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Day to Day Politics: A president without precedence

Wednesday 17 January 2018

He always sounds angry at someone, or indeed the world. He lies, often contradicts himself, is inarticulate, sometimes incoherent and most certainly never presidential. He is without precedence in the annals of American political history. Some say he is verifiably mad. I am also of that view. But then I too am a genius.

Controversy follows him like a dog on heat. He refuses to comply with matters like revealing his tax returns and divesting himself of private interests, as is required by the constitution and the norms of convention. As sure as one day follows another, another Donald Trump controversy will insinuate itself on the front pages of the American newspapers.

But none of it seems to do him any harm. He is Trump. He has been accused by 16 women of indecent assault but no action is taken against him. He owns America.

A year ago Donald Trump held a one hour press conference that proved beyond any doubt that his demeanour as President of the USA would be the same as he displayed during the election campaign. His personality type guaranteed scandal after scandal during his term of office. It has come to fruition.

When he entered the oval office for the first time, America had its first tweeting racist, sexist, bullying, homophobe, xenophobe, conspiracy theorist, and sexual predator as its 45th President.

Vulgarity had crept under the imposing doors of this most prestigious room and with it came the odour of a crass brat who has never really grown up.

Oratorically nothing could display the difference between President Obama and President Trump than a farewell speech full of dignity and grace with trust in a future American democracy. And a press conference by Donald Trump full of crass bitterness and hate for all those who oppose him.

TRUMP: ”But as president, I could run the Trump organization, great, great company. And I could run the company ― the country. I’d do a very good job, but I don’t want to do that. I’m the only one who could do that.”

OBAMA: ”You were the change. You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.”

A president with dignity

President Obama had to overcome many things during his tenure. Things that become blurred when the writers of political history write their opaque pieces of Obama legacy. None more so than being black. There were those who in their ignorance resented a black person in the White House. When confronted with it he displayed remarkable calm and composure. Always the personification of cool.

The day he entered the White House he inherited a World Financial Crisis caused by the greed of capitalism and two wars caused by a lie and revenge for 9/11. On top of that George W. Bush had given $3 trillion in tax cuts to the rich and spent another $3 trillion on the Iraq war. Now Trump is giving to the rich another 3 trillion dollars to the same people.

Obama controlled both the Senate and the Congress for only 5 months. On top of that the Republicans pledged that they would oppose everything he put up.

Donna Halper, professor of political communication, media historian, author, and former reporter writes that:

“As another commenter noted, there was no official “sign on the dotted line” pledge. But as Republican stalwart Newt Gingrich has verified, there was a secret meeting of key Republicans not long after President Obama’s election, where they vowed to obstruct everything the new president would try to do; and this was also reiterated in Mitch McConnell’s admission that the party’s goal was to make Mr. Obama a one-term president.”

OBAMA: ”I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me. Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face.”

TRUMP: ”Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break.”

OBAMA: ”For too many of us, it’s become safer to retreat into our own bubbles, whether in our neighbourhoods or on college campuses, or places of worship or especially our social media feeds, surrounded by people who look like us and share the same political outlook and never challenge our assumptions. … And increasingly, we become so secure in our bubbles that we start accepting only information, whether it’s true or not, that fits our opinions, instead of basing our opinions on the evidence that is out there.”

TRUMP: ”As far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences. They already are. … You [CNN] are fake news.”

Trump’s own words disgrace him before his people but to this day leave us with the unanswered question of what to do about him.

In his farewell speech Obama displayed a diplomacy, a thoughtful discretion of discourse that awakens hope and possibility. His speech was typical of a man full of a poise and dignity that had never wavered for eight years despite many crisis’s and unforeseen events. One can only wonder what he might have achieved had he got the bi-partisan support the American people deserved.

In contrast Trump found it necessary to infiltrate his press conference with paid staffers who clapped and cheered on cue. It was a performance of an undignified man, lacking poise and diplomacy. This crass excuse for humanity was soon to become the most powerful person in the world.

You got what you voted for America. May the God that so many of you believe in, forgive you.

OBAMA: ”In the course of a healthy debate, we prioritise different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts, without a willingness to admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point, and that science and reason matter ― then we’re going to keep talking past each other, and we’ll make common ground and compromise impossible.”

”I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon, a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.”

TRUMP [end of news conference]: ”These papers are all just a piece of the many, many companies that are being put into trust to be run by my two sons that I hope at the end of eight years, I’ll come back and say, ‘Oh, you did a good job’ . Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I’ll say, ”You’re fired.”

