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Letter: No longer a laughing matter

Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Atlanta in this Feb. 21, 2016 photo.
Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Atlanta in this Feb. 21, 2016 photo.

 

Only 200 or so days ago I imagined that the new United States president was a clown.

The Kentucky colonel hairdo, the wildly unrealistic promises, the bombastic boasting, the lack of any basic knowledge of the U.S. Constitution — it was all so preposterous. I jumped to the conclusion that Donald Trump belonged in the entertainment section of the newspapers, with other amusements like the British Royals and the Kardashian buttocks. I was quite wrong.

Behind his facade of silliness, the U.S. president is working to undermine the very democratic system of government that he solemnly swore to uphold. This, it now seems clear, was the real meaning of his “Drain the swamp!” mantra that stirred up his audiences during the election campaign. The swamp has never been home to a more invasive and predatory species.

Trump, upon closer inspection, is revealed to be the Burmese python of the Washington everglades.

Given his unwillingness to listen to his own advisers, the president seems likely to continue following his own undisciplined impulses.

The Trump Dynasty is using the presidency to enrich itself, and any threat to that process is met with threats, tantrums and dire warnings of retribution.

The incumbent president is trying to dilute the civil rights of U.S. citizens, to cut many of them off from health-care programs, and to remove any safety and health regulations from the workplace. He threatens other nations with trade sanctions or nuclear “fire and fury,” thinking this makes him look “presidential.”

It doesn’t.

Trump has recently rescinded a regulation forbidding U.S. police forces to acquire military equipment such as armoured personnel carriers, grenade-launchers, tanks (and landmines too, for all I know). He has decided that the cities of his country will be war zones, and that dissidence will be crushed. This move places the U.S. president in the ranks of such fascist leaders as Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Fulgencio Batista of Cuba, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and the current favourite, Kim Jong-un of North Korea. Not exactly good company.

Given his unwillingness to listen to his own advisers, the president seems likely to continue following his own undisciplined impulses. His qualifications are unusual: developing real-estate, finessing U.S. bankruptcy laws, managing beauty contests and misrepresenting his golf score. These skills may have been sufficient in the commercial world, but they are woefully inadequate for the job he has now.

Any entertainment value Trump might once have had, has evaporated, and he stands revealed as a dangerous loose cannon; a greater threat to the peace and stability of the world than any other current leader. Placing lethal power in the hands of an infantile megalomaniac cannot lead to anything good.

So, no more Trumpology from me. I’ll just hope that his Götterdämmerung doesn’t wipe us all out. I’ve stopped laughing at him, but I haven’t stopped praying that he’ll come to his senses before it’s too late.

 

Ed Healy

Marystown

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