By Eustace C. Jackson.
January 19, 2017.
Talking of conflict, one of the many potential flashpoints for the incoming administration is the matter of PE Trump’s conflicts of financial interests. There are so many absurdities in this arena and they’ll get the deserved attention, but for now, let’s fast forward to more recent events. In early January, Trump finally gave a highly anticipated press conference scheduled for him to allay the concerns of we the people as to whether or not he’ll forgo his business fiduciary interests for the sake of country. In typical Trump fashion, he had an attorney mount the podium and spew a slew of legal gumbo jumbo which altogether amounted to naught. What was more disconcerting was what Trump said afterwards. First, he said that as POTUS, he’s exempted from conflict of interest situations and can therefore run his company as well as the country. This, unfortunately, is somewhat true if you consider the text and ignore the context of the law. He then told of some Arabian dude who offe red him $2b to do a deal in the UAE, which he then promptly turned down. Girls and boys, that tale is most probably untrue, but assuming we play along, the fact that he’s being offered such is exactly the problem. How long will the avaricious hustler resist? The job of POTUS is nary a part-time endeavor, especially not for an incurious novice on his very first job. He’s hired his activist investor buddy, Carl Ichan, as his regulation (deregulation) czar, which means the rich are about to get much richer. Girls and boys, does any Homo Sapien think the Trump clan is about to exempt itself from this windfall? If you do, then consider the possibility that the evolution from Homo Erectus eluded you! Eustace says to brace for the most prebendalistic cleptocracy in American political history. Stay tuned for more on this.
So why is PE Trump the way he is – dishonest, bigoted, misogynist narcissist? Enter Sonny, a longtime Eustace friend and mentor. A dedicated lifetime learner, Sonny has a longstanding reputation of blunt candor. If you don’t want the naked truth, then you mustn’t talk to Sonny and he’ll be the first to give you that disclaimer. Concerning Trump, Sonny explained that although Trump grew up in the most populous city in the country, he grew up in the bubble of an alternate universe as oftentimes the children of the privileged do. Simply put, explained Sonny, a fish doesn’t know what it feels like to get wet, which in turn then begs the question, why do dogs lick themselves? Because they can! Trump is poised to do everything he can and many things he can’t or shouldn’t, to push his contrarian agenda. Word Sonny and keep it coming!
Trump has has shown an inclination that he’ll attempt to run the country like a feudal lord in his personal fiefdom. We the people have seen already his nepotistic tendencies, appointing family members to key advisory positions. JFK, whose action (appointing his brother RFK as AG) elicited our 1967 Anti-Nepotism law once quipped that “there’s nothing wrong with nepotism so long as you keep it in the family!” Trump appears to have taken that statement to heart as demonstrated by some his deeds. One glaring example is the role Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, the husband of Ivanka, our elegant first daughter. Jared is a very wealthy 35 year old real estate mogul (of course Trump wasn’t going to give his princess’ hand to an average Joe loser) and publisher of a local NY newspaper. He was apparently one of the more influential behind the scenes advisers during the campaign. Trump is clearly enamored of his son-in-law, so much so that he’s touting Kushner almost in messianic pa rlance, as “the one” who would finally settle the Israel-Palestinian conflict. “With Jared, we’ll finally do Middle-East peace,” says Trump, with the same frivolity with which one may say to a coworker “let’s do lunch.” Trump’s instincts and assertions on this subject matter are both naive and bizarre on any number of levels. First of all, Kushner is Jewish, which means he isn’t a natural neutral arbiter in a Jewish-Arab conflict. Secondly, Kushner is 35 and looks 14. It is true that wisdom isn’t the exclusive preserve of the aged, but the expectation that the peace that has eluded seasoned mediators of global repute will finally be delivered by a 35 year old real estate kid mediating a bitter and deep rooted 50-year conflict between two peoples whose cultures give a lot of deference to the aged, is the pinnacle of delusion. From Eustace to Jared: “Eustace prays you succeed because if you do, then Planet Earth succeeds!” No pressure J! Stay tuned!
In light of these, the inevitable question from we the people becomes “what to do, what to do?” Eustace hereby presents three of several options.
