Just a week ago, if you paid any sort of attention to the news, then it seemed highly likely that Donald Trump and his administration was tied to the Russian government in someway. It appeared as if the administration was complicit in the hacking of the DNC and the manipulation of the presidential election.
Somehow, with a push a button, that message has changed. The investigation that is being conducted on the administration hardly seems to be newsworthy anymore. Drop a few bombs on Syria and it all went away.
This illusion that the allegations are somehow no longer serious is also very dangerous. Trump dropping bombs in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons simply proves one thing. That one thing is that Trump and his people care more about self-preservation than loyalty.
There are three scenarios I reckon that is being played out here, all of which are bad for the American people. Scenario one is the one I mentioned in the above paragraph. Trump may have had a connection to Russian government, this is something we will not know until an investigation is completed, which is why it is important news agencies keep it in the spotlight. However, with the mounting pressure from the FBI and journalists researching and connecting the dots, Trump dropped bombs on Syria as a means to distract the American people and to look tough on Russia.
Scenario two is one that I highlighted in a previous article. That Trump is being played by Russia, and that somehow this is all to the advantage of Putin who will be up for re-election in a year. This scenario creates a liberty vs security style predicament, which paints the U.S. as a boogeyman, and gives Putin support and loyalty from the Russian people. However, the same could be happening here in the U.S.
Trump signed three executive orders in February that greatly extends the powers of police. A problematic scenario considering that police are already under a lot of scrutiny for alleged abuses against minority groups and the poor. Images of Reagan era police forces start to flood my mind when hearing about this. Instead of protecting and serving, some neighborhoods might look like they have an occupying army in military style tanks instead of police cars. In addition to this attorney general Jeff Sessions has terminated an agreement with independent forensic scientists that worked to increase the use of scientific evidence for criminal cases. The stance being that forensic evidence has been proven to be unreliable in most cases, with the exception of DNA, this seems like a legitimate reason. However, this also means that somehow unreliable witness testimonies, memory (which is one of the most easily manipulated things), and intangible concepts like feelings hold more weight in a courtroom. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Trump isn’t popular, at least not in the media and polls taken. By creating a conflict with Syria and a nemesis out of Russia, Trump might be improving his public image while also stripping away our freedoms. The more easily lead in our society will probably go along with this. The expansion of police power seems problematic, mainly because we now live in a decade that is safer than ever. The idea is that this expansion is meant to crack down on gangs, crime, and the violence against police. However, this all feels vague and puts anyone with dissenting viewpoints or happens to be born the wrong color squarely in the firing line of the police and this new administration. To abandon the improving of scientific methods in a court case also seems problematic. It allows these problem groups to be easily prosecuted as well under our legal system.
Matt Taibbi’s 2014 book “The Divide: American Injustice in the age of the Wealth Gap” talks about how rights given to citizens differ based on the financial class or the race that a person belongs to. Trump seems to be only furthering this divide with his recent actions, and instead of creating an even playing field for the poor and minorities in the legal system, he might instead be moving and redrawing the goal line several feet back.
The third scenario is perhaps the one I hope for the most, but is also a very dangerous scenario. According to one of Trump’s sons, his motivation for dropping bombs on Syria isn’t for any sort of nefarious reason similar to scenarios one and two. No, his motivations was because his daughter Ivanka had compelled him to do so. She was apparently affected by the images of the dead children in Syria, and Trump was compelled to appease his daughter in some way.
In truth I am not sure how I feel about bombing Syria, I don’t know if it was right or wrong. However, I am disturbed by the above scenario described. Mainly, that our president has no foreign policy plans, and that he is so willing to appease people (i.e. his daughter) that he makes a decision that could potentially put us in another war. A war that even he said several years ago would be a bad idea.
Don’t attack Syria – an attack that will bring nothing but trouble for the U.S. Focus on making our country strong and great again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2013
The man appears to lack self-control, or to only care about the approval of the immediate people he surrounds himself with, and not the whole of this country.
My first two scenarios paint Trump as a much smarter person. Although, they are awful in nature, it does shows some type of calculation on his part. Even if it would mean he is some sort of maniacal dictator in training. Which I hate to think is the case, but the evidence presented doesn’t seem to be proving me wrong. Then again no one ever thought that Obama, a democrat, would have been worse at prosecuting corporate crime than Bush; or that he would be tougher on illegal immigrants. Obama also prosecuted more whistle blowers in the U.S. and is a proponent of the Patriot act. The guy wasn’t a saint, no matter how he is painted by social media and late night television.
Obama proponents might be able to find some sort of far flung reason for why he did the things he did, and that the job of president isn’t an easy one. Tough decisions have to be made, but I am by no means a Barack Obama apologist. No person is free from scrutiny regardless of position or political affiliation. Although, Obama as a president seemed more calculated and poised, at least in public perception. His rhetoric was more intelligible as well. His decisions also didn’t look to be completely influenced by the corporate whims of his golf buddies. Trump on the other hand doesn’t even seem to be pretending that he gives a shit anymore.