We in Australia unafraid to call a spade a spade would simply say “what a grub.” In the days weeks and months since his election my prediction that crisis would follow crisis has come true. What a monumental failure he has been.

My thought for the day

”It is the misinformed who shout the loudest. The rest of us are content with the truth we enquired about.”

41 comments

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  1. Pilot

    Meh, we’ve got the same problem here. A lying, egotistical moron in charge of a disruptive, greedy, lying pack of arseholes hellbent on feeding their mates billions of dollars at the expense of the rest of the nation.

  2. Harley Fuzi

    Seems to me that Barak or Barry looks increasingly dodgy as each week goes by and Trump is kicking goals against the pedophiles in high places and hunting down Kill and Killirey Klinton i guess we will see how it works out in the end cheers really like tha AIM keep up the good work

  3. lawrencewinder

    I keep thinking that Caligula making his horse a senator seems to make more sense than this parody of a president.

  4. Keith

    Foreign Correspondent on Monday night showed a dangerous development in the US where extreme right wing and left wing groups are starting to become dangerous elements within communities. It is not too large a step in my opinion to believe the ultra violent commentary from both groups can be attributed to a President using inflamating language. Trump appears to have personality problems as described by DSM 5.

    Worship of Mammon seems to be a dominant viewpoint; where President Obama showed skills in negotiation and was able to subdue complex matters (eg Iran), Trump is worsening situations. Monetary costs appear to be an underlying view pushed by Trump … the US subsidises many countries and Agencies needlessly according to Trump.

    President Obama displayed a finely tuned intellect; whereas, Trump comes across as a brawler and often appears as being childlike.
    To paraphrase a Facebook meme, Albert Einstein stated that as he got older he realised he didn’t have answers for many matters; whereas, Trump believes he is a genius.

  5. Kaye Lee

    “Trump is kicking goals against the pedophiles in high places”

    Oh you mean the pedophile ring run out of the pizza shop? Puhlease!

    Trump is an ignorant buffoon.

  6. Keith

    Whoops, inflammatory language

  7. Stormy Daniels

    I did not have sex with that man. We all have our standards.

  8. Keith

    It appears as though Michael Wollf’s book Fire and Fury is having some positive results, with Bannon being subpoened by the Mueller Inquiry and also the House of Representatives Inquiry into allegations of Russian involvement in the US Presidential election. Bannon has also been cut loose from the odious Brietbart media outlet.

  9. Harley Fuzi

    Beg your pardon try the Saudi purge and the release of Hatian children in S.A ……puh..lease

  10. Miriam English

    John, they didn’t vote for Trump. A vanishingly tiny number voted for him, a large number voted against politicians generally and Hillary in particular, but the majority (by about 3 million) voted for Hillary.

    The USA has been, over many years, increasingly gerrymandered by the Republicans. This is because the Republicans no longer get a majority vote on anything anymore; the only way they can “win” is by rigging the vote. And they use every dirty trick in the book to do so.

    They increasingly shift electoral borders to gerrymander electoral areas, they delete Democrat voters from the voting lists, they send out misleading how-to-vote pamphlets to Democrat-voting households, they hold votes during working hours so poor working people can’t get to the booths, they commission insecure electronic voting machines which are tinkered with during elections, they require voter IDs in order to vote (discriminating against the poor who are likely to vote democrat), they have people in cemeteries vote… and much more.

    During this last election Russia and Cambridge Analytica targeted paranoid, misogynist, racist, and disaffected voters with the express intention of swinging the vote to Trump. (I don’t think they collaborated; I think they did so independently, though such a bizarre collaboration would not surprise me anymore.) They did so using, more than anything, facebook to target ads and fake posts at particular psychologically vulnerable individuals. Because facebook gathers mountains of statistical data on the likes and dislikes and personal traits of everybody who uses it, nasty groups like Russian Intelligence and the right-wing extremist Cambridge Analytica are able to narrow their efforts to only those people they might be able to affect. (Cambridge Analytica did the same thing in the UK causing the insane BREXIT result too.) You can buy advertisements to target only white-supremecist racist anti-semites, for instance, so that messages full of inflammatory lies will only be seen by them. (Though I believe facebook have ceased to allow advertisers to target anti-semites now.)

