must keep in mind that he has a trump card up his sleeve, there for the most deadly game—the game of war. It’s the Commander in Chief card. He can run the table with that card, as well as ruin the world.
One might say that the Congress has the power to stop a president from trump-carding our nation into war, since it’s congress that has the constitutional power to declare war. Really? Well de jure, but no longer de facto. The last war to be fought legally, by congressional vote, was WW II. The situation now? Counting the Gulf War, we have been at war in the Middle East for almost 26 years, a long time since I went to Iraq on a peace mission in 1989. Four presidents (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama) have conducted war without a declaration. It is now President Trump’s war.
The bloodied, broken-bodied news right now out of Iraq and Syria, not to mention Yemen, is March Madness, and I am not talking about basketball. I am talking about the continuing madness that has metastasized in place-after-place in the Middle East. Our misguided genocidal militarism, begun in 1990 with the Gulf War invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, has grown to behemothic proportions. Not content with a modicum allowance, these wars have consumed trillions of budgeted tax dollars, and left behind millions of dead, wounded, and displaced people. The numbers exhaust an overworked multiplication table.
Campaign promises from the card-shark: “I would bomb the s- - - out of ‘em. I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes. … I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you’ll get Exxon to come in there and in two months, you ever see these guys, how good they are, the great oil companies? They’ll build that sucker, brand new—it’ll be beautiful.”
This past weekend Vice President Pence arrived here in Charleston. On his way from the airport, he stopped at the West Virginia Veteran’s Memorial and addressed a pro-trump rally. “Thanks to you all in West Virginia, we have elected a man for president who never quits, who never backs down. He is a fighter. He is a winner, and I’ve got to tell you: From day one in the Oval Office, he’s been fighting for the American people and fighting to keep the promises that he’s made to the people of West Virginia.”
That’s right, he promised to bar Muslims from entry to our country, euthanize the Affordable Care Act, and now it’s bomb-time, more troop-time, more budget-money-for-war-time. The question that hangs in the air: Will the rising tide of protest and resistance to the card-shark be sustained long enough to fight against an obese military budget, along with an unwillingness to rally around the flag when we are attacked for our constant reliance on massive bombing and an inevitable increase in troop deployment? The answer will be determined by how we play our cards.
Entry Filed under: Fig Tree Notes Archives