John Colson: How long before Humpty Trumpty’s great fall?
Hit & Run
Well, here we are in the second year of the ongoing demolition of our Republican-Democratic experiment in government, in which we seem to be marching backward in terms of our historical desire for a peaceful, productive and environmentally sustainable world.
The man currently occupying the White House has pulled us out of the hard-won Iran nuclear agreement, ignoring the fact that most of the world has concluded that the agreement has made the world a slightly safer place and that Iran appears to be largely complying with the agreement’s provisions.
As has become the norm for this president, it seems clear that he had no idea what the ramifications of this act might be, other than furthering his efforts to undo everything done by his predecessor in the Oval Office, Barack Obama.
I wonder if anyone has done an analysis of the public statements of President Donald Trump to determine how many times he has uttered the word “Obama” since he began his run for the presidency, and in what types of context. It sure would make for interesting reading.
A Washington Post article recently noted that Trump, since taking office, has fired off more than 80 Twitter tirades aimed at Obama. But that doesn’t count the many spoken attacks over the same period, whether from the White House or in the many campaign-style rallies held in safely pro-Trump towns and cities.
Ah, well I digress.
In the days since the pullout, Iran and Israel have been sparring militarily trading missile strikes and rifle fire in numerous incidents. These troubling developments seem to offer the clearest proof yet that Trump’s act has sparked a potential new round of high-risk warfare in the Middle East, far more deadly than anything that has gone before because Israel has nukes, which is the reason Iran wanted its own nuclear arsenal.
Adding fuel to this growing conflagration is the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, which also has sparked Israeli-Arab clashes and boosted anti-American sentiment in the Arab world. As of Monday, dozens of Palestinians protesting the opening of the new embassy had been killed by Israeli soldiers, which is not exactly a harbinger of good times to come.
But Trump’s pullout from the Iran nuclear deal also has guaranteed Russia will be making a lot of money from its oil production, at least as reported by various news organizations around the world.
Isn’t that nice of him?
Russia, as you may know, has been struggling to pay its bills in recent years, ever since the profits plummeted from its roughly 10 million barrels of oil per day.
With this one ill-considered move, Trump likely has reversed that situation, according to analysts, which will help to prop up Russia’s economy and probably is seen by Putin as the biggest gift yet to come his way from his buddy in Washington.
Once again, those not blinded by adoration for the white supremacist in the White House are asking themselves why our nation’s elected leader is so obviously in thrall to a man (Vladimir Putin) whose biggest desire is to see the U.S. on its knees financially, militarily and sociologically.
A few thousand miles to the east of Moscow, the rulers of the Peoples Republic of China must also be smiling after Trump has countermanded a move by his own secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, who initiated steps to punish a Chinese telecom company, ZTE, for violating sanctions aimed at North Korea and Iran.
The Commerce Department last month enacted a ban on exports of U.S.-made electronic components critical to ZTE’s business, and ZTE appeared to be close to shutting down.
Trump announced over the weekend that he would work with China to save ZTE, remarking that the ban threatened Chinese jobs, in an apparent bid to make China happy enough that it would get behind the U.S. position in the coming talks between Trump and North Korean strong man Kim Jong Un.
But wait … isn’t this the same guy who promised to pummel China into submission for its supposed anti-American economic policies?
Didn’t he say, in rally after rally during two years of campaigning, that China threatened U.S. prosperity in countless ways, and that China must be hobbled in order to “make America great again”?
Ah, well, as Iran can now testify, anything Trump says is subject to immediate revision and reversal if it suits his mood of the moment. If you miss my point, I remind readers that Trump not long ago acknowledged that Iran was complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the nuclear deal.
It is difficult to keep track of the erratic whims and whistles emanating from the White House these days, which I believe is a big factor behind the surprising, frightening and creeping rise in Trump’s national approval numbers in some polls.
People are becoming numb to his transgressions, lies and anti-democratic programs.
And since he has not yet plunged us into nuclear war or complete national disintegration, the public seems to be accepting and even internalizing the right wing’s drive to normalize his absolutely abnormal presidency.
I’m just hoping that Humpty Trumpty’s great fall is coming, and that our electorate will not be completely lulled into a stupor by the time it happens.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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