A seventy-year-old gentleman with a beautiful wife as his showcase, after spending a lifetime being a loud-mouth and hogging the limelight, managed, finally, to become POTUS, on the back of electoral promises playing to the "take America back" audience and making cooing noises at Russia. After yet more sanctions, am I the only one getting an acuse dose of Trumpitis?
What Donald Trump's domestic policies are and what his pledges were, is a matter for him and the citizens of the United States of America, who elected him, or rather, the electoral system did. But it was a level playing field and Hillary Clinton cannot blame anyone else. Ah yeah sorry, the Russians did it. Agent Trump successfully installed in the White House. Yadder, yadder, yadder.
What Donald Trump's external policies are, and whatever his pledges were, is everyone's business because we, the international community, did not elect him and he has no jurisdiction whatsoever outside the borders of his country and its territories.
So why this obsession with Trump? It isn't as if he looks the part - just a regular American businessman with a silly haircut who enjoys a round of golf and doesn't drink alcohol. Boooooooorinnnnggggg! And that is the reason behind my acute dose of Trumpitis. The symptoms are a tossing back of the head, eyes rolling skywards, and a knee-jerk "Ah Christ! Not that guy again!" every time you turn on a TV, with analysis of what he said or did, what he promised to say and do, and the difference between the two.
After three or four looks at the TV, because there are other far more interesting stories out there, such as Sierra Leone ("where?") and its horrific mudslides and now, cholera ("what?"), such as the dissatisfaction of the people of Guam with their colonial masters, such as super-resistant bacteria, such as the deplorable state of our Oceans, such as the USA and its chihuahuas supporting terrorists to carry out their murderous policies, such as US interference in Venezuela and elsewhere... forgive me if I ask what has changed and if I come to the conclusion that nothing has changed.
Donald Trump, in executive terms, is little more the President of the United States (POTUS) than I am. He says he wants to improve relations with Russia then makes an asinine comment about Crimea, proving he is totally pig-ignorant of the facts of Crimea's return to Russia, then since he was elected we have seen wave upon wave of sanctions. His country started a diplomatic tiff by expelling Russian diplomats, then when Russia responds in reply to yet more sanctions, Washington says it is not going to issue any more visas.
The one in charge is the guy the Establishment placed in there to watch him. Never underestimate the power of the number two. He is always there either just to the side or just in the background, seeing everything, watching everyone, listening to conversations, hearing things the President is not allowed to hear. In this case, Pence the Creationist who believes that (right hands on hearts, palm downwards, OK crescendo as you play God Bless America...) that God created the Heavens and the Earth and the skies and the seas and every Goddam livin' critter therein... Maybe He made them using sculpey clay...
Pence, the one who started off as a Catholic then morphed into one of the USA's wacko Satanic "Born-Again" Christians who are the engine behind America's acts of murder abroad, started off a democrat then morphed into a "common-sense conservative". There is nothing common-sense these days about Conservatism. It stands for outsourcing work and jobs to reduce the bottom line of the expenditure column, it means tailoring contracts and tenders, locking out any bidder with a turnover of less than a few tens of millions (look at your High Street and tell me where is your butcher, baker and grocery). It means redesigning work contracts to favor temporary placement, cutting workers' rights, easing dismissal, reducing public service provision and outsourcing public services to private contractors. It equals reduction of public services and over-reliance upon the private sector. And it does not work.
Now that's a story, not Trump and his haircut or Melania Trump and her dress or her hairdresser or Barron Trump and his lack of dress etiquette as his dad squinted at the Sun without protective glasses. It would be different if Trump was in charge and stuck to his word, or if Trump was man enough to say one thing and follow it through. What gives me Trumpitis is the fact that he starts off saying he wants to do business with Russia and get some important work done as a partner of Russia, then stands back as waves of sanctions are applied.
Now don't get me wrong, it isn't the sanctions. I have given good thought to sanctions, and in my opinion, the more and the more severe, the better, bring them on! Sanctions create opportunities and provide alternatives for a diversification of the economy. Take cheese for instance. Now Russia has some quality dairy products from cream to sour cream to keffir to yoghurt to milk to butter but cheese today is not Russia's strong point. Russians used to enjoy French Camembert, Italian Gorgonzola, English Stilton. Today Russians enjoy some quality Argentinean cheeses, so with sanctions, Russians get their cheese, the Argentineans are laughing all the way to the bank, the French are saying Ooh là!là!, the Italians are moaning Mama mia and the Brits, Oh crikey, eh whatty what what? And a window has opened for Russian cheese-makers in the future.
So it is with challenges like criticism and sanctions that progress is made. However, that is not the point. The point is that if Trump started off as a Russophile, then why does he now come across as a Russophobe? Two options: either he is insincere, two-faced, double-dealing, hypocritical, backstabbing, deceitful, dishonest, duplicitous and downright untrustworthy, or else he is spinless, without character, unable to stand up for himself and what he said he stood for, weak, vain, vapid, shallow, weak-willed, weak-kneed, feeble, soft and a woosy. He is either a wily, wobbly little willy or a weedy, wishy-washy wimp.
Or is there a third option? Can we conclude that with Trump's U-turns, broken promises, change of stance, Russophilic/Russophobic attitudes, he is in fact not the President of the United States of America and serves simply as a figure behind which the Establishment carries on and carries out its policies? May we conclude that the ones ruling the roost and running the show in the USA are the clique of corporate elitists representing the $inister $ix $isters - the Banking, Arms, eneRgy, Finance, Food and Science/pharmaceuticalS lobbies, the BARFFS? These are the ones which decide how healthcare works, these are the ones that launch missiles at Syrian soldiers while they are fighting ISIS terrorists, these are the ones that slap sanctions on Russia.
So is THAT the country whichTrump represents and if he is such a hero, why doesn't he do something about it? And if he can't, was this the idea that the Founding Fathers had for their Democracy? Hardly democratic, is it? So forgive me for deriding every single word that Washington says, forgive me for telling countries to arm themselves to the hilt because that is the only way not to be invaded (if you have geo-political interest), forgive me for saying that a Treaty signed by Washington is worth less than the paper I throw down the toilet every morning, forgive me for saying that Washington's policies are in its own self-interest, that Washington couldn't care a twopenny hoot about the citizens of other countries and that the United States of America is one imperialistic, xenophobic, arrogant, bullying, cajoling, chauvinistic pariah blemishing the international community like the plague.
These are the reasons for my acute attack of Trumpitis. But the cure sure is not Pence-cillin.
By Shealah Craighead - President Trump is joined by Vice President Pence for an Executive Order signing, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58834845
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.