What Keeps Donald Trump up at Night?

Is it North Korea?

Is it Russia?

Is it the economy?

Is it the media?

To not have to go through everything that doesn’t keep him up at night, I’ll cut to the chase… its staying President.

It’s no secret that he is obsessed with attempting to prove that he rightfully won in 2016, whether pulling out electoral college maps at the oddest times, insinuating 3 million illegal immigrants all voted against him or Tweeting about Hillary 9 mths into office.  It’s also no secret that he’s never stopped campaigning for 2020, holding more rallies than bills hes passed.  Everything he said and done has had ZERO substance behind it other than what’s exactly on the surface…what his base would think.  His “fire and fury” statement was to show them that he isn’t to be messed with, when that backfired, to save face he blamed China, Japan and South Korea for not doing enough.  Then there was repeal and replace… He must have said this 1000 times while on the trail.  When finally in office repeal and replace was the absolute extent of what he had to say about healthcare…no insight, no x’s and o’s, just ‘someone get something in front of me to sign that repeals and replaces ObamaCare.’  When that backfired, what did he do?  Blame Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and eventually John McCain for turning his back on “the base.” He’s already punted Tax Reform to congress as he travels around the country masquerading like he knows how it works, disguising his true intention, which is campaigning for 2020.  If this fails, he will have accomplished ABSOLUTELY NOTHING his first year in office, but steal a Supreme Court Justice seat, (which he should actually be thanking Mitch for) and pardoning a racist sheriff and he’ll once again have someone to blame other than himself… Most likely pivoting back towards a corrupt “obstructionist” government and rigged system, all of which he is soooo against – More red meat for his headline reading base.

Now here he sits again with DACA…  Not a chance knowing anything about it other than his base hates the thought of it.  One day he announces he’s doing away with it and 800,000 Americans have to go, the next he’s punting it to congress to take the heat off of him.  Again, showing his base that on the surface he’s a man that understands them and is trying his best to fight for their misguided ideals.  All the while putting it in Congress’ hands knowing it will fail with blame loaded in both barrels when it does.

You see, this is all one big campaign to the easily demagogued, weak-minded cheap seats – AKA the people that traditionally get out and vote.  As long as he can continue to punt any meaningful decision to congress or his generals and capitalize on gerrymandered county lines, voter suppression and potential 3rd party influences, this walking headline with zero substance will continue down this path of providing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the American people, other than one long campaign rally.

People keep saying that all Trump cares about is how he looks to others and to a point they are right, but in this very important instance in U.S history, all he truly cares about is how he looks to his base, period end of story.

 

 

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How Trump is Exacerbating “The Most Honest Three Minutes in TV History”

Its been no mystery that our country has been losing its place in the world in many areas and its been no mystery that the extreme bipartisanship that has taken place the past 8+ years has been the main cause.  The GOP spent 8 years doing any and everything it could to obstruct anything Barack Obama tried to set in motion.  Now its Donald Trump’s turn to do everything he can to reverse whatever progress was made, restructure, rename it and label it his own.

This ramping up of bipartisanship has forced both sides deeper into their respective corners, dividing the U.S even more as the left and right dig in deeper, with no consensus in sight.  When Trump tweets, he tweets at his opponents on behalf of his fan base, when he speaks he speaks directly to his fan base’s ideals, when he hold rallies, its to (feed his ego) and rile up his fan base, nothing less, nothing more.  He is a leader of a fan club at best and leaning on them as he clumsily traverses through his firs year in office.  Nothing he says, does or portrays unifies us as a nation, it only takes us further down this dangerous path of party over country, which over time is UNSUSTAINABLE.  Take a moment and watch this (again for many) and really think…. is Trump just bad for America, or is he the absolute worst thing for America at this given moment?

How Trump is Galvanizing Contempt for America

In Ian Bremmers Book “Superpower” he discusses three options the United States has as a world leader

  1. America can limit its commitments and obligations abroad (“Independent America”).
  2.  Become  a “Moneyball America” that selectively engages in high-yield, low-risk opportunities.
  3. Aim for “Indispensible America” by attempting to uphold the global order through the kind of broad-based global engagement that has typically marked U.S. foreign policy since World War II.

