Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trump Ennui

It is bad enough that he is omnipresent like a Cheshire cat on the airways, on line, wherever you turn, but to have him as a “neighbor” as well is pure overload.  I suppose he misses the gold-plated Mar-a-Lago and the opportunity to play on his own golf courses in the sun.  More likely, it is the procession which draws him here, the parade of pomp and preparation, and his brand being brandished.

Days in advance our local newspaper breathlessly announces his highness’ arrival, expectantly and cautionary as it causes total disruption in the area.  This coming visit involves Chinese President XI and his entourage who will be staying at the Eau Palm Beach which used to have the more hotel-like name of Ritz Carlton.  I once stayed there for a big corporate conference myself.  It’s palatial, but I suppose Trump’s Mar-a-Lago gives it a good run for its money.  So you can catch Xi at the Eau. 

Palm Beach County – and in particular Palm Beach itself – will be a traffic nightmare.  Thus far the expense of these numerous Trump visits is borne by the County.  Trump makes a big deal of donating his $78k quarterly salary to the US National Parks Dept, while cutting its parent Department of the Interior’s budget by $2 billion.  According to my math, it’ll take him more than 6,000 years of donating his salary to make up the difference.  Maybe I have an extra zero someplace, or missed a zero as it seems like a VERY long time but if he lasts 6,000 years in office, all the more power to him. It could happen as everything he does is amazing, big time, etc.

He refuses to pick up Palm Beach County’s expense of guarding him so he can play golf in the sunshine.  Perhaps the County’s officials should read “his” Art of the Deal and walk away from the table, go protect yourself, Donald.  It might be the only way they/we can get reimbursement for those expenses.  But the County officials like to delude themselves that as Trump’s visits put Palm Beach County in the limelight that will increase tourism and thus drive tax revenue.  Do you want to visit PBC because Trump is frequently here?  I guess Washington DC’s tourism is on the wane as the star is rarely there on weekends.

I can’t imagine why the Chinese delegation agreed to meet at Mar-a-Lago where Trump can flaunt his ego.  After all, there are very weighty issues to be discussed. Where does one get the idea that these can be easily discussed while teeing off on a golf course?  Why not stay in the White House where there is a bowling alley?  They can discuss the issues while joking about Trump’s 7-10 split.  Trump is a good golfer (my neighbor is one of his pros) and he probably wants to play games he can easily win.  Look at me!

This egomaniacal inexperienced President is now toying with one of the most serious international issues of his presidency, the growing threat of North Korea.  Making statements like, we’ll go it alone if China doesn’t act or Tillerson’s inexplicable dropping of the mike simply saying “the United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment," does not exactly inspire confidence.  We’re talking nuclear war here, folks, not jobs for coal-miners.  Not that the latter is unimportant but that is in an industry that is dying because of alternative energy supplies, including natural gas.  It’s going the way horse-drawn carriages when the automobile became dominant.  Focus on the right stuff!

The first 100 days are not yet over but it already seems like 1,000.  There are so many issues that keep me restless at night, day, whenever, the Syrian humanitarian crisis, the impending Korean disaster, decimating environmental budgets and regulations,  the gas lighting of fake news, Russia’s possible interference with the election and the general vulnerability that the Internet and social media create, the continuing inability of Congress to function, the callous consequences of misguided immigration and refugee proposals, impracticable building of a wall in the middle of the Rio Grande river while our Infrastructure is falling apart, tax reform which will inevitably favor the rich including the removal of the inheritance tax, unrealistic border taxes (and extremely difficult to articulate and manage), and I can go on and on, but what’s the sense? 

At mid-term elections I will cast my one vote, if we last that long – given the consequences of the ischemic seizure of our entire governing process and the self-serving dilettantes now at the tiller.  I’ve written often about DJT even though I mightily try to ignore him, my resolve weak due to ongoing embarrassment for our nation and, now, just plain fear. I write as a form of catharsis.