Quote: “An empty vessel makes the loudest noise so those with the least wit babble the most” (Plato, also proverb)
In the News: Trump’s Syria policy dismays Europe as Turkey launches campaign (Gavin O’Toole, Aljazeera, 10.10.19)
In Context: The Ugly American was a 1958 book by Burdick and Lederer that told about shortcomings of American diplomacy in South East Asia. The book led JFK to establish the Peace Corps so that Americans would get better acquainted with other countries of the world.
If Donald Trump ever read that book, he would call it fake news. Now he has green-lighted a potential genocide for some reason not discernible among the avalanche of outrages he has perpetrated during his short tenure.
Donald Trump is a failed businessman with numerous holdings in countries that are primarily developing economies in a global world dominated by western industrial countries. Trump shot to fame with a TV show that was a take-off on his cut-throat approach to business that often ended in bankruptcies. “You’re fired!” was the Trump trademark on the show. He brought that brand into the 2016 American presidential campaign by bush-whacking other candidates. Once in the Oval Office, Trump let fly his style of getting what he wanted irregardless of otherwise recognized purpose.
The Trump brand is a combination of charm, showmanship, abasement and ominous mystery. Like a malevolent magician, Trump compels by defying logic. In the Oval Office, he violates the Constitution and blasts lawmakers as persecutors on a witch hunt like never before in America. He hires and fires on a whim shrouded in praise as a prelude to the ax. He is ruthlessly inhumane in caging children of migrants and his charm recedes in concert with impeachment proceedings to oust him.
About a third of Americans like the Trump approach to governing and find his style invigorating. They cheer at the fabrications, vitriol and curses with which Trump energizes them at rallies. That part of America holds Republican politicians hostage. Any criticism elicits a scathing Trump tweet that threatens the next election. The cycle is a noose around the country’s neck. It has turned the benevolent land of the free within the law into the gutter of corruption utterly devoid of compassion.
Trump’s duplicity is coming to light in the Oval Office and the Constitutional oversight that protects its sanctity. By increments he is exposed as an empty vessel that boasts about deals that never happened and record-breaking triumphs invisible to all but Trump enablers. The force of delivery is the convincing ploy. Fortunately for reality, the haze of duplicity eventually wears off when promises fail to materialize time after time over some tipping point in human patience. Trump University plaintiffs would attest to that hard-leaned lesson were they not threatened with non-disclosure lawsuits as part of a settlement.earned after winning a settlement.
The land of opportunity greases the wheels for those with money to invest but most businessmen with a social conscience maximize their gains by taking advantage of loopholes in the law. Trump, on the other hand, mangles laws, loopholes and social morals to make his score. He is a social pariah and in the Oval Office he is deadly, as demonstrated by his recent inane directive via Twitter to withdraw US armed forces from a successful operation in the troubled Middle East.
Trump has labeled himself a “stable genius” and no one has backed up that opinion. The term may ring a bell with Trump adherents but the majority of Americans have seen no signs of that genius. Manufacturing jobs have not returned des[ote Trump’s promise, trade wars were not easy to win and served no purpose and worst of all, America has not been made great but has become a turncoat in the global fight for democracy with a salvo to Vladimir Putin and his campaign to dominate the world in line with Russia’s actions throughout the last century.
Trump’s conduct in the Oval Office may be no more complex than his indebtedness to Russian dark money. For that trivial personal gain, he may be selling America and its sterling reputation to the highest bidder, which ultimately is Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, Trump is in the Oval Office, shaming America’s military and giving the green light for slaughter of allies. He may amuse and stir his base with murderous passion as was done 2000 years ago in the Roman Coliseum to please the leader, but democracy and good will in America will prevail and topple the Constitution’s hijacker.