Lets start from the beginning of our “superpower status.” After WWII the U.S was instantly catapulted to the head of the class with a new found roll as – police officer – voice of reason and financier for the world.  This of course put the U.S in a very powerful position of inlfuencer.  By providing financial and or military assistance  the U.S was able to get country’s to adopt its ideals, provide its military additional places in the world to park itself and access to resources throughout the world at a discount – a very mafioso relationship with the world, if you will…

Throughout the years the U.S used this position in the world to grow its influence and ensure its place at the top, all while (secondarily) keeping the peace where it could and punishing where it couldn’t.

For the most part, we were the envy of many, “the shining city upon the hill” as Ronald Reagan so eloquently put it. But over time, with envy there will inevitably come jealousy and as the years went on, many countries that we treated like little brothers aspired for more and slowly started to come into their own.  With our help, countries that were once decimated, rebuilt started to excel in many areas. If it benefited us in some way we encouraged it and if it didn’t we imposed our will to slow or stop it completely. This tactic overtime started to breed contempt, but as long as we were protecting and providing, the contempt always stayed under the surface.

To maintain our position as leader of the world we had to walk a tight diplomatic line of aiding and protecting while maintaining a firm grip around the necks of many nations wanting to breakout – both fairly easy for the richest nation and strongest military in the world.  Slowly but surely after a few mistakes, a few hypocrisies and many advancements, the once little brother countries (many of whom we weren’t aiding, who once looked up to us on that hill, were looking at us eye to eye, even down at us in many ways.

Insert Barack Obama and his combination approach

Become a “Moneyball America” that selectively engages in high-yield, low-risk opportunities.

Aim for “Indispensible America” by attempting to uphold the global order through the kind of broad-based global engagement that has typically marked U.S. foreign policy since World War II.

While inheriting the almost impossible task of digging us out of an economic hole that we hadn’t seen since the great depression, he also had the tough task of re-branding the U.S and its position to the world.  He knew we pushed our influence to the its limits and he knew to many perception is reality, especially in the 24 hour news cycle / digital age. Obama spent much of his two terms taking on a more globalist view of things, unifying countries, with a we not I attitude.  This, at the very least slowed the increase of contempt for the U.S, but of course nothing is perfect and there were a few setbacks that didn’t help his cause, i.e Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and the debatable drone program. (I’ll leave the debate on whether these were justified or in the long run caused more harm than good).  Either way the perception didn’t look good for the U.S and opened a lot of eyes to just how much inlfuence we had, have and are still looking to gain, BUT to the world, Obama for the most part was trying to work with them, not shun them or just tell them what to do.

To wear all of the hats previously discussed its utterly impossible not to ruffle some feathers, which world leaders know this and accept.  That’s why we generally don’t hear much about spies and spying techniques, cause most know about it and accept it as a necessary evil – But again, perception and what is reality are two very different things –  and the people of the world perception of the U.S hasn’t been in great standing for quite some time, regardless of the relationships Obama was able to cultivate with these leaders.  To some people we were bullies, to others we weren’t very trustworthy and to many we started to become cocky.  To our liberal brothers and sisters, we impose our democratic ways onto other nations, yet our government was far from a well oiled machine. To our conservative counterparts, America breeds a culture of excess, violence, sex, drugs and rock and roll, all while casting judgement on other nations and how they should run their countries. Regardless of the growing contempt and slip ups, Obama was at the very least able to regain some legitimacy and respect throughout the world and people listened when he had something to say…

Obama G20 World Leader

Insert Donald Trump and is “America First” approach

America can limit its commitments and obligations abroad (“Independent America”).

Its already been know that many who once envied our American dream, lavish lifestyles, free spirited culture, have started to slowly and quietly despise it, hence the term “ugly American.” Trump has done that no favors by presenting himself to the world as the caricature of such that: entitled, loud, boorish and ill-informed, the epitome of excess, selfishness and ego.

Lets take the withdrawal from the world climate accord as a for instance  – it wasn’t terribly surprising, but the way he did it was a thumb in the eye to the rest of humanity. Trump didn’t merely state a principled disagreement. He turned the Rose Garden, where many amazing leaders have shaken hands and many major accomplishments have been announced into a setting for a political rally, and he delivered a campaign speech against the world.

