by John Walters
How far? How far does Donald Trump have to go before he crosses some type of Rubicon beyond which even his most loyal GOP supporters in Congress at last concede that his ideas are beyond the pale? The answer, I fear, is at least two miles farther than Elon Musk’s red convertible.
“Leaders” such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell this week are taking a pass on criticizing a masturbatory military parade thrown by a man (but paid for by you and me) who on five different occasions avoided military service as a young man. I had a conversation with someone a couple months back who, explaining their support for Trump despite ceaseless self-incriminating and hypocritical gestures such as this, explained, “The ends justify the means.”
They don’t, though. They never do. The “ends” in this case are lower taxes (for the 1%), deported illegal immigrants and a more white, more WASPy USA. The framers of the Constitution were able to envision a charismatic tyrant gaining control of the White House. What they were unable to foresee is both other branches of government being completely corrupted due to complicit senators, reps and judges who’d sooner abandon democratic principles than exist in a racially diverse USA.
Look at what is happening in Oklahoma, as the prez forces his military parade upon us: teachers at public schools are working four-day weeks because the state does not have budget for a five-day week and the teachers can use the Monday off to work an extra day at Walmart. Really.
This is not a happenstance occurrence. The GOP gameplan is very transparent: the wealthy, the 1%, are not being educated at public schools. So let those children in the bottom 50% receive crappy educations, thereby eliminating them as an economic threat (for the most part) in the succeeding generation. Poor and uneducated people are easier to manipulate as voters if they’re white (MAGA!) and easier to imprison if they’re not white.
We’re incarcerating people at a record-pace, and we’re ramping up our military for a foe that doesn’t even exist (Unless the war is against illiteracy, OxyContin or school shooters). And where are those soldiers coming from? Mostly from the undereducated ranks. It’s about maintaining the status quo: Keep the white wealthy folks wealthy and keep the poor, uneducated folks out of the social contract. “I love the poorly educated,” Donald Trump once said, and for once, I believed the words coming out of his mouth.
Trump is a narcissistic clown, of course. The tragedy is that men who know better, chiefly Paul Ryan but also John Kelly (what is it with the Irish?), are enabling all of it. And that’s not sad. That’s tragic.