Monday, August 01, 2016

As Crazy As Ahab

Donald Trump is certifiable. The evidence of his megalomania is overwhelming. Michael Harris writes:

Need examples?  Let’s start here: Trump, who aspires to lead the free world, criticized Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine as the horrible Governor of New Jersey, a guy who wanted to raise taxes in that state by four billion dollars as soon as he was elected. That could be construed as a damning indictment, except for one thing: Tim Kaine was never Governor of New Jersey, Tom Kean was — between 1982 and 1990. Not that it matters, but Kean was a Republican. Kaine is a Democrat and was Governor of Virginia between 2006 and 2010. But, hey, why let a few letters, a different political party and 20 years get in the way of a political snipe?

He tried to body-slam Brett Lacy, the Colorado Springs Fire Marshall, for capping attendance at one of his campaign rallies for safety reasons. Public safety versus ego-liberation you see. Lacy’s recent past? He had just been honoured as “Citizen of the Year” for his exemplary role in aiding the victims of a 2015 mass shooting at a local Planned Parenthood chapter in that state.

As for U.S. four-star General John Allen, who commanded the effort against ISIS in Syria before he retired and spoke against Trump at the Democratic Convention, Trump called him a “failed general” who didn’t get the job done. It was a strange assault given Trump’s empty commitment to the U.S. military, which he would order to commit illegal acts like torture, and to veterans.

But not only is Trump delusional, he's also profoundly ignorant. Khizr Khan suggested at the Democratic National Convention that Trump read the Constitution:

Trump has promised to do everything for America including putting hair back on the head of its national symbol, the Bald Eagle. He has promised to rewrite trade deals he has no authority to alter (yes, Donald, only Congress can actually ratify trade deals). He has promised to force Mexico to pay for the wall that will cut it off from the United States (their former president told him to go do the physically impossible). He has pledged to bar Muslims from entering America, even though the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

What's the verdict? Trump's as crazy as Captain Ahab. You may recall that lots of other crazies joined him on the voyage. Only one survived.



Lorne said...

For more on Trump's diseased mental and moral state, Owen, here are two links:

Somehow, however, I doubt that discussing this aberration of a man will have any effect on his slavishly ardent admirers.

Owen Gray said...

It's remarkable, Lorne. The man has the attention span of a dust mite. And he's obviously unstable. But group think gives some people the impression that great minds think alike. They forget -- or simply don't know -- the flip side of that proposition: fools never differ.

Rural said...

Talking of profoundly ignorant......
DONALD J. Trump has told Fox and Friends that he believes the U.S. “should never have allowed” Canada to gain independence.
“I personally think it was the biggest mistake in American history, giving Canada back. Look at that place now, it’s falling to pieces. It’s overrun by godless, gunless hippies and it’s such a shame to see.”

Better a gunless hippy than a fkin idiot!

Owen Gray said...

Incredible, Rural. Like the old song says, "Don't know much about history . . ."

John B. said...

Trump would have fought to preserve the Union, but he was on sick parade the day that Canada seceded.

(I think the story is a put-on.)

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps you're right, John. Could he really be that stupid?

John. B. said...

Thanks for the reminder, Owen. I guess the story could be for real.

Owen Gray said...

If the story is real, John, that's even more reason to be concerned about Trump.

Anonymous said...

Interesting: the part about trade deals. Trump was right when he said Khizr Khan delivered a speech written by others. This is why the establishment is actually hysterical over Trump (and Sanders.) Like the Brexit, they say you're a racist if you don't support free trade. They also say you're a misogynist if you don't support Hillary. All phony PC outrage memes and manipulations.

What can be said about people who support a politician who has accepted over $100-million in bribes, directly into her bank account? Someone who receives even greater sums of bribe money, including from foreign interests, into the Clinton Foundation? Someone who believes democratic representation is up for sale?

People who support this flagrant corruption and the erosion of our democratic institutions are on the wrong side of history.

This Ahab analogy misses the mark. One could consider Hitler an Ahab. His revenge-driven endeavor was predicated on crushing WW1 reparations in the context of abominable European history. Trump, however, is not a man on a mission. He is a reality TV host. A joke. A trust-fund kiddie. A narcissist and inexorable self-promoter. A weasel of a businessman. A blowhard. A big talker. But not a criminal.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is not a criminal.

It's certainly dangerous putting Archie Bunker in the White House. But unlike a country like Canada that has a government of one, America has checks and balances and safeguards against tyranny. Three legislative branches of government. Mid-term elections. An impeachment safety value. Even the 2nd amendment, which, although anachronistic, shows how deeply woven the anti-tyrant sentiment is in American culture.

There will be no one to stop Hillary from selling America off by parts. The vast majority of senators and representatives are taking bribes. The establishment news media is owned by plutocrats. They are not going to raise much of a stink. That would mean Hillary would be the de facto dictator of America, its government owned and operated by looting robber barons. (That is, until they cause the collapse of the economy and all the hell unleashed in the aftermath. Like the scorpion that stings the frog carrying it across the river, they don't want to think that far ahead.)

-Bernie Orbust

Owen Gray said...

You're underestimating the damage Trump can do, Bernie.

The Mound of Sound said...

Owen, I suspect it is at least probable that America's national security apparatus would never allow Trump to serve as president. They cannot allow a man with his psychopathy access to America's nuclear codes. Remember the US military withdrew Nixon's access to the "football" as he neared impeachment. Trump's "bull in the china store" manner would endanger American security and its relationships with friendly and hostile nations alike. That damage could be lasting, possibly permanent.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to imagine how you don't think Hillary is a danger.

-Bernie Orbust

Owen Gray said...