“The Paris agreement handicaps the United States economy in order to win praise from the very foreign capitals and global activists that have long sought to gain wealth at our country’s expense,” ~DT

“The same nations asking us to stay in the agreement are the countries that have collectively cost America trillions of dollars through tough trade practices and in many cases lax contributions to our critical military alliance,” ~DT

“Foreign lobbyists wished to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement. It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States.” ~DT

It was less a statement of policy than a paranoid scream about devious foreigners scheming to cheat the United States. In reality, Trump was breaking with the whole world — more than 190 other nations that had made numerous concessions to U.S. demands

In foreign affairs, Trump’s undue bullying is breaking down alliances, undermining intelligence, economic, military and diplomatic cooperation, that has taken 50 plus years of walking a very tight rope to maintain.  His portrayal of the ugly American, attacking specific countries and religions, all while outright shunning much of the world is not only surfacing contempt, its breeding it.

Trump sitting alone G20

As we saw at the G20, he was a seemed lost, rambling, campaigning, justifying and leaders didn’t want anything to do with it.

Donald Trump Angela Merkel Frustrated G20

Leaders are no longer hiding their contempt and confusion with what he is trying to accomplish

We still are the richest nation on the world and we will most likely always have the most powerful military (which is a moot point with Nuclear and Cyber capabilities, but that’s for another day) – But as nations slowly look to work around us not with us we strengthen their relationships with each other and focus on THEIR common goals, which over time, under Trump, (its only been 6 mths), could involve putting us in our place…

Trump Racist

 

 

Trump the Trojan Horse of Plutocracy?

Trump Oligarch Russia Democracy Freedom

Sadly, today a great majority of Americans are more satisfied with the appearance of freedom— as though it was a reality—and are more often influenced by those things that seem, rather than by those things that really are.  For many, working long hours and the chance to have a job that doesn’t quite pay enough, or just enough with overtime, is freedom.  Being free to come and go as you please, say or absorb what you want is free, but the one thing many are forgetting are the consequences most face.  Sure we are free to pick up and be artists, drive cross country, pursue our lifelong dreams, but for many (most) this just isn’t a reality.  50% of Americans are working paycheck to paycheck, unless you’re willing to risk starving or relinquishing your home, car or whatever else you have that has you completely handcuffed by debt, you’ll be working your whole life to just get by, accumulating things your marketed to daily to believe that you need, only to pass on this debt to your children.

In today’s society the word freedom is thrown around like its something guaranteed, an afterthought, not up for debate, something we settled a long time ago… “next subject.”  We are Americans, we are free, free to say and do whatever we want.  We feel sorry for other countries who don’t have those “luxuries,” so much so, that we continue to use our power of influence to force them to to adopt our ways of doing things.  Yet, who says our culture and policies are the way it should be?  Lets take a look at where these policies and culture have led us.  We lead the world in incarcerated people per capita, heroin overdoes per capita, gun deaths per capita, mass shootings per capita, cost of medicine, cost of education, wealth inequality, personal and nation debt, all the while ranking  25th  in infrastructure  behind undeveloped nations such as Oman and Barbados.  Are we really the ones that should be teaching others “how things should be?”  Are we as a society really that free?  If we have no voice, no money and most importantly no power to change these things and our so called leaders are puppets to big business, big banks, big oil, big anything, how free are we really?  The people that run these industries and profit from them, disguised in high end suits and hidden away in gated communities have become today’s equivalent to the new slave owner.

How did we get here?

Well let’s take a look at the difference between wealth and power? To avoid confusion, let’s be sure we understand they are two different issues, but one cant exist without the other.

  • Wealth, refers to the value of everything people own.
  • Power, has to do with the ability to realize wishes, or reach goals, which amounts to the same thing, even in the face of opposition.

First, wealth can be seen as a “resource” that is very useful in exercising power. That’s obvious when we think of donations to political parties, payments to lobbyists, and grants to experts who are employed to think up new policies beneficial to the wealthy. Wealth also can be useful in shaping the general social environment to the benefit of the wealthy, whether through hiring public relations firms, owning ALL of the media companies, marketing firms or having large stake ownership in certain businesses or industries.

Second, and VERY important to understand…certain kinds of wealth, such as stock ownership, can be used to control corporations, which of course have a major impact on how the society functions. The top 20% make up 91% of stock ownership in the United States, no further explanation needed there.

