Monday, November 21, 2016

"Hamilton" Speaks Truth to Power

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Memo from NYC

"There is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre" - Kurt Vonnegut

I have never known anyone in my life who committed suicide. In this, I consider myself fortunate. But now I feel like I live in a country that chose to kill itself -- and I have no idea what to say. I have no idea what to say about a country that chooses to massacre its own ideals and decency. To paraphrase Mr. Vonnegut, there's nothing intelligent to say about the hideous decision to make Donald Trump, a product of NYC no less, the 45th President of the United States -- because there was nothing intelligent about it at all. 

These are dark days in America. 

Let me get straight to the point: Trump only won this election through the Electoral College but he lost the popular vote. That means the majority of Americans, however slight, DO NOT want him to be president (bless them all). Yet this monster slipped through because several states in the Midwest hammered by de-industrialization chose to believe Trump's big lie that he will restore manufacturing jobs in the USA.

He won't. He can't.

The global economy, despite his promises to his followers, is here to stay. Technology as much as trade deals is responsible for the disappearance of those great old well-earning, little-skilled and no-education needed factory jobs. Hillary Clinton and the other GOP candidates for president didn't promise to bring back these jobs because they knew it was impossible. But like the great con man he is, Trump promised to deliver something that he knows he can't. He sold these angry, desperate people snake oil and they bought it because they didn't see any alternative. 

That's our failure, that's American society's failure. We didn't give them an alternative, we didn't provide them with any other hope, so they fell for this con man's promises. What else did they have? America has failed so many of its people for so long that they chose to make the most dangerous decision in its history. It took decades for us to get to this point. Hopefully it won't take quite so long for America to rid itself fully of the stench of the Trump presidency and re-gain admission to the decency of the world community.

It'll be interesting to see in four years when Trump's (hopefully only) term will end. Will those great manufacturing jobs have come back? What about all the other stuff he promises? Will he have built that "big beautiful wall" between the USA and Mexico -- and gotten Mexico to pay for it? Will he really deport more than 10 million "illegal" immigrants? Will he really cut taxes, beef up the military, and build our infrastructure while maintaining fiscal discipline? If he does, then he will have succeeded -- at least on the terms he and his supporters litigated this election on. But if he doesn't, then he's a failure. 

And I think he'll fail. He'll fail because he was never serious about succeeding in the first place -- he just wanted to get the presidency and did so by selling snake oil to the masses. In four years, he'll be president and they'll still have nothing except broken promises. But actually, they won't even be broken promises because, as I said, they're promises that Donald the con man never intended to honor. How can a man who has no honor actually honor anything? In short, he'll be a bad president because he's a bad man.
That said, it was heartening to see here in NYC and around the country that many Americans aren't taking this nightmare lying down. They're on the streets, protesting. The resistance starts now and let's keep it going until he's president no more.