    We in Australia are seeing an increase in all these tactics too. As the LNP becomes nastier and less liked by Australians they will see their only hope in perverting elections. They’ve already argued for voter IDs and won, at least here in QLD, despite the lack of evidence for voter fraud. Howard tried tricks to make it difficult for working-class people and the young to vote — strongly Labor-voting groups. There has been evidence of cemeteries and herds of cattle voting. Here in QLD the electoral boundaries are gerrymandered toward conservative voters, making it almost impossible for Labor or other progressive voters to be heard. It’s a testament to how utterly hated the LNP are here that we have a Labor government, and that that Labor government was voted in again even after breaking some of its most important promises.

    Gerrymandering explained

    The great Brexit robbery – how our democracy was hijacked
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

    Facebook allowed advertisers to target ‘Jew haters’
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/14/facebook-advertising-jew-hater-antisemitism

    I could add many more links, but I don’t want to do a Harquebus.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Harley,

    I am sorry if I misunderstood you but what has Trump got to do with the Saudi corruption crackdown or the Haitian child sex trade?

  12. Terry2

    Before Australia gives any further consideration to becoming a Republic we have to carefully consider the powers (including reserve powers) of any future President after what we have seen happen in the USA.

    We got an idea of what an erratic Governor General can do with Reserve Powers in 1975 and that took us all by surprise.

    If we ever do have a President in this country – and there is really no reason why we need one – we would need to confine his or her duties to cutting ribbons and that’s it.

    As regards the USA, hopefully they will be able to flush Trump and his family in 2020 if not before, fumigate the White House and learn a lesson for their future.

  13. Keitha Granville

    Terry2, yes to what you said. Why would we want to have a President, with all the extra spending that entails, who can just be an extra annoying level of interference with the elected parliament. Why do we need a new person to cut ribbons ? We alreadfy have a set of those – all Australian, all doing a great job. Just let it be.

    I am deeply sad for those in the USA who didn’t vote for this fool, and even sorrier for those who did. He is an embarrassment to the world.

  14. wam

    Wow, Lord, loved the first part of your thinking and the second shows my weakness for a good giggle at a joke..

    How unusual to have an opinion(yours??), formed from the snippets of trump chosen by the mainsteam media, blared here.

    Any thoughts on the truth of this snippet from Fortune’ you may have missed?
    “The press hasn’t covered many of the 70 bills that President Trump has signed into law, and they haven’t covered the positive effect of many of his administration’s policies. On immigration, energy, and veterans, the president has made a huge impact in his first year. That’s hardly what we’d expect with a president that makes news so often, but it’s true.”
    Thomas Binion. (http://fortune.com/2017/12/20/donald-trump-2017-accomplishments/)

    Sadly, Lord, Shorten’s image is formed the same way and his inability to get on sunrise and today is his weakness as the ABC gives no purchase on voters.
    ps The rabbott showed that if you have faith that you know the answer why research.

    The golfer in trump knows it is not how but how many. My instinct said he would be streets ahead of anything clinton could do and whilst I believe he is as awful a man to be elected he is preferable to many of the slimes we elected..

  15. David Bruce

    By 21 March 2018, Trump will be a position to control the US Federal Reserve. He will replace the current Chairperson when her term expires. He will also replace 5 of the Governors. Not since 1914 has a US president been in such a position. We can expect a major currency reset… this year. If the price of gold exceeds $5000 per oz, you will know it has happened.
    Trump first and foremost is a business man, and looks out for number one. The best way he can do that is to make America great again. He sent a battalion of marines into the CIA to do a clean-up. Huma and the Podesta boys are in the FBI sights over the sex trade. Trump, through his son-in-law, has provided MBS with the information and backup to crackdown on Saudi corruption. None of this makes it to his Tweets, so mainstream media are not publishing. Perhaps MSM has lost the skills of investigative journalism?
    Trump knows what needs to be done and he knows how to get and use position power in negotiations. It’s not pretty, it’s not PC so it will offend the sensitivities of many who have lost touch with nature.
    As a rule of thumb, I have found if Israel doesn’t follow a policy issue, then neither should we. If Israel places women in front line military service, then so should we. If Israel embraces multiculturalism, then so should we. When Israel has a gay and lesbian mardi gras, then so should we.
    Trump and Malware are birds of the feather. A political leader should be like a father… he helps the country grow, teaches it, provides for its future. History will be the judge of these two characters, we just have to live long enough to enjoy it!

