I share your concerns about the professional political class, but I don’t see Trump as a cleansing agent in that regard. I don’t think anything he’s done has made that situation any better; in fact, he’s made it worse, as the political class has adapted and found ways to both hide behind and exploit Trump and Trumpism to its advantage. Meanwhile he is actively doing damage to some of the few institutions that safeguard what passes for American democracy, such as an independent judiciary, the rule of law, and a free press.

I may want to remodel my kitchen, but I don’t want to do it with a hand grenade.

Trump is not a professional politician, not in the pocket of banks or unions, and has shown abnormally willing to question business-as-usual.

With all due respect, this line that he’s his own man is the biggest crock of all. The only reason he’s not in the pocket of the usual banks is b/c they wised up at last and stopped loaning him money. Ironically, he is instead absolutely in the pockets of the people who HAVE been bankrolling him since 2000, which is to say Russia. (See also Saudis Arabia, the NRA, and the 1% in general.) Nor is he “questioning business-as-usual”; he’s merely behaving in his usual con man-cum-gangster manner, as those of us who live in NYC have observed for decades, and doing whatever he can to enrich himself, legally or otherwise . It’s not helpful and it’s certainly not good for the country.

I can’t say I’m on your libertarian page when it comes to Ron Paul, the DOE, or deregulation (which generally is a front for plutocrats to run amok without any public accountability), but I agree with you about the economy and Trump’s ignorance about it. I don’t see anything of value in the tax cut, however, which was a shambles Robin Hood-in-reverse Xmas gift to the richest among us at the expense of the rest.

As to foreign policy, the US has certainly engaged in wanton imperial misadventurism (Iraq being the ultimate example, but far from the last or only one). But I fear that Trump doesn’t have a shred of the necessary competence to navigate the political-military-industrial complex and effectively change that course, if indeed he even wants to. I don’t think he has any principles guiding his foreign policy decisions, only knee-jerk transactionalism; as I mentioned, I am confident that he would gladly take us into another major war — as well as continuing the ongoing, never-ending ghost wars — if it helped him personally.

As for North Korea, I’m not impressed that he engaged: on the contrary, I think it was a massively clumsy and ill-advised act of egotism that wound up benefiting Kim and hurting the US (and the rest of the world). See attached. In general I don’t think there is a coherent foreign policy at work, and the apparent chaos inside DOD, State, and CIA, etc would seem to support that. Trump’s fondness for dictators and coziness with strongman regimes like the KSA, Turkey, Philippines is certainly not helping the cause of anti-imperialism.

In short, I think it’s perfectly possible to understand and acknowledge the longstanding sins of the American oligarchy without believing that Trump is in any way a curative. His reign may provoke a public reckoning, but that’s no more to his credit than remission from cancer is a credit to the tumor that was removed.


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Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie

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