There’s probably a few of you who noticed that Trump ran for office using the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” He offered incredibly simple – almost simpleminded! – solutions to complex problems and said he and only he could fix things and make America great.
Many of his critics, and a few of his more intelligent supporters could be forgiven for being alarmed at his actions in office, though. He appointed a cabinet where each agency head seemed to be someone who had spent their lives opposing the public service missions of the agency they headed up. He brought in a who’s who of plutocrats, lobbyists and corporate shills despite his promise to “drain the swamp” of undue influence from their kind. He rolled back environmental regulations that protect the public health, he allowed the polluter’s lobby to run the table on policy, he withdrew from the Paris Accords, he continued his obscene session of tonsil-hockey with Putin, he disputed the legitimacy of any checks or balances on his executive power, he derided a free and independent press, he spouted more falsehoods than anyone who doesn’t work for Pravda ever had, and he seemingly obstructed justice by firing the FBI director leading an investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia, whose incursions into our election are taken as indisputable fact by the very intelligence agencies that Trump has attacked since before his inauguration.
Yet strangely, he actually is bringing out the best in America, even some of the most unlikely Americans. But he is not doing it by design. He is doing it as a function of his own repugnance.
When Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accord, a groundswell of governors, mayors and corporate leaders came out to defiantly announce their intention to abide by the goals set by the Paris Accord anyway, effectively vetoing the president’s willful inaction on climate change.
When Trump just up and out of nowhere decided to ban transgendered individuals from military service in an early morning I’m-taking-a-shit-right-now tweet, Orrin Hatch – Orrin Fucking Hatch from Utah – departed from the standard religious right intolerance which personifies the social conservative wing of the party to state, “Transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them.” Only Trump could make Hatch into a snowflake. Up until then, Hatch’s sole contribution to tolerance was a halfway decent Hanukah song he wrote. Yeah, it’s true. Google it, I’ll wait.
When he tried to bully the Republican-led Senate to pass a healthcare “reform” bill which would have destroyed the individual market, three GOP Senators stood firm in their defiance, and kept the bill from passing, including John McCain, who flew in from treatment for brain cancer to take a stand (even though it looked like he was going to go along until his Gladiator-style thumbs down).
In the aftermath of Trump’s looong secretive sitdown with Putin and second, undisclosed and highly unusual dinner meeting with the Russian kleptocrat, the very same Republican legislative bodies who had been working on trying to undo the ACA – and who collectively failed at finally doing it now that they had a real chance – came together almost unanimously and on a bipartisan basis to pass a veto-proof bill that keeps Trump from lifting sanctions against Russia imposed after its invasion of Ukraine. Dems and Republicans might not be able to agree on much, but they do agree almost to a person that Trump’s relationship with the Russian leader looks more than a little unholy. Now they’re likely to take up a similar bill to keep Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller.
No, Trump’s policies are not making America great. To the contrary, they are so ill informed, so ignorant and so repugnant to the normal sensibilities of decent human beings, that they literally force lawmakers into taking morally and socially defensible stands in opposition to them. It’s the backlash to his policies which is bringing the extremists in the GOP back toward the center where most of the country lives.
It take a real piece of shit to turn corporate lackeys into decent, tolerant people again. Trump may have been the piece of shit we never knew we needed.
Hopefully he won’t start a damn nuclear war and screw it all up.