Former FBI Director James B. Comey (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
One of the saddest, and yet most accurate – and possibly prescient – articles I’ve read recently, on the sorry state of affairs going down in US affairs of state, under Donald Trump’s aegis.
“We have the tin-pot leader whose vanity knows no bounds. We have the rapacious family feathering their nests without regard for the law or common decency. We have utter disregard for values at home and abroad, the disdain for democracy, the hunger for constraining a free press, the admiration for thugs and strongmen worldwide.
We have all the makings of a banana republic.” ~ David Rothkopf
I’ll need to attend to my lengthening queue of stashed-away drafts on other subjects, lest people think this is purely a Trump-bashing blog. Nonetheless. That must just have been the most awkward NATO summit in the history of acronyms. The looks on their faces. Look. At. Their. Faces. From the barely-concealed and amply justified sneering and hushed comments of newly-elected French president Emmanuel Macron and colleagues, to the deflated das-darf-doch-nicht-wahr-sein* of Angela Merkel, who had taken the time a few months back to explain to a wholly ignorant US president what NATO stood for, and how it worked. (Or it may have been the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, with whom the most frequently associated online tagged keywords are probably “perplexed” and “irritated”, and who has been amusingly blunt in her assessment of the crass ignorance she must now deal with. Either way, the message was passed along.)
“To some extent, this is standard patriotic rhetoric. But when said in front of a man who thought a Latino judge was not fit to judge him, who has called for a ban on Muslim immigration and for mass deportations, who mocked a New York Times reporter’s disability, and whose entire rise to power would’ve been impossible without his own incredible wealth, it takes on new meaning. Mentioning ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ in front of Mike Pence, a stalwart opponent of LGBTQ rights, stings as well.”
More than two months after Donald Trump’s electoral victory, many who did not vote for him are still in ‘Chicken Little’ mode, with social media commentators frequently inveighing against the impending disintegration of the United States, sandwiched as they are between the antithetical inexperience of the incoming ruling elite (Ben Carson, Betsy DeVos, Scott Pruitt, Tom Price: looking at you – and your boss), and the abject ignorance of those they see as having cast their vote from some dank recess of the 14th century. Continue reading →