Integrity is hard work. It does not come naturally or easily. Personally, I have endured some hard blows and scars which will endure in me to my last breath in the struggle to be honest. Integrity is built on personal honesty. There are times in life when a lie holds the illusion of a quick an easy way out of an ethical dilemma. However, unless you have no conscience, you find that every lie you tell leaves a bitter pill in your soul that will continually come back to haunt you in the most innocuous and inopportune moments. Every lie builds a hardness around you that entombs the pure and innocent child, full of life and beauty and hope and wonder, in a living stagnation, a resignation and despair which constitute a living death. It bogs the soul down in resentment, negativity, fear, anxiety and anger. Only a sociopath can tell lies without any toll to be paid, at least consciously. I believe Donald Trump is such a person. He is now the President of the free world.
Trump has been caught in lie after lie. Contradiction seems to be no problem for him. He has told many lies to win this election. Those folks that elected him thinking he will increase their personal incomes and make them prosperous are the ones that ultimately will face a harsh punishment from Trump lies. Trump cannot bring jobs back to this country. He has a factual history of taking jobs out of this country. Trade agreements will not hinder or facilitate the creation and restoration of jobs in this country. The bottom line is that when impoverished countries have people that will work for pennies on the dollar to what our citizens can work for to have any sort of a livable wage we will never be able to compete in purely capitalistic, dollars and cents, terms. No political lie or promise will change the economic worldwide shift brought about by technology and global capitalism.
If fact, trying to manipulate trade deals and treaties to “bring jobs back to the US” will only raise prices for the basic necessities of life. The increased cost of groceries, fuel, building materials for shelter, textiles and all the luxuries we have come to enjoy will first and foremost hit the most unfortunate among us. Those folks in rural regions of the country who were hit hard by the credit bubble burst brought on by a rabid financial deregulation pushed those who were living above their means back into the stark reality of vulture capitalism. This ugly bird has devoured the carcasses of many historic societies.
Mercantilism which drove our Founding Fathers into a new world and was most prominent in Thomas Jefferson’s reaction to the consolation of power, resulted in the typical and tragic repeated story of slavery and aristocracy. Left to its own devices pure, Austrian, capitalism has repeatedly shown us that unrestricted wealth is unrestricted power. It has always resulted in one percent basking in the purgatives of the master and ninety-nine percent living in the tragic impoverishment of enslavement to the harsh and dyer realities of suffering, torment and early death. That story will never change left to its own devices.
Adam Smith’s selfishness which gave way to competition and thereby more efficient cost of services and increased value to consumers is now working on a global scale. Very few politicians, especially Republicans can openly state the true case for global competition. As Americans we are on the losing end of the competition wars when it comes to labor and cost of goods produced except in certain very narrow markets where automation can be achieved. Even then, the capital costs are prohibitive to newcomers to free market competition. In effect, the natural barrier to competition in production in the US market is enormous up front capital investment. The double punch of much lower labor costs in foreign markets than we can possibly achieve here and the huge capital outlay for domestic production lines will ensure that the US will likely never see the affluence that the industrial revolution once afforded us.
The dark side of selfishness is the intoxication of power. The human ego attains the illusion of godhood when infused with the aspiration of absolute power. In effect, power and consolidation result in market manipulation of cost and create barriers to the kind of competition Adam Smith envisioned. Monopolies are thereby the antithesis to more efficient and reduced cost of goods and services. If this could be thought in the far right’s anti-government terms it would be called ‘tyranny’. The Machiavellian struggle of monopolies and globalism can only be interrupted with government intervention not with xenophobia.
The ‘government’, our government, is not a harsh vulture capitalist monster which picks the bones of its victims. It is an instrument of the people which takes money from the private sector and redistributes it to the masses. It is an economic device which when working as our Founding Fathers intended resists the tendency for power to simply be reduced to the survival of the fittest. It holds the promise of a Titan strong enough to fight the historic monster of aristocracy, dictators and tyrants. Our government was never meant to be a tyrant. Only when the people are active in making the government work for the people and not getting elected simply to “drown the baby in the bathwater” or “starve the beast” can we hope to form a more perfect union. When regulation works for the people it comes from the demand of the people not the corporatism of the wealthy. Starving the beast will only give the corporate beast free reign to protect its own interests, regulate competition out of existence and allow the vulture of capitalism to eternally eat the liver of Prometheus only to have it devoured again when it grows back.
