4 Questions

Today’s article is going to ask four questions. If you are one of my American readers I want you to think long and hard about how you would answer them. They actually represent a snapshot of where we are in America today. Spoiler alert: It isn’t a Kodak moment!

Mommy, what is a shithole?

Apparently this is the word President Trump used to refer to several American allies whose denizens are overwhelmingly dark skinned. Before I go on I want to state that I don’t find the word in question terribly offensive. I have used much worse quiet often in my life. Several presidents of both parties have used that kind of language in the Oval Office but not in a meeting with leading Congressional members of both parties.

As to whether Trump used it or not I think the answer is obvious. It fits his pattern of behavior and is consistent with his racism of decades which he apparently inherited from his Ku Klux Klan associated father (along with his money). The White House defense was to say nothing and then lie. I did discover something interesting about southern Republicans in that Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Dave Perdue of Georgia apparently have the Jeff Sessions selective amnesia and just can’t recall. How convenient.

Back to my original question; how do you respond to a young child who is supposed to be raised to respect and aspire to the office of the presidency?

Daddy, who is America’s ambassador to ________?

As of the day of the shithole remark, not only don’t we have an ambassador to most countries but Trump hasn’t even nominated one for 245 confirmable position many of them ambassadorships. Remember, the Democrats can’t obstruct a nomination nor the Republican confirm one for which there is no nominee. In all honesty for decades many ambassador jobs are relatively meaningless and have been passed out as rewards for big donors. I’m not concerned about those positions – although in a year you think that a well-oiled machine headed by a very stable genius could have at least come up with a nominee – I’m taking about places like South Korea.

Perhaps part of the problem is that few are willing to work for Trump because they don’t want to be called on the carpet to explain whether their country is included in the shithole remark.

Why doesn’t America have hydroelectric power?

During a joint “press conference” with Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway, (or as the official White House press release called it “Nomway”), President Trump lamented the “fact” that American, unlike Norway, doesn’t have any hydroelectric power plants. Trump and I are of similar ages and both grew up in New York State. The first hydroelectric generating plant was built in Niagara Falls in 1882. Since 1957 the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric power plant has been supplying electric power for much of New York State.

I’m sure Trump doesn’t have many plans to get to the western end of New York State. He can’t carry New York electorally and too many working class people live on that end of the state. It would be unreasonable for him to know of a major hydroelectric generating facility in his home state especially since it was named after a powerful and longtime public servant who didn’t line his pockets during his time in office. Robert Moses is certainly not on his heroes list and I’m even more certain that Trump never read Robert Caro’s Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Moses, The Power Broker.  At 1,336 pages it is well beyond Trump’s attention span. (Yes, I read it decades ago.)

Take me to your leader?

That is what every little green man in sci-fi films asks the earthlings. Since at least World War II and up until last January any resident of the free world would take the alien to the President of the United States. The POTUS was the undisputed leader of the free world and the little green men never seemed to land in Russia. Today, I guess you would have to take them to Paris, France to meet Emmanuel Macron. Such has the “stock” of the American President fell.

Trump and his isolationist policies in an increasingly global economy are the reason for this precipitous decline. He keeps threatening to and in many cases has actually backed out of international deals leaving other countries to reap the profits. The world is increasingly moving on without us. As for the promised better deals, I have yet to see one and am not holding my breath waiting.

I will never select our top ally in the world but the United Kingdom is certainly in that discussion. This week Trump announced that he was cancelling a trip to London blaming the Obama administration for having made a bad real estate deal on the new embassy. I will not pass judgement on the deal mainly because it is not the reason Trump is cancelling. But to set the record straight it was consummated during the George W. Bush administration. The core reason Trump is not going to London is the same reason he has yet to visit California (our most populous and economically largest state) since taking office. Trump is not welcome in either location. He only goes on the road to places where his ego will be stroked.

Speaking of ego; that is the main reason Trump is going to Davos. Trump is basically a crude crook who has never really been an A list guy. In New York City, (where despite his claims to the contrary he was not the largest real estate developer), he was never really accepted in Manhattan and always looked down upon as some sleazy guy from the less prestigious borough of Queens.

Well that’s where we are as we enter the last week of the first year of Trump’s presidency. I’m glad I don’t have to answer any of those four questions for my grandchildren!

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One thought on “4 Questions”

  1. The toughest question we DO have to answer for our grandchildren is: “Why did you allow him to stay as long as he stayed?” Our shame, as a nation, is directly proportionate to the amount of time he spends as president.

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