Summary: Trump appoints an all-plutocrat “Strategic and Policy Forum”. No need to guess what comes next. Congratulate Trump for running as a populist, the most effective political con in US history. It is the inevitable next step as our elites explore and exploit our gullibility. This can inspire us to push for reform of American politics, while we still can.
“Every nation has the government it deserves.”
— Joseph de Maistre (lawyer, diplomat, philosopher), Letter #76 dated 13 August 1811, published in Lettres Et Opuscules Inédits.
In 2008 the world saw the strange spectacle of the Left fantasizing about the coming era of Obama. Elected despite his minimal experience in office, they saw him as The One bringing hope and change, to “begin the process of changing our politics and our civic life“. This culminated in the mad award of the Nobel Peace Prize to him in October 2009. In 8 years he broadened our wars, beginning unprecedented programs of surveillance, assassination, and suppression of whistle-blowers — plus the giving the health care industry the unaffordable cornucopia of ObamaCare (covering more people, but with health care spending projected to grow at over 2x faster than GDP).
Now the Right does the same. Elected as a populist, he prepares to rule as a ring-wing plutocrat, assisted by solid conservative majorities in both Houses of Congress — one of the largest political cons in US history. We need not guess what comes next. His executive appointees for domestic policy are mostly billionaires and far-right activists. In Washington people are policy.
Trump listens to the voice of America’s rulers
To make this even clearer, Trump created the Strategic and Policy Forum to advise him. Its 16 members include 9 corporate CEOs (active or retired, including GM, IBM, Disney, Boeing, JP Morgan, and Wal-Mart), 6 financiers, and one brilliant analyst.
Two on the panel are unlike the rest. Dr. Toby Cosgrove is CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, and has a stellar profile as a doctor and health care innovator, combining brilliance plus long and broad experience. One dark detail: in 2014 Obama planned to appoint him as head of the VA. Cosgrove withdrew his nomination after Modern Healthcare wrote about the Cleveland Clinic’s record of safety problems (like this $600,000 fine), stone-walling investigations, leading to repeated threats by regulators to end its eligibility for Medicare funding.
The other star on the panel is Daniel Yergin. He has a Ph.D. in international relations and one of the world’s best records as an analyst of oil industry (debunking the 2003-2010 peak oil fears). His books are top-quality models of scholarship written for a general audience, including Shattered peace: The origins of the cold war and the national security state, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, and The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy.
The panel lacks a single representative of America’s workers, but many favoring expansion of the H-1b program that imports people to depress wages of America’s most talented people. The panel will be a strong voice on Team Trump for corporate America and the interests of the 1%.
“Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
— Attributed to Robert Louis Stevenson.
People who saw Trump as a populist gave him the edge to win. They were gullible. America’s future depends on the lessons these voters learn from this experience. Will they react with disillusionment and apathy, withdrawing from politics so that the 1% rule unopposed? The Republic will have become a plutocracy when these people become a majority, no matter what the outward forms of our system.
Or we can get angry and act as previous generations did when the Republic was threatened. We have seldom faced a greater threat. It’s time to move from surfing the internet to action.
We should all wear these all the time. We need reminding.
Why we should act rather than complain
The voices I found most discouraging during Campaign 2016 were those of the discouraged, whining that the service of the American government was not what they deserved — and they would no longer give their patronage to the US political system. They see themselves as passengers on cruise ship America, not its crew. They complain about America rather than assume responsibility to make it work. These are the voices of peons, not citizens. Voices that make the 1% happy. Voices that the Founders feared.
What can you do? For ideas see Reforming America: steps to new politics.
” Virtues are formed in man by his actions.”
— Aristotle in his The Nicomachean Ethics.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? …faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. …Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.”
— James 2:14-18.
“It’s what you do that defines you.”
— Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins.
For More Information
For more about this Team Trump — Here’s the news about Team Trump. See the promises fade away. Also see “Trump’s wealthy cabinet choices hark back to Gilded Age” by Shawn Donnan in the Financial Times — “Few precedents for collection of billionaires and their lack of government experience.” Andrew Orlowski at The Register makes an interesting observation: “Team Trump snubs Big Internet oligarchs” — “Economic forum shuns Zuck, Google, but finds seat for IBM.”
- A simple thing you can do to start the reform of America: get angry.
- How can we arouse a passion to reform America in the hearts of our neighbors?
- Should we risk using anger to arouse America?