The Charlatan King

On Trumpism

  • Of all the canines I know, none are as vicious, bewildered, and prone to barking as this mutt. The fact that such a person like this could rise to the presidency itself reveals the constitutional failure of our republic, whether this failure can be traced back to election corruption, civic indifference, the special interests that control our politicians and mass media, or the Constitution itself—Donald Trump is the disease realized by symptoms of a cancer that has been eating away at our republic for decades.


  • Trump as Tyrant: A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side–.Aristotle


  • Gospel Trump: This is an awful man, waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he loves to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.” –Robert Hendrickson, Rector, Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church


  • Trump Steals & Reveals is a fraud and a criminal con man, but he had done us a favor by highlighting potential abuses by actualizing these abuses.While Donald Trump fails entirely as a human being in every aspect of what entails a human being, his presidency, if one can call it that, points out several fault lines in our republic and its claim to democracy.
  1. Our Constitution has no viable remedy to remove a man so inept, corrupt, and indecent. The 25th Amendment is easily hollowed out by party fealty to the executive branch.
  2. There seems to be no enforcement of The Emoluments Clause, prohibiting an elected official and those appointed by this official from profiting from his/her office.
  3. The legal statute that prevents a sitting President from being indicted gives license to subversion and corruption. The memo is not in the Constitution and should be excised from executive power privilege.
  4. The power of the President to pardon is too broadly used and perniciously so, as evidenced by Trump’s excessive use of this power to pardon his cronies.
  5. The writ of executive orders /signing statements is executive overreach that points out the legislative schizophrenia of Congress.
  6. That any politician can spend the majority of his time in office perpetually campaigning means he/she is not performing the duties of that office. That said, it is no worse than our Senators and House members having to spend way too much time fundraising and therefore spending as much time campaigning to be perpetually elected.


  • Trump & Fascism: I am less reluctant with every passing day to compare Trump to Hitler. Yet, knowing there are so many fascist-leaning overtures to Trump’s grasp and consolidation of power, the theoretical parallels continue to emerge, as have the oligarchical tendencies, in evidence since the 50’s with the marriage of state and corporate wealth. I am wary of these comparisons to Hitler, however. As a student of the Holocaust, I do not see genocide here in the United States in our immediate future, despite the continued growth of white supremacy in our institutions and the presence of Brown Shirt fanaticism and violence on our streets. That said, we’ve been an audience and bystander to genocide as a matter of policy since the end of World War II and since Raphael Lemkin coined the term. We were one of the last nations to actually acknowledge and institutionalize genocide as worthy of international tribunal condemnation, despite our active role in the Nuremberg Trials. We were also one of the last to sign on to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, despite our investment in the UN and its presence on our land.


  • Orange Prometheus: Actually, I find nothing strange about Donald Trump. It was inevitable that someone would come along and appeal to the worst proclivities of American excess and play out in public the emotional and intellectual debaucheries of the American character. We’ve read narrative, fictional chronicles of this kind of emerging American buffoon, from Babbitt and All the King’s Men to the Great Gatsby to An American Tragedy. Trump is the realization of that fiction. And those who support him participate in the acceleration of this peculiar American creation. He is the Frankenstein monster and mobster his father created, and those who practice fealty to the monster, express a longing to recreate themselves in his image and yearn to be redeemed by the Orange Prometheus.


  • Nobel Trump: In the Realm of Useless Men, we of the Nobel Committee award this most useless man, Donald J Trump, the Nobel Prize for What’s the Use. Given to a barely functioning carbon-based creature of little or no purpose, we find Mr. Trump to be the best example of a wasted life in that he represents the complete opposite of a life of promise. As duality remains the irrefutable measuring stick for all things concrete and abstract, let it be known that Mr. Trump is a concretized slab of wandering mucus and an abstraction of intellectual jabberwocky. We gladly confer upon this dereliction of the Creator this distinction of uselessness and soullessness, and may the latter affirm the nether, and the former affirm his tether to the Realm of Most Useless Men. 


  • Trump Commandments: And I could not look upon the Burning Bush lest mine eyes set aflame my soul, for the face of God shall no sinner see until he is purified. And there on the Mount did the Lord write out His Commandments for his poor servant to deliver unto the nations of Abraham. Alas, an interloper masquerading as a penguin stole the tablets and did unto them newly writ principles:
  1. Thou shall not put other gods before Me
  2. Thou shall love Me more than thy mother and father
  3. Thou shall not question the will of thy Lord but look to doubt as thy crucible
  4. Keep Holy Election Day clean without rivals
  5. Pray unto Me all that I deserve which is all of what is possessed by thee
  6. Thou shall not lie to Me in the same proportion I lie to thee
  7. Though shall not steal what I have stolen
  8. Thou shall not kill unless thy kill for Mine own sake
  9. Thou shall not covet any of Mine wives, purchased or rented
  10. Thou shall not covet My neighbors’ goods as they are all Mine.


  • Trump on a Leash

    I can’t give Trump such a long leash on his taxes, especially in light of what I previously stated, but also because of his poor credit with banks, making his worth relatively little in cash assets and based mostly on the value of his name and his endorsements, which have given him the sheen of a billionaire, but not the substance. I’m sure he’s worth considerably more with the recent tax cuts that benefited him and his 1% supporters. 

