Trump: personal glory outranks all of humanity

Posted by Tom Camfield

About wisdom and foolishness: The above quotation is one of the modern interpretations of this Biblical proverb. It is more precise and meaningful than some. And it certainly fits today’s political reality. 

There is a certain reluctance, I know, among much of the hoi polloi, to speak out against Donald Trump. I’m sure part of the reason is that many among us were inattentive, misled, seduced by false promises—and actually voted for this national disgrace. Some others, of course, were inspired by such things as misogyny and white supremacy. Now, over all, relatively few want to offend someone in the weekly bridge group or poker game by speaking out too strongly. I can understand that. 

What really counts is everyone’s ballot in November. Hopefully, this will be the country’s “greatest ever” midterm . . . “historical”—but not in Donald’s eyes. 

Meanwhile, between rounds of golf, Donald is scheduling “campaign rallies” all around the country—eagerly having grasped the opportunity to place himself in front of the camera and tell us how great he thinks he is. He pompously gilds his personal image with the lies, misconceptions and misdirections of an ongoing brain-washing to which he has subjected the public for the past couple of years. He’s especially fond lately of such unfounded claims as “We’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions,” speaking from the White House early in July (That is FAKE NEWS . . . lies). The economy is the “best we’ve ever had,” he said. Not so.

That boasting followed a report that the economy had grown at a rate of 4.1% in the second quarter. Donald immediately declared (In his “look at me” way) that the gains were sustainable and would only accelerate. “And it’s going a lot higher; you can mark my words, folks!”  Also on Aug. 5: "Great financial numbers being announced on an almost daily basis. Economy has never been better, jobs at best point in history.” Experienced economists, who actually know what they’re talking about, disagree with him but don’t have ongoing pep rallies at which they might calmly present reality. 

A fact-check points out that “Trump didn’t inherit a fixer-upper economy.”  The U.S. economy this year just entered its 10th year of growth, a recovery that began under Barack Obama, who inherited the Great Recession from George W. Bush. Data show that the falling unemployment rate and gains in home values reflect the duration of the recovery, not any major changes made since 2017 by the Trump administration. 

While Donald was all pumped up over the 4.1% in his eagerness to take credit, the economy actually exceeded that mark SEVERAL TIMES during the Obama presidency—including 4.7% in 2011, 5.1% and 4.9% in 2014 (That is REAL NEWS . . . facts). Quarterly GDP growth reached over 3% nine times under Obama. 

However, such truth seems only to inflame Trump supporters, many of whom respond by “shooting the messenger” and denigrating the traditional news media in a vague and general way— with great vehemence.

Quarterly figures can vary widely from one to the next. Trump is promising 3% annual growth, but we shall see. The economy grew 2.9% under Obama in 2015. It is true that Obama never quite reached 3% on an annual basis. For Trump it remains to be seen. If he doesn’t make it, he will blame it on the Democrats.

For those who like to compare things to Bill Clinton, annual growth topped 4% for four straight years, throughout his second term, 1997 through 2000.

And as one expert observed: “The economy faces two significant structural drags that could keep growth closer to 2% than 3%: an aging population, which means fewer people are working and more are retired, and weak productivity growth, which means those that are working aren’t increasing their output as quickly as  in the past. Both those factors are largely beyond Trump’s control.”

MORE REAL NEWSin response to Donald’s lying that jobs are at the "best point in history.” Actually, a greater percentage of Americans held jobs in 2000 (under Clinton) than now. And employers in 2014 and 2015 (under Obama) added jobs at a faster pace than currently. 

Donald didn't mention probably the most important measure of economic health for Americans — wages. While paychecks are slowly grinding higher, inflation is now canceling out the gains. Consumer prices increased 2.9 percent in June from a year earlier, the most in six years. Adjusting for inflation, hourly pay for non-managers — about 80 % of the workforce — fell 0.2% over the same period. Yet in 1998 (under Clinton), for example, inflation-adjusted hourly pay growth topped 2.5%.

But Donald shrugs off any inconvenient truth. He’ll make up another of his own versions of the truth tomorrow and/or the next day.  One really has to wonder how his narcissism-inspired malicious disdain spewed forth against so many so often in any way serves our society. He has bullied and alienated, among others, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, the FBI, the Justice Department, the NFL, liberals/Democrats, the Press in general, England, LeBron James, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, NATO, NAFTA, the United Nations, European Union (France, Germany, et al), Canada (but not Russia), James Comey, Hillary, Barack Obama, John McCain, Jeff Bezos, Mexico, The Washington Post, Oprah, China, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitt Romney, Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live . . . the list goes on endlessly. Donald’s paranoidal insecurity runs deep. 

He throws in the fear factor and racism to boot as he lauds his own self-anointed “genius,” his ability to make world-class decisions without factual information or the opinion of people who are more experienced and know more than he does. All Blacks, it seems, are of low intelligence and all Mexican immigrants are vicious criminals. Women are just a male convenience.

Authoritarianism—“the enforcement or advocacy of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom. Lack of concern for the wishes or opinions of others.”

Plutocracy—“a country or society governed by the wealthy. An elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.”

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