Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 - a day of mourning for human decency

The brilliant Jonah Perkins wordsmithed so eloquently, I stare doe-eyed at his awesomeness, and had to capture it here, to make sure the words could be referenced time again and again and fucking time again(!)

The inauguration of a US president is normally a moment of great hope. It is a celebration of representative democracy and the peaceful transfer of power. It is an affirmation that the ideals and laws set out in the 1789 US constitution, still a global paradigm for modern-day governance, continue to be honoured and observed. Inauguration confers legitimacy on a head of state in the name of “we, the people”. The incumbent has a duty to respect and uphold the constitution’s central aims, namely “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty”.

The inauguration this Friday of Donald Trump as 45th US president is not a normal moment. Nor for the majority of Americans who did not vote for him, and countless onlookers around the globe, is it a moment of hope. Rather, Trump’s ascent to what is commonly termed the world’s most powerful job is a moment of dread, anxiety and great foreboding. We said, after he won the Republican nomination last summer, that Trump has shown himself unfit to be president. His often-demonstrated ignorance, racial bigotry, misogyny, untruthfulness, hostility to free speech, crude bullying and dangerous, rabble-rousing nationalism utterly disqualify him.

Nothing has occurred since Trump narrowly won last November’s election, despite polling nearly three million fewer votes than the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton, to alter this unhappy conclusion. The president-elect’s press conference last week failed to justify hopes that the imminent, awesome responsibilities of office would moderate his reckless behaviour. In a matter of minutes, he slandered America’s intelligence agencies, threatened Mexico, vowed again to build a border wall, pistol-whipped US businesses that invest abroad, took a wrecking ball to Obamacare, pilloried unfavoured news organisations, and boasted about a shady $2bn business deal. This is not the behaviour of a president.

Although only days away from the Oval Office, Trump continues to blurt out half-baked opinions on sensitive issues, like a bar-room boor. He appears not to think before he opens his mouth or his Twitter account. And what pops out is usually offensive, inflammatory or inaccurate, exemplified by last week’s insulting of Meryl Streep. Hopefully, speechwriters more sensible than he will craft his inaugural address. Friday’s ceremony is a momentous occasion. It will be watched around the world. It is a showcase for America. Yet Trump is an embarrassment. His elevation is a national humiliation.

Few will enjoy this gross spectacle more than Vladimir Putin, Russia’s messianic president, and his plausibly deniable teams of cyberhackers, conspirators, fake newsmen and skilled muddiers of pools. Russia’s election interference on Trump’s behalf, publicly certified by the Obama administration and all the US intelligence agencies, has cast a dark shadow. The release last week of an unverified dossier alleging Russian contacts with Trump’s campaign staff and the gathering of blackmail material against him has intensified fears that Moscow is still trying, directly or indirectly, to manipulate the president-elect, by exploiting his inexperience, vanity and naive view of Putin.

(And to any and all - please drop reference links in the Comments below - I want the reality of this monster  - this "President Trump" - to be remembered forever, and to be a big hammer hitting the heads of his worshipers every damn day.)

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