Strangely, it can be difficult to determine in advance, what any person will do or become, after first sitting in the Oval Office.
I say, “strangely,” because prior to becoming President or Vice-President, the man or woman receives rather intense vetting by the media, the public, and by the opposition.
Yet, after the election the real person emerges. The pretense ends and under stress of the Presidency, the true essence and fundamental characteristics take over.
Had we known him better, we could have predicted that Harry Truman would become a strong-willed, well-respected President.
Had we known that Dwight Eisenhower reached his power by being a sycophant to those above him, we could have predicted that the “powerful leader” of the combined, allied forces, would prove to be a rather vanilla President.
And given John Kennedy’s family and its moral weaknesses, we might have seen that the great orator would accomplish little, especially when compared to his successor, Lyndon Johnson, perhaps the most productive President since Roosevelt.
And we could have predicted that Johnson’s ego ultimately would destroy his legacy with the ill-conceived Vietnam war.
Richard Nixon surely was predictable. He always was “Tricky Dick.”
Gerald Ford was a sturdy, honest, plain man, who ran a sturdy, honest, plain administration. His essence was there for all to see.
Jimmy Carter, perhaps the weakest President since WWII, was a surprise and disappointment only to those who didn’t know his character, while movie actor, Ronald Reagan, even with his faults, was a pleasant surprise to us if we didn’t know his basic character.
It was in the character of George H. W. Bush to be more effective and wiser than some people anticipated, and “silver-tongue” Bill Clinton was predictably worse than advertised.
But for each, their fundamental character showed through. Situations change, but basic character doesn’t.
George W. Bush was a blithering idiot, and that came as no surprise, but we also should have understood what a liar this draft dodger, he-man pretender was.
Barack Obama was a great liberal hope, though even a cursory examination of his Chicago machine background would have indicated he was a weak-kneed compromiser, more conservative than liberal, willing to do anything for agreement.
He did what his Chicago bosses told him to do, then as President, he did what the wealthy bank executives told him to do. Without someone rich telling him what to do, he was lost.
So, to greater or lesser degree, they all changed, but expectedly, if only we had understood their basic character.
Within each man there was a fundamental — an unchanging essence — that had we understood, we could have foreseen what they were to became.
Which brings us to Donald Trump. What kind of President will he be? What is his essence? What is his basic character?
Because he so often speaks unscripted, we are able to discern the real Donald Trump. He has told us, in so many ways, exactly what he will be.
First, whom has Trump singled out as the one person he admires? He makes no secret of it: Vladimir Putin, the dictator of Russia.
Trump admires Putin’s strength and Putin’s “80% approval rating.” (Remember how Trump loved to talk about his own polling numbers.) Trump considers himself to be a strong man, or rather a strongman, just like Putin.
In true dictatorial style, Trump wishes to build an “iron curtain,” a “beautiful” Berlin wall, around America. Presumably, it would function the same way as the various “walls” Kim Jong Un and his father have built around North Korea.
Dictators love walls, the antithesis of America. Every dictatorship builds strong walls, some to keep people out, some to keep people in, some to do both.
Like dictators Stalin and Hitler, Trump wishes to rid his nation of those he considers undesirable — Muslims, Mexicans, other Latinos, gays.
Like all dictators, Trump is enamored with himself. He plasters his name on everything — buildings, airplanes, businesses. He tries hard to create a “cult of his personality” as did Stalin, Mao, and the Perons.
The Trump Foundation even paid $20,000 of charity money, for a portrait of Trump. (This is charity?) Go to any country ruled by a dictator, and you will see pictures of “The Great Leader” everywhere you go.
Like all dictators, Trump is a thin-skinned egomaniac. Say anything negative about Trump, and you will be subject to a flurry of insulting, even threatening Emails. As President, he will do more than threaten.
Similarly, say something complimentary, and he will reciprocate. He already has said that because Putin speaks well of him, he speaks well of Putin.
Imagine how that would affect international relations. A few kind words could get Trump to agree to anything.
Like most dictators, Trump’s primary appeal is to the less educated, the people who are more susceptible to lies, bluster, and fraud — the people who are more likely to find appeal in bigotry.
And like all dictators, Trump wishes to control the media. He has vowed to widen libel laws, to make suing the media easier. Melania Trump has threatened to sue The Daily Mail, Politico and at least eight other news outlets for defamation.
Trump has barred some media from his speeches, while insulted some media people because they asked questions he didn’t want asked — a dictator’s usual approach to the media.
In any dictatorship, the first freedom to disappear is freedom of the press. Why? Because once the media are under control, the people know only what the dictator wants them to know.
This is why Putin has that “80% approval rating” Trump admires. Kim Jong Un probably has 100% approval.
Imagine what Trump would do without the media asking him embarrassing questions, like why has he not released his promised tax returns (for which he has given at least eight excuses:)
1) He’s being audited
2) As soon as Hillary releases her Emails
3) There are 12,000 pages
4) His financial disclosures more than make up for lack of releasing tax returns
5) The American people don’t care about his tax returns
6) It’s none of your business
7) “I released the most extensive financial review of anybody in the history of politics.”
8) “It would raise too many questions.”
Too many questions?
No dictator would give out his personal, crooked, financial information. Trump follows that lead.
Also, dictators love to demonstrate physical invincibility. No dictator ever gets sick. All are in absolutely perfect health. Putin, for instance, removes his shirt while riding horseback, to demonstrate his virility.
And then there was Mao:
Mao swims in the Yangze
On July 16th, 1966, amidst persistent rumors that he was ill or suffered a heart attack, Mao staged a media event to indicate that he was still vigorous and capable of leading China. It was a swim in the Yangtze River at Wuhan.
The Chinese press spared no adjectives in its account of Mao’s dip; the report said. Mao contested energetically with waves stirred up by 20-mph winds. His cheeks were “glowing” and “ruddy”. Mao “swam with steady strokes”, “cleaved through the waves” and “floated to view the azure sky above.” “Our respected and beloved leader Chairman Mao is in such wonderful health” and “this is the greatest happiness for … revolutionary people throughout the world.”
The international media was more skeptical. Time reported that Mao swam “nearly 15 km in 65 minutes that day–a world-record pace, if true.”
Like dictators Mao and Putin, Trump is in “perfect health.” In fact, he would be “the healthiest individual ever to the presidency.”
We know this, because his doctor, Harold Bornstein (who falsely claims to be a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology) jotted a quick note while sitting in a limousine, telling us so.
Now, after pressure from the media, the very same doctor, who admitted he was influenced to write what Trump wanted, — this doctor the public now is expected to believe — has come up with more data to “prove” that a clearly overweight Trump still is the “healthiest individual” ever.
Bottom line: Donald Trump has told us again and again, in many different ways, that he admires dictators and will be a dictator if we elect him.
Should we fail to listen with our own ears and fail to see with our own eyes, what Trump has made obvious, we and our children will join in the misery seen by the people of Russia, China, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Cuba, and other dictatorships.
Yes, friends, it can happen here.
And we will have only ourselves to blame.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing