Trump Times Entry 142 – Are We Really Having This Conversation?

Are We Really Having This Conversation?

March 30, 2017

Was sitting in a local coffeehouse this morning, selling off one of my unused guitars to a fellow baby-boomer, when the conversation turned to the Donald. (He brought up the topic; I try to avoid public Trump discussions with people I don’t know for fear of creating an ugly public display.)

The gentleman took particular issue with Trump’s latest act of nepotism: hiring daughter Ivanka. I, of course, agreed with his reasoning. While the hire may have been technically legal because of a loophole that overlooks advisor positions, it certainly violated the spirit of the law. Why would job title override the actual working relationship?

He went on to say, “Well, maybe it’s for the best; I’d rather have her advising daddy than that asshole Bannon.”

I had to agree.

But, after the briefest of pauses we both blurted out, “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”

Yeah, nepotism is better than Nazism. I guess… but why are these our only choices?

They’re not.

The president’s relatives and white supremacists don’t belong in the White House inner circle. Period. The conversation need go no further than that. Both are wrong; one does not cancel out the other.

In the one-hundred-forty-two days since the election, absurd conversations have become common. The republic needs to remember, this is not normal.

In Peace and Justice,

Even though you can’t expect to defeat the absurdity of
the world, you must make the attempt. That’s morality,
that’s religion, that’s art, that’s life.
– Phil Ochs


Trump Times Entry 139 – Nepotism is the New Normal

Nepotism is the New Normal

March 27, 2017

Let see, we have the old, nearly senile, patriarch, a hot daughter and a simple brother (okay, two brothers) all living in a new sophisticated setting where they don’t fit in. Sounds like we’re a Granny character short of the Beverly Hillbillies go to Washington. Except of course, there could never be a Granny character since the Donald disposes of women before they reach that certain age and the Clampetts were good decent fictional people. The Trumps are not.

Actually, the only thing the Clampetts and the Trumps have in common is they both live where they do because they have lots of money. The Clampetts used their wealth to buy a big house to live their simple lifestyle – much to the hilarity of all. The Trumps used their wealth to trick others into giving them a big house and pay for their expensive lifestyle – much to the amusement of the Trumps.

Yeah there are holes, so, this metaphor kind of sucks. Most notably, the Clampetts didn’t have a young alpha-male character, a guy intent upon running a world he doesn’t understand with both hubris and chutzpah, a lead character like Jared Kushner. The Trumps do and they plan to play him.

Trump just tapped son-in-law Jared Kushner to lead an effort run government like a company. And, while I’m not going into detail about how wacko that notion is – right, a company that can print money, wage war and has no competitors. I will comment on who gets this asinine job.

Not family! There are federal laws that prohibit presidents from appointing family members to executive branch jobs. The law was signed by LBJ as a (reasonable) response to the Robert Kennedy appointment by John Kennedy a long time ago. It’s not new – it’s accepted law.

So, why are Congress and the Justice Department allowing this crap? It bad enough that Ivanka is getting a West Wing office and security clearance while operating a private business – all under the guise that she wasn’t technically hired because she won’t be drawing a salary. But we, the people, are paying the Donald’s son-in-law, Kushner. So, that’s not an excuse.

One-hundred-thirty-nine days ago the republic elected the Donald, not the Trump clan. We need congress to get off their collective asses and enforce the law they claim no man is above.

This government is rapidly losing legitimacy under Trump. Unlike when a company fails, when a government falls we don’t just have a liquidation sale – and the cost is measured in lives rather than dollars.

In Peace and Justice