Third, just as wealth can lead to power, so too can power lead to wealth. Those who control a government can use their position to further their own interests, whether that means a favorable land deal for relatives at the local level or a huge federal government contract for a new corporation run by friends who will hire you when you leave government.

This brings me to the the point I want to make. If the top 20% have 84% of the wealth, (which we concluded encompasses tremendous amount of power and influence) it becomes very tough for the bottom 80% — moreover the bottom 90% — to get organized and exercise much power to make the changes necessary that actually benefit the masses.  When 90% of society’s interests aren’t being addressed and even worse being purposely ignored to benefit a very little, we have to make the assumption that we are not truly free, nor are we in a true democracy, but a Plutocracy.

Plutocracy – From Greek ploutos, meaning “wealth”, and kratos, meaning “power, dominion, rule”) is a form of oligarchy and defines a society ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.

Now, here is where I speak to the left, right indifferent.  We may have many different ideals and some that we will NEVER come to agreement on, but one that we must come together on if we are every going to get back to “Country Over Party.”

The one thing that approximately 90% of shar –– we have zero control over of the policies put in place by the plutocrats to strengthen and lengthen their grip over us.  The sooner we realize that, the better off America will be in the long run.

Look at it this way…

We are teams, we are debating and battling each other daily, but the league we love and play for is under attack by a higher power.  Now more than ever is the time to put our small battle aside for a greater cause, US.

Our options…

Do you think Trump an ELITE and Republican (today) is going to upset the system and tackle the people he works and mingles with daily?  DO you think he is our saving grace? Or was it supposed to be a career Democrat who accepts millions in contributions from big business regardless of the rhetoric on the campaign trail and no matter how you spin will have favors to return?

OR do we need an uprising of sorts, someone who is not a part of the system, someone not connected or influenced by wealth or power, someone who is truly interested in strengthening an entire nation, not just a fraction of it?

I think, as crazy as this sounds, we were somewhat on the right track with Trump, even (righter with Bernie)…. follow me here before you stop reading, slam your laptop shut and call me nuts.

Many bought into Trump’s outsider roll, that he wasn’t a career politician, that he was just as sick of government not helping the masses – BUT most forgot or willfully accepted that he was an elite and didn’t care because he tapped into their deepest fears and closeted hate?

Millions took to Bernie, because “he isn’t one of them” either and spoke to exactly what was wrong with big business and the anti-90% policies that benefit the very few.  His problem was he up against BILLIONS of dollars of marketing, incumbent democrats and was so easy to brush off as someone who only spoke in rainbows and unicorns.

They both tapped into the need for an outsider, but the big difference –– one had the money and the friends (potentially friends in REAL high places) and the other had the ear of the millennials, who make a big stink, but lack the follow through (for now).  I wont dance around the fact that there was a tremendous amount of demagoguery that put Trump over the top, but that’s for another day…

The focus of this piece is getting to the bottom of the issue we ALL face, unifying people and making them understand that’s its not Republican vs. Democrat, its us vs them.  The us being the 90% of us who work day in and day out, crippled by debt and are one stroke away from going bankrupt.  The them being the the Plutocrats that control everything we see, hear and do all to their benefit. If we want decisions made that truly effect our day to day lives in a positive way, if we truly want to be a free society, we need to get to this place and get there fast.

Remember…

We are in an information war and unfortunately the wealthy and the powerful control much of where people get their information from,  Whether it be the 24 hours news cycle, social media (campaigns, bots, hacking) or multi-million dollar ad campaigns.  If we as a whole continue to rely on them for our information, we will continuously be led to vote for THEIR agendas and not for whats truly best for the people and country as a whole.  We need to get back to the facts, the data, historical mistakes and triumphs, trends and reality, if you will.  We need to trust, but verify, we need to not let our politicians glaze over questions, but drill down to the root, the whys, hows and plans.  Then we need to take this information analyze if for ourselves, see if it fits our agenda and MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS.  Finally when in office, we need to hold them accountable, remind them daily on what they committed to and what we need as a nation.

Now I ask…is this what democracy was supposed to look like when it was originally designed? Are we truly as free as we are led to believe?  And most importantly do you still think we should be a country divided by ideals and debatable differences or divided by 99% / 1%, the haves and have nots…

I leave with this…  Always be asking yourself what benefits a Plutocracy and what benefits the people?

Gandhi Greed 99% 1% Wealth inequality Trump