Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Sunday, November 27, 2016 2:05 pm

You go to war with the president-elect you have

Fourth in a series (first installment, second installment, third installment)

So we’re left not only with an illegitimate president-elect, but also, by temperament, background and training, the least qualified man ever to win, or “win,” the office.  He simply doesn’t know things a president ought to know. Worse, he either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that he doesn’t know them; he is proudly, aggressively ignorant and incurious, Idiot America incarnate.

He understands nothing about the economy. His tax plan would raise taxes on many middle-income Americans, including a majority of single-parent households and most married-couple households with three or more children,  while giving breaks averaging $317,000 to millionaires. His plan also will add more than $7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.

He understands nothing about foreign relations, particularly the crucial role of NATO in maintaining peace since World War II.

He knew nothing about the nuclear triad, something I read about in seventh grade. And his other comments on the subject of nuclear weapons — asking why we have nukes if we can’t use them, suggesting that nuclear proliferation is not something to worry about — should have been disqualifying.

He had telephone conversations with foreign officials on unsecured phone lines in Trump Tower without having been briefed by the State Department.

He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care anything about global warming, a position that puts him at odds not only with most climate scientists but also with most of the world’s leaders.

He has invited with open arms into American discourse a way of thinking and of treating others that we spent 425,000 American lives to purge, and 50 million lives worldwide, within the lifetimes of many now still living.

His business affairs appear to conflict, at times sharply, with the nation’s best interests, if not with statutory law and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. His involvement with Russia includes both loans from Russian banks and Russian payments to his de facto campaign manager, Paul Manafort. His overall indebtedness, including loans from the state-owned Bank of China, totals more than $650 million, twice what he reported earlier on his federal disclosure form.

Trump displays a smug contempt for the very idea of constitutional law, as legal scholar Garrett Epps summarizes:

Donald Trump ran on a platform of relentless, thoroughgoing rejection of the Constitution itself, and its underlying principle of democratic self-government and individual rights. True, he never endorsed quartering of troops in private homes in time of peace, but aside from that there is hardly a provision of the Bill of Rights or later amendments he did not explicitly promise to override, from First Amendment freedom of the press and of religion to Fourth Amendment freedom from “unreasonable searches and seizures” to Sixth Amendment right to counsel to Fourteenth Amendment birthright citizenship and Equal Protection and Fifteenth Amendment voting rights.

And, finally, he sees and treats other people, whether employees, business partners, customers, or voters, purely as marks to be grifted.

So this is the person who is going to become our 45th president. Whether he will try to do everything he says, no one knows: Trump has said he likes being unpredictable, but how does that manifest? He “can be swayed by the last person he talked to.”

But as Ronald Reagan regularly said, people are policy, meaning that the people Trump is appointing to various positions in his administration are likely to have a big influence on policy, given Trump’s incurious approach to it. That prospect ought to keep you up nights, and I’ll talk more about that in the next installment.


  1. You’re fighting the wrong battle. It’s not how do we get rid of the wrong man in the White house but how do we get rid of the Fascist Regime that allowed him to get there in the first place?

    Comment by Billy Jones — Sunday, November 27, 2016 5:37 pm @ 5:37 pm

    • Define that fascist regime, Billy. What are its component parts? What did they do, and how did they work together, to “allow” Trump to get there? Trump got there because a significant majority of the Republicans who voted are racists. It really is that simple, and that fact does not prove the existence of a “fascist regime,” although it’ll probably lead to one.

      Comment by Lex — Sunday, November 27, 2016 7:56 pm @ 7:56 pm

      • Keep fighting that battle and you’ll be left behind like the rest of the Democrats. The Democratic Party abandoned the American Blue Collar Worker. And while it may be true that Trump used racism and fear as tools to rally support for his win the real fault lies with the leadership of the Democratic Party who moved right and got in bed with the 1% just as the Republicans have long done. Blacks stayed away from the polls in droves this year because of their mistrust of the Democratic Party. Young people stayed away in droves because of their mistrust in the Democratic Party.

        And you want to place the blame on a minority of racist Republicans who turned out to vote? We both know the real villains are those who destroyed the Democratic Party.

        Look past your anger, look past your fear.

        Comment by Billy Jones — Monday, November 28, 2016 8:52 am @ 8:52 am

        • In other words, you’ve got nothing. Also, Billy, I’m not a Democrat. And to suggest that that the Democratic Party leadership deserves the bulk of the blame for Trump’s “election” is to ignore reams of polling data. Look, there’s no support for your position, Billy; you’re just being both condescending and fact-free, which is quite the trick.

          Comment by Lex — Monday, November 28, 2016 8:59 am @ 8:59 am

          • I’ve got nothing? Really? Let’s start with 2016 voter turnout, shall we?

            Turnout Rates: Race and Ethnicity– down.
            Non-Hispanic White Share of Electorate– That would probably include the racist Republicans you so want to blame– up.
            Turnout Rates: Age– All down.
            Turnout Rates: Education– All down for 2016.

            Now you interpret Trump’s win as the result of White Racists voting for Trump but the results show that in reality Trump’s win was because voters such as African Americans and others simply didn’t vote:

            And seriously, we’ve known about it for weeks:

            Now get a grip. Polling data is useless drivel used to push agendas. Demographics are what tells the real story.

            Comment by Billy Jones — Monday, November 28, 2016 3:33 pm @ 3:33 pm

  2. […] Fifth in a series (first installment, second installment, third installment, fourth installment) […]

    Pingback by People are policy — and Trump’s people are poison | Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Tuesday, November 29, 2016 9:36 pm @ 9:36 pm

  3. […] in a series (first installment, second installment, third installment, fourth installment, fifth […]

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