No, I don’t believe in the same conspiracies he believes in, but I am beginning to think the President and his tight band of “advisors” – Bannon, Sessions, Moore -- are trying to remake the United States in their image and into something they alone can control.
I know that sounds impossible to some and, probably, logical to others. But with his recent travel ban, I truly believe he hs the potential to ignore any court findings and just continue to do it his way.
A violation of the Constitution, you say? Walking in the opposite direction of American tradition, you say? True, but he is the President after all….but he is his kind of president.
He is not a president that so far shows any inclination to play by at least some of the rules – like apologizing when he’s wrong, or getting along with our allies. Or defending the Constitution he swore to uphold.
And he has sufficient supporters (even though polls are showing his popularity already on the wane) to allow him to do as he pleases. Maybe more importantly, he has his thumbs – so he can access his Twitter account and turn popular opinion against anyone.
There’s an article in the New York Times today that says top corporate CEOs are hesitant to speak out against Trump because they fear what he’ll say about them/their companies on Twitter. There’s another article in the Times today that puts some foreign leaders in the same position. Trump makes nice with them if he’s in a photo opp with them but within hours is saying something that contradicts the charming President they just met with. And that’s just our allies.
Don’t believe me? Ask the president of Mexico who’s been double-crossed twice by Trump. Or ask Prime Minister May of England who met with him and just hours later Trump unveiled his travel ban on people from majority-Muslim countries, even those people who risked their lives to support our military, or doctors doing significant research to find cures to major diseases, and others. No one stopped was barred from entering, based on published reports, probably because they already had been vetted intently by our government. If the President wants to offer up more vetting, that’s a reasonable thing to consider…but these folks already had been vetted. For up to two years.
In his first 10 days in office, Trump has already delivered somewhat on many of his promises, or at least says he did by signing Executive Orders. That seems to be his new way of communicating his direction to the public and the government. They are signed with no explanation by him though.
He even signed an Executive Order telling the Defense Department to deliver a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days. (I don't believe you need such an Executive Order but it made good TV.)
These are the same generals he said during his campaign, that he knew more than, and that he had his own secret plan that he wouldn’t unveil then and won’t unveil now. But his spokesman said, from the podium the other day, that Trump has passed his plan on to the generals to be part of the eventual master plan.
My guess is that’s about as true as when the President’s spokesmen said that the White House consulted with appropriate Senate and House members before he unveiled its travel ban. Except that the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he was not consulted.
So, what do we do? My best guess is that, one, the people need to keep protesting to keep up the pressure not so much on the President but their House and Senate representatives. And, the courts need to continue to rule (assuming the evidence is there, of course) against the President – or his staff’s, I’m not sure who’s running the store – proclamations. Then, I hope the Republicans in Congress will take actions to rein in the President.
Those elected officials need to get over their decades-old position of lying in fear before finding courage to act. I get why Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell are holding their water. But they shouldn’t. They cannot stand by nodding in agreement when the President goes against the Constitution in his travel ban. They cannot sit by while the President appoints his political Svengali – Steve Bannon – to the National Security Council and at the same time demotes the Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs from the same spot.
The NSC doesn’t only discuss war and peace. They take up other matters, trade for example. For those meetings, the appropriate Cabinet members typically are invited. And the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Secretary of Defense also should have a voice, not just the guy who opposes trade deals, Muslims, Jews, and others and believes only in “America first” and an isolationist foreign policy.
(A not-so-side note: that proclamation that came out on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t mention Jews specifically? Am I to presume that the soon-to-be solver of Middle East peace, Jared Kushner, the president’s son in law, didn’t see that document before it was released? If he did, he should have inserted “Jews” where appropriate and if he didn’t, I don’t see how he’s in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East when Israel is half of that equation.
(Another note: where is the presumably more reasonable chief of staff Reince Priebus in all this? Does he agree with what Trump is doing? Or is he more interested in maintaining his seat of presumed-power. Hint, ,Reince, you aren’t sitting in a power seat unless you’re visiting Bannon and sitting in his chair.)
I’m stopping short on flat-out accusing this Administration of wanting to turn this country from a democracy to an autocracy. At least I am for this week.
And that’s where my new-found conspiracy theory side comes out.
Let’s see what happens when what we hope are more reasonable minds – folks like Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State-designee Tillerson – are finally confirmed.
Will they have any influence with the President? Or are we to be governed by the alt-right crowd surrounding Trump in the White House?