Ever since Donald Trump broke on the scene as a politician, I have been appalled by his self-aggrandizing, his policies and his lies and astonished by his level of support. Yet I have come to realize that he’s quite clever in attracting that support. As the Italians would say, he’s furbo*.
He tailors his policies to his base, not to the country as a whole as one would hope. His immigration policy is racist. But, apparently, so are many in the working class who are negatively impacted by immigration keeping wages down for unskilled jobs. You see the same reaction in the UK, Italy and Germany.
In using racism, Trump is simply following Hitler, who convinced Germans that Jews were the reason for many of Germany’s problems.
Trump’s tax policy heavily favors the rich (including himself). It encourages Republican voters to donate to his reelection. Democratic candidates for 2020 trumpet how many small donors they have (limited to $200) but the big money comes from PACs funded by the rich.
The cowardly Republicans in Congress follow him like sheep. Any dissent is smothered by a barrage of insulting tweets.
His military policy is aimed at reelection, not keeping the USA safe. Who benefits the most from our spending three times as much as China or as much as the next nine countries combined spend? Every state that hosts military bases employing locals, who naturally vote to maintain their jobs. And that, is every state in the union.
The military industrial complex donated almost $250 million to political candidates in 2018. They have recouped that many times over under Trump. Recently, he has demanded multi-billion dollar payments from South Korea and Japan to cover costs of protecting them from North Korea and China. Extortion?
He hasn’t yet done that to the Europeans. Possibly because they already loathe him and would say, “No thanks, we can protect ourselves against the Russians.”
Republicans in Congress, including who initially scoffed at Trump, now grovel to him as though he was a graven image or possibly “the second coming” or, as he recently claimed, “The Chosen One.”
A “joke”? Given his ego, I think not.
Most presidents worked long hours and received comprehensive daily briefings to understand major issues. Apparently, Trump usually doesn’t leave the residence of the White House before 11 a.m., after sending out his daily tweet storm, and demands that his daily briefings be condensed onto a single sheet of paper. Yet he takes credit for everything he can spin as a positive and takes every opportunity to appear on TV cameras —usually, these days, saying “no collusion.”
As Adolf Hitler said, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
* Furbo typically implies cunning, devious and selfish, but not intelligent. A perfect description of Trump.
Frank Fish, Taylorsville, was born to a working-class family in England, studied mathematics in college, was a Fulbright Scholar and worked as an information systems consultant in the U.S., U.K., Italy and France before retiring.