Donald Trump has foreseen many things, including the populist fury that got him elected, but bad news traveling in his direction is his career long Achilles heel.
Neither he nor his almost exclusively rich white male conservative cabinet are a serious reflection of the pain being felt out there in the wider USA. The truth is Trump squeaked a win with one of the lowest percentages of the popular vote ever seen.
Conscious of the political implications of his faint victory he has bragged to the press that he won in a landslide, but in fact Hillary Clinton has almost 3 million more popular votes.
So it’s foolish, given his shaky numbers, to act like he’s been given a mandate but neither he nor the GOP can seem to help themselves.
Already they have unveiled a series of retrograde ambitions that will lurch the country far to the right with a whiplash intensity.
Trump, under guidance from Steve Bannon, and with close reference to campaign donations, has appointed heads of department whose primary aim appears to be the dismantlement of their own offices - the heads of public education, health care, housing and environmental protection are on on record as committed to their office’s destruction.
We already have some shocking examples of what could follow from similar examples abroad.
Six years ago, a plane crash killed Poland’s then President Lech Kaczynski near Smolensk in Russia. Also on board were the head of Poland’s central bank, all of the nation’s armed service chiefs and dozens of top Polish officials.
Kaczynski’s much more conservative brother quickly seized the moment and is now leader of the hardline Law & Justice party that replaced him. Although the plane crash gave him his path to power even he has accused Russia of blowing the plane up. It’s a accusation that should give us all pause in the light of Russia’s deliberate hacking of our own election.
Clearly we are experiencing a global crisis of democracy that has it roots in stagnant wages, historic divisions of wealth and poverty, malicious cyber espionage, and populist political opportunism.
We should see stark parallels in the all too easy collapse of Europe’s longstanding institutions. We should be particularly concerned about the type of people filling all the sudden and unexpected vacancies.
What unites many of Trump’s appointees is their billionaire bank balances. Trump’s cabinet has two bankers, two generals, three business executives and one rich philanthropist. His cabinet will be the wealthiest in U.S. history. It breaks down like this:
State - Oil tycoon
Labor - Fast food tycoon
HUD - Doctor (?!)
Education - Mega Donor
SBA - Wrestling tycoon
Treasury - Goldman Executive
NEC - Goldman Executive
Few of these people believe in the core missions of the departments they will guide. Again, you should be alarmed by this. They plan to attack the government offices they have been selected to serve.
If Trump had won by 3 million votes, but lost the electoral college by 80,000 and 17 of our intelligence agencies showed that Russia had hacked the and published emails from the RNC, as directed by Vladimir Putin, Republicans would have shut down Washington by now.
We are all in terrible danger, in other words.
Each day Trump invites his unelected family to vet and interview new candidates or sit in on top level government meetings he does more violence to our Constitution. Some people may stop even referring to it soon.
So Donald Trump doesn’t know it yet but he may be on the shortest honeymoon in American political history. It may end on Monday, December 19 when the Electoral College meets.
We can fall into a shattering crisis as easily as Poland has. Our Electoral College should reflect very carefully this weekend.