sierraleone, on 25 April 2017 - 07:00 PM, said:
I just figure before that starts we need to start a fair thread giving the POTUS a fair shake as we reflect on his first 100 days, you know?
I was actually thinking kind of solemnly when I said this. With deep shades of somber. At least on the reflect part. Reflection is one of the most important steps in understand, growth and change, and I thought we should start this thread with reflections, reflections on the Presidency and politics, on what else is happening in our country and the world, and self-reflections on what this has meant to us personally. Though this is not a prerequisite to participate of course, that is entirely up to each.
My Reflections on Trump:
I think Trump has done the best he can as President. That is not an endorsement, he is who he is. It seems to me that that is the criteria his base seems to be judging him by: who he is (or perceived to be), and what he stands for (or is perceived to). A kind of identity politics all its own. He seems to parallel how a nepotism hire gets treated. They see themselves in Trump, in part at least, and like hiring a relative, they forgive him his faults, even if those faults mean he can’t do his job.
Unfortunately who he is is entirely inadequate for the job, and we certainly can’t just give him slack just because of he aimed above his capabilities, and those who put him there saw themselves in him. Most people can’t do the Presidency justice, I want the leader of my country to be better than myself.
What Trump ran on is the perception that he is an outsider non/anti-elite rich self-funding non-entangled drain-the-swamp us-vs-them expert-deal-maker champion-of-the-people. Each one of those were spin that sold him just-well-enough to the electoral college, but which attributes (when trueish) did nothing to prepare Trump and his fellow charlatans for governing well.
Trump also happened to be a bully, and changed the politics dog-whistles of prejudice into a air horn, and that, he claimed, was because he wasn’t political correct, and he somehow got points for that for straight-talking or something. Despite the fact he can’t stay away from making falsehoods constantly.
Trump recently said that this is more work than his old life, and he thought being the President would be easier…. (than it is/turned out to be, or easier than his old life?)
Being born rich and being the head of a business your whole life…. People had to do what he said, as he (or his dad in earlier years) was their boss. And deal-making is different in the business world, where there is a profit motive which near all sides are motivated by. Yes, the head of a corporation has more power over getting their underlings to do their bidding, than Presidents have over the equal and separate branches of government with whom they needs to work with. Yes, the head of a corporation gets more co-operation from fellow profit-motivated people during deal-making than fellow politicians and groups whom’s motives may not be profit. And this is why thinking the government needs to work more like the business world is dangerous.
Usually new Presidents try to build or sustain a sense of unity during the beginning of their Presidency. Trump hasn’t, though it is not surprising considering his divisive campaign.
It seems fitting that on his 100th
day in office there was another march today (regarding climate change), and, on this same day, he is holding a campaign rally, instead of attending the yearly White House Correspondence Dinner (WHCD). There is no sense of norms here what-so-ever. People marching against a President and his policies with regularity. Trump flouting Presidential norms/traditions (yes, the WHCD may not be an important one, but this is hardly the first). And Trump heading back to the stump for a campaign rally to stroke his fragile ego instead of attending to the responsibilities of governing.
With the current administration it is easy for lay-people to not be able to follow what is going on adequately, as too many stories feel urgent and awful. Either one missed important matters when following others, or one ignores it out of a feeling of helplessness and inability to effect change, whether accurate or not.
People talk most about the lack of successes of this administration. I don’t know if that is because it feeds into a narrative many people prefer, or the successes are more abstract and less drama-filled (and less likely to end up in our regularly digested news sources). By successes I don’t mean good things, just things that Trump has accomplished. I am not sure calling them accomplishments is even accurate…. USSC nominee Neil Gorsuch, while he will be a USSC Justice, and affect many future court decisions, Trump had a Republican senate to pass him, and even they had to break the old rule to get his passed. Does that difficultly make it more or less of a Trump and/or GOP accomplishment I suppose could be subject to debate. The vast majority of the other accomplishments are executive orders that turned over Obama’s executive orders. Trump didn’t need to work with the House or Senate, and they are subject to attack by either the courts, or the next President.
One thing that should worry everyone, is a President who says that he is not too worried about deficits that may result from his massive tax cuts (for the rich), when his businesses filed for bankruptcy at least 4 times. If his proposals are enacted if the U.S. averts disaster it will be a miracle.
Here is a TYT politics video on Trump’s first 100 days,
and it has a few things in it that I didn’t know, which feels like it should be surprising considering I am following news regularly.
My Reflections on World News:
Between BREXIT last summer, and the French Presidential run-off election coming soon (May 7) between the far-right Le Pen, and another outsider Macron (though a centrist), it is clear that that this anti-elite, anti-globalist, sentiment runs global. I understand the sentiment as far as the fact that the global economy hasn’t work for regular people for decades, and politics have become almost completely corporatist, kow-towing to corporate interests (read: rich people’s interests) in near all mainstream political parties. However, those politicians exploit this anti-elite sentiment but heavily use xenophobic sentiments and divisive politics pitting the 99% against each other.
