Trump in Context

I find my self focusing (obsessively at times) on the fact that many of the disastrous policies Trump has promised have already been pioneered by Obama, Bush and the Clintons.

Obama-Bush-Clinton Regimes Laid the Foundations

Even Thom Hartman was saying the other night that Trump now says he’s just going to build a fence on the Mexican border and since there is already a fence on the Mexican border, it will just be filling in extensions.   So, he’ll just be (in Hartman’s words) adding a few more stretches of barbed wire.   Hartman framed this is a bad thing on Trump’s part because he backed down from a campaign promise.  But it seems to me that he, like pretty much every President, faces realities when he comes to office that didn’t affect his campaign rhetoric.

Same thing about not allowing Syrian immigrants into the country without special vetting.   That bill passed with nearly unanimous Democratic support more than a year ago.   I remember I was mad that my supposedly very liberal Democratic Congresswoman supported it unequivocally.  Only a couple thousand Syrian refugees have been allowed to migrate to the US over the entire course of the horrific war the US and allies are fueling, funding and even fighting in their country.

Trump says he’ll drive out undocumented workers.   Well, Obama already has far and away beat any previous record for rounding up undocumented workers and sending them back across the Mexican border.     There was notably the situation with the Honduran children who arrived after the US supported coup against Manuel Zelaya.  Wasn’t it Clinton who imprisoned them and sent them back – or did she just express a desire to do it.    I live 100 miles from the Canadian border and undocumented workers  are regularly picked up around here at work or on the steps of the church, and disappeared causing terrible distress for their families?   Immigration authorities regularly use dogs to search the buses that pass through here, and there are more cops than passengers in the railroad station some days.

Under Bush and Obama, the FBI has spent big bucks to fund sting operations where a professional criminal/con man lured innocent Muslims into committing a crime so they can then be arrested and given incredible long sentences using ‘terrorism’ laws.   Activists have been set up the same way,  under the Obama presidency.

And then there is the repeal of the ACA – Obama Care.    I imagine it may be helping people in states that have very bad systems for healthcare and no Medicaid – although some of them have rejected it.  People have to buy the insurance but they can’t afford to use it.    For myself, I now make less money than ever on social security and a part time low paying job, and I have to pay a $500  deductible every January now to get the same medications I have been on for the last 5- 10 years.   My insurance company used to pay but now I buy into state (taxpayer) funded assistance.

I know the Republicans are swearing they will repeal the affordable care act immediately.   They have wanted to do this

at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)

since day one, long before Trump cameo n the scene.   I don’t know what exactly they are going to do now that they have a Republican president but I don’t think they are going to drop the bottom out from under the massive health system that is dependent on having people get treatment.     We have more forms of medical care delivery and less efficient ones than ever before.   It’s the biggest jobs program in the country.

Bill Clinton not only destroyed Yugoslavia and ended ‘Welfare as we knew it’ impoverishing women and children, increasing infant mortality and child malnutrition, and increasing homelessness across the country, but he signed off on the unraveling of Glass Steagall and ended the Middle Class as we know it.  Yes, its going to be a long slow death but unless the economic infrastructure changes, it’s over.

Meanwhile, Trump dismissed the TPP, doesn’t like NAFTA and wants to restrain NATO in Europe.

Trump will probably do awful things.  

Everyone else has.   If he uses the military to ramp up a fight against ‘terrorism’ then he’s already on my shit-list.  There is no uncomplicated intervention in the Middle East.   Only a full withdrawal of support for terrorism and it’s sponsors in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf will make a difference. Increased Government support for Charter schools will further undermine public school systems already weakened by censorship, lack of funding and rigid standards unsuitable for inner city students.  .The only way to get into drilling for oil in the arctic is in partnership with Russia.

I don’t want us to be drilling in the arctic but Trump surely does.  On the other hand I don’t want fracking all over the country but the business was spreading like wildfire (and just as dangerous) under Obama right up until our Saudi allies dropped the floor out from under oil prices.    Trump hasn’t said yet what he’s going to do about the Dakota pipeline, but I probably won’t like it for the same reason.   If it isn’t entirely cancelled I won’t be satisfied.

