Forever incapable of doing what’s right in the face of complexity, Trump is resorting to cruelty and destruction for their own sake.
Oh, stop harping on him, demand critics. Be nicer. Happily, gratefully, when the cascade of outrages ends; if his threats to governance and, more importantly, to our planet, weren’t accelerating. Need the latest examples?
First, recall that, under Democratic leadership, California, the state about which Trump loves to lie and Trumpists love to believe him, has reversed the massive budget deficits it suffered by Republican misguidance. Despite raising taxes, it’s enjoying a record number of consecutive months of job growth, and a balanced budget. Surpluses, even. Trump hates California for doing that for which he hasn’t the ability. It’s exposing his con-job, and he knows it.
More outrageous for Trump and his bedazzled believers, though, is that it’s also leading the way in addressing climate change. How dare they? And how dare automobile manufacturers agree to emission and mileage standards required by California? Standards consistent with those mandated by Trump’s psychic inhabitant, President Obama. Unlike Trump, they seem to care about the future of their businesses and, tellingly, of their customers. Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, and BMW have signed on, with Mercedes Benz in the tailpipeline.
Insiders say this has enraged Trump, who’s just called Toyota, Chrysler and GM to the throne room to demand they commit to increasing pollution. So he won’t look bad. So Gov. Gavin Newsom won’t show him up as a leader. And, say the same sources, he’s pressuring his vassals to hurry implementation of his fuel-efficiency rollbacks. Think about it.
The “leader” of the party of free markets and states’ rights, big business’ BFF, wishes to keep America’s most populous state — because millions more of whose citizens voted against him than for — from choosing a meaningful approach to climate change. And huge corporations from doing the same. From his farm bailouts, we’ve learned he’s a socialist. Now we see an embittered wannabe dictator, whose claim to Republicanism is fakery piled upon fraud.
Excepting the fossil fuel industry, these tantrums benefit no one. There is, in fact, obvious harm to everyone else, 300 million of us. Why? It can’t just be about pressure from the Koch Bros. (which will be felt beyond the grave.) Trump is, after all, fabulously wealthy and the world’s greatest businessman, looking to make the greatest real estate deal since T-Jeff, by investing in melting ice. It must be something else.
Vengeance. Payback. Poking the eye of liberals for exposing and rejecting his destructive “policies.” It’s the opposite of responsible presidential stewardship, a concept having no meaning to Trump. It’s intentional, senseless dereliction, done solely to allay his fragile neediness. He damages us all, including his backers. As in “send-her-back-ers.” To them, there’s no red line. No amount of malicious, vindictive wounding is too much; not even this.
Oh, but there’s more. Climate change isn’t wiping out species fast enough, so Trump is also going after the Endangered Species Act, one of the most successful of all government initiatives. Why? Because he can. Because his failings are becoming increasingly obvious; so he strikes out against the weak and vulnerable. It’s a lifelong pattern.
Again: who benefits, other than drillers and diggers? In Trump’s self-centered worldview, it’s only liberals who value maintaining the interdependent, life-sustaining ecosystems created by whomever or whatever you prefer to believe. So, because he’s a typical, insecure bully, acting tough, he does what he believes will hurt them, no matter the consequences.
Which is ironic, since the act was signed by Richard Nixon after nearly unanimous passage by both houses of Congress. Back when it wasn’t only one party that recognized its duty to the greater good. Before one party claimed singular godliness while acting in singularly ungodly ways; stopped caring about the earthly gifts given them by the God they’re convinced anointed a damaged, unholy man eager to destroy it all. For revenge.
There’s no way to see what Trump is doing here as anything but willingness to do irreversible harm in return for narcissistic validation. By now, nothing will enlighten Trump’s remnant hardcore. But, seriously: These pathological, malefic attacks on our planet aren’t enough to awaken the conscience of conservatives? It’s what their name means, for heaven’s sake.
And now, craving even more cruelty, he’s allowing unlimited detention of refugee children with no requirement for oversight. Nothing, Christian Republicans? Still?
Not even calling himself “The chosen one, King of Israel, the second coming of God”?
Email Sid Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org.