A cooler blend of culture

Donald Trump: how the fool on the hill is getting by with a little help from his 'friends'

Cartoon 01 @2x

It’s been two weeks since Donald Trump was sworn in as official President of the United States of America, and already he has expressed levels of incompetence and an invalid handling of policies that are so over-the-top, they’ve left a great number of people, from public to the media, business moguls to disregarded refugees, voters both for him and against him, in pain and remorse from the disastrous fall-out.

To put things in perspective for you of just how perilously dire things are getting, since January 20th, Trump has:

 

01. Insulted every President that came before him within the first five minutes of his inauguration speech while also setting up an Us-versus-Them nationalist scenario (ie: the U.S. versus the rest of the world) as an invalid solution to ‘bettering’ the U.S. economy. Without realising it, Trump instantly put a dent in trade relations with other nations. Now, there are countries set to ban U.S. imports (eg: Brazil) and others suggesting their people avoid travelling to the U.S. (Australia).

02. Attempted to dismantle the Obama administration’s universal healthcare plan, leaving U.S. citizens worried about healthcare affordability.

03. Was more concerned about the numbers at his inauguration and having had his face featured on the cover of Time magazine than far more pressing issues at hand.

04. Lambasted the media for creating ‘fake news’ any time it reports something factual that he doesn’t want readers or viewers to know about.

05. Absurdly tried to rectify the fall-out happening around him with his own set of ‘alternative facts’ (a term, mind you, coined by one of his own cabinet members).

06. Spoken in offensive language to political peers, the public and of course any celebrity who has had the guts to challenge him.

07. Redecorated the Oval Office in crass fashion (those gold curtains) and rearranging iconic objects in the House for reasons less to do with what they actually stand for and more to do with his distorted view of history and the world (eg: dusting off the bust of Winston Churchill and suddenly putting it on prime display, perhaps as a last-ditch suck-up to the British). Team Trump has also hung a portrait of President Andrew Jackson, a man most remembered for signing the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which forced native Americans to forsake their land and move around state. Like Trump and his tactic of picking rich friends for cabinet, Jackson would purge the U.S. civil service and stuff it with his own supporters.

08. Signed an order that prevents federal funding from going towards any international organisations that offer or talk about abortion as an option, thereby setting back women’s reproductive rights around the world.

09. Criticised the Women’s March on Washington protest, and being particularly unhappy that the numbers of crowds at that particular event overshadowed his own inauguration.

10. Threatened at least one U.S. state (Chicago) with martial law. (“I will send in the Feds!” he tweeted, his anger purportedly based on a grudge he possesses against the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, who had previously served as President Obama’s chief-of-staff).

11. Has lashed out online at individuals, governments and corporations who disagree with his backward policies and brash decision-making while avoiding the real issues at hand. This after part of his election campaign purported to be against bullying online.

Cartoon 05 @2x

12. Has reintroduced plans for two oil pipelines which had been rejected by the Obama administration: a signal about the new administration’s uninformed attitude towards climate change, and he has removed important climate change information from the White House website.

13. Removed, too, all LGBT editorial on the White House website in an attempt to force lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues back into the proverbial closet.

14. Called for the immediate construction of a physical wall between the U.S. and Mexico, admittedly not knowing “how to fund it” and then proposing that U.S. households pay $120 each for the unpopular project that will cost billions of dollars.

15. Instated a temporary ban on refugees from entering the U.S. and causing chaos at airports across the country, let alone instilling fear and imposing harm on innocent humans in need of refuge.

16. Showed blatant conflict of interest by his seemingly ‘random’ selection of countries whose refugees have been banned (ie: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) while not imposing the same rules on nations with which he has financial ties (eg: Saudi Arabia).

17. Developed an odd, unorthodox and unhealthy relationship with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Cartoon 03 @2x

18. Been subject to scandals of alleged ‘piss parties’ with prostitutes in hotels in a dossier packed with other alarming allegations.

19. Used his own hotels and assets to butter up world leaders and wealthy colleagues.

20. Expressed his ambitions to massively expand his own company’s operations in the U.S. and other parts of the world (while shelving plans to develop business in China).