Trump wants to tighten and build the military.   Well, good luck with the first part of the plan.   Obama invested heavily in drone warfare, drones and the conversion of national guard bases all over the country.   He increased the use of drones for targeted killing (execution) of suspects (i,e. not yet convicted of a crime) and had legal documents prepared to support these practices which are illegal under international law and US law.  He has committed to a heavy investment in restoring US nuclear arsenal in the coming years.

Trump has notoriously made racist remarks and stated unsympathetic responses to minorities.   Under Obama, water was put out of reach of ordinary citizens in Detroit and Highland Park, and carelessly poisoned in Flint Michigan.   When it came to light that black men and youths were being murdered across the country by police responding to trivial offenses like broken tail lights, shoplifting and selling individual cigarettes, not to mention mental health calls, Obama’s administration responded with excuses and explanations.   While Victoria Nuland passed out cookies and encouragement at the camp of Ukrainian protesters on the Maidan, the Occupy Movement in the US was wiped away in a single day by a DHS coordinated operation under Obama, and a few years later, protesters against police violence and oppression in Ferguson MO were confronted by police in newly acquired military surplus  armored vehicles.

Between them, the regimes that rested on neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign relations shattered Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya Syria, Yemen, Honduras, Haiti, Ukraine, Somalia, Sudan, the Congo .   They undermined and corrupted the democratic governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan and attacked and bled or destroyed the economies of Argentina, Iran, Greece and Ukraine as well as many of those countries in the previous list.    Obama sent a final horde of high tech weapons to the militias who hide in the shadow of al Qaeda in Syria; to help them continue terrorizing Syrian citizens though they have already lost their US supported war against the Syrian state.

So, Trump isn’t the devil incarnate (as far as I can see).   It’s his bad policies and the corruption of the entire rotten system we should focus on.   It isn’t that Trump stole this election, it is that a corrupt system has stolen our democracy.

When friends come up and say they see in Trump ‘the Third Reich’ I don’t know how to respond.    Oddly, the latest unsubstantiated story in the WaPo-NYT-CNN rumor mill is that he engaged in acts similar  to the private perversions of Hitler.   I feel sick because they are now becoming sentimental about Obama and Clinton, the ‘good guys’.   They have lost their minds.    I see the Third Reich and McCarthy all rolled into one when I look at the policies enacted during Obama’s ‘lame duck’ wind down.   It is quite nauseating.    Lies, censorship, hypocrisy and a witch hunt,..   The Democrats and the neocon neoliberal deep state they front for  are so desperate to hold power and so deeply in denial about their own crimes that it is frightening.

Of course we should make our demands and encourage the wave of resistance that Trump’s  ascension to the presidency is triggering.     It is a great moment for action and education.   But I don’t think making the points I made above is ‘glorifying’ Donald Trump.   Its just putting him in context.   hose of us who have been in the peace and justice movement for a long time can’t kid ourselves about the past just so we can be aligned with the new recruits.    .We are the teachers.

Responses to concerns about this report:

Assertion: I think that Trump is anti war:

Response; I don’t think Trump is antiwar.     I do think that his ego, his sense of finance as a gambling  game, and  his understanding of global politics cause him to be interested in joining an elite force of leaders who control the most powerful countries in the world.   He also doesn’t like to be told what to do.    In other words, he picks an association based on the concept of a multi-polar world over Bilderberg.

Assertion: I think Putin is progressive.

Response: Not at all.   I think you don’t have to be progressive to desire a stable, secure society.

Assertion: Trump and Putin hate the working class.

Response: i don’t agree,   Trump supports many policies that will surely harm the working class.   He is ignorant of the working class but he wants people to admire him, so he may respond to public pressure.    Putin, on the other hand has made it his mission to restore the main street economy in Russia and he adheres to conservative working class values.

note: I never mentioned Putin in my article.

In my opinion, although  Putin would prefer a respectful relationship with the US President than he has so far been able to achieve, and I imagine any sane person would like to avoid a military confrontation between the US and Russia, I don’t give a high amount of significance to the accusations and hysteria tying Trump to Putin in some scandalous relationship or claims that Putin is manipulating US voters or Trump himself.   I think it is bunk.

And this: Great to see people taking to the streets to oppose the negative parts of Trump’s agenda.   It’s easy because he openly states his agenda.   Some say young people need a person to focus their resistance on.   I disagree.   Occupy Wall Street proved otherwise.   it’s the policies and the system we need to change.     If it weren’t’ these individuals it would be others.



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