By Medicine Hat News Opinon on January 13, 2018.
I am a news addict. I listen to the news in the car and at home and talk about it with co-workers, friends, and even complete strangers sometimes. The news is one of those ‘windows onto the world’ that can give us a sense of where our world is going. I can’t avert my gaze from this window. A question hovers around me, “What will the world be like for my grandchildren?”
The news of the previous few days has provided us with a shattered and formerly unimaginable vision of the world’s greatest nexus of power — the White House. By now everyone has heard about the newly released ‘tell-all’ book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolffe. That the author was allowed to hang around the White House for hours unchallenged, free to talk to anyone, is one clear sign of the chaos reigning in this White House. That could not have happened under any previous President.
The impression from the book is that everyone Wolffe talked with, all supposedly ‘loyal’ appointees, affirm that Donald Trump is singularly unsuited to occupy the Oval Office. “Childlike, illiterate, unstable, impulsive, vindictive, ill-informed, easily bored and distracted, showing signs of senility,” are constant characterizations throughout the book.
But most of us knew this already. What troubled me more was that this habitual bully, dim-witted, and devoid of imagination, was tweeting about his button being bigger than someone else’s. He is apparently contemplating a nuclear showdown, as if it were a mere video game! Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who serves on the Armed Services committee, reports that the chances of this happening are between 50 and 70 per cent! This is a greater danger than the showdown between Khrushchev and Kennedy in 1962, when schoolchildren, me included, were taught to hide in the school basement when the missiles begin to fly. This is the world we are bequeathing our grandchildren? Fire, Fury, and Ashes?
So how do Republicans, the only force that could rein him in, respond? They fall all over themselves, one after another, to assure him that he is the greatest president ever. Sycophants and toadies, they know that the only way to gain any influence with Mr. Trump is to flatter him, to feed his cavernous hunger for praise and affirmation. Republican senators can not bring themselves to say, “This Emperor has no clothes.” He stands naked before them, pouting, squinting, preening, and tweeting under a protective cloak of narcissism, blind to his nakedness, convinced of his infallibility. But the senators can only slither like oily eels, oozing false praise. Jonathan Swift wrote, “‘Tis an old maxim in the schools, That flattery’s the food of fools.” No doubt Donald Trump is a fool, possibly the biggest and most dangerous the world has ever seen.
As for other detractors, those here in Canada who still think he’s the anointed one, it’s time to come to your senses. The future may be closer than you think. Consider one of The New York Times’ suggested books for readers to prepare themselves for the Trump years. The book, released this past fall, says the reviewer “Écharts (a leader’s) rise from a widely dismissed “clown” and “dunderhead” to the highest office of a previously democratic nation, campaigning on a platform of nostalgic nationalism which prioritized domestic economic growth while demonizing “the other.” The book is called “Adolf Hitler, Ascent, 1889-1939,” by Volker Ulrich.
And finally, for the Ticked Off writer this past Tuesday who was upset by someone (me?) questioning Donald Trump’s Christian values because “He’s totally upholding the Ten Commandments,” I would like to remind that reader that espousing the Ten Commandments does not make one a Christian. Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, brought forward two further commandments, which encompass all the others, the greatest of which is “Love your neighbour as yourself.” And in another passage, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.” Donald Trump shows no love to anyone but himself. Never has, never will. He is by word and deed not a Christian. That should not be news to anyone.
Peter Mueller is a long-time resident of Medicine Hat who, in spite of all the evidence, continues to believe we can build a better world.
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