  16. Miriam English

    wam, positive effects of Trump’s administration??? You’d have to search really hard to find any at all.
    “On immigration, energy, and veterans, the president has made a huge impact in his first year.”
    Yes, a huge negative impact.

    Maybe I’m misreading your post. Perhaps you’re posting tongue in cheek, but I’d defy anybody to find a single thing Trump has done that benefitted USA. (Looking at that link, those 3 “positive” things are ones that only racist, fossil-fuel-addicted Thomas Binion would be proud of.)

  17. Kaye Lee

    I agree about not needing a president. As I have said before, I like the Swiss model of a multi-party executive who have one-year turns at being the country’s representative. It gets rid of the winner-takes-all dogfight and identity politics.

  18. Miriam English

    I don’t know what to make of David Bruce’s stream of unsupported statements. It sounds like he admires Trump and the LNP.

    WTF?

  19. Kaye Lee

    Thomas Binion is “director of congressional and executive relations for The Heritage Foundation”, the Koch brothers key climate change denial think tank and the IPA’s big brother.

    It is based on the principles of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.” You’d swear you were at a Young Liberals slogan indoctrination night.

    Mr Binion’s opinion should be put in the same basket as the IPA’s.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Where is this sex trade stuff coming from? That’s two people. What is your common source for this?

  21. David Bruce

    I stopped following Australian political parties after 1975, when I realized our politicians answer to the City of London and their agents. I vote for the candidate in my electorate who has, in my opinion, the best approach to dealing with pressing issues. As for the other items, I have researched the gold bullion supply and demand since 1978, when I converted my lump sum super refund to gold bars at $167 per oz. There are a number of newsletters from Agora publications I find useful. Investment newsletters are an excellent source of ideas for further research. There are also a number of Intelligence newsletters such as Abel Danger, StratFor and Aviation Industry, where information for further research can be found. When I need a dose of reality, I find Anna von Reitz’s website usually delivers. I now understand the difference between Common Law (of the land) and Admiralty Law (of the sea). Also, I learned about the Boeing Honeywell Uninterruptible Auto Pilot using the QRS11 gyrochip, which was installed on many Boeing 777 aircraft sold for export. As a result, I don’t expect the MH370 aircraft to be discovered on the floor of the Indian Ocean. Most of it ended up in East Ukraine, complete with body bags.

  22. Audioio

    Kaye, since Harley is not acquainted with grammar, punctuation, or any sense of word order, don’t hold your breath waiting for a coherent answer.

  23. Matters Not

    Bet you didn’t know this:

    First, there is vastly more gold already mined than the rats are admitting. Tons of it. Miles of tunnels filled with it. Huge, vast, mindless quantities of gold. You haven’t seen it, but I have.

    … And, the same kinds of processes can be applied to producing silver. So there is no long term cure to be had from precious metals. Or from paper. Or from goats.

    David Bruce should note because it comes from Anna. She seems to have a fascination with goats. And goats …

    http://www.oom2.com/t52038-why-neither-gold-nor-silver-hold-any-answers-by-anna-von-reitz

  24. wam

    Thanks, Miriam. Tongue is cheek is a good way of saying something you are not sure is true, Trump is not alone in taking decisions that are meaningful positive to the people who support him. His Jerusalem decision is worth consideration as popular and may be productive?

    Kaye, do you mean that it is wrong to suggest the Lord may have formed his opinion from what is reported by the media and by what they select to show of trump spouting?
    His trilogy – muslims – climate and himself are here, in Australia, in abundance amongst politicians.
    The media truth that gillard did nothing is in the minds of many for the same reason that billy is little and

    The media choose for sales, they emphasise for sales and they lie for sales. Other sources are essential, Unless, of course, they agree with your own opinion? This may not be difficult if they informed your opinion in the first place?

  25. David Bruce

    I did, MN and gold, whether we like it or not, functions as a store of wealth in our crazy money system. In fact, since I bought my first bars of gold, I have learned that gold has many other properties, some of which are now being used for medical purposes in Singapore and other Asian cities.
    Perhaps she is a fruitcake KL, however she writes well! It just makes me a bit suspicious when dismissive labels are applied to individuals.
    We have been lied to on such a massive scale for so long that cognitive dissonance has become the only effective way of dealing with it.

  26. Matters Not

    David re:

    lied to on such a massive scale for so long

    Indeed. They won’t tell us the truth about chemtrails, vaccinations and the benefits of raw water among other falsehoods.

    Have a nice day.

