As of January 20, 2017 the United States had a new president and he certainly seemed different from any that had come before. On his second day in office a good percentage of women in the county with the aid of some men held protest marches in all the major and a lot of minor cities, not only in the United States but also throughout the world. Celebrities and female members of Congress came out with anti-Trump speeches. One march was held within sight of the White House. Instead of acknowledging this as a First Amendment right, Trump ignored the happening. On a much smaller scale this has been repeated within the United States every day since, throughout Trump’s first two weeks in office.
At the Women’s Marches the women judged Trump, who had previously, over most of his life, judged them on a 1 to 10 scale according to his sexual preference, and found him as president on a scale of 1 to 10 rating below zero.
Now that Trump has been elected President of the United States he is a very nervous head of state. He can’t seem to get it out of his head that Hillary Clinton received 2.8 million more popular votes than he did. With absolutely no evidence but a hurt ego, he has stated that he believes that all those extra votes that Clinton got were cast by non-citizens, people registered in more than one state, or by people voting in the name of dead individuals. He also stated that many people who are registered in two or more states, vote in each.
His daughter, Tiffany is registered in two states. So is one of his advisors, Steve Bannon. And so is one of his son-in-laws who he is now using as one of his advisors. People reregister when they move out of a state or to different residences within a state. There is no mechanism to unregister. Apparently, one’s name is removed from the voting rolls if an individual does not vote for a number of years. Somehow Steve Bannon recently got his name removed from a Florida registration.
But Trump seems to feel that all this is a plot that kept him from getting both the electoral vote and the popular vote. He cannot believe that a large number of voters did not really purposely vote for him. Instead they voted against Hillary Clinton. The improper balance of votes and false or fake news brought about her defeat. Trump just happened to benefit from these. He is the least popular or most disliked candidate in the history of the United States to have run for president.
Now, as President, he has ordered an investigation of the voting practices in the last Presidential Election. The results should be interesting. All the current evidence implies that all the cheating on voting is a very small fraction of one percent, certainly not the almost three million votes that Trump did not get. I suspect the public will never hear the results of this investigation if it is even carried out.
During the campaign one long-time reporter on the staff of the Wall Street Journal defined Trump as a perennial adolescent who never really grew up. Apparently what he learned up to that time he still knows. Anything that has happened to him since that time just reinforces what he already knows.
For some unknown reason this reminded me that Trump, who has never been in the military, was sent by his parents to a Military High School for his education. Why would New York City parents send their child to a military high school? The answer would be to get rid of a child who was essentially out of control. If he misbehaved there he would be sent to the guard house, something his parents could not necessarily do. Trump is very proud of his high school years which, he believes, gave him a knowledge of the military, since he never served in the armed forces.
Most people if they find things in their lives that they don’t like try to change that aspect of their lives. But Donald Trump does not do this. Instead he lives in an alternate reality. If he finds something he does not like he innately knows that it is wrong and takes action accordantly. With a contractor he has hired for something he knows that he has paid him enough and stops paying him, usually on the last instalment. With the popular presidential vote he knows that he really won it. Therefore people must have cheated at the ballet box. As President he can call forth the forces of the nation to discover his alternate truths. As a result President Trump is unique and totally scary. There is no telling what he might do with his alternate reality.
If we assume the Wall Street reporter’s analysis of Trump was correct then is the man today any different from the adolescent high school student? He is thin skinned, generally verbally attacks anyone who criticizes him, ignores group protests protected by the first Amendment, and can be erratic with constantly changing decisions. Like many adolescents he seems to be incapable of being briefed with by the Intelligence people or, for that matter, by anyone else. His concentrative ability seems to be relatively short where he is not directly involved in what is going on.
Lynden B. Johnson, when he became President of the United States, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, fulfilled what seemed to be his lifelong ambition. He became the most powerful man on earth. What he found was that even though he had the power he couldn’t use it. He ended up losing the Viet Nam War even though he escalated that war. Donald J. Trump may not be smart enough to realize that limitation. And that is really scary as he will be President until 2020, unless he is impeached prior to that time.
One thing Donald Trump does do is to project some of his own negative aspects upon any opponent. For example, during his campaign struggle with Hillary Clinton, Trump called her “Crooked Hillary.” It seems that he and the Clintons both ran altruistic Foundations. His was run according to his rules which in many cases legally had nothing to do with the way a Foundation is supposed to function. Much of what he did with the funds that were contributed by others benefited him directly. Since the Foundation the Clinton’s had was ten or more times larger than his they must have been at least ten times more dishonest than he was.
Trump believes in secret prisons outside of the country and that, in interrogating prisoners, torture inevitably works in gaining information from them, as was done under the President George W. Bush’s administration. Even though the majority of military, CIA and FBI interrogators are against the use of torturing prisoners and do not believe it is an effective way to get information out of enemy prisoners. The use of this type of “enhanced interrogation,” to quote former Vice President Dick Cheney, is now illegal. I suspect both Donald J. Trump and Dick Cheney know it works because they feel if they were tortured they would tell the person questioning them whatever they wanted to know. He is, however, willing to not push this point since his Secretary of Defense does not believe in the use of torture or secret prisons. But he knows, without any evidence or experience, that torture absolutely works.
