BY HIS DEEDS, PART THREE

First, two key points drive my observations here.  First, Donald Trump lies.  That point has been exhaustively demonstrated, and it needs no further comment here.  Second, a group of good, honest, hard-working people voted for Donald Trump because they believed those lies.

Donald Trump has now demonstrated to those people that he was lying about the very things that caused those good people to vote for him.  There are many things that he lied about that have been exhaustively catalogued elsewhere.  “Putin is our friend” and “China is a currency manipulator” are on that list.

The two lies that most betray the working people who voted for him have now come starkly clear, not by mere words but by his deeds.  Trump promised those people that he would replace Obamacare with an insurance program that 1) insured everyone, 2) cost less, and 3) covered more procedures.  The program presented by Paul Ryan, and endorsed by Donald Trump, does exactly the opposite of all three points.  It insures fewer people, costs more, and covers less.  Don’t take my word for this.  Listen to how Ryan presents it, and listen to how Trump lies about it.  For instance, Trump said recently that Ryan’s plan preserves the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.  The most recent version of the proposal allows states to increase rates for people with pre-existing conditions, which will make it impossible for those people to afford the plan.  Trump and Ryan make it sound like the program covers everyone by saying that the plan provides “access” for all to insurance.  That is the same as saying that we all have access to purchasing jet planes.

Trump’s second lie may be even worse than the first.  He promised those hard-working people that he would reform the tax laws and, by doing so, give a huge boost to jobs and to the economy.  “You’re going to win so much you’re going to get sick of winning,” he said.  Now the “tax plan” has arrived.  It provides enormous tax breaks.  The problem is that you have to have an income in excess of a million dollars a year to see any of it.  Worse, the gigantic tax breaks he gives himself and others of his income level will cause the national debt to skyrocket, and that will lead to the biggest economic collapse this country has ever seen.

Neither one of these plans will succeed, because a number of reasonable conservatives have, so far, rejected Trump’s efforts to put these things in place.  Whether they can continue to do so remains to be seen.  What should be clear to those who were swindled into voting for Trump is that he lied to them about the things that most mattered to them — income and health care for their families.

We will likely have Trump for three and a half more years.  He will continue to damage both the substance and the image of America throughout that time.  On these two issues, however, if he and Ryan and their cronies succeed, America will not be the place into which you were born.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

y of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS ISN’T RUSSIA, IS IT DANNY?

Some years ago, my wife and I visited our daughter in Moscow, where she was studying the Russian language.  The Soviet Union had recently been dismantled, and the people were being rapidly introduced to the corruption and gangsterism that would become standard operating procedure for their government and their economy.  With their incomes slashed while the bullying few seized massive fortunes, women stood in long lines selling their most valued possessions just to get food to survive.  The thugs ruled the streets, even taking over the Bolshoi Ballet ticket office.  As the years have gone by, those thugs have succeeded in taking power as a matter of policy.  Elections are fixed, the media are controlled by the state, people who oppose the dictatorship are imprisoned or assassinated, and the rich have become dizzyingly rich while the average working person struggles more and more with low wages and decreasing benefits such as health care and retirement benefits.

 

As Republicans take over Congress and the Trump crowd begins to reveal its direction and plans, we begin to get some sense of the atmosphere in which we are about to be living.  The Republicans passed the first step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, although absolutely nothing has been done to replace it.  The president-elect has ignored and even denounced America’s intelligence community for giving the American people information that might damage him.  His appointees have made it clear that they will dismantle the country’s efforts to save the environment, they will slash the workers’ rights to organize, they will cut funding to public schools, they will drastically cut supervision of financial industries, and they will, in general, pursue a government of, by and for the wealthy.

 

Then, yesterday, something happened that was strange and unexplained.  C-Span, the channel that airs government hearings, was airing a discussion by a senator about current issues.  When the senator began to speak about Russia’s attempts to affect our election process, C-span’s coverage was interrupted and replaced with, of all things, state-controlled RT Russian television.  After some time, C-Span’s coverage was restored, and no explanation was given for this unthinkable switch.

 

Maybe it was an accident.  Or, maybe someone was sending a message.  A few things, however, are undeniably clear.  First, truth has become disposable.  The intelligence community made an airtight case that the Russians had acted to affect the election in favor of Trump, but it made no investigation or judgment about Russia’s success in promoting him.  Trump first denounced and denied the intelligence community’s conclusions, and then, when his position was finally untenable, he mischaracterized its report, saying that it had found that there was absolutely no effect on the election.

 

Second, whatever may be the intentions of Trump and his gang, their main motivation has nothing to do with the good of the people.  If they accomplish their proposals, health care will cost more and cover fewer, public education will see drastic monetary cuts, workers will see reductions in wages, benefits and safety, and banks and other financial institutions, including most of all Wall Street, will be given the kind of free rein they used to collapse the American economy in the ’90’s and again during the Bush administration.

 

All this might seem impossible in America.  If it were even half accomplished, the American people would rise up and throw the rascals out.  The public outrage would eliminate the possibility of Republican hegemony for decades.  Trump would be a lame duck president before his second year was over.

 

Unless.  The one thing that has prevented such skullduggery from succeeding in the United States has always been the very first right the founders placed in the Constitution — freedom of the press.  It was the press that finally ended Joe McCarthy’s reign of terror.  It was the press that finally revealed the truth that Nixon fought so hard to suppress.  And it was the press that, despite vigorous attempts to suppress its work, revealed to the public that Russia had hacked and weaseled its way into the American election process.

 

It is that very freedom of the press against which Trump has announced open war.  He has, everywhere he has gone, demonized the press as entirely dishonest, this while ignoring and denying blatant facts.  He has refused the press access to him, and, when he finally does appear before them, he mocks and derides them, refusing to acknowledge undeniable facts and blathering on without a hint of substance.  As inconceivable as it might have been a few months ago, it is now a distinct possibility that Trump could succeed in suppressing that one thing that stands between us and tyranny.

 

I have come to understand how 60 million people could vote for this man.  They were sick of being ignored, and they were ignored.  They are good people, and they are the very backbone of America.  They work their butts off, and their tax dollars fuel this government.  They want the benefits for which they work so hard and which they so richly deserve.  If, however, those assuming power succeed in the policies they seem to be pursuing, it will be these good people who will suffer the most.  If Trump and his gang succeed at suppressing the people’s right to know, and succeed also in stripping their supporters of their rights, there will be only one recourse — violent revolution.  Until today, I would have said that violent revolution in the U.S. was impossible.  But then, I would have also denied that a president would be a habitual liar.