Ugh. Makes me glad to be out of the US. The same sickening feelings I had with Nixon, Reagan, Bush II.
Donald Trump should be dubbed "President Bullshit" for his demagoguery. He says whatever is convenient at the moment, without regard to truth, what he has said previously, or any concern for others. The only thing that is important to him is establishing dominance through feeding his supporters their red meat and bullying opponents. Dominance and his own wealth are his only real goals.
I see people wasting a great deal of analysis speculation about Trump and his policies. Here's why that is fruitless:
"[T]he key qualities of presidential politics over the next four years will be instability, frequent policy change, palace intrigues, and Trump looking to reign triumphant above it all, not particularly caring (a la Padgett and Ansell’s Cosimo) about attaining specific goals, but instead looking to preserve his position at the center of an ever shifting spider web of political relations, no matter what consequences this has for the integrity of the web. This might not be authoritarianism in the sense of a well-honed bureaucratic regime dedicated to horrible ends, but authoritarianism in terms of the general break down of Weberian order and hierarchies in favor of a largely personalized politics in which one’s relationship with an erratic and unpredictable president counts for far more than one’s formal position and authority (of course, all politics do depend on personal relations more than one might like, but bureaucracy and rules still usually count)."
Kissing the ring by Henry Farrell at Crooked Timber
As I see it, what is happening right now and will happen is:
- Trump will "reward" his "supporters" (the zillion right-wing issues fanatics) with high government positions. They will occupy Trump opponents by creating untold numbers of brushfires for the Democrats, liberals, minorities, etc. to put out.
- Attempts by his appointees to execute right-wing agenda items will be slightly limited when Trump wants to extract a concession from his opponents or keep rein on his appointees
- Trump will forget almost all his campaign promises. Prosecuting Hillary is the first of many promises he will break, pretending he is being magnanimous to his enemies. The wall will not happen, manufacturing jobs will not be created. He will excuse all this by blaming his enemies.
- Trump will attempt to self-deal and hide it as much as possible. People should already be asking what email he is using.
- Republican leaders such as Paul Ryan may be giving Trump free rein to commit enough "high crimes and misdemeanors" so that they can impeach him. I don't think there are many Republicans in Congress who wouldn't rather have Pence for president. I don't know if the Democrats would be fools enough to go along with this: while Trump is horrible, he will be less effective than Pence would be.
Opponents of Trump should be:
- Preparing for the Congressional election in 2018. A Democratic Congress could quickly alleviate the Trump problem.
- Documenting his crimes and those of his appointees, especially those in the CIA, NSA, and other secret organizations. Perhaps archivally for later prosecution, since whistle-blowers often are treated badly. Maybe Obama set a bad precedent by not holding the Bushites accountable.
- Preparing candidates to oppose trump in 2020. We may require somebody who can look down on him and somebody who is as rich and big a self-aggrandizing blowhard as Trump: my current idea for a ticket is Elizabeth Warren for President and Oprah Winfrey for VP. Or maybe Al Franken for President.
There have been a very few writings in this vein:
- America’s Berlusconi by Bill Emmott
- So We Elected an Autocrat: What To Do Now by Tina Dupuy
- Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
- Becky Jaffe: Resources to #Resist
- What's The Worst Job In Washington? Working For Trump.
Further thoughts 4/2/17:
Follow the money. Trump's Russian connection probably is due to his financial empire working to shelter and launder the money of kleptocrats from around the world, but especially Russia.
We can only hope that Trump's ineptitude continues until Congress becomes majority Democratic Party. Then he will be largely hamstrung because unlike Obama, he is stupid. He hasn't even staffed up yet, and will likely not be able to do so for a while.