Another week of observing the clown show we call the Trump presidency (culminating Monday in actions that would get anyone else indicted for obstruction of justice and in yesterday’s Tariff Man tweet that tanked the stock market) got me to thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if our next president:
Wisdom, Character, and Competency
- Read? (Every smart and wise person I know, or know about, reads a lot.)
- Spoke in compete sentences?
- Understood the limits of his or her own knowledge?
- Had integrity?
- Wasn’t vindictive?
Values and Leadership
- Put people’s interests over the interests of insurance and pharmaceutical companies? (try not to laugh)
- Stopped taking children from their parents at our borders and detaining them in prison camps? (a prison by any other name is still a prison)
- Stopped aiding and abetting the slaughter of innocent civilians in Yemen and brought our troops home from Afghanistan?
- Refused to sign any legislation that targeted a state or group of states that voted for the other party? (in the way Trump and the Republicans shamefully targeted California and the Northeast states in the new tax law)
- United the country instead of pursued a strategy of division and cultism? (Trump is by far the worst, but Bush ’43 and Obama weren’t very good uniters either.)
- Was empathetic and compassionate and treated all people with respect?
- Supported basic human rights, including the right of self-expression and the right of journalists not to be murdered by autocratic regimes? (Yes, that means consequences for the murderous ways of the House of Saud, the wannabe czar of Russia, and the one who aspires to be the new Mao.)
- Supported scaling back the monopoly benefits bestowed by our patent and copyright laws? (Absent that, it’s hard to see how medicines will be affordable for most people.)
- Supported repeal of i) the student loan program (which primarily benefits college administrators and faculty as well as loan servicing companies, at the expense of students, and which is creating a nation of debt-serfs), and ii) the section of the Bankruptcy Code that prevents student-debt from being discharged? (Never understood why we treat students — indeed, our children — worse than we treat our corporations. Actually, I do understand: our corporations and CEOs bribe our elected officials with campaign contributions and other gifts.)
- Supported those States that endeavor to provide an affordable college education or vocational training to its residents via public universities and community colleges? (providing affordable education is better than heaping debt on students)
- Enforced the Sherman Act (by breaking up existing monopolies and preventing new ones from forming)? (Facebook and Google are two easy targets.)
- Regulated social media and search engines to prevent i) their electoral weaponization (Facebook and Twitter) and ii) anticompetitive practices (Google and Amazon)?
- Supported a steeply graduated capital gains tax and income tax exemptions for the first $25,000 of interest and dividend income (per person)?
- Pursued open and fair trade? (vs. the open and unfair trade of the Bush [both of them], Clinton, and Obama Administrations or the tribal protectionism of the Trump Administration [which, if pursued, will lead to a lower standard of living, recession or depression, and war])
- Took climate change seriously and supported a carbon tax? (vs. a president who simply refuses to accept scientific evidence because he claims to be smarter than all the scientists – again, try not to laugh)
- Ensured federal regulators and inspectors protected our food supplies? (Please, no more deaths from contaminated food due to laissez-faire government policies; safety should trump ideology.)
- Realized that security ultimately rests in our lived ideals and principles and not in bomb casings and drones?
- Supported term limits for Congress?
- Abolished unnecessary and ineffective government agencies and programs? (IMO, every agency and program, save defense and Social Security, should be subject to sunset provisions.)
- Actively opposed blatant gerrymandering that disenfranchised large numbers of voters?
It would be nice. But I suppose it’s too much to hope for.
The good news is, it appears Trump is a lame-duck president. Whether this clown show will end in resignation or impeachment, or merely peter out over the next two years, is impossible to know. But what’s likely is — unless the democrats nominate an even bigger idiot — this national nightmare will be over in 25½ months. And then we’ll get someone else.
Someone better? Worse?
Hope springs eternal.