    In terms of what those 1%’s contribute to the tax burden, the off-shore tax havens have bloated into the high trillions. According to Newsweek, American corporations dodge about 70 billion in taxes a year. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that at least 32% of the world’s GDP is sheltered in tax havens, and that 8% of that GPD is that of US wealth, which is around 4 to 5 trillion. Remember, one of Trump’s first comments regarding money and taxes was, “Only suckers pay taxes.” You and me and most of us are those suckers. A relative of mine used to work for the IRS and would vouch for a staggering decline in audits for the wealthy and the corporate class during Republican tenures in the White House. 

    What alarms me the most is the creeping austerity that has devastated other first world countries will visit the USA, the wealthiest nation on Earth. With the threat of reductions in Social Security, Medicare, and the political theft of public pensions—none of which are gifts to the people, but benefits that the people have invested in—our standard of living may decline to Depression era levels over time. 

    In terms of immigration, we share with many civilized nations the right of asylum, and that when people seek asylum, they are given due process, something fundamental to any legitimate nation’s rule of law. Farmers and rural manufacturers and those jobs providers that offer jobs that Americans don’t want to do–they are starving for labor. 

    We also have to remember that quite a few corporations–Big Pharm & the meat packing industry, to name just two, import illegal labor, pay them squatters’ wages, pay no FICA or taxes, house them in substandard camps, dismiss them before they are audited (if they are audited at all), and begin the cycle all over again, skirting immigration laws and violating human rights. 


  • Occupy Congress

The moral deceit of the Trump administration in regard to ICE and their incompetent work on behalf of a zero tolerance, racist immigration policy is on full display here.

Sen. Leahy asks a very simple question and these functionaries masque their criminal complicity with doublespeak. They sound intelligent and official and informative, but they are saying nothing. They are scripted, full of vague, institutional jargon, and their language is purposely evasive. This is Orwellian at its darkest. Officially, by law, characterizing these immigrants as criminal and terrorist Homeland Security threats smacks of the rising “legalized” bias, intolerance, and scapegoating ethos of the Nuremberg Law & Jim Crow Laws. When reporting your neighbor is an immigrant as the # 1 priority on the HS Removal List, is simply fueling anti-immigrant bias. That reporting terrorist or kidnapping suspicions are significantly a lower priority reveals policy audacity that is either poorly thought out or downright nefarious.

The idea that children are separated from their parents, that some of both are deported, and that one immigration bureaucracy defers to another to act accountable for the disappearance is an international crime. That Chucky Cheese has a better system of keeping track of kids and making sure that the kids in its restaurant confines are not lost or worse kidnapped or trafficked, shames all the adults who work for these organizations (I hesitate to refer to them as organized), and all those who have the gall to continue to support an administration that reflects the worst values of any human being.

If Americans on the fence about the moral trajectory of this country don’t come to their senses this November, everyday thereafter should be one to Occupy Congress.

  • Trump & Orwell

In a symposium on George Orwell, the late Christopher Hitchens talked about the three major moral and political preoccupation of the last century; all three of them, in there own ways, contributing to the bloodiest century in history.

  1. The right of white Europeans and their descendants to govern the rest of the world, including many parts of Africa, Asia, and South America;
  2. The confrontation between forms of Democracy and forms of Nationalism (fascism, totalitarianism); and
  3. The realities and illusions of Democracy and Communism.

One would think with every advance in science, farming, medicine, manufacturing and industrialization, the standard of living for most of humanity would be commensurate with progress. For many it is not, and it is because of these continuing, and in some cases, accelerated preoccupations.

Trump is the ongoing embodiment of these three preoccupations.

  1. His champions all things white. From his early days as someone who systematically discriminated in housing practices, to his absurd championing of Roger Stone’s Obama “birther” fixation, to the opening salvos of his 2016 presidential campaign where he announced his border policy in exceedingly racist contexts, to his characterization of minority cultures coming from “shithole “ countries, and to his cheerleading white supremacy and finding an audience in those who would never dare reveal their inherent racist natures, Trump is irrefutably a racist himself.
  2. Trump embraces Nationalism. Orwell: “A nationalist is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige… his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations.” Trump said, “You know, they have a word — it’s sort of became old-fashioned — it’s called a ‘nationalist.’ And I say, really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I’m a nationalist, okay? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Nothing wrong. Use that word. Use that word.” Let’s not pretend that he is anything but. On a day-to-day basis, he challenges the very tenets of our republic through his assault on the Constitution for the purposes of asserting his own realpolitik, this absurd notion of winning at any cost, even it means destroying everything that has been accomplished (His dismantling of the gains Obama made is done out of spite), or could be accomplished with cooperation.
  3. Orwell wrote Animal Farm and 1984 to expose the terrible ways Communism could be exploited and corrupted through centralized power, resulting in Oligarchical Totalitarianism. The corporatist oligarchies Trump support seek to centralize fiscal power in the hands of the few. He can hug the American flag all he wants, and he can espouse the Christian beliefs he betrays on a daily basis with his immodesty, cruelty, unforgiving nature, greed, and inability to empathize, but his dictatorial desires only fool those who possess a similar lack of restraint to drink the blood of Machiavellian madness: the end justifies the means.