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Saturday, September 08, 2018

There are few advantages to removing Trump from office

It is hard to figure out what the anonymous New York Times op-ed  writer actually thought he/she was accomplishing. Was it intended as a put down of  President Donald Trump? Was it a call for help? Was it just a warning to the country what might happen with such an unstable man as the president?
According to an article, by Jennifer Rubin, in The Washington Post:

"The president, we are repeatedly told by people close to him, is nonfunctioning, irrational and unfit to such a degree that he’s not fulfilling his job in a meaningful way." 

We have to make a few obvious assumptions. This anonymous writer is working with and for the President, so he is probably a loyal Republican. He/she must have had some loyalty to Trump at least in the beginning.
Despite the public being told that Trump is immoral and irrational, the president has promoted the Republican agenda and he has accomplished a lot of what his party wanted him to do. He has nearly destroyed Obamacare (Affordable Care Act or ACA), leaving millions of Americans with out insurance or health care of any kind. He has lowered taxes for the wealthiest $millionaires and $billionaires. As with Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and just about every Republican president, he has shifted much of the tax burden to the poorest Americans. He has trashed almost every law that protects the environment and he has protected some of the worst businesses in the country, including predatory lenders.  So what ever anonymous writer is worried about, it can't be the political environment. Creepy conservatives and crooked corporations have never had it better.
In foreign affairs, there has been some inconsistencies. At times Trump has hinted at nuking (Democratic People's Republic) North Korea. Later he actually defended North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. Trump threatened the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as obsolete, then negotiated a deal where European countries had to pay more for their share of NATO's cost. Up until then, NATO has acted a welfare system for small countries to get free or extra cheap weapons. It is possible that foreign affairs are a major concern for anonymous writer. Much of Trumps policies are just what Republicans want, such as his attacks on Venezuela(economic sanctions and CIA support to President Nicolás Maduro's opponents and enemies) and continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Ironically while former PresidentBarack Obama has been campaigning for the Democrats to win elections this fall and put some brakes on Trump, Democrat and Republican foreign affair policies are about the same. None of the things I just mentioned are policies that Obama didn't endorse when he ran the country.
The results of writing that article has been that Trump is going crazy trying to find out who is against him among his staff. He was paranoid before and now he is really paranoid. With other sources, such as the Bob Woodward book, "Fear: Trump in the White House" we have to assume there is some truth to anonymous writer's claims. Is the purpose of anonymous writer's article to suggest we remove Trump? If so, how much danger is really there and what would the results of removing Trump really be?
For those of us on the left, we have to consider that we have never been all that comfortable with past presidents. London Johnson was the last real liberal president we had and he was about the only president in the last 60 years to care at all about poor people or fighting poverty. At the same time he was an anti-communist and war hawk in foreign affairs. Jimmy Carter was the last president to have any morality or concern for human rights in US foreign policy. Carter mostly protected human rights in Latin America and heignored the human rights abuses in Iran, under Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Ronald Reagan made a point of ignoring human rights abuses by US allies. Every president after him did the same thing.
America has never had a truly left-wing president (Franklin D. Roosevelt was an actual liberal and somewhat to the left). So how do we want a president to act? If Trump falls from power it is most likely that Vice President Mike Pence would be the new commander and chief. There is a lot of speculation as to whether Pense would be worse than Trump. In Huffington Post article, by Neil J. Young:

"The American presidency has never been inhabited by the likes of Donald Trump. He constantly and increasingly imperils our system of democracy. His flouting of the Constitution sets hazardous precedents that weaken the rule of law. His volatile and irrational temperament, combined with his disregard for international alliances and friendliness with autocrats and dictators, jeopardizes the safety of all of us.
Pence’s politics, while thoroughly conservative, fall in line with the basic Republican orthodoxy of the last 40 years. That’s an agenda worth resisting, for sure, but it’s one that Democrats will be well equipped — even emboldened — to block, especially if they claim a majority in the House this fall, as appears likely."

Young admits that a lot of people disagree with him and believe that Pence would actually be worse than Trump. When Young writes "He constantly and increasingly imperils our system of democracy," Some of us are thinking that our system of democracy is not all that democratic, so there isn't all that much to imperil. The "rule of law" that Young shows concern for is designed to protect the wealthy ruling classes at the expense of the poorer, less wealthy classes.
Trump is a cruel, insensitive man, who disrespects women. He has waged a class war on America's poor and working poor. While he was championed as a working class president, he has never been a part of the working class. He has provided some jobs for the working class, but that is where his championship begins and ends. Republicans are right that he lacks any moral character. He is a con man.
He was an outsider and many people who voted for him, did so because he was not part of the political establishment. He was seen as the outsider. Many Republicans would be happy to see Pence in the White House.
For those of us on the left there really isn't much of an advantage to removing Trump from the White House. Pence would certainly not be a big advantage for us. His policies would be largely the same. He would be smoother and he may even accomplish more of what Trump wants to accomplish. What Pence wants is not what most of us on the left want. It is true that there would be some satisfaction to see Trump humiliated and removed, but there are few real advantages to removing him in the long run.
For most of us on the left, removing Trump is a non-issue. Trump is dangerous to the political establishment in Washington DC. That establishment does not serve us, so we have little or no desire to preserve it.
Image result for ​nixon trumpPix from HuffPost.

They both broke the law. Will the both be removed from office?

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