Our President Trump for now . . . as far as we know
As we can neither count out nor count on “collusion” or “treason” or “impeachment,” we the people need to attempt to agree on a fair evaluation of Trump’s objectives, his strategies, and his on going performance, regardless of personal feelings. Such an attempt is crucial if anyone wants a change from our currently awkward state. Of course it will be difficult . . . no modern era has ever witnessed such a divisive figurehead. This despite the fact that there were two other elections in the last 40 years that were arguably as close, or even closer than the one that got Trump into office.
Nearly every voter today remembers the wildly contended election of 2000 when Bush barely defeated Gore with an electoral college win of 271 to Gore’s 266, out of 537 possible (with one vote from D.C. missing, it was only a 5 vote difference), and, where Bush’s popular vote was in the negative by 540,520. But not long before that, in 1976, Carter edged out Ford with an under 2 million (1,678,069) popular vote margin, but a 57 vote lead in the electorate college. Those of us who were here and interested for both of those elections will remember that they were certainly contentious. However, those election results hardly caused the virulent reaction that Trump’s last minute win just over six months ago, certainly far lacking in the popular vote — which Whitehouse denials and all — continues to stand at a 2,864,903 deficit for Trump, but with 304 electoral votes (a full 77 more than Clinton’s). Bam.
Yes, I will say “last minute win.” Our president will tweet incessantly that the polls were wrong and “fake” all along, but they weren’t. The polls may have been marginally off, but, they were always close, even in the last days. Witness the popular vote. People were unhappy with their choices which created vast numbers of “fence-sitters.” This is how Trump was able to capitalize on Wikileaks for a brief surge 6 months before the last minute deluge. Ah yes, the last minute deluge, which was followed by a second, and, equally to the first, unnecessary “inquiry” into Hillary’s private server. To the chagrin of many, the fresh leaks showed nothing new. Then Comey was praised by the same man who fired him days ago for the same inquiry.
Why is this “old news” still devoured by the population? Turns out, nothing Hillary sent ever went to unauthorized personnel, and nothing was treasonous. Nevermind. Clinton A) admits to her campaign failures, and B) lost. Everyone needs to move on because, here we are. I for one am tired of the ongoing rants about Trump’s inadequacies. His inadequacies are patently obvious, but Trump is who we have in office.
As a result of the unprecedented 3rd party interference (let’s pretend for now that we’re unaware of who or what was motivating Wikileaks), this no-longer-quite-so-young country, now has the least prepared leader it has ever seen. Well, with the possible exception of George Washington, no one has ever entered this office with less knowledge of how to proceed, but George had better experience in leading. George Washington had proven military experience, which history credits as THE most important skill a head of state could bring to the table. We now have a man who he doesn’t know the difference between being a proven general and being the president. One who doesn’t begin to know how a bill becomes a law, or even that the President of the United States doesn’t have the power to decree any un-thought-out whim into federal action, and, apparently, one who is still learning that his office is answerable to the judiciary system.
In Trump, we have someone who is new to an entrenched and well established system. I’m fairly certain we can all agree that the system Mr. Trump now heads can be described as “faulty at best,” and, it should be acknowledged that the system has been faulty for some time, certainly pre-dating Trump’s arrival. However, it should be further acknowledged that ignorance of the system is not going to help in repairing it.
By-passing for now the fact that many people, perhaps the majority, and many of their representatives, want a more educated president, we do know every interested voter wants solutions to multiple problems. As probably millions of disappointed voters before us learned, not everything an incumbent promises to do will get done. Many promises passed are in half measures. Can interested voters from both sides encourage things to get done that seem to be only what Trump voters want done? This sounds “out there” when working with a president who only wants to work with “yes” men, but is it? For any moderately effective representation to begin, we honestly need at least some consensus on some issues.
Have we looked at the prospects on the table? I expect it is fair to cull Trump’s objectives from his campaign promises. It is hard to prioritize them as he rarely listed them in the same order himself, but let’s use this list:
Repeal and replace Obama Care
Build a Wall and make Mexico pay for it
Ban Muslims from entering the United States
Bomb ISIS-Eliminate them and take their oil
Cut Federal Regulations
Reduce the Federal Deficit
Bring manufacturing jobs back
Renegotiate or withdraw from both the North American Free Trade Agreement & the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Get rid of Common Core standards
Get out of NATO (America 1st)
Defund Planned Parenthood (to stop abortions)
Prosecute Hillary Clinton
So which of these objectives did voters most want Trump to achieve? And why?
How many Trump voters would have voted for someone else if the promise was to “Reduce the end user’s cost of Obama Care?” Mr. Sanders was doing VERY well with that as a goal, but the guilty DNC refused to acknowledge his overwhelming popularity, and his important message. I find it HUGELY disappointing that many of his, ours, and Trump’s issues could be portrayed with the pretense of being only on one side of the supposed divide or the other. Isn’t it possible that BOTH sides could come to an agreement on some of these issues if the participants debating them behaved as adults.
