Day 72 of the Trump Presidency

From the Boundless Reservoir — April 3, 2017

Hello all.

It seems kind of quiet to me. Does it to you? The only thing that I really want to write about is this simmering danger of foreign policy with North Korea and China. I just don’t think Trump has the capacity and capability to carry on the nuanced kind of diplomacy that this situation requires. He is all about force — he threatens. That, in my view, will not sit well with the Chinese. The President of China is scheduled to meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago later this week. Trump is essentially threatening a trade war if China doesn’t “cooperate” — which I think in Trump’s world means doing what he wants the Chinese to do. According to what I’ve read, North Korea is on track to have long range nuclear war head that will be able to reach the continental US in the next 4 to 5 years. Do we really think this administration is going to let that happen? And, do we really think the “leadership” in North Korea is the least bit interested in negotiating with us? This, for me, is the scariest thing we’re looking at in a world of scary, dangerous and dysfunctional things going down.

Ross Douthat, who holds down the post of the conservative editorial writer at the New York Times, started his column from April 1 this way:

“The series of columns I’ve been writing lately, floating implausible proposals for an ideologically unstable age, has been a useful way of avoiding the depressing subject of the Trump administration’s first 100 days — because really, in the face of such incompetence and chaos, what is there to say?

But precisely because this administration seems so hopeless, any constructive advice for the Trump White House automatically falls into the category of implausible ideas.”

He finishes the column this way:

“All of this assumes that Trump cares about Trumpism as something more than a grift, and that he can accept advice and counsel in a sustained way, without changing his mind the instant someone makes a different case. As I said, it’s a deeply implausible idea.

But so is every solution to this White House’s struggles — and we’ve still got most of four years left to go.”

I don’t think we know and understand the depth and breadth of the dysfunction of this administration. And, that, for me is very scary. What he is able to get done with his executive orders is almost across the board damaging. He will do what he can to make sure that the Affordable Care Act fails — when, the real possibility is to use the ACA as a structure to build something that will work. However, that would take bi-partisan work — and that isn’t happening any time soon.

What gives me some hope and is a source of inspiration for me is what is happening more grass roots with the food and sustainable agriculture movement, and with the movement to empower women globally. The sustainable agriculture movement is tiny when held up against factory farming, Monsanto and the like. However, there is a cadre of people that are really taking this on — having our food system work. And, this is a place where each of us can participate — growing our own food, purchasing sustainably raised food, supporting local agriculture. Making sure that if we eat meat, the meat we eat has been raised humanely — grass feed, pasture raised, etc. While this is can be a challenge, it is getting easier. This is a direct action each of us can take.

The other thing I’ve gotten clear about is empowering woman is critical if we are going to have any shot of getting out of this mess. It is why Kirsten and I became part of the giving circle at the Women’s Earth Alliance. As sexist as it may sound, in my view, generally, women are much better at this business of taking care of the earth, living sustainably, giving back, etc. When I look at the Trump administration that is populated almost entirely by white men, I think “wow — this is really not on the right track.”

One other quick think before wrapping up: this week, we will nominate a new Supreme Court justice, and it looks like the process we’re going to go through in doing that is going to further crack the foundations of our functioning democracy. The Democrats will filibuster — it’s pretty apparent they have the votes to do so. The Republicans, under Mitch McConnell’s leaders with invoke what’s being called the “nuclear option” that allows the nomination to go through with a simple majority rather than the 60 votes the rules now require. How this happens, and the process that is gone through to change the rules, is beyond me. But I do understand that it is damaging the fundamental checks and balances. There is no going back from this. And, both sides will keep pointing fingers at each other — no one will stand up and take responsibility for being cause in the matter of this mess. It doesn’t appear as though any one is really going to actually be accountable for governing. Or, at least, the environment doesn’t seem to allow for it.

There you go. In the midst of it all, do whatever you need to do to be kind to the people around you — those you know and those you don’t. What if we just took on being kind to one another, kind to the earth?

Thanks for reading and for continuing to be engaged when, boy oh boy, the pull is just to check out. See you tomorrow.

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