Here we are, January 20th, 2017 has arrived. On this day, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Like 1/2 of the country, on the side that is horrified, worried, and scared, I have accepted this fact, he IS the president, and we all have to move forward, each of us in his/her own way. However, it is still hard to believe that "we" as a nation have elected this, as he has been called, totally unqualified snake oil salesman, a circus clown buffoon, a bellowing loutish bully, a petulant child/man to our highest office, arriving with a historically low approval rating (32%) - whatever polls might, or might not mean.|
On this very topic, the other day, esteemed columnist, Mike Barnicle wrote that he "finds many of the [Trump] transition tweets to reflect three personalities Americans don't like: "braggarts, bullies and B.S. artists." And, of course, in Donald Trump, we find all three of these personalities rolled into one undignified and graceless man. One cannot buy these qualities, no matter how much wealth one has attained, lost, and attained again. Does anyone really believe that a man, who finds it in good taste to have gold-plated plumbing fixtures everywhere (a trapping of wealth we last saw with Saddam Hussein), is going to really be able to relate to the real-life problems of the common man/woman, the small business owner? Personally, I think not.
It is amazing that all across this nation people, generally speaking, hate New York, New York City (except for a quick visit), and New Yorkers, but, of all the great New Yorkers past and present, this nation somehow chooses Donald Trump to be president! To most of us New Yorkers, there could not have been a more awful and least representative person chosen from this great city and state. But, this is what "we" did.
To me, Vladimir Putin is, and has been, skillfully playing Donald Trump for the ego-driven fool that he is. All of this "friendly" posturing by Putin is pure manipulation, made all the easier, because Trump believes that HE is actually smarter than everybody else, and that he ALONE sees everything for exactly what it is. But soon enough, Putin will reveal his own very "unfriendly" intentions, and we will all know what this was really about.
When the next horrible event of terrorism happens, and it will happen sooner or later, WHO is going to believe Donald Trump as the "consoler-in-chief"? NO ONE will believe that he has a single sincere bone of compassion or empathy for the suffering families. He's going to have to deal with all of this too. Being president is not a win or lose game, not a Monopoly board game, and not some kind of shrewd business deal. He is going to find that out too, but at what cost to the rest of us?
And so, on that note, here we go, off into a new wilderness of great uncertainty for us all, and the rest of the world as well. A world that is most uncertain of what is now going to happen, fearing disorder and chaos becoming the norm.
And now we have from Sunday morning's Meet The Press, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway tried to claim that the White House is using "alternative facts." Host Chuck Todd destroyed Conway's claim, and showed that the media isn't going to be Trump's propaganda arm. The exchange went like this:
Chuck Todd: You did not answer the question of why the President asked the White House Press Secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House Press Office on day one.
Kellyanne Conway: No, it doesn't. Don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You're saying it's a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that, but the point...
Todd: Wait a minute. Alternative facts? Alternative facts. Four of the five things he uttered. The one thing he got right was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look. Alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.
Chuck Todd spoke for every single American with one functioning brain cell who are not buying the Trump effort to turn the White House into the center of an alternate reality where facts are whatever Trump decides them to be.
I did not know what to expect but, on Wednesday night, January 18th, I watched CNN Films: "THE END: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House" and found it to be incredibly moving to see this extraordinary group of people, assembled by President Obama, including: Cody Keenan, Tina Tchen, Valerie Jarrett, and Josh Earnest, who, behind the scenes, helped, in so many ways, to craft this vision of the United States - a vision that I happen to be fully aligned with. I hope that anyone and everyone will try to find the time, 2 hrs., to watch this great film, and reflect upon what we have seen these past 8 years. What a great group of people they are! If you missed either broadcast presentation, you can now access the documentary via CNN ON DEMAND (on your local cable system) at least until June 5th, 2017. I urge you all to make the effort and not miss it.
New York, NY
January 20th-21st, 2017
Addendum: Though I managed to completely avoid the TV all day yesterday, I did read some "reviews" of Trump's inaugural address, and took some delight in seeing that arch conservatives, like George Will [Washington Post] had written that Trump: "delivered the most dreadful inaugural address in history;" and Bill Kristol [Weekly Standard] described the speech as "depressing and vulgar." If these two keen minded conservatives feel that way, imagine how my side must feel?
And now, Andrew Sullivan [The New Yorker], another esteemed conservative voice, has written a brilliant column, "The Madness of King Donald." I urge everyone to read what Mr. Sullivan had to say.
Addendum 2: When I finally did turn on the TV in the evening, and cautiously so with the sound turned off, the first thing that I happened to see was the moment that Trump's speech ended, and President Obama walked up to him, and I could read his lips as he patted Trump on the back, and said, without question: "Good job!" When I saw this I was so shocked because, and this is what I truly believe, President Obama was speaking to Trump as if he was a 5 yr. old child who had just answered a question like, "Can you name a word that begins with the letter 'B'? And the child says: "Big!" And the parent gleefully exclaims in a high-pitched voice: "Good job!!!" So, though I am certain that Barack Obama wanted to say, "Great speech, congratulations!" He couldn't say that, and what came out confirmed that, deep inside, he, like many of us, just sees Donald Trump as a big child!!! But, a child who has somehow become President of the United States!!!