Tuesday, 25 July 2017

What Will It Take For America To Turn Against Trump's GOP?

Donald Trump cartoon by Wendy Cockcroft for On t'Internet
Donald Trump has been subverting norms of policy and practice since he took office in January. His behaviour has consistently degraded the office of president. What will it take for America to finally say, "Enough!"?

There are so many issues at the moment so for brevity's sake I'll focus on three: Russia, healthcare, and normalising bad behaviour.


I've been laughing at the Russiagate story on the grounds that America is too riven by partisanship for dirt-digging by anyone to have had much of an effect on the election. I can easily see them voting for a cabbage if it had Dem or GOP on it — because they hate it less than the other party. However, the laughter begins to die away when you realise that it's not about attempting to influence the American electorate, it's about a hostile expansionist foreign power being able to manipulate American policy. Americans are divided about this: the far right sees Russia as a friend, mainstream conservatives think it's not that bad, while the Democrats are doing their collective nut, screaming "Traitor"! at the top of their voices.

Team members have lawyered up

Members of Trump's cabinet and even his family have lawyered up. I don't remember any of that happening during the Obama administration or even during the Bush years. Why is this happening? Because awkward questions are being asked about the way the election campaigns and subsequent actions were carried out and it'll all come out in the wash. If any laws were broken people may or may not end up in jail but I'd stock up on popcorn if I were you; bus passengers may experience a bumpy ride over the people being flung beneath them.

How America sees this

Trump's approval ratings are falling as he fails to keep his promises. Even as he rants about "crooked Hillary" and demands that she be jailed, America is not going to "look over there." America is looking at Trump and not liking what she sees. I've predicted lame duck in the mid-terms after the Democrats take over both houses. This will be about 18 months from now. Watch this space.


Americans are notoriously backward when it comes to healthcare provision. While their physicians are world leaders in inventing and providing treatment, ordinary citizens live in fear of becoming ill as even a broken leg can leave a person bankrupt. People on the sane side of the political spectrum have been advocating for a single payer public option on the grounds of "Good Lord, of course we need a public option!" and "It's cheaper than people using the ER as a health clinic."

Tearing healthcare from millions of people

The Trump administration, in its determination to repeal and replace "Obamacare," is poised to rip healthcare away from millions of people — and the jobs that go with it. And all without proper discussion of the bill — which has yet to be provided to the people whose job it is to debate it. Oh, and they also plan to gut the Congressional Budget Office on the grounds that it's doing its job properly, by, you know, totting up the cost of the bill to the American people.

How America sees this

In town hall meetings up and down the country, constituents have been venting their rage at their 'critters. They've also been protesting on Capitol Hill itself. Activists on all sides of the spectrum have been calling out the flat out unfairness of the proposals and hope to derail them.

Normalising bad behaviour

One of the most striking things about the Trump administration is not the vulgarity of its garish president, it's that his outrageous behaviour is condoned and excused by his party and the right wing press. Had Obama done half of these things he'd have been run out of the White House on a rail.

The National Enquirer

A lurid tabloid has been kissing the presidential ring for ages, bashing Hillary and lionizing Trump. It rather helps that he's friendly with the CEO. It is a little creepy, though; even Breitbart smacks Trump when it thinks he's out of order.

Out of order tweets

Trump, it seems, spends his days watching Fox and tweeting about what he sees. His tweets reveal a moronic narcissist obsessed with his image on the world stage (at the moment it's a clown in full makeup with a pie falling slowly off his face). I suppose one advantage of this is you know what he's thinking in real time. The problem is, the world knows what he's thinking in real time. Basically, he doesn't think.

Read the thread in the above tweet. That people think this is acceptable behaviour is the problem. Political discourse is toxic enough without that kind of thing going on. It's not okay.

Desperate for adulation

He's desperate for adulation, Donald. At a Scout jamboree, this happened:

Now read through the thread. Holy moly, they actually said what? Oh, dear Lord! So much for making America great again. Unless they misspelled "Grate." That'd work. The Guardian has a report on the speech here but the Toronto Star has gone to work on it. They've even provided a video in case you don't believe that Family Guy's Peter Griffin is America's President.

I mean, OMG, where to start? This was a Boy Scout jamboree. Trump should have laid down a few platitudes about the value of doing a good deed every day kind of thing. What he actually did was slag off everyone who doesn't kiss his fat rear end.

What will happen next?

Trump will continue to get away with this kind of thing until thought leaders decide they've had enough. When they start to take potshots at Trump the people might turn against him but it's not that easy; some people are complaining that Fox is too liberal and demand that it become more conservative. It seems to me that Americans won't turn on Trump till their thought leaders do so but that may be problematic as they don't want their base to turn against them. We've got at least eighteen more months of stupidity and greed till the mid-terms hopefully turn both Houses blue. That day can't come fast enough, unless the Giant Cheeto gets arrested for dodgy dealings.

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