April proved to be a period of personal revolution that spun Candidate Trump into a President no one saw coming. Lest you think I’m expecting too much too soon, my concern is not that Trump hasn’t accomplished enough in his first hundred days, but that he has accomplished too much … in the opposite direction from the way he said he would go. To see how great the Trump transformation has been, let’s compare the words of the man running for president to the words and actions of the man running the White House.
Trump’s Russian reboot has been booted
Candidate Trump often said things like…
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along with people? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along with Russia?
It would be, but apparently that isn’t in the cards. Since Trump has become president, relations have moved to President Trump now saying,
Right now we’re not getting along with Russia at all. We may be at an all-time low.
In less than a hundred days, Trump has managed to make Russian relations worse than Hillary did in years! And that’s even by Trump’s own admission that Russian relations are the worst they’ve ever been! By Putin’s, too! And Putin hated Hillary! Yet, he already sees things as worse under Trump. Of course, Candidate Trump hated Hillary, but I remind you that President-Elect Trump showed an instant and total reversal post-election day when he announced she’s “good people” and, instead of saying “lock her up,” said, “I don’t want to hurt her.”
Everything went rancid with Russia so quickly after the election that you surely have to wonder if the establishment succeeded in goading Trump for being Putin’s puppet so well that Trump is working overtime just to prove he is not. Trump has revolved on Russia more quickly than I’ve seen any politician spin, just as he did on Hillary. So, Trump’s Russian revolution is a victory #1 for the US military-industrial arm of the establishment.
Trump gets serious in Syria and kracks down on Korean krackpots
Regime change has suddenly become Trump’s hottest plan. In an article about a week ago titled “Getting Trumped in Syria,” I laid out several times that Candidate Trump sharply criticized President Obama for thinking about attacking Bashar Assad directly in 2013 when chemicals killed a number of civilians in Syria. Trump also criticized Candidate Clinton for recommending regime change in Syria.
Obama decided, against Hillary Clinton’s advice, not to attack Assad’s forces directly, refusing to cave in to the wishes of the military-industrial complex. He took a lot of criticism because he had drawn a line in the sand over the issue of chemical weapons, but Obama decided there just wasn’t substantial enough evidence to link Assad to the chemical weapon incident that happened in 2013.
President Trump, however, leaped readily to the conclusion that Assad did cause the latest incident even though the publicly known evidence says otherwise. (You can read the article linked to above for the justification to this summary statement.) That’s not something that sounds at all like Candidate Trump. So, what happened to that guy?
I have to wonder if Trump’s swift change toward a military footing has anything to do with changing the conversation in Washington away from those endless allegations about him and Russia. Has anyone noticed that the entire nations stopped talking about the Trump-Russian connection last week? The one-two punch of Syria and Korea plus a groin kick with the largest bomb in Afghanistan knocked the headlines for a loop over the past two weeks.
If the establishment hoped to stir constant Russian controversy as a way of backing Trump into a corner, it seems to have worked. Makes me wonder if perhaps the establishment offered a trade — take an engaged military stance with Assad and Korea, and we’ll make the Russia controversy go away.
Whether it was a clever play by the establishment or just Trump seizing opportunities to turn the headlines around or is pure happenstance, one thing is certain: President Trump doesn’t look anything like the candidate who was hated by McCain and Lindsey Graham and who spoke against America playing global cop and who said we need to focus on making America great, not on the fighting the world.
Waging endless wars abroad (in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Syria) isn’t making America—or the rest of the world—any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt. In fact, it’s a wonder the economy hasn’t collapsed yet…. What most Americans—brainwashed into believing that patriotism means supporting the war machine—fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense. The rationale may keep changing for why American military forces are in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and now Syria. However, the one that remains constant is that those who run the government—including the current president—are feeding the appetite of the military industrial complex and fattening the bank accounts of its investors. (The Rutherford Institute)
The Wall Street banksters and America’s biggest companies like Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed-Douglas, General Electric, Goodyear, Exxon, General Motors, etc. all LOVE war, as it burns through massive amounts of product. It certainly appears the military-industrial establishments taken ownership of Trump … if they didn’t always own him. Maybe he was a Trojan horse by design, meant to attract the growing number of anti-establishment voters into one place where they could be taken down via the enacted failure of their ideas and disappointment of their hopes.
(Hold on. There’s a lot more in this series to support these statements about Trump being a Trojan horse. I’m not hanging that on just the examples in this article. There are MANY reasons to think that is true.)
NATO not so bad after all
Further proof that Trump has completely moved over to the side of the Republican neocons can be seen in his flip-flop on NATO. The man who said NATO was obsolete, said this month that NATO is “no longer obsolete.”
Really? NATO has changed? President Trump stood proudly at the side of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg last week and backtracked on everything he ever said as a candidate about NATO:
I said it [NATO] was obsolete. It is no longer obsolete.
What changed? Certainly, NATO hasn’t changed any since Trump got into office, but suddenly it has become all that it needs to be. The only thing that changed is Trump. Maybe Candidate Trump was just shooting off his clownish mouth when he prattled on and on about NATO’s obsolescence. In which case, we should have known not to believe a word this politician said. That’s one way to look at it — Trump just spews whatever comes out of his mouth and doesn’t think. Could easily be right. The other is that the military-industrial establishment has groomed Trump into their own image in less than a hundred days! That’s quite the makeover.