I mean honestly, who says “I like paying more for my health care and it’s okay with me if you eliminate some of the ‘care’ part” or, “Please raise my personal taxes” or “Please raise the Federal deficit by funding other country’s wars” or “I don’t want any new jobs anywhere in this country,” or, “Don’t plan ahead, just get an abortion?” Really? Don’t any Pro-Life people appreciate the “planning” part of having a baby? Or the future mother’s health? Or Pre-natal care? And finally, who would say, “Stop funding public education and encourage Charter Schools that most people will only get a small portion of covered?” No one says any of this, and no one votes for it. BTW: Free early education is still one of the greatest things going in America.
Let’s have a closer look at some of Mr. Trump’s objectives.
#1) Repeal and replace Obama Care
Okay, there are a lot of young people out there who don’t believe they need health insurance and certainly have other things they’d rather spend their money on. Those young people are, as the previous first lady noted with sympathy, “knuckleheads,” and they take more risks than common sense should tell them to. Certainly there are plenty of people who know that if they don’t need coverage NOW, they’ll need it one day. Like, one day I’d like to retire and have enough money to eat, and maybe see a doctor if I need to. Educating the young seems pretty important here. The goal of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obama Care) was to introduce a single payer system (aka taxes). This goal was overruled by an overwhelmingly Republican Congress. But the plan was, everybody pays, everybody is covered, everybody uses it, because everybody in a civilized society lives long enough to get there. Unless they’re real knuckleheads. The point is, everyone could be won over on this, except the rich who could live 20 years in intensive care without coverage and not empty a single bank account. Sometimes empathy is hard to stretch.
#2) Build a Wall and make Mexico pay for it
Really. Who just has to have this wall before they can enjoy life? Is this for people who can’t get work as Strawberry Pickers? Or is this for people who feel left out because they get turned down for benefits that immigrants receive but that our citizens can’t get because supposedly they should be doing better and they don’t want to be on welfare? Welfare, now there’s an issue Trump hasn’t tweeted about. Could our benefits for temporarily suffering citizens make different allowances? Can we cure internal poverty by passing a bill that prevented Trump Industries (and the like) from putting their name(s) on products made in Indonesia? Or anywhere but HERE? Hire here, build here, sell here. You too Trump. That would help.
#3) Ban Muslims from entering the United States
There’s a high false fear factor at work to support this cause, with little evidence that Muslim US citizens, or refugees, either kill or threaten thousands (or dozens) of “natural” US citizens annually. They certainly aren’t changing our way of life here. I think we’re all good with a certain amount of vetting, “fine, ‘vet’ away with your bad self.” Helpful fact, natural US citizens kill literally thousands of other natural citizens every year. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people . . . but guns help. Related helpful fact: New ISIS Muslims and natural born“mental health patients” are equally able to buy guns here. Thanks ARA! Good work on your PR.
#4) Bomb ISIS-Eliminate them and take their oil
Okay, we dropped the MOAB — (CNN quote)
“The strike in Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border killed 36 ISIS fighters, Afghan officials said. The US military previously estimated ISIS had 600 to 800 active fighters in the area but was unclear whether it had hoped to strike more.” CNN By James Griffiths, Barbara Starr and Angela Dewan
— — but I haven’t heard about our taking the oil yet. As if it’s theirs anyway. This covers both #4, and #12-Get Out Of NATO (America 1st), as did the bomb on Turkey because these are great examples of how to spend our taxes in a war that isn’t really ours. Evident fail on several promises?
#5) Cut Federal Regulations
One must assuredly concede that this has been done on a large scale. I do need to ask which private citizens are really feeling benefits from the seven so far regulation cuts.
The “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule, (presumably, all work is fairly offered, safe, and paid equally). Right?
The “Land Management” rule known as “Planning 2.0,” that gave the federal government a bigger role in land use decisions. — please Google National Monuments
Clean Air, Google EPA roll backs.
Clean Water, see also EPA roll backs.
Two regulations on measuring school performance and teacher training (as unnecessary).
No lead in bullets or buckshot for small prey (left to be consumed by others higher in the chain).
Please, anyone who personally benefited from these recent roll backs, I need to hear how great they were from you.
