What’s really wrong with Trump’s administration

Most of the coverage of President Donald Trump is based on his constant stream of tweets and social media comments, which enables him to dominate the news.

Most of the rest is based in developments of the Mueller Russiagate investigation, which may or may not turn out to be what it’s cracked up to be.

What’s out of the spotlight is reporting about the Trump administration’s actual deeds and policies.

Trump has continued American policy of attempting to dominate the world through military threats and economic sanctions, despite their evident failure.   During the 2016 campaign, I saw some possibility that he, unlike Hillary Clinton, would try to wind down American military interventions.  He was either lying or, what I think is more likely, unable to control the national security establishment—what some of us call the “deep state.”

Trump has continued American policy to risk nuclear confrontation with Russia and North Korea, which puts the whole world in danger.  The national security establishment has undermined his feeble and inept attempts to make peace.  But evidently he has frightened the North and South Korean governments into trying to make peace among themselves, which is a good thing.

Trump does not even pay lip service to trying to avert catastrophic global warming.  Instead his policy is to promote fossil fuels over renewable energy, which will speed up climate change.

Nuclear war and global warming are the main existential threats to the nation and the world.  Trump has failed to address the first and is actively preventing action against the second.

Trump during the campaign promised to do something about the offshoring of American jobs, which is a real problem that the other candidates ignored.  But his threats and tariffs will not help because U.S. industry has become too entangled in international supply chains to free itself overnight.   What’s needed is a long-range industrial policy that will rebuild American industry, which neither party has so far attempted.

Trump during the campaign promised to reform immigration, which is another real issue other candidates ignored.  The cruel treatment of asylum seekers and long-time foreign residents is shameful and does not change the overall situation.  I think there is something to be said for a merit-based immigration system, but I admit I don’t have a complete answer to the immigration question.  But neither does Trump.

Trump through his tax policies has increased the concentration of wealth among a tiny economic elite.  He has through his administrative policies dismantled protections for workers, consumers and the environment and have undermined the ability of government to function at all.

His whole administration has been a carnival of incompetence and corruption.  He has not yet had to meet a serious crisis, except for self-created crises.  I shudder to think what will happen with the next financial crisis, which I think is sure to happen.

His domestic policies, however, do not differ from those of the dominant wing of the Republican Party, as represented by Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan.  Trumpism is bigger than Trump.

LINKS

What Will Donald Trump Be Remembered For? by Tom Engelhardt for TomDispatch.  [Hat tip to Jack Clontz]

A rundown of all the ways Trump is overseeing an all-out, under-the-radar attack on workers by Steven Hill for Salon.

The Biggest Trump Scandal So Far by Branko Marcetic for Jacobin.

. I made some minor wording changes on 9/16/2018.

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