Neocons, war hawks, and NeverTrumpers are Trump’s new supporters
As further evidence that the establishment has changed Trump, I give you the words of the military-industrial establishment’s kingpin, John McCain, last week:
Three months after his inauguration, President Trump has shifted positions on Syria, China and other key issues — and Sen. John McCain said Sunday he hopes it’s because the “Washington establishment” has gotten into the president’s ear…. Mr. McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, had a simple answer when asked if Mr. Trump has been sucked in by establishment forces. “I hope so…. On national security, I do believe he has assembled a strong team and very appropriately he is listening to them.” (The Washington Times)
McCain has been Trump’s harshest critic in the Republican establishment because of Trump’s non-interventionist, lets-aim-for-peace-with-Russia rhetoric that McCain hated. So, for McCain to say “his is listening to” the warmongers that McCain approves of is about as much of an endorsement of Trump’s transformation as one could think might ever come out of McCain’s mouth. There is no other “team” that McCain would consider “strong” on national security than the neocons and warmongers who believe America’s highest aim is to police the world into democracy, even if it takes coups against democratically elected governments to get them there.
One of the risks I pointed out in Trump before he was elected is his obvious narcissism. Narcissists boast because they need the adulation of everyone. Narcissist need that praise because they are weak. They are forever stoking their confidence. They are love-starved and need to be loved. You can see Trump always filling that need by noting how he is the president who has created and spoken at the most rallies after he was elected, and the topic is always how great he is or how great the things he is about to do will be. Trump thrives on the praise and applause of the crowd. But needing to be loved (or, at least, liked; or, in the very least, cheered) is a dangerous weakness. It means Trump will do what it takes to maintain the praise he needs. Trump will change to fit in with the swamp he now lives in daily.
Some will say, “Ah, but you are obviously wrong there. Who is hated more because of the things he boldly says than Donald Trump?” And my response to that is, “Sure, but being provocative is how Trump gets attention. It’s how he has always gotten attention. He’s a media vacuum. It has also caused the masses of the great underserved middle class to join around him. But now he spends much of his time surrounded by the Washington establishment.” Understanding how deep the need of approval is in a narcissist can help you understand Trump’s rapid transformation.
Consider the number of major groups in the world that would switch from hating Trump, plotting against him, seeking to kill him even, ridiculing him, privately scorning him … to loving and praising him if he turned in the Manchurian Candidate. It doesn’t matter that the praise would be superficial. It’s praise. And he now lives among those people, which was not the case when he lived in Trump Tower and spent all his time in rallies among the masses.
All US arms manufacturers, all the bankers who get rich off of this manufacturers, all of the mainstream media owned by these corporations, all neocons, all of the Republican old guard like McCain, Democrats who are supported by the military-industrial establishment like Hillary, all the leaders of NATO nations, Israel and all Zionists, the Saudis and the Turks, and parts of the Intelligence community that are holdovers from the Obama era who have been long building a case against Russia will all like the NeoTrump better than Candidate Trump. That’s a lot of pressure on a narcissist’s ego, moving him to change.
On the upside of hope, there is the fact that he is going to feel a lot of pain as he loses his base that he sees as strongly supporting him, believing in him and rallying around him. So, all hope may not be lost; but for now all movement has been in the wrong direction. You can believe his transformation is a clever ruse to throw his opponents off guard, but that is just maintaining your own hopes by looking hard for the rosiest possible answer with scant evidence to support it. I choose to see the world as it is, whether I like what I have to write about or not and whether it loses me some readers or not. In the end, that has to be the better path, if not the most popular path.
Maybe if Trump changed all of those parties listed above would even drop their Russian-collusion garbage, and the fake news could end. Imagine the pressure of all that! Most likely Russiagate only existed in the first place because of ALL the forces were acting in consort to bring Trump down; so, of course, that will go away if he capitulates to their desires. For all the noise, Trump’s detractors haven’t managed to present a single shred of evidence against Trump in months of trying. (If they have it, they’re holing their cards surprisingly close to their chests.) Even if they do have something on Trump — in fact, especially if — an offer to do away with that information would be huge in pressing Trump to change.
That’s a lot of temptation and possible relief for anyone, but especially for a narcissist bearing a world of hatred. The establishment is not less than mighty. So, if you could convince yourself that your own supporters love you blindly enough to stay with you and keep believing in you — like a woman who stands by her man no matter what he does — all you stand to lose is the admiration of Russia, Iran and the terrorists. Big deal! The anti-war liberals will hate you, but they already hate you anyway.
Don’t break the China
Kim Jong-un in Korea is a much more legitimate concern than Bashar Assad as I laid out a week ago in an article titled “Krunch Time for Korean Krackpot Despot, Kim Jong-Un: Missile Crisis Countdown Has Begun.” Because of Korea, Trump turned soft on China trade last week, too. Softening on China may be wiser diplomacy in light of greater concerns. (I think Trump got an education from Obama during his first White House visit that was eye-opening about just how serious the Korean Konundrum is.) It is, however, still another massive capitulation in the direction of the Wall Street establishment that doesn’t want anyone messing with their cheap labor in Chinese factories by imposing tariffs against Chinese imports.
Candidate Trump said “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.” Though word, but words are not tough when you don’t stand by them. Candidate Trump ranted endlessly about how horrible our trade deals with China were. After last weekend’s lovely dinner with China’s president, described in my Syrian article, President Trump said, “We had a very good bonding…. President Xi wants to do the right thing.” The right thing was a new trade deal the president offered to China: help us with our Korean problem, and we’ll go easy with on on trade. So, that ends that.
As my proof that this switch is complete, too, I give you the following: Candidate Trump often said that China manipulates its currency in order to compete unfairly against American products, but after his weekend meeting with China’s president, Trump stated, “They’re not currency manipulators.”
Trump often ridiculed Obama for not being courageous enough to label China a currency manipulator. If you voted for Trump, did you know you were voting for Obama again? As it turns out, orange is the new Black.
Tomorrow’s article in this series will look at how much the Manchurian Candidate has changed on his position about the Federal Reserve. The series began with “You Got Trumped! Winning horse in presidential race was Trojan.”