Friday, June 2, 2017


Along with everyone who thinks-like-me, I was appalled by the event yesterday at which Tr*mp announced America's withdrawal from the Paris Accord. First, it was not simply what he did, it was how he did it, summoning a select audience to applaud his performance under the hot sun. It was clearly a carefully produced reality television show, promoted with endless will-he won't-he teasers and staged to feature himself as the lead actor in the drama. It was a shameless act of self-promotion in a matter that has consequences for the entire planet.

In this context, the withdrawal itself was little more than a petty act of spite. As numerous commentators more informed than I have pointed out, the stated rationale about jobs and economic repercussions was based on an economic study that has been widely discredited as biased in favor of energy corporation interests. Worse still, he resorted to the now familiar whine about "unfairness"--as though America were not the most prosperous, the most blessed with natural resources, of all the nations that signed the agreement. It is unbecoming, to say the least, for this country's president to so pitifully play the victim on our behalf--and this in front of nearly two hundred far less privileged nations that found their way clear to committing to a communal effort to save the planet from our destructive humankind.

This is, however, only the latest in this president's seemingly senseless acts of destruction. He is intent, clearly, on reversing everything achieved by his predecessor--from the historic, desperately needed national health insurance plan to the acknowledgement of the "dreamers" and the designation of national heritage sites. He acts like a spoiled, ill-tempered child who takes pleasure in destruction for its own sake. Pundits spend hours on television parsing his words as though they carried some intentional meaning, but more often they are spontaneous, ill-thought verbal ejaculations unworthy of examination or analysis; or searching for intelligible motivations for actions prompted by the president's gut rather than his head.

There's an element of guile, an element of childish spite, too, in his actions. He is possessed of a kind of reptile intelligence that glints, at times, through his small eyes. Perhaps for some long-internalized psychological reason, he has an obsessive need to assert himself, as though he were always driven by an inner fear, a sense of insufficiency, a feeling that he has something to prove to himself and those around him. Which is why, perhaps, he appears so often to act for no better reason than... because he can.

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