Has there ever been a bigger or worse April fools joke than the spectacle this month of Donald Trump revealing the manifold ways in which he fooled the multitudes? I sympathize with the many people who hoped for a shot at changing the corrupt political-industrial establishment as they feel their opportunity evaporate around them. Their hopes were the best hope this nation had, but the head-spinning transformation of Trump has turned stomachs to where some of Trump’s most ardent campaign supporters now publicly deem him Traitor Trump. The rest are simply hoping against hope that he is not. Everyone, conservative or liberal, is seriously starting to wonder what happened to Candidate Trump.
This is what April has consistently revealed: If you voted for the Donald because you wanted to end America’s endless wars for regime change and failed attempts at nation building, you got Trumped. If you thought Hillary’s red reset button with Russia was a disaster and so you voted for the orange reset button as a path to peace with Russia, you got Trumped. If you voted for the Tweeter in Chief because he promised to get tough on trade with China, you got Trumped. If you voted for Trump in order to thump Fed Head Janet Yellen; she doesn’t get thumped, but you got Trumped.
Back in September when he was still just Candidate Trump, I wrote an article titled “Trump: Trojan Horse for the Establishment or Mighty Mouth for Mankind?” I knew that pointing out my deep reservations about Trump would cost me readers because I write an anti-establishment blog, and Trump was the anti-establishment candidate of choice. I published the article anyway. It not only cost me readers (from which I haven’t recovered), but it also cost me websites that had been carrying my articles. Such is the pursuit of truth over popularity
Nevertheless, I continued to write on that theme in the months that followed because I believed the warning was important and because I choose to see and describe the world as it is (as best I can) and not how I want it to be. Because I criticize any political party as readily as another, I am often seen as too conservative by liberals and too liberal by conservatives. (I don’t get the benefit of club membership that gains a writer an easy loyal following.) So be it.
Here is some of that article, which is now looking like it was spot on:
I crave the opportunity to see an anti-establishment candidate win the election. I would exult in seeing our corrupt establishment shattered. So, while I do not like Trump the man (as it would appear he has never done anything that didn’t entirely serve his own self-interest and pompous ego), I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing him upset establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats alike. (And, yes, they are “alike,” so let’s just call them “the establishment” because whether they are Republican or Democrat is not relevant; both parties exist to serve the same rich people and themselves either way.)
I’ll even acknowledge that perhaps it takes someone as brazen and blusterous as Trump in order to stand up to such a powerful assemblage of egoists as we have embedded in congress and in the president’s administration, which now rules by decree…. While I have never liked this particular publicity whore, I’d put up with his relentless boasting and forgive his audacious past if it takes that kind of brassy, risk-taking adventurer to find someone with enough spine to stand up to the intimidations of congress…. Whether or not I like him is not important unless it is leading me to see flaws that may mean Trump is not what he makes himself out to be.
From there, I pointed out such character flaws as made me believe Trump would not prove to be what he was making himself out to be. He would let his anti-establishment supporters down hard:
Overturning a vast global establishment is the kind of battle that will take someone with unbelievable tenacity, intelligence, and courage. The opponents are rich, and you can be sure some are willing to kill to keep the status quo that is making them immensely rich (and have killed).
Unfortunately, I have seen often in life that bellicose people are usually nowhere near as brave as they sound. People like Ike, who was strong in war and humble in attitude, are usually the ones with real courage. It is not usually the most blustery people who have the deepest strength to carry through with the right thing for the right reasons, regardless of cost to themselves.
Trump is aptly named for how often he blows his own horn in order to create his own image; but his actions show he backed out of previous presidential races when it was clear they weren’t going to be an easy win after getting lots of publicity for teasing people with the possibility that he’d run. He has also backed out of many business deals when things got rough, rather than push forward to try to make things work….
It’s his latest political actions that concern me. In the few places where we have seen Trump make actual political decisions so far, his choices have been 100% pro-establishment as I pointed out in a recent article titled “Whirled Politics: Would you rather be Trumped or Pillaried?” I wished very much to see something different than what I am seeing.
The article delineated a number of tell-tale signs that indicated Trump was anything but the anti-establishment candidate he was presenting himself to be. I pointed out, for example, how the Trump horse that was being brought into the city gates was filled with neocons and the Wall Street establishment, and how I believed they would come to own Trump if they didn’t already. The Trump horse was brazenly anti-establishment on the outside, but almost total establishment on the inside.
I concluded my intro to the article with this warning:
Be careful that you don’t believe something just because you want to believe it so badly. That is how the citizens of Troy were conquered in the Trojan war. I’d love to have an anti-establishment candidate roll in, too. Sadly, I don’t think I do…. The time to hold Trump to task is now, not after the establishment makeover turns him into their Trojan Trump card, but while they are trying so that they don’t succeed.
And I closed the article by asking,
Is he force or farce?
April has demonstrated that Trump was either a Trojan horse by design or, in the very least, that his establishment makeover is nearly complete. Before he has even finished his first hundred days as president, President Trump has turned 180 degrees on almost every promise Candidate Trump made, and the couple of times Trump has tried to enact his promises, he has failed “bigly.”
In this final week of April as Trump finishes his first hundred days, I’m publishing a series of daily articles that lays out the huge reversals toward serving the establishment that Trump has already made. As Trump would say, “They’re big! Really big! They’re the biggest reversals you’ve ever seen.” Unfortunately, those turns point consistently to one clear message: “You got Trumped!”
Last week, I wrote about the Korean Missile Crisis, and tomorrow this series will look at how completely owned Trump has become by the military-industrial complex. As one example among several, Trump has revolved on Russia more quickly than I’ve seen any politician spin, just as he did on Hillary, going from “lock her up” to “she’s good people.”
I have to disagree with Guo Rui, the director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies, who says President Donald Trump’s domestic troubles should keep him from engaging in a war with North Korea. I think they may be doing just the opposite. There is nothing like shifting the nation to a war footing to shift the national conversation.
Did you notice how suddenly war has consumed the press and congress so that inquests into President Trump’s former relationship with Russia fell instantly to the back pages of the news? Is that what the armada to Korea that never happened, the biggest bomb in Afghanistan, and the $50-million barrage that disabled Assad’s airport for all of half a day were all about? Was Trump acting alone to throw up as much flack as he could to create distraction? Or was this month of military muscle evidence of a Trump deal with the military-industrial complex to get the intelligence community, the Democrats and the McCains and Grahams in the Republican party to back off from their Trump attacks?
We’ll close the week by looking at the degree to which the Trump transformation has caused Trump to lose some of his most ardent and outspoken supporters. While some are sitting uneasily on the fence, hoping for a better turn, others have stated emphatically, “I’m off the Trump train!”