Today, Jan. 20, 2017, that showman sometimes known as “The Donald” ascends to the throne, an event as shocking as it was unexpected.
I have, for the last 50 years, been predicting the end of western civilization. Although inevitable, it’s been taking longer than I had expected, but, with Trump now triumphant, the pace has just picked up. If Trump doesn’t directly bring about that collapse, he’s certainly capable of ending that experiment known as Democracy in America.
To quote Rachel Maddow, we are now in uncharted waters, and from here on out, every day could bring another unpleasant surprise. What we now know about his plans for our future (other than what he actually has to say, which, as we’ve learned, is completely beside the point) are embodied in his Cabinet picks. It is perfectly clear that he is intent on dismantling the federal government, as we’ve known it. As soon as they are confirmed, his Cabinet Secretaries will begin to undo federal regulatory authority in their Departments, eventually resulting in an orgy of capitalist excess not seen since the days of the late 19th-century Robber Barons. In this we have to give him credit – Donald Trump (DT) has chosen the very best personifications of foxes (e.g. Rick Perry) to guard our federal henhouses.
The above will certainly fill his and his cronies’ pockets beyond imagining, but what else might he aspire to? Ego-maniac that he is, it is not inconceivable that he ups and declares himself President-for-Life, and suspends the Constitution, sends Congress home and initiates martial law. Putin, the new Tsar of Russia is, after all, his hero. Beyond controlling the USA, might he join forces with Putin in the attempt to gain world domination? Together, they might be able to defeat China. Are they already laying plans for this move?
Does this sound too apocalyptic? Has the last half-century of relative world stability led us to suppose that such things are no longer likely, or even possible? Would that it were! But I cannot be so cavalier. Images of relatives I never knew being loaded into Nazi cattle cars are ever with me. No one tough guy that fights his way to the top of a particular heap can be trusted not to want to extend his power further – to, perhaps, rule the world. Over two or more millions of years, we humans evolved the capacity to cooperate with each other, to treat each other as equals, to share food and to avoid dominance and bloodshed. But … the invention of agriculture, just a short ten thousand years ago, let the genie of excessive greed out of the bottle. Since then, and right up to the present, we live in a madly competitive world where the greediest amongst us strive to and succeed at dominating the rest of us. Greed, like gravity, never sleeps, and while we innocents slumber away, the greedy and power-mad plot to get their hands into our pockets, or around our throats.
We now find ourselves at a crossroads. Can we successfully resist The Donald’s agenda and retain our democracy? Of one thing you can be sure – I’ll have more to say on this subject, as his Presidency takes shape. Stay tuned (and keep your fingers crossed)!