  27. Miriam English

    David Bruce, thank you for my first really good laugh of the day. You would be even funnier if you weren’t serious.

    What is with people believing nutty conspiracy theories?

    Want a good conspiracy theory? How about this:
    Our culture is deliberately flooded with lunatic conspiracy theories so as to damage people’s ability to think critically and make them more easily managed. Fear, xenophobia, and suspicion let people be easily herded and stampeded and impede rational thinking.

    wam, Trump’s Jerusalem decision is one of the most boneheaded he’s made. It will be popular among the arms dealers when it causes the next big outbreak of violence there — maybe even a war if they’re really lucky.

  28. Matters Not

    Raw water coming to a store near you.

    Trump has supporters – rich ones as well.

  29. Glenn Barry

    This place is fun, elevating Trump to the level of worship makes the conspiracy theories of David Icke and disguised reptilian overlords seem just so mundane and so last millennium

  30. Harley Fuzi

    Kaye i just perused a whole bunch of independent news blogs of different persuasions seemed to be a not uncommon subject i have no way of knowing the real truth but does anyone? Dear Audioio that comment sounded elitist can the under educated not participate in commentary?particularly at the AIM theres your problem right there not the Trumps etc etc just
    everyday people and their belittling ways….P.S you try typing on a tiny phone with sausage fingers…cheers to all.

  31. Kronomex

    Matters Not, that should read Roar Water because once you drink it you’ll be roaring from both ends, not to mention ralphing and hughing as well.

    I see The Donald has been given (magically) a 100…oops, it’s Trump…150% health and mental clearance. Too bad the cognizance tests were for physical signs of degeneration, Alzheimer’s, etc, NOT his actual mental state. We will no doubt be bombarded with twits…tweets…from the sham himself about fake this and fake that, ad nauseam.

    The nitwit trolls are loose here today.

  32. Glenn Barry

    @Miriam English – that guardian article on brexit was illuminating

  33. Kaye Lee

    Harley,

    A lot of people write a lot of crap on the internet and then sit back chuckling as their fabricated stories go viral. Checking the credibility of your sources is a must. I encourage participation – it is how we all learn – but you have to be a little bit discerning about who you listen to and what you pass on.

  34. Diane

    Re John’s comment at the end of the article “We in Australia unafraid to call a spade a spade would simply say “what a grub.” – I love Australia, but I fear a country that elected Abbott, and Hanson is more likely to think ‘Trump’s a great bloke, he calls a spade a s**thole and grabs women by the p***y’…. I am so glad the threat of protests against him has put Trump off visiting the UK, but could we dare to hope the Australian people would also rise up and protest when Turnbull invites his pal over for a visit at some point n the future? I’d like to think so but….

  35. Miriam English

    Glenn Barry, yes. That Guardian article on BREXIT scared the pants off me (that’s a strange saying). The more research I did on it the more worrying it became.

    However there is a bright light. Read Cory Doctorow’s recent very entertaining article in Locus:
    Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention

    Cory Doctorow: Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention

    By the way, I highly recommend his books, especially his recent novel “Walkaway”. And his non-fiction book, “Content” will change the way you see copyright.
    Find them and much more at his site, craphound.com

    For those interested in learning how to check sources I heartily recommend the videos of a scientist who calls himself “potholer54”
    https://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54
    He spends a lot of time debunking fakery, especially from climate change deniers and creationists.

  36. Miriam English

    Diane, Australians are smarter than generally thought. I don’t believe Abbott was elected; I think Labor was voted out. Australians have a reputation for voting governments out, not voting them in.

    But I agree that allowing Abbott anywhere near power was a terrible idea and the Australians need to be ashamed of allowing it to happen. Without Murdoch poisoning people’s minds I’m certain it would have never happened.

    The next federal Labor government needs to break up Murdoch’s media (curse Bob Hawke for allowing him to get control over our media!). If they don’t we might not see a progressive government again for decades.

  37. Shutterbug

    One thing that has intrigued me ever since the Orang Buffoon took office, and that is why everyone is so concerned with how the US sees Chump, and indeed how Chump sees Chump.

    This is the wrong question to be pondering. The REAL question should be is “How does the World see Chump”.

    The answer to that question should be obvious, and it is up to the US to fix the problem.

    China is gearing up to step into the ‘Leader of the World’ spot and will do so in the blink of an eye.

    If the US do nothing to remove Chump, expect the Yuan to be the next World Currency.

  38. crypt0

    Diane …
    I also would like to think so but….

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