I mean, almost all tax reform talk is about the rich. So if tax reform=tax cuts, it almost always invariable benefits the rich while defunding the public purse for social programs for the middle and working class, as well as the vulnerable poor.
Then I look over at Trump making America’s relationship with their allies less firm, and making the relationship more precarious with their non-allies and their enemies. Is the U.S. ever going to be out of war? The military-industrial complex has too much clout, but this would be true no matter who became #45. Trump claimed to be non-interventionist, if there is ONE thing I hope remains true about him, it is that, at least as far as military intervention goes.
My Reflections on America:
I had shared some articles before
that had purported that it would be a while before we saw support shift away from Trump. They claimed that there two main kinds of Trump voters, Nationalist with authoritarian tendencies (who will never give him up), and the Exasperated (who are in wait-and-see mode, as they are willing to give Trump time to bring about the economic changes they are hoping for). So it is not surprising that about 96%, IIRC, of Trump voters say they wouldn’t change their vote (plus, people don’t like to admit to being wrong). So it is way to early to speculate about that.
America in any case seems very divided. You see this in polling, especially when you compare how Republicans and Democrats feel on things that seem non-controversial or reality-based. I don’t know what can be done about it, but certainly Trump isn’t helping, in fact he is hurting it, so any effort towards uniting people across party lines will be very difficult while he is in office, at least on federal issue.
My heart soars when I see activists and people marching or working together on a common cause. To see the resist-Trump (and more specifically his polices) still going strong encourages me to no end. I was watching some coverage of the People’s Climate March today, reporting says there were about 15,000 people there. This is just a week (or two?) after the March for Science (with some overlapping themes considering Climate/Environmental sciences). I hope this energy can be maintained, and also understand that just because one doesn’t see or hear something doesn’t mean work isn’t being done.
I don’t think people can say with any certainly how the 2018 mid-term or the 2020 Federal elections will pan out. Recently there was a poll showing more people saying Democrats are out of touch with regular people than Republicans are. One thing seems clear to me, whoever is opposing Trump (and probably Republicans in general, at least in unsafe seats), need to stand for
something, not against things. They need to have ideas to propose to follow through on what they stand for, something people can get behind. And please, gawd, not some party-insider old-guard politician. I don’t think the experience will play well next-time around either, other than party-line democratic voters. It just screams elite corportist shrill unless they have the ability to make a real connection with voters (similar to Biden).
I hope to heck that people are trying to pay as much attention to state/local politics as they are to national politics, but I know I am failing on that front too.
My Personal Reflections:
I have been watching this from north of the border. I hope that if I was down there I would be getting involved with activism, but I can’t say that for sure as I am not there. There can be many reasons people are involved in activitism, depending on what other demands or responsibilities they have to handle personally or professionally, so I don’t hold it against people that are not heavily involved.
Since I started following DAPL late last summer it has made me more conscious and conscientious of things. Things I have started or done more of starting last summer:
- Read more news (sometimes to my detriment
- Read more local/provincial/national news than before, in addition to American news (though not on par with American news sadly). I don’t think my international news consumption has gone up, it might have even gone down with other news taking up my time.
- Switched news sources
- Liked/followed the social-media page of a First-Nation reservation neighbouring my community to keep knowledgable of their happenings.
- Participated in a march for the first time.
- Signed petitions on provincial / national matters.
- Donated to causes I care about.
- Keep updating you guys on what’s going on with #45
It seems to me like there is a lot of hope and worry about at the same time.
Grading Trump’s First 100 days Using Trump-isms
– Total disaster
Overall Domestic Policy
– Fake news
Legislative Agenda - Lightweight
Jobs – Look at those hands, are they small hands? And, (Critics) referred to my hands: “If they are small, something else must be small.” I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee.
USSC Nominee Neil Gorsuch
– Overrated BIGLY
Immigration Policy/Travel Ban
– Believe me
Tax Policy – The point is, you can never be too greedy.
– I moved on her like a bitch.
- And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Women’s Rights - disgusting / got schlonged / wherever.
Minorities - The day I realized it can be smart to be shallow was, for me, a deep experience.
- When Trump sends his people, he’s not sending the best. He’s not sending you, he’s sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing thugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.
Grassroots opposition: Winning
Thanks for anyone who found this a worthwhile enough read to read this far through
I’ll just leave this one last thing in this post. Trump had his final cabinet member confirmed this week. Here is our current Presidential line of succession:
Vice President: Mike Pence ( R )
Speaker of the House: Paul Ryan ( R )
President pro tempore of the Senate: Orrin Hatch ( R )
Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson ( R )
Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin ( R )
Secretary of Defense: James Mattis ( I )
Attorney General: Jeff Session ( R )
Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke ( R )
Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue ( R )
(just confirmed / former Georgia Governor)
Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross ( R )
Secretary of Labour: Alex Acosta ( R )
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Tom Price ( R )
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson ( R )
--- Secretary of Transportation: Elaine Chao ( R )
Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry ( R )
Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry ( R )
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: David Shulkin ( I )
Secretary of Homeland Security: John F. Kelly ( I )
Edited by sierraleone, 30 April 2017 - 10:19 AM.