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May 06, 2019

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No. No it will not.

Great essay! My only comment would be that the process of eroding the American-led world order began a long time ago. Trump takes it to an Nth degree, but this started as soon as we consciously decided to use our power to manipulate others and other nations for profit. This erosion has led to many other negative influences chartered by the US.

And then there is a fable by
PEPE ESCOBAR, The Eagle, The Bear and The Dragon.

Good riddance to his abomination — splitting Korea, giving the French their colonies back, overthrowing the elected government of Iran, scaring Americans over a Soviet Union shattered by WW2, backing a Chinese warlord, snubbing Ho Chi Minh, and continuing the usual shenanigans in Latin America. A legacy of empire, financial overlords, corporate rape, missteps, lies, arrogance, and that oh so special America Exceptionalism. The chickens are coming home to roost. Have mercy on us.

Bravo Rogue. The appreciation of nuances in US foreign policy, international relations and world history likely exceed the life experiences and educational background of most of your readers as well as most Americans. Discussing US foreign relations in an America First stronghold such as Arizona is stretching it a lot. Seattle, now there’s a place that foreign relations and world history could be sensibly discussed.

drifter, as a resident of Arizona, I can confirm the lack of curiosity or knowledge here of the history of the United States as well as the impact of climate change. The local knowledge is lost, too.

I was at the AZ Capitol Times Morning Scoop panel on Water last week, and the question posed was 'can Arizona add another 50% to the population in the next 20 years- and have enough water?' The answers from Arizona were "Yes of course!" The answer from the Gila River Indian Governor on the panel was "We have finite resources and should manage them. We have begun..." and listed things they were proactively doing to prepare for less water.

He was ignored. Again. It was as if the others on the panel thought 'oh no, he's off the reservation again' (a phrase I despise, btw).

It's paralyzing and frustrating when you see things but when you explain them you are considered 'crazy'. I wish there were more like minded people such as the author of this fantastic site.

The crude daydreams of white nationalists would somehow undo the myriad connections and interdependencies of our globalized economy. Trump himself is a one-man wrecking crew not from ideology but simple spite. Like a barroom blowhard at 2am, he has all the answers because to admit his ignorance would necessarily emasculate himself before the easily swindled rubes and stenographic media who mistake bravado for capability. Our very stable genius has to prove himself more capable than Obama even if means drenching us with a firehose of bullshit.

I am not rich, smart, or knowledgeable but I am an elitist in my fashion. I want smart, wise, and deeply informed experts ironing out the details rather delusional crackpots like John Bolton. I don't want Ivanka's husband freelancing Middle East "peace". I want the EPA staffed by scientists, not oil industry apparatchiks. Most of all, I want a citizenry just wise enough not to believe conspiracy theorists and/or Fox News pundits like Sean Hannity.

Trump is now at 46% in the latest Gallup poll, his high-point. He is a one-man symbol of the Dunning-Kruger effect, someone so abysmally mismatched to his job that it seems nearly to be a cosmic joke at the expense of patriots. We have shredded our shared sense of reality for the dubious pleasure of Us vs Them. Democracy is failing us not because intellectuals are snobs but because anti-intellectuals are deeply compromised by malice. It's impossible to imagine a previous time in American history when so many citizens celebrated ignorance and stupidity as virtues. If nothing else, Americans used to be aspirational and regarded education as a good thing. Now, we finally got the president of our degraded dreams, someone a Mencken would call our just desert.

This anti-elitist populism is seen mostly on the right but you can see it on the left as well. Hillary Clinton is still hated for being a deeply knowledgeable public actor. She wiped the floor with Trump in three presidential debates but Real Americans loved that Trump tickled their libidos with lascivious grievance. Now history is crashing all around us. Burning down the house to spite the elitists seems to have had the not-so-paradoxical effect of leaving us homeless in a dark and ominous era. We are fucked.

Interesting post and stimulating comments both in agreement and dissent.

I think we're all so used to, and emotionally invested in, American exceptionalism and world leadership that it's hard to even fathom what might happen if Trump had his way and America did a hard retreat from the world. The reality is, the government has tremendous inertia and there is only so much he can change.

His people recently wanted to reduce foreign aid by 23% and everyone just flat out refused to consider the possibility, even Lindsey Graham.

I'm not saying I want to cut foreign aid 23% but we aren't exactly the most effective money-throwers in the world, either. Surely we could spend a little less and do so more effectively, not that this administration would necessarily be equipped to do it. I just think some of our paradigms are sort of glued in place.

Here's a tonic for the weary soul: David Corn interviews Max Boot, who calls for the destruction of the Republican Party:

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/destroy-the-republican-party-max-boot-calls-for-a-clean-start/

Loved Soleris comment on May 7th. Agree 100% with paragraph about elitists in middle of comments and especially agree with ending sentence of being fucked. Liberals always overestimate power of reason and underestimate malice of the establishment when threatened.

Defying Trump?

WHY did a great nation like Germany elevate the scum of its own people to power, and then follow them into the abyss? Few questions in the history of the past century have been more thoroughly explored or contentiously debated. An astonishing memoir, written decades ago and only now making its appearance, freshly illuminates this gnawing enigma.

https://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/25/books/marching-but-out-of-step.html

Cal, having spent a year in Germany during college, I asked myself the same question. There were still a lot of people around back then in the early '70s who experienced WWII first hand. I never met a single one who was any way ashamed of or chastened by Hitler. To a person, they saw themselves as patriotic or Good Germans as they are sometimes called. The most difficult thing for any person to endure is the idea that they were somehow wrong in their passions and beliefs.

There is an eerie and disturbing parallel here in America today. I'm not accusing Republicans of being Nazis but I would say that they tend fit comfortably on the authoritarian scale. They are perfectly fine with using law not as an impartial bulwark of civilization but as a cudgel against their enemies and expendable when it threatens themselves. Their relationship to truth and objective reality is tenuous as best. They define themselves in a tribal manner more than as citizens of great and diverse nation. "American" is clearly secondary to their primary affiliation as Republicans and white people.

The most maddening thing about this situation is that we can't broach the comparison to Nazi Germany for fear of violating Godwin's Law or the sacred proprieties of the MSM. We now see democracy ebbing in America. The very people killing our sacred ideals are enthralled with the idea of their own victimhood, as if modernity and change were conspiracies wielded against them personally. When the Bush family was the governing sensibility in the GOP, the ugliness was held in check. But it only took one toxic individual to blow away the conceit that there is such a thing left as a decent Republican Party. A governing belief system based either on racism or supreme ease with racism should set off alarm bells in every patriotic American. This is an extraordinary danger to the republic.

Most people don't read history. They don't understand the extraordinary achievement that democracy and the rule of law constitute. They binge watch TV or get their beliefs validated on the internet. There are few buffers left to tell them what America is all about or what ordinary decency looks like in a president. For them, it could look like a Reality TV host braying about how successful he is. Trump is not Hitler. For one thing, he's extremely undisciplined and ignorant. But he's picking the scab covering our national comity. He's doing it because it delights a good 40% of Americans who regard Vladimir Putin more favorably than Barack Obama. We are on the cusp of losing America for good.

Thanks Soleri.
Jon 7190 in case u missed it i been posting about our great cloud days here in the Great Sonoran Desert on the previous blog. Well today its really an amazing cloud day here along with sunshine and a smattering of mositure splattered about the vibrant Desert. Whats left of it!

Jon7190. Run for the storm cellar.

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