The message to Donald Trump over the past couple of weeks has been crystal clear: Welcome to the world of the Washington Crime Syndicate, Mr. Trump. It’s an enterprise that’s a hundred times nastier than the Manhattan real estate business.
In fact, it’s the only business I know where it’s generally accepted that everyone lies, steals, cheats, and deceives on a regular basis, and many will even kill (usually by indirect means) if they believe that’s what it takes to achieve or hang onto power.
I’m not saying that every crook in Washington is on a par with Horrible Hillary, but, make no mistake about it, corruption is an accepted part of The Game. And if you join The Club, then refuse to play The Game, you had better be on your toes, because the establishment won’t think twice about putting a political contract out on you.
Naïve soul that I am, I didn’t believe Trump could be brought to his knees to the point of feeling that he had to officially endorse two of the most unprincipled, cowardly members of his own party, Rat Ryan and Mush McCain, in order to keep from falling so far behind Horrible Hillary that he would have no chance to catch her. Say it ain’t so, Donald!
I have to believe that a lot of passengers on the Trump Train were really bummed out by his obligatory endorsement of 2020 presidential aspirant Ryan, and devastated beyond belief that he would go still further and endorse McCain as well. I mean, for decades Mush has been the poster codger for everything that’s wrong with Washington.
But DT still wasn’t through. For good measure, he inexplicably endorsed no-name Kelly Ayotte. It was a very sad spectacle to see this proud business giant scramble for Republican brownie points.
So the question is, did Trump send a signal that he, too, can be counted on to fall in line and become part of the rigged system he has railed against for more than a year, or is he just using the same stealth strategy that the world’s most famous community organizer employed to sneak into the White House? By stealth strategy, I mean saying whatever it takes to get elected, then, once in office, giving the middle finger to the dupes who voted for you by ignoring your campaign promises and carrying out your real agenda.
It should also be noted that in his speech to the Detroit Economic Club, Trump dutifully stayed glued to his teleprompters and tried to sound “presidential” — so presidential that I heard through the grapevine that it caused George Will to have his first erection since puberty.
So the big question is whether or not acting presidential will help or hurt him. The problem is that, through his own arrogance, stupidity, and loose tongue, Trump has managed to box himself into a corner. The conundrum he has created for himself is that if he “acts presidential” (i.e., acts like an establishment candidate), he risks losing the enthusiastic supporters who were instrumental in his becoming the Republican nominee in the first place.
On the other hand, if he returns to the bombastic, in-your-face Trump that drew millions of voters to him, he risks alienating the Republican Mafia more than he already has, and the result of that could be enough Republicans voting for Horrible Hillary to (gasp!) make her president of the United States.
It reminds me of Harry Browne’s admonishment decades ago that you should always display your true self, because if you try to be something or somebody you are not, those who might be attracted to the real you won’t recognize you when you cross their path.
With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that those who want Trump to become more genteel forget that millions of voters — not to mention heavyweights like Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions, Sean Hannity, Ben Carson, General Michael Flynn, Laura Ingraham, Rick Perry, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Mike Huckabee, and Rudy Giuliani, to name but a few — absolutely loved the unpolished, unscripted version of Donald Trump.
Now, Trump has fallen into the trap of trying to please everyone, which, throughout human history, has proven to be a near impossible task. He’s going to have to walk a fine line not to disappoint his original supporters while at the same time not alienating the vicious, petty, unprincipled members of the Republican establishment.
While some Trump supporters may have buyer’s remorse knowing that most of the other candidates in the Republican primary field easily could have beaten the most flawed and hated Democratic candidate in history, they forget one thing: Had any of those other candidates become president, the criminal enterprise in Washington would have continued unabated, because every politician plays The Game to one extent or another. The only candidate who is entirely unacceptable to the Washington Crime Syndicate is someone who might make a serious attempt to bring The Game to an end.
I therefore feel obliged to say that, based on what we’re now seeing, it’s unlikely that the newly minted Donald Trump would make a serious effort to destroy The Game. I believe his heart is in the right place and that he would make a reasonable attempt to do some of the more obvious things — such as putting the influx of Mideast refugees on hold, building “the wall,” giving the coal-mining industry a green light, strongly supporting both the military and local police, tinkering around the edges of Obamacare, and so on.
But with both factions of Congress against him, any effort on his part to fundamentally transform the United States of America back into its former self would be impossible. Which raises the question: Why, then, has Congress given Barack Obama everything he desires? The answer is pretty obvious: It’s because Obama, like George Bush before him, wants ever-bigger government. Whether its Marxism or capitalism, Congress will support just about anything so long as it doesn’t prevent government from continuing to grow.
Only a fool believes that any government on earth is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Government is — and has always been — of the politicians, by the politicians, and for the politicians. That’s why major changes occur only through violent revolution. Only the barrel of a gun can change the hearts and minds of men.
That said, there can be no doubt in the mind of any sane person of goodwill that Donald Trump would cause less harm to America than a congenital liar and hardened criminal like Horrible Hillary. Less harm was the case when an accident of history like Ronald Reagan somehow stumbled into the presidency. Reagan’s policies were a big improvement overall in that life became a bit more tolerable, but government kept right on growing and freedoms keep right on shrinking.
So long as you think of even the best candidates in this light, you’re likely to be far less stressed and far less disappointed. Only citizen statesmen with no political experience, coupled with term limits, could bring about major change. And with the current criminal system firmly in place in Washington, short of employing the Founders’ solution to tyranny, major change is not possible. Obama didn’t fundamentally transform America, as he would like us to believe. He merely grew government and shrunk freedom much faster than any of his predecessors had done.
Still in all, it was fun watching Donald Trump give it a valiant try for more than a year and scare the hell out of the robber barons who have held the reins of power ever since “The Great Experiment” began to fall apart. And even now, the possibility that he might just make things a bit more tolerable sounds pretty appealing to me.