During most of his presidential campaign Donald Trump boasted that as President he would build a high wall between the United States and Mexico to keep thieves, rapists, and murderers from coming into this country from Mexico. He also boasted that Mexico would pay for the wall. The Mexican government stated that under no circumstances would Mexico pay for such an enterprise.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, five days after Trump officially became President of the United State, he signed an executive order beginning work on this enterprise. The Mexican president then cancelled an official visit to the U.S. and blatantly stated that under no circumstances would Mexico pay for the wall.
Trump stated that it would be complicated getting Mexico to pay for the wall. On Thursday, January 26 he announced his plan. There would be a 20% tax on all imports into the United States from Mexico. Whether this is his opening position or final position is unknown at this time. In either case it would cancel out the NAFTA agreement with Mexico and make the United States a non-dependable trading partner since it would thereafter have a reputation for changing international trade rules arbitrarily by ignoring its own Trading Treaties.
It should be noted that the two countries share a twelve hundred mile border and while some areas in connecting cities where the two country’s border touch, currently have fences; these may not come up to Trumps expectations. Depending on the fence or wall that Trump wants to build the costs will be anywhere from 3 billion to 33 billion or somewhere above that. Imagine how much it cost to build a fence around a home property. There the fence or wall will be, at most, six feet high. The wall Trump is talking about would be fifteen to twenty feet high and extend for 1,200 miles.
As of Wednesday January 26th the United States would pay for the WALL but will eventually get its money back from a 20% tax on all goods coming into the country from Mexico. That was the plan on Thursday morning but by Thursday late afternoon the plan had disappeared. However on the next day, Friday, it was being touted again. It disappeared again the day after.
This so-called wonderful plan of Trump’s will firmly place the cost of building the Wall on the backs of the American taxpayers by placing the payment of the wall firmly on Americans in the U.S. It will also significantly reduce the purchasing of Mexican products in this country by raising the price of all goods imported from Mexico twenty percent. Mexico will reciprocate by placing a similar tax upon American goods coming into Mexico. The result will be a trade war that freezes out a large percentage of purchasers in both countries for people who can no longer afford the assorted items being shipped from one country to the other and both countries will be harshly effected since today both have major trade with the other .
This will be particularly troublesome because Mexico currently is the second largest export market for the United States. One of the many types of products that comes to the United States from Mexico are fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly during the winter season. With a twenty percent increase in cost many people will no longer be able to afford these products. This will take the U.S. back thirty or more years when people had fresh fruits and vegetables in season only, instead of all year. Not only Mexican farmers and American consumers will be hurt but the entire pattern of trade will be hurt negatively affecting people in both countries. It may also disrupt trade with many of our other trade partners and destroy the NAFTA agreement between the two counties which has been highly effective for both sides.
In addition, once the wall is completed it will have to be constantly monitored. This will require a large number of crews monitoring it over all twelve hundred miles. It will cost billions to build and additional billions to care for it. Even if the United States could get it built at no cost it would still cost vast amounts to maintain it.
The entire plan is crazy. The U.S. will be putting out multi billions of dollars, increasing the National Debt, which may or may not get all its investment back over an unknown number of years; meanwhile standards of living in both countries will drop with the rise in prices. It is a sad use of resources while the U.S. has a fair sized homeless population of which just the city of Los Angeles, according to a recent count, had 47,000 homeless, many of whom will die of exposure during the winter season. In addition there are far more things to be done in the U.S. particularly regarding its infrastructure that should take priority over a wall separating both nations.
Donald J. Trump has been very busy during his first week in office signing executive orders, each neatly placed in a black leather folder. The problem here is that the majority of these single page documents are not executive orders, they are, if anything, requests to Congress to pass laws that will put these statements into practice. Of the smaller percentage that are executive orders many contain contradictions that make carrying out the order impossible. The problem here is that Trump and his staff need to learn what the parameters of executive orders are before he or they start writing them.
President Trump has retired or fired the entire upper echelon of the career diplomats at the State Department who have served under both Republican and Democratic presidents. When the new Secretary of State takes command of that department he will be missing a whole layer of career executives who run the departments on a daily basis as well as many of the trained negotiators. Of course Trump, who considers himself the world’s greatest negotiator, may appoint a whole new cadre of people to run it but they would not have any experience at doing so. It would be like bringing back the 19th Century Spoils System into the 21st Century. These positions are too important to give to loyal amateurs.
In addition a large percentage of the individuals who work for the State Department have signed letters of protest against one of Trump’s executive orders baring the entrance of Muslims from entry or reentry into the United States. They have stated that this order will do more harm than good. Trump’s press secretary has stated that they can either carry out the order or leave the Department of State. With the career leadership already having been removed from the State Department and a mass quitting or firing among the rest of the personnel Trump could well begin his tenure with a Secretary of State and a non-functioning Department behind him. In either case the moral at the Department has never before been as low as it currently is.
So far, after about two weeks in office, Trump would seem to be his own worst enemy as far as running the United States.