Friday, February 3, 2017

A Merger of State and Corporate Power

                                                         Image result for fascism


Every morning when I wake up since the election, one of my first thoughts is: "oh, my God, we put Donald Trump in the White House". This thought is immediately followed by a sick feeling in my stomach.  

I've heard so many talking heads try to analyze Trump's strategy for governance when it comes to foreign policy but I have yet to divine any method to his madness. To me, it seems that he simply shoots from the hip with no forethought and very little advice from experts. He fights with Mexico and Australia (Australia! Seriously!). He meets with Therese May, then undermines her as soon as she's out of his sight. He threatens Iran and China. His foreign policy appears to be all over the map. I can't make heads or tails of the overarching theme of it and people a lot smarter than me don't seem to be able to either.

In fact, in my view, Trump isn't especially interested in foreign policy except for building his reputation as a tough guy. He doesn't appear patient enough to do his due diligence regarding his Presidential Daily Briefs. From what I've read, he didn't have a top level meeting regarding the disastrous Yemeni attack. Instead, he and a few of his top level honchos discussed it over dinner. He signed off on it and then didn't bother coming to the Situation Room to see how it turned out. I believe he leaves it to his advisers, then signs whatever is put in front of him.

Because he really isn't that interested. His real agenda, his passion, revolves around business and money. That's where his heart and his mind are. He is all about giving business everything it wants and getting handsomely rewarded in return. (We won't know the extent of that since he's never released his taxes).  Luckily, that dovetails perfectly with what the Republicans have always wanted as well. How can business pay less and rake in more?

Look at his cabinet nominees. His pick for Education Secretary, billionaire, is all about removing funding from the public schools and sending it to for-profit schools. His nominee for Labor Secretary, billionaire, looks for ways to take pay and benefits from workers. He's been sued several times for cheating his own employees. Ideally, they could replaced with automation. Human beings can be so irritating and demanding, don't you know?  His choice for Health and Human Services wants to repeal Obamacare and privatize Medicare and Medicaid. His HUD selection believes poor people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. He has six ex-Goldman Sachs executives (millionaires and billionaires) in his cabinet. You remember Goldman Sachs, right? That's the bank he excoriated Hillary Clinton for even speaking to. Back then he called them a "global cabal". 

That's only part of them but do you see a pattern here? His administration is all about business. I think some of the crazy foreign policy stuff (the wall, immigration) is simply a distraction from his real goal, which is to make his cronies and himself pots of money while he's president.

How ironic is it that so much of the working class came to see this charlatan as their savior?

One of his very first Executive Orders was one to allow the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota pipeline to go forward. Oh, well, Native Americans are used to getting shafted, they'll probably take it in stride. When he had a come to Jesus meeting with the biggest CEOs in the country, it was mainly about Donald promising to give them big league tax relief and even bigger league reduction of regulations. He recently had a get-together with Big Pharma. He was going to go in there and by God, get the costs of medicines reduced. Instead, again, he promised to lower their taxes and lessen their regulations. 

And meanwhile the Republicans are busily working on the other end to reach the same end point. They've written legislation that will gut Dodd-Frank and once again, allow the big banks to work their will even if it risks our economy. They removed the rules for transparency that used to guide Big Oil. They gleefully talk about turning our parks, rivers and mountains over to the miners, the drillers and the frackers. What's an earthquake....or 50....a day? Of course, they are still working on a way to repeal Obamacare and leave millions without healthcare. 

So this is what I think Trump is really all about...and the Republicans too - a merger of state and corporate power, which is what Mussolini called fascism.

We have sold our country down the river.