I couldn’t bring myself to watch Trump’s speech last night, but I understand that many of the guests who showed up at Mat-a-Lago for the announcement also couldn’t bring themselves to listen to his hour-long rant except they weren’t allowed to leave the room until his bumbling spiel came to an end.
So, once again Trump shows us that when it comes to politics, he’ going to do it his way which is a way that’s never been seen before. To wit: Has any other Presidential candidate ever made an official declaration to start a campaign two years before the election takes place?
Not in my lifetime, as far as I can recall, and I’m almost eighty years old.
In 1960, JFK announced his candidacy the day after New Year’s Day. Reagan officially started his 1980 campaign on November 13, 1979. George W. Bush got into the 1980 race on June 14, 1999 and Trump made his 2016 announcement on June 16, 2015.
What used to be a one-year campaign for President then became 18 months.
But two whole years? So, from now we’re going to have to put up with campaign broadsides from Fake News for 24 months?
On the other hand, what we got last night from Mar-a-Lago was a new and different Trump. No more cursing, no more insults, no more anger directed at the ‘enemy of the people.’ Now we have Elder Statesman Trump, Gentleman Trump - the man who didn’t have an election stolen away from him and will not only work to make America ‘great’ again, but to make America ‘glorious and great!’
MAGA has now become MAGAGA. Think Trump’s got the copyright?
I listened to two AM shock-jocks this morning and both were exulting about how Trump was offering to unite, rather than divide the country, and make it easier for him to fulfill the promises he made in 2016 but was unable to do it thanks to the continued power of the Deep State. That’s all fine and well except both these noisemakers - Glenn Beck and some other guy -miss the point.
In three weeks, there will be another runoff election in Georgia, and I’ll take the short odds that when all the votes are counted, the Democrat(ic) Party’s seats in the Senate will number 52.
Why am I so sure of that result? Because no matter how he tries to dress himself up as a nice guy, no matter how much Trump pretends that he’ll be a President who can work with ‘both sides,’ there’s one thing he can’t change.
Trump is Klan. He’ll always be Klan. You don’t stop being Klan just because all of a sudden you change your mind.
I have a graduate school chum – Geoffrey Parker – who has just published a titanic book (Global Crisis – War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century) which explores the worldwide political crisis that impacted just about every region and every government of the world in the 17th Century, a crisis provoked by a sudden and consequential spate of extreme cold which lasted four decades, if not more.
Geoffrey describes how various governments in Europe and elsewhere reacted to this crisis, in some cases things worked out, in other cases things got much worse. Of course, the whole point of this book is to create a degree of perspective for how we are responding or not responding to climate change today.
I like the book very much, even though it took me a bit of time to get through 700 pages of text. But as far as I’m concerned, what made the 17th Century so important in the great story of how human beings have lived on the Earth, is the event which took place in 1619, when the first ship carrying Africans docked in Virginia and this human cargo was taken off the ship in chains.
Western society (read: White society) is the only segment of humankind which went out from its geographical point of origin, overcame populations in other parts of the world and then brought the natural and human fruits of those conquests back with them to enrich the lives of our predecessors and now ourselves.
And how did the West justify this worldwide transfer of loot? I agree with Michel Foucault that racist beliefs and doctrines first appeared in Europe during the early modern age, a period which happens to include the 17th Century about which Geoffrey Parker has written a fine book.
When African Americans use the word Klan, they aren’t just referring back to a type of behavior which arose in the South during Reconstruction days. When someone behaves like Klan, they are behaving with a hatred and an anger which cannot be tolerated or even explained.
The bottom line is that we had Klan in the Oval Office for four years and now Trump’s trying to bring Klan back into that location again by disguising who he really is.
To quote Grandpa, Trump’s just ‘nisht azoy gut’ (read: no Goddamn good.)