Friday, January 05, 2018


Just over a year ago, the United States' two-party duopoly gave Americans a "choice" between the two must unelectable candidates in recent memory. But one of them had to win: and the reason why it was an egomaniacal Reality TV personality and serial bankrupt rather than the even more loathsome (and certainly more corrupt) former first lady, senator and Secretary of State was due to the former selling himself as the true outsider. A billionaire not "owned" by anyone (unlike his opponent, who has sold and re-mortgaged herself umpteen times.) A man who would "drain the swamp."

As we enter Year two of the most improbable presidency in a very long time, the romanticized view of President Donald J. Trump has in numerous ways had to reckon with reality. One of the best (and most unabashedly pro-Trump) cartoonists in the land, Ben Garrison, whose GREAT work on many a subject can be found at, summed up the struggle nicely a while back in (a) cartoon. And despite (or perhaps because of) the media and Establishment onslaught that never goes away against the 45th president, the great majority of those who voted for Trump remain loyal, and steadfast in their belief that at least Trump would try his best to truly shake up government and drain that swamp.

But the reality is that--like former President Ronald Reagan--Trump's speeches and what idealism he seems to possess have similarly become victim to that very swamp. In the above cartoon it was a lonely Steve Bannon who was attempting to pull Trump away from the swamp creatures. The National Investor – Jan. 3, 2018 2 He--and America--lost that battle. Wall Street and the "swamp" arguably won. As one pro-market and somewhat ant-Trump pundit happily put it a while back, "The departure of Steve Bannon (former White House chief strategist) is a positive story because it means that on economic issues, 'the Goldman Sachs faction' has won: Steve Mnuchin (Treasury Secretary), Gary Cohn (Trump’s chief economic advisor) and other Goldman alumni in the administration will dominate. So, in Wall Street’s eyes, the good guys have won."

That has turned out to be true where foreign policy and the security/military Deep State are concerned as well; they have largely co-opted Trump. As I have said all along, the strongest point about Trump to me is that he--as a candidate for president--often eloquently channeled the sentiments of former President John Quincy Adams who once famously described an independent America as a nation which ". . .goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice , and the benignant sympathy of her example." Candidate Trump properly excoriated both Republican and Democrat predecessors alike for the waste of trillions of dollars and countless innocent lives; and basically screwing up everything this country (more accurately, its Deep State rulers, military-industrial complex and neocon Establishment) has touched for quite a while now.

But as president, Trump has done almost nothing to change things. So much has he been coopted by the Cheneyesque folks in Washington that even such war mongers/ "nation building" advocates as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-GA) have gone from loathing Trump to fawning over him with their approval of his bravado in threatening half the world. I'll have more to say about a few of those subjects in the issue immediately following this one.

One thing is for certain: thus far, the attacks on the president by the Establishment news media and a still-stunned political establishment in Washington certainly have not cramped his style. Far from it. Whatever our views of various elements of policy, it is on one level enjoyable to see Trump give back to these sorts as good as (usually better than) he gets. Clearly, the man thoroughly enjoys the fight.

At least for public consumption, Trump seems even fairly nonplussed over the ongoing Mueller investigation. By most present The National Investor – Jan. 3, 2018 3 appearances, the kind of "collusion" that Trump's half-crazed "The Russians Are Coming!" detractors thought might manifest itself remains nowhere to be found. Between that and the Democrat Party's relative inability to do much more than the G.O.P. did with Barack Obama--just resist, and often hysterically so, for the mere sake of doing so--we will probably get through another year with the Trump haters' hopes of impeachable offenses being uncovered dashed.

Chris Temple
The National Investor