Thursday, January 04, 2018

So Much Damage

The world has taken the measure of Donald Trump. And the news is worse than you might think. E.J. Dionne writes:

Susan Glasser, writing in Politico, offers frightening detail about how Trump’s stunning lack of knowledge and his indifference to his own obliviousness have led diplomats to label him “insane,” “catastrophic,” “terrifying,” “incompetent” and “dangerous.” Glasser concludes: “When it comes to Trump and the world, it’s not better than you think. It’s worse.”

And an article in the New Yorker offers the Chinese take on Trump:

Evan Osnos’s carefully reported and much-discussed article in the New Yorker demonstrates how Trump’s policies — but also his pathological focus on himself, his ignorance, and his astonishing susceptibility to flattery — have profoundly weakened the United States’ position in Asia and played into Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reach for international power.
Osnos cites a Chinese think tank’s observation that the Trump administration is a collection of hostile “cliques,” the most powerful of which is the “Trump family clan.” And its analysis uses a term from feudal China, “jiatianxia,” to define Trump’s approach. It means “to treat the state as your possession.”

Dionne concludes that matters are reaching the breaking point:

The United States does have extraordinary gifts for self-correction. But we must face the fact that Trump is accelerating us toward the breaking point. No matter how confident we are in our resilience, we should not imagine otherwise. Not even Mueller has a button on his desk he can press to get us out of this without scars.

Trump is extraordinary -- at least in one respect. Rarely in history does one man appear who does so much damage to so many.

Image: KeelyNet


Anonymous said...

It's not just Trump "accelerating us toward the breaking point." The entire Republican party is complicit in it. Trump, for example, hasn't a clue what's in the tax bill he signed, but the party apparatchiks who wrote it certainly do. Trump's ongoing diversion of government resources into his own hands is nickel-and-dime stuff compared to the tax bill's massive theft on behalf of US oligarchs.

Over the course of a generation, the GOP has systematically dismantled the self-corrective mechanisms of US democracy. America is now as much an oligarchy as Russia, Saudi Arabia and China.


Owen Gray said...

Your absolutely right, Cap. The United States is now a full blown oligrachy.

Steve said...

As always I am one to disagree. I source one Asimov. He believed mathematics predict the future. He has not been proven wrong. In his calculations he predicted a mule like Trump.

Trump is just the GOP singing Karaoke. If anyone thinks Trump does not represent the Republican party they have not been paying attention.

Trump is a good thing for democracy. The truth is out there.

Owen Gray said...

Issac Asimov wrote intriquing science fiction, Steve. On that we agree. On Trump and democracy we don't.

Toby said...

Trump reminds me of some of those inbred royal imbeciles of European history; think of the husband of Catherine the Great of Russia. She became "Great" because she had to; her husband, the Tsar, was a self possessed idiot. Some of the Hapsburgs, Edward II of England, etc.; which of the Louis' would ride his horse inside the Versailles palace?

Trump is nothing new. We just don't expect his self indulgent behavior in the most powerful public servant in the world.

Owen Gray said...

This kind of person can -- and has -- risen to the top of many empires, Toby. His -- its always his -- success does nor bode well for the empire's future.

Steve said...

Your morning smile.

Owen Gray said...

That first chapter is an interesting read, Steve.