Hillary is a flawed candidate, Bernie. But, as I suggested earlier, voting for Stein will merely siphon off progressive votes. If the progressive vote splinters, Trump wins.

Owen Gray said...

Certainly that was John Allen's underlying message, Mound. It's remarkable that so many Americans can't see who -- and what -- Trump is.

ffd said...

Trump is incredibly ignorant. One story in the European media but not mentioned in the North American media, is Trump's announcement that Belgium is a beautiful city on 16 June in Georgia. Maybe his followers think Belgium is a beautiful city too. Many Americans and a lot of Canadians too are pretty short on basic knowledge about the world, to a degree that news makes little sense to them.

I know someone who didn't know Ireland was divided into the independent Republic of Ireland and the northern part which belongs to the UK. So when I mentioned that disgruntled young EU supporters in England were trying to get Irish passports via their Irish ancestors, she didn't understand how this worked since she thought Ireland is part of the UK.

As for Trump, I think he is in the early stages of Alzheimers. His father died of Alzheimers and I suspect Trump will too. Trump reminds me eerily of Ronnie Reagan in his irrationality and Reagan ended up diagnosed with Alzheimers.

Owen Gray said...

One wonders how Trump ever got through school, ffd. We're talking about a basic knowledge of geography and history.

Anonymous said...

Trump is unquestionably unfit to be President.

However, I strongly encourage you to watch this and then honestly say that Hillary is fit to be President:

Alternatively, if you believe Schweizer to be biased and untruthful, then please share the evidence. Schweizer, as far as I know, has not been threatened with any lawsuits by the Clintons, which says a lot to me. Especially with the stakes being so high. And the Clintons being in a position to hire expensive lawyers.

Strategic voting makes sense under some circumstances - I believe it was strategic voting that, at least in part, had got rid of Harper and replaced him with Trudeau. It could even be argued that it was the right thing to do, although questions are now being asked whether Trudeau represents a real change from Harper's policies.

Another point: despite being criticized for taking some money for 2 or 3 speeches given as an MP, Trudeau was never in the same league as the Clintons. First, the amount of money he took was very small compared to the alleged amounts with the Clintons (many millions). Second, Trudeau never was close to power then and could not have sold his political influence - the Liberals in fact were in opposition. Third, Trudeau did not come to the highest political office with anywhere close to the baggage that Hillary would have. Fourth, and more importantly, if as this documentary had established, the Clintons could so readily say one thing, and do another to allegedly enrich themselves and their associates, how does any reasonable person believe anything she says anymore?

Are you still willing to put "corrupt" into office to stop "insane" when there are other choices? I thought it was interesting that even the Koch brothers had said they would not choose cancer over heart disease, and for once, it even made sense, I would suspect, to many progressives who had never before agreed with those guys. Over to you.

Owen Gray said...

In this case -- and I don't have a vote -- strategic voting makes sense, Bernie. As for your other claims, I refer you to the following link:

She's far from perfect. But I learned a long time ago not to believe everything I hear or read.

Anonymous said...

Btw, I am not Bernie. And we both do not have any votes but I wanted to hear your views on whether you still thought she was fit to be President, regardless of whether strategic voting makes sense, after you watch the link above (on "Clinton cash"). I would still respect your views on strategic voting even though I disagree as I think she is worse than trump on some important issues that would affect non American s (e.g. Foreign policy). But please do not dismiss watching the above. Lol

Owen Gray said...

I'm aware of those charges, Anon. And, as I said in an earlier comment, I'm not surprized that the source of the clip is Breitbart. The Clintons have indeed allied themselves with the wealthy. The entire Democratic Party got in bed with the wealthy under Clinton.

I would have preferred Bernie. But he never would have won. However, he may shift the political center by endorsing Hillary. Trump will simply push the Republican Party further right and make it more authoritarian.

I apologize for confusing you with Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Owen: Apologies are unnecessary but appreciated (I did sign myself off as Anon without a name so the cofusion is understandable).

Thought I would just point out a factual inaccuracy. The very large majority of the national polls taken during the Dem. primary had shown 2 things: (a) Bernie repeatedly beat Trump whereas Hillary would beat Trump about half the time and would lose the other half of the time, and (b) even when Hillary beat Trump, her polled margin of victory was only about half that of the polled margin of victory of Bernie over Trump (look it up if you do not trust me, lol). Therefore, I (and many others, I have read their comments) would have said that Bernie would have had an easier time beating Trump had he been the nominee. Bernie himself had repeatedly pointed this out during his debates with Hillary.

The Wikileaks showing that the DNC had colluded with some in the media to smear Bernie and favor Hillary, and the fact that the superdelegates had mostly announced their support for Hillary even before a single vote had been cast, further suggested that the Dem. party had tried to steal the primary for Hillary. Hillary claimed she had more votes, however, does anyone trust the DNC's and Debbie Wasserman Schultz's counts of the votes after what Wikileaks had revealed?

Owen Gray said...

I agree that polls indicated Bernie might do better, Anon. But my guess is that Hillary will have an easier time picking up disaffected Republicans. I note that one Republican congressman announced today that he was voting for Clinton. And Meg Whitman -- CEO of Hewlett Packard and a Republican fundraiser -- also declared for Clinton today.

And this comes from the Los Angeles Times:

Sally Bradshaw, an influential GOP strategist in Florida who advised former Gov. Jeb Bush during his primary campaign, announced Monday that she would leave the party.

A day later, Maria Comella, a top former advisor to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, also called Trump a demagogue and signaled her support for Clinton.

Trump, she said, "has been a demagogue this whole time, preying on people's anxieties with loose information and salacious rhetoric, drumming up fear and hatred of the 'other.' "

The move by several Republican women to back Clinton underscores the issues the GOP nominee has had with female voters.