21. Pushed for violent punishment and stating to the media that torture techniques for interrogation such as waterboarding “absolutely” work. (‘Waterboarding’ is where water is poured over a cloth covering the face and breathing passages of an immobilised captive, causing the individual to sense they are drowning). 

22. Cut short a conversation and hung up on one of his allies, namely Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after disputing an agreement already in place between the U.S. and Australia for refugee placement.

 

There’s oh-so much more that could be added to this list, but it’s a pretty scary one for starters.

For all his maniacal tendencies that run the gamut of treating his privileged position as a platform for wrath and revenge to tweeting about the most inane matters, let’s not forget that even a narcissistic despot cannot run things on his own.

Trump gets a lot of help from his hand-picked cabinet members to make his brash decisions and deliver his disastrous orders, to the point where it’s almost a case of the inmates running the asylum.

He would also be taking advice from his dubiously selected crew of cabinet members including a son-in-law with his eye no doubt on the grander prize and a bunch of billionaire chums who’ve bitten off more they can chew and have hardly any idea about genuine policy.

Of all of Trump’s right-hand staff, henchmen, yes-men and lackies, which do you think he’d listen to most? His Vice President, of course. And what would this VP rather be doing more than running around and fixing up his dumb-ass boss’s fuck-ups and faux pas? Running the damn world himself, of course.

So America, and the rest of the world, are in a catch-22 situation. We’re damned if Trump remains President and damned if he were to be impeached or (whoops!) assassinated. Mike Pence might easily step into his shoes (although be wearing a far better fitting suit), bringing along his own brand of conservative ideologies, backward theories and unfair policies.

Now I’m not too sure of the full extent of operations of U.S. politics and would like to know that if a President were to be impeached on the grounds of corruption, moral mishandling, conflict of interest and/or criminal conviction, does that President’s cabinet go down with him? Or are Americans and the rest of the world supposed to prepare for an even dire, darker future at the hands of Mike Pence – who may well be whispering affirmations into Trump’s ear that will lead to graver error (easier to land the big gig, right)?

Pence is an evangelical Christian who has already pushed for corporate leaders to fire any employees on the grounds of their gender or sexuality (albeit with the hypocritically titled ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’). His far right-wing religious beliefs have already been the subject of news-reporting and even mockery (see illustration by the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists below).

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump and Pence

Pence, if not as as misinformed about Islam as Trump, isn’t too empathetic with the state of things in the Middle East. Before Trump became President-elect, Pence called the despot’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the US “offensive and unconstitutional” yet he unequivocally backed Trump and his other xenophobe-based policies in the lead-up to the final elections.

For all his silver-fox charm and better articulation of the English language, Pence often goes off-script when the subject turns to war and economics. More importantly, while his negotiation skills and calmer temperament is admirable compared to Trump’s bull-in-the-room heavy-handling, at the root of his ethos are policies just as evil as Trump’s.

Let’s not forget that Mike Pence was put in charge by Donald Trump himself to chair the transition team of the presidential administration. Goodness knows what favours he may underhandedly have called in while appointing staff, and what dangerous affirmations he’s whispering into Trump’s ear at any given moment.

The picture this paints is of a President who not only has the greater part of the world disagreeing with just about everything he does, but one who has surrounded himself with a dubious crew of ‘colleagues’ who would likely stab him in the back if it meant getting higher up on the political ladder.

Donald Trump might well be the world’s loneliest leader, working towards conquering the globe but having it come crashing down on him. It’s a situation brilliantly represented in the Norwegian cartoon, below, that he himself tried to ban from the internet but that went viral all the same.

Cartoon 04 @2x

You see, these times aren’t made for a dim-witted despot to be running the state of things nationally, let alone globally. The digital age has allowed for increased communication among humans, hitting back at what is blatantly wrong, nonsensical, callous or corrupt.

God forbid should something like a photo or video of the President being pissed on by a prostitute ever go viral. That ought to get him kicked out off office once and for all.

Now, does anyone who’s been to one of Trump’s piss-up parties have any dirt up their Prada knock-off sleeve?  Antonino Tati

 

trump-horn

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