1. On January 20, 2009, with Obama’s inaugural celebrations still underway, Mitch McConnell, senior Senator from Kentucky and then Senate Minority Leader, convened a meeting of inglorious saboteurs, to determine the GOP’s strategy in opposition of the Obama Administration. Among the attendees was a certain philandering, thrice-married former Speaker, a washed-out politician grasping for relevance. Senator McConnell emerged from this unholy gathering and declared openly, repeatedly and without equivocation, his primary (tax-payer funded) goal and objective for the subsequent 4 years. Girls and boys, this objective wasn’t to curb the 800k/month job bleed and put America back to work. No. It wasn’t to solve the nagging immigration problem that has plagued our nation for decades. No. It wasn’t to take steps to enhance our homeland security or to fix our aged and failing infrastructure. No. It wasn’t to bring the wasteful and catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a responsi ble end nor was it to develop a strategy to curtail the North Korean nuclear threat or to devise measures to put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program. Girls and boys, McConnell didn’t declare any ambition we the people would pay anyone $174k plus benefits to pursue. Instead, girls and boys, Senator McConnell’s stated primary (taxpayer-financed) objective was to oppose and obstruct President Obama at every turn to see to it that Obama’s was a failed presidency with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Obama was a one-term president. When Obama defied McConnell and the feckless and teary Speaker and won a second term handily, many, including Obama himself, expected or at least hoped that the obstruction fever would break. It didn’t. Obama deftly navigated the treacherous Capitol waters and emerged as one of the most legislatively successful presidents in modern American history. Now imagine that Mitch and John acted right. So option #1 is to put enormous pressure on your lawmakersCongratulatio ns Emmanuel. You have done us proud! and other elected officials, hold their feet to the fire and make sure they constitute an unrelenting nuisance in opposition of Trump. And when they ask you “why, why so vindictive and vengeful, ” simply tell them “TWMD!” What? “That’s What Mitch Did!”
2. On January 20, 1993, outgoing President George H. W. Bush did something very remarkable. He left his incoming successor a very nice note, in which he dispensed of some invaluable golden nuggets. He expressed his availability for advice and service of any kind. He then ended by wishing President Clinton great success, because, as he put it “if you succeed, the country succeeds.” That wasn’t only statesmanlike, but it was very fatherly too. And thus began a presidential transition tradition. “If you succeed, the country succeeds,” became the mantra for this tradition. If you succeed, the country succeeds. 8 years later to the day, President Clinton reciprocated to his successor, GW, the son of his predecessor, who in turn extended the same gesture to incoming President Obama exactly 8 years later. If you succeed, the country succeeds. If you succeed, the country succeeds! And for a score and four years, that has mostly held true. Until now. It is highly unlikely that Presid ent Obama wouldn’t follow this tradition and say to his arch nemesis bigot of the “birther” infamy, the words “If you succeed, the country succeeds,” when he should rightfully be thinking “fail fail fail you no good s.o.b *itch *ss MFing blood clot, drop dead and rot in hell!” But Obama is a super patriotic gentleman, so he’ll say to Trump “I want you to succeed, because if you succeed, the country succeeds.” And mean it too! So option #2 is to take a page from Obama, a man of magnanimity and appeal to our better angels, just like Honest Abe counselled and pray for Trump to change his ways and then succeed, because if he succeeds at his current agenda, his garrulous rhetoric about his Southern Border wall might just become a self-fulfilling prophecy – Mexico would enthusiastically pay for the wall to curtail the influx of fleeing Americans!
3. On January 20, 2001, GW placed his left hand on a bible held by his lovely bride, Laura, raised his right hand and was sworn in by Chief Justice Renquist as our 43rd president. And so began the era of President George Walker Bush, a period marred by missteps, mishaps and outright poor decisions by the self-acclaimed “Decider” in-chief. The contentious days and weeks between the elections and the inauguration, set the stage for a presidency tumultuous from it’s inception. Why? There are a number of parallels between the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections chiefly among them which is the fact that both times, the Democrat winners of the popular vote were felled by the increasingly controversial Electoral College system. What stands 2000 apart is the level of post-election contention, passion and animus it garnered. It went into litigation and was ultimately adjudicated by the highest court in the land, in a 5-4 decision drawn along ideological divides. The drama, turmoil an d conclusion of this matter left a bitter taste in many a mouth, including Eustace’s, leading many (including Eustace) to develop a posture of numbed indifference towards the administration of Bush 43. Likewise, option #3 is to mentally block out and boycott Trump, although Trump himself might make this extremely difficult to accomplish. Eustace’s boss of bosses has declared her intention to sit this one out, stating that as long he (Trump) doesn’t get us all killed in a nuclear war, we’ll probably survive him. And she’s in the company of millions of we the people. This apathetic stance is likely inspired in part by emotions conveyed by philosopher Alexander Pope, when he expressed in the form of a Biblical beatitude, that, “blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
So there you have it girls and boys, your decision is yours to make.
