BY VERN TURNER
Another day, another Goldman-Sachs billionaire … Another day, another climate change and science denier … Another day, another mindless babble from Kellyanne Conway, the poor dupe of the troop of Trump.
Yes, the clown car keeps circling the middle ring and the passengers just keep falling out into the sawdust of our national political scene. And, as with most circuses, the elephants [yes, go with the allegory] have left their deposit for the clowns to roll in. This fiasco in transition is called the Trump show. But where’s the ringmaster?
Oh, right. He’s off on the “stroke me, stroke me” tour, showing off his latest metallic hair job. It has to be gold, of course, so it will glint in the light and blind the audience to the subterfuge they are about to experience. The current president-elect is doing his very best to go back on all his promises while basically thumbing his nose at the “new” supporters who voted for him instead of Hillary Clinton.
Yes, it’s true. So very many of the people not paying attention bought the line of “crooked Hillary.” It was part of the con. Every con man uses this kind of hyperbole to sell his nonsense. It’s part of the con artist handbook, Chapter Two.
Who would have thought, just eight years ago, that the people of the United States could be turned from being a hopeful, starry-eyed group voting for the first African-American president into a raging minority of voters who lucked out via the vagaries of the Electoral College, and elected a demagogue instead of a statesman. This minority [46%] of the voters picked a different kind of change from the one available in 2008. Was it a change for the better?
In view of the anti-everything picks summary from the Trump transition team, it looks like a kind of coup of the oligarchs who want to rid the country of everything and anything progressive even if it made sense and did good things for good people.
Sorry. It’s not going to happen that progressively positive way. You, my dear, fellow citizens, have been betrayed by the golden con man from New York. His assortment of hacks, billionaires, war hawks, cronies and dummies picked for cabinet or important White House posts is not only baffling to anyone familiar with government, but defiant of all the promises to “drain the swamp.”
Trump has added a militarism to his cabinet and staff; that he did promise. But when you look at who he picked … You have a cashiered general kicked out for passing information to foreign governments and a general nicknamed “Mad dog” who has been pilloried by fellow combatants for not rushing to the aid of trapped soldiers from a different service. You have to wonder in which trash heap Trump poked around to find these guys.
Now comes the Russian hacking scandal. As the story builds, we see that indeed the Trump campaign benefitted from the hacked leaks delivered to the unbelievably naive James Comey, who published them just before the election. It’s not much of a leap to accept that Comey is a Republican. And yet … and yet, the CIA notified Congress in September 2016 that the DNC and RNC were hacked by Russia. The Republican leadership wanted to keep it quiet [McConnell] or it might look like election influencing. Guess what? It did influence the election, and we got the most spectacularly unqualified candidate ever elected. Oh, and Mrs. McConnell was rewarded with a secretary of transportation post. So, that’s how it works …
Moreover, the CIA and the FBI have agreed that none other than Valdimir Putin was responsible for directing the hack, with the specific purpose of aiding a Trump victory in our election. Considering the gullibility of the American people, coupled with the suspicion surrounding Hillary Clinton from 30 years of Republican-based witch hunts and – voila – you get the most unlikely election in our history producing the most unqualified and unlikely candidate who actually “won” 306 electoral votes.
Perhaps the most revealing aspect of this story is the nomination of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. He has received the Russian Medal of Friendship directly from the hands of Vlad the Impaler. He sallied forth to defy U.S. policy and State Department requests to not do a deal with the Russians. Tillerson, representing Exxon [who else?] did a half-trillion dollar oil exploration deal, anyway. That’s how you earn Putin’s medals.
Obama’s sanctions squelched it, but the die was cast for Rex. When the Russian government learned of Tillerson’s nomination, they went berserk with joy and celebrated into the night. Now, why would they do that? You don’t suppose that there is a conflict of interest and our national integrity and security involved here, do you?
Trump calls the election a landslide and the greatest political victory in our history [of course he’d say that], failing to get it that his electoral margin was the eighth smallest and that he lost the popular vote by three million – the most ever.
The fact that a foreign country could have and did influence our most sacred tenet of democracy, free elections, is appalling and frightening – just like the alleged winner. But the Trump-ites are calling it a landslide. Conway says that if Obama was more of a patriot, he’d defuse the feud with Trump. What? But then, spinning Kellyanne has been channeling Ann Coulter for some time now.
What all this adds up to is a fundamental betrayal of the ideals of democracy, and being astounded by how such an egregious creature can sully the sanctity of our presidential election by being who he is. I’m not talking about Putin, but Trump himself.
He clearly has no ethical limits with his flirtations with conflicts of interest surrounding his businesses and his reluctance to tell anyone how he is going to divest himself – if he is at all. So far, all his promises are hollow.
Trump clearly is willing to undo years of hard work trying to keep a ruthless thug under control. Deals with that country that compromise our integrity and security. Trump has literally let the fox into the hen house by being nice to Putin. How in all things holy is it possible for a president-elect to curry favor with a national leader, who, in fact, hacked into our election process to get things to go his way?
The “T” word trembles on my lips as I write this with the hope that Donald Trump will be called to answer for his deeds and misconduct.
Is his con game so strong that the American people will turn their heads away from the ultimate betrayal, perhaps the worst since Benedict Arnold sold us out to the British? When will the betrayals stop? How stupid are we? How egotistic are we that we can’t slap our heads and say we made a terrible mistake? The next few weeks will tell.
The electors still could come to their senses and save the country from disaster. If Trump is indeed inaugurated, will the people push for the investigations necessary for his shenanigans and his t——? If they don’t, the United States will be a very, very different place in less than the two years it will take to elect a Congress to put the brakes on this mad hatter in our midst.
If Donald Trump is not somehow removed from office before he destroys our democracy, we have only ourselves to blame. We will have betrayed ourselves and our forebears who fought and died defending our Constitution and this land we call The United States of America.
– Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer and The Smoking Section. His latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, is available through Amazon.com.