Monday, May 1, 2017

Trump is indeed making America great again

     Remember the domino theory?
     It didn't have anything to do with the pleasant game of deploying spotted oblong tiles. Rather, it was a way to view the world that believed, once a nation became communist, its neighbors would also fall under the sway of Marx, Lenin, et al., working like an infection toward the good old U.S. of A.
     The theory didn't show much confidence in our own system. But it was enough to get 57,000 American soldiers killed in the 1960s and 1970s trying to stop one tiny Asian country, South Vietnam, from being absorbed by its communist neighbor, North Vietnam.
     In the daily anguish that is the Trump administration, I've been using the Vietnam War as a touchstone, a reminder of how bad things aren't, at least not yet. Because you might be forgiven, reading the analyses surrounding Trump's first 100 days in office, for assuming that his administration represents some historic nadir of disaster in the realm of American mis-governance. Vietnam reminds us there are hells below this one.
     Yes, it's difficult to identify disaster aborning. Vietnam simmered for years. But Trump's missteps tend to be utterly stillborn, and he has fallen into a regular pattern of initial zeal for the detestable — to ban Muslims, scrap health insurance for millions, build a nonsensical wall and, most recently, bankrupt the country giving tax breaks to the rich. Each folly in turn is thwarted by the heretofore lamented but now cherished diffusion of power and creaking inefficiency of American government: blocked by the courts, by rebellious fellow Republicans, by fierce local resistance.
     Then Trump shrugs and moves on....

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  1. yes, it must be" your inherent sunny nature" .

  2. I dunno. With Trump it's always a matter of waiting for the other shoe to drop. By the law of averages, some of his shitty ideas are going to come to fruition, and then we're in for it.

  3. A hundred days isn't nearly long enough do much damage. As for him not getting us into a war yet, the best quote about Vietnam was from the much reviled Robert McNamara: "Everybody was for it until everybody was against it." Something of the same could be said for the Iraq war, although Barak Obama was an honorable exception. North Korea has something of the same smell.

    Early in the Vietnam era I attended a short course at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute designed for mid level diplomats and military officers headed for Attaché assignments. A speaker was French journalist, historian and Viet Nam expert Bernard Fall,who predicted that America would follow France in failing to stay the course there. Participants in the class discussion that followed disagreed. A Foreign Service guy opinioned that we could do better because we weren't hated colonialists like the French. An Army Colonel said the French just didn't have enough helicopters. We would beat the North Vietnamese with our recently perfected Vertical Envelopment tactics. Colin Powell later said that if Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon had taken the time to read Fall's "Street Without Joy," they would nave moved heaven and earth to extricate us.

    The weird thing about Trump is that what he says -- and says and says -- is often so detached from reality. That and his strange set of advisers. One thinks of Matthew 10:36: "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."


  4. The problem I perceived with our presence in Vietnam was our disdain for the "natives." I fear that Trump may have the same disdain for Koreans, who, ally or enemy, would suffer immense losses should our fearless leader start dropping bombs on the North.


  5. I know, I know. Crime was unknown in CHICAGO until last week.

  6. Chicago is being destroyed by .... someone riffling through Eddie Johnson's car? The murder rate is still 3/4 what it was 20 years ago. Your concern is touching. And I bet you live nowhere near the troubled areas either. Some people just like to bitch about stuff, anonymously.


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