America’s deep state is divided on Trump. He couldn’t have been elected without enough support. Post-inauguration, things changed. The balance of power shifted against him, leaving him vulnerable, already weakened this early in his tenure, unprecedented for a US president. His record so far in office is another matter, though too soon to judge him definitively. Still, disturbing signs aren’t encouraging. More on this below. Jack Kennedy transformed himself from a warrior to a peacemaker. He paid the supreme price. Trump is no Jack Kennedy – never was, never will be. JFK surrounded himself with young intellectuals as advisors, a cadre he called “the best and the brightest.” He advocated progressive taxation, increased social welfare including more low-cost public housing, civil rights legislation, medical care for the elderly at a time it was affordable, and federal aid for public and higher education. He wanted nuclear weapons abolished, the Cold War ended, followed by a “general and complete disarmament.” Heady stuff! He opposed imperial wars, notably in Southeast Asia. He wanted all US forces out of Vietnam by December 1965. He believed America should no longer use its might to enforce Pax Americana worldwide. He fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his assistant general Charles Cabell. He wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds,” reason enough to kill him. He supported Palestinian rights. He opposed Israel’s nuclear weapons program. He offended energy giants, wanting their oil depletion allowance cut or eliminated. Throughout the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, he said he “never had the slightest intention of attacking” the island state. He favored Federal Reserve reform. His Executive Order 11110 authorized replacing central bank notes with silver certificates. It’s believed he wanted United States notes issued, returning money creation power to Congress as the Constitution mandates. Had he lived and won reelection, imagine the possibilities of a transformational administration, unlike any before or since in US history. Trump’s first month in office wasn’t encouraging. Killing TPP and likely TTIP leaves the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) unaddressed. Covering over two-thirds of world trade in services, it aims for deregulating global financial services markets more than already – allowing unrestricted exchange of personal and financial data. Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach explained it’ll “roll back the improvements made after the global financial crisis to safeguard consumers and financial stability and cement us into the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s that led to the crisis in the first place and the billions in losses to consumers and governments.” Lawyers and lobbyists for bankers and other financial interests wrote the legislation – a wish list for them at the expense of the general welfare, including supranational rules overriding national laws. Imperial wars still rage in multiple theaters, continuing the horrors under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama. Trump’s war on immigrants is all about politics, unrelated to protecting America’s borders and national security. Accomplishing these objectives requires no longer attacking other countries, ending support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, waging peace, not war, as well as fair, not free, trade – creating, not destroying jobs. Firing Michael Flynn eliminated his key foreign policy advisor, leaving others in his administration vulnerable including himself. It likely shattered hopes for improved ties with Russia other than possible changes to minor to matter. Hostile comments from Mike Pence, Nikki Haley and Sean Spicer aren’t what turning a new leaf in bilateral relations is all about – especially given a hostile Congress and major media. Trump and key administration officials expressed disturbing hostility toward China and Iran. He wants increased spending for America’s bloated military, including boosting its nuclear capability. After bashing NATO earlier, he now calls himself a “fan” of the alliance. He wants so-called safe zones in Syria Bashar al-Assad opposes. So does Russia without his authorization. He wants Wall Street deregulated, enabling financial giants to be more predatory than already. His executive orders on crime fighting and keeping America safe sound ominously like increasing police state powers. His new FCC chairman said Net Neutrality’s days are numbered. His education secretary wants public education destroyed. His plan to repeal and replace Obamacare promises something worse instead. His defense secretary is a hardened warrior. James Mattis didn’t earn four stars by waging peace. He and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed hostility toward Russia, China and Iran. Trump’s first few weeks in office were disturbing, likely indicating what’s to come. Lofty rhetoric is one thing, policymaking another. America should be great for everyone. Rising equity prices suggest Trump wants things better for the privileged few – the way it’s always been.
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