#6) Cut Taxes
If all that I could write about on how Tax Cuts could possibly coincide with “Cut the Federal Deficit” were to be put down now, I’d either already be done, or I’d never fit it into one article. See, there’s this thing called “Math,” oh, skip it. Let me speak for the grown ups. If we adopt the proposed Tax Cuts that would let all the businesses in America out of 20% of their current tax obligations, with the majority of them able to write off most of the current 35% now (which don’t apply to the mega-corporations anyway) the taxes that are left, which may or may not be paid as we adopt the new laws, will get even more corporations out of almost all taxes, AND when the top individual earners (who earn more than either they or the bottom earners even know how to spend it if they ‘go crazy’ with money) get THEIR proposed reductions, then the treasury’s real income will be only from the middle and lower tax brackets. Won’t that be GREAT? Instead of policing any companies, we can eliminate agencies bit by bit. Companies can ruin the environment with fewer workers and the government can reduce their own payroll at the same time. By his actions, Trump suggests that we ignore not only our immediate prospects, but the futures our grandchildren. Yay!
#7) Bring manufacturing jobs back
This covers Trade Deals as well. News flash. Jobs don’t come back because we stop trading internationally. All those companies (like Trump’s) that manufacture elsewhere will sell their goods elsewhere, and we won’t be able to afford them because we’ll be paying taxes just to get them here. Good news, the taxes we’ll pay will go salaries for the guys in Washington (now Trump’s billionaire friends) so they can represent us, the working stiffs, who voted for Trump. But don’t worry, Trump’s people will still get their healthcare, representation, weekends for playing golf, vacations, and multiple homes. But only if we keep voting for them. So Rock Out Your Vote!
#8) Get rid of Common Core standards
Is this an issue we need to enact in order to save tax dollars? Can’t we just agree to improve education without eliminating Public Schools? Do we need Betsy DeVoss for this?
#9) Defund Planned Parenthood (to stop abortions)
Wouldn’t it be nice if this was a non-issue due to improved health care? Women, future mothers, young men, and older men on viagra, could all go to any recommended doctor of their choice to improve their health/sex life. Oh wait, was that the point? Fortunately for them, all viagra users currently have coverage, and, as far as I know, Erectile Dysfunction is not listed as a “pre-existing condition” so life looks good for them and their wives, or mistresses? or rape victims? (yeah, I just crossed that line). But we really care about the babies, right?
I certainly can’t speak for ALL voters, but I suggest the likelihood that MOST of the voters of either side would get behind the following objectives, if they were put this way:
Replace Obama Care with something better.
Cut Taxes — at least for individuals *
Reduce the Federal Deficit
Bring manufacturing jobs back
Restrict funding for abortion
Renegotiation of our position in NATO
Improve Education & Revisit Common Core Standards
* (I’m aware of some people on both sides who would be willing to cut corporate taxes if some of the allowances for corporations were eliminated, or if many companies were to be induced to bring their offices back to the U. S.)
How different would Trump’s popularity ratings look after his first 100 Days if he had chosen priorities differently? Instead he began with these:
Putting totally unqualified individuals in positions of Secretary of State, and the departments of energy, public housing, and education.
Banning Muslims from entering United States (no time limits stated)
Repealing (without improved alternative) The Affordable Care Act
Cutting Federal Regulations (beginning with environmental protections?)
Withdrawing from Trans-Pacific Partnership (skip China’s free shipping)
Bombing ISIS (not so strong on ‘take their oil,’)
Pre-funding a Wall along Mexico border (held until last of 100 days)
Cutting Taxes (most notably for corporations and himself)
Getting out of the Iran deal (so now we can bomb them too?)
Why were ill-thought out and polarizing issues the first things being pushed? Partly it was cheering levels for issues known to appeal to certain demographics. Our inexperienced, new president surrounded himself with equally inexperienced advisors who knew little more than how to appeal to crowds specifically attracted to specific agendas. Steve Bannon is no more important than any middle-class citizen with a clear history of racism, Kellyanne Conway is a PR expert who never came near educated policy decisions in her previous roles, Jared (we know how you got your job) Kushner has virtually no previous government or political experience, and Reince Priebus, who has studied law and has rubbed elbows with numerous politicians, has never run for or held any public office. And Ivanka? Isn’t she poised and pretty? That fairly well sums up her qualifications.
Any history book will show that newly elected officials make an effort (albeit sometimes only a passing effort) to follow through on their most popular campaign promises. I believe that future “history books” will show that Trump indeed attempted to begin his tenancy of President with efforts to follow through on many of his promises, but, will any of them truly prove successful? By which I mean, either lasting or of any value to humanity?
It doesn’t yet seem fair to argue for how strong Trump’s ongoing efforts will prove, but it is certainly fair to acknowledge that Trump continues to place great emphasis on some issues that have already failed. He’s like a Rottweiler with that Wall and the Muslims. That doesn’t mean his supporters have to demand he stick with every inch of many failing issues. Trump and his supporters can win ‘just a bit’ and brag. For the rest, he’ll lose interest if everyone else does.
Our concern should now be with our supposed representatives. Do they know what the mutual concerns are? I hope you are willing to speak up and mention them.