But it’s not all gloom and doom with the election of Trump. Firstly, Eustace’s boss of bosses made a very interesting observation that is worthy of dissemination. And here it is. This man descended from his escalator and embarked on a very laughable mission impossible. Despite his wealth and his pledge to sponsor his campaign, his run was mostly considered a stunt, a ploy to make himself more marketable in the reality TV circles. The media welcomed and covered him like a much needed comedic relief, while his primaries opponents initially treated him like a distraction and when he caught fire, a comet that would flame out. But he forged on, felling his seasoned opponents like dead wood and surviving scandal after self-inflicted scandal all the way to the people’s house. Dude may be an obnoxious brawler, but he may also be considered a winner for what it’s worth. Let’s put this in perspective girls and boys. In presidential elections in the television era, several candida tes have lost both in the primaries and in the general for comparatively flimsy reasons. A very seasoned Nixon perspired and was fidgety in the first ever televised presidential debate. Governor George Romney, the father of Mitt, made a comment about being misled into a certain position, which might have been a benign comment had he not used the word “brainwashed” instead. President Ford essentially denied the existence of the Soviet Union, Governor Dukakis showed up (awkwardly) in a battle tank, Bush 41 checked his wrist watch during a debate, VP Gore repeatedly sighed and heaved and then invaded GW’s space in a townhall, Senator Kerry said he was for a certain bill before he was against it (or vice versa), Senator McCain suspended his campaign and Governor Mitt Romney loathed the “lecherous” 47% of we the people and proposed to create an environment so harsh for our undocumented kinfolks that they’ll have no choice but to “self deport.” And they all lost. Now girls and boys, a curso ry scrutiny of Trump’s conduct during the campaign season and since will easily reveal that on any given day, Trump could and oftentimes would surpass the equivalent of all the aforementioned trespasses, combined! Which makes his election totally devoid of basic logic – a vast departure from reason. Men voted for him when he called them fools. Black folks voted for him even though his only pitch to them was that they were already FUBARed and therefore had nothing to lose. Latinos cast their votes for the man who called them rapists and criminals. Evangelicals pitched their tents with the one who doesn’t see any reason to seek the forgiveness of Jehovah Almighty. Veterans stood by him even after his attempt to denigrate the reputation of one of their own, the beloved Senator John McCain. And women cast ballots in his favor, despite his unsolicited confession to being a serial sexual predator. And on and on.
So girls and boys, you tell Eustace, is any of these reasonable? And he’s about to preside over the affairs of the globe’s sole superpower. He’s a bad hombre. And he’s ours! Plus this. In early 1969, in the wee days of President Nixon’s first term, he conspired with Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, to create the impression that he (Nixon) was intemperate, unstable, erratic and therefore extremely dangerous, all in a bid to get Hanoi (the Viet Cong) to the negotiating table for peace talks. Fast forward to present time and we’re about to have a POTUS who doesn’t have to fake those vices. Maybe it’s about time we shook things up with China in view of her aggressive behavior in the highly disputed South China Sea. Maybe it’s time to check in with Taiwan, what it thinks of the so-called “One China” policy. Maybe it’s time to bomb Kim Jung Un and his nuclear program to oblivion. Maybe it’s time to set reasonable term limits for members of congress who mostly work part tim e for full-time pay! Maybe it’s time for a genuinely nuts POTUS. We shall see.
Now a message to the world at large. In a Wikileaks disseminated email from former Secretary of State, Colin Powel to his immediate successor, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, General Powel described PE Trump as “a national disgrace and an international pariah.” That may be true, but he’s the president our vaunted democratic system produced. He’s our President. The candidate who won by 3 million votes, but lost the elections by less than 70,000 votes, is mostly a victim of an archaic electoral system that in a desperate need of revision, repair or replacement. Although millions of we the people exercised our God-given and constitution-backed rights to assemble and peaceably protest, the scheduled peaceful transfer of power proceeded and was completed without a hitch.
American electoral process, especially at the presidential level, is one gigantic civics lesson to the world. And Eustace hopes you learned the more important lessons from the unusual 2016 cycle. And here they are.
1. The peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next, even between bitter political foes, is a hallmark of our democracy, the world’s most enduring.
2. Despite the livid expressions of disdain, dissent and utter disgust by millions of we the people, across several cities simultaneously, there was nary a display of violence and there wasn’t a single case of protest-related injury or fatality. Think about that world! And take that world!
3. Only in America can a mostly ignorant, completely dishonest, narcissistic, vulgar, misogynist, bigoted and petulant 70-year old draft-dodging political neophyte, without any record of service to anyone other than himself, get elected to the position of President – his very first job ever – by a sum total of about 70k votes, despite getting 3 million fewer votes than his opponent. Think about that if you can! We call it American Exceptionalism. Yes, exceptionally despicable in this case, but exceptional all the same! Only in America is that possible!
Eustace personally has other concerns of perhaps the more mundane nature. Maybe. Our self-acclaimed super “star” president inadvertently fessed up, braggadociously, to being a serial groper who salutes women by grabbing their genitals in lieu of of a gentlemanly handshake. You see, girls and boys, being president brings Trump within close proximity of world leaders, many of who are women. Eustace sincerely hopes and prays that our shame-free president doesn’t ignite an embarassing diplomatic dustup by grabbing Angela and/or Theresa by the “pu**y” and move on them “like a bitch!” Trump’s words not Eustace’s!
Now let the opposition begin!