The only hope for common folks is to have a champion which can match up to the Titans of capitalism and industry. If we make the government small we are also giving free reign to the economic ‘redistribution’ of capital into receptive bastions of power fueled by greed and selfishness. These bastions hold no allegiance to the people only to themselves at the eternal cost of the people (otherwise known as slavery). They do not rest when they deliver essential goods and services for human survival. They must create artificial needs and illusory aspirations which work more like the curse of Sisyphus. The only true allegiance to the people is in the government by and for the people. If we buy the lie that unhindered capitalism will result in affluence for all we have ignored history and accepted our slavery as illusive, aspirational freedom. Trump did not get rich by being an humanitarian. He got rich by coming from wealth and stepping over anyone that got in his way and not paying anyone he owed when he felt financially threatened. He could care less about the average country bumpkin who is counting on him to ease his lot in life. He can never, due to global economic realities and his own illusions of grandeur, do what he promised.
Sure he can spend lots of money on infrastructure which has some economic benefit and ineffective ‘great walls of China’ which will only increase the deficit. He can reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy which will also increase the deficit with the lack of revenue inflow. He will change the deficit reduction we had in the Obama years after the Great, GW Bush Recession. He will bring us back to the deficit increase under GW Bush reversing the surplus we had in the Clinton years. These are economic facts which cannot be ‘spun’ away by creative marketing on the right.
Trump has brought our country back to ‘nativism’ and isolationism along with rising xenophobia and fascism in Europe, the middle east and Asia. These same historic conditions set the stage for Nazi Germany, Italian and Japanese fascists. When Hitler came to power the first thing he did was consolidate power to himself. The American People have handed Trump the Congress and the Supreme Court. This is the first step towards a Führer. We can only hope that our Constitution will hold and he will fail.
Trump and Putin believe that low and medium yield nukes will give us regional victories without escalating into a major nuclear apocalypse. Trump tells us “we have nukes why don’t we use them”? Can we stop Trump before he is impeached for interning and deporting millions of immigrants? Maybe. Can we stop him from religious and ethnic suppression and ‘cleansing’ with impeachment based on Constitutional grounds? Possibly. However, we have significantly weakened our chance by giving him a running start with the Congress and the Supreme Court. It would be a denial of reality to think these possibilities are lessened considering his remarks and the white nationalist company he likes to keep.
I do not want to be alarmist as that is equally irrational but certain dark forces have been set in motion which history has repeatedly shown us can gain a momentum which culminate in epic human tragedy. With the advent of nuclear weapons we may not have the ability to crawl out of our human weaknesses, fallibilities, insecurities, greediness and fears to find another day. The stakes are high and half of our population has played a bluff in a very dangerous game. Anger does not solve problems. It only creates more problems. We will not find a solution in the dictates of sociologic anger. Storm clouds are gathering over the world which have lead us to the brink before. This time we may be able to come back.
Nevertheless, sinking into dark and foreboding thoughts has never solved a problem. Many of us in Boulder County worked our tails off to stop this national tragedy. We are proud and we think we were the primary reason we were able to keep Colorado blue. We canvassed and phone banked the county and surrounding counties so they could not cease hearing their phone ring and their doors knocked until they voted. We can sleep at night knowing we did not violate our conscience. When problems loom large on the macroscopic scale the only relief can be found in the microscopic scale. Our Constitution is based and founded on this. If we lose our democracy and our liberal ideal of fair marketplace and a hand up not a handout we will have lost any claim to historic uniqueness and exceptionalism. The US will be a fatal failure of history and the crushing ambitions of the few will squash any such fragile notion as ‘we the people’.
Our response to Trump and the future gravity of fascism can only take place in each one of us, in our resolve to keep working with eyes on the prize. We cannot let the dazzling brilliance of frenzied, right-wing lame stream media marketing fear, anxiety, dread and paranoia to lull us into passiveness. The transcendent step into externality and away from moaning, groaning, complaining and self-pity is not ‘out there’ somewhere. It is in simply putting one leg in front of the other to make our democracy live up to its promise. If we try to put more into existence than we took out of it we will free the pure and innocent child, full of life and beauty and hope and wonder. To stand full and free of a haunting conscience is the struggle of adulthood which takes place in locomotion, steps from dawn to dusk, each day. Passivity denies promise. My friends in this dark place we find ourselves in, failure is behind us promise is ahead of us and all we have to do is walk towards the light.