President Trump: a joke or a horror story?

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Tom Pleasant

 

Well, there we have it: the US has formally elected a shit-throwing ape to be its president. As far as things go, it certainly trumps (drumroll, cymbal crash) the UK leaving the EU. That’s cost us billions already, but there’s at least a chance we’ll stagger on for a while and then recover.

For the US though, all they’ve got to look forward to is being covered in stinking filth spewed from on high. Because, while Trump was largely limited to his own money and Twitter before, now he has the wealth and the power of the White House behind him to turn his ridiculous brain farts into reality and send them to cover the whole world.

So, let’s sit back with some popcorn, shaking our heads, and watch the slow car crash in relative safety – for the time being – from across the Atlantic.

Take his ‘Great Wall’ across the US-Mexico border, which he says he’ll make the Mexican government pay for. It’s the kind of simplistic idea that people suggest for situations they have absolutely no knowledge about. It may be idiotic, but at least it will fail by only

Obamacare, the policy that tried to ensure more low-income people had health insurance, is being ripped up to be replaced with…well…No one really knows, apart from Trump, and he’s not sharing any details. “We're going to have great plans. They're going to be much less expensive and they're going to be much better.” Phew!

His trade plans, announced in his inauguration speech, were described by economists as “combative, protectionist and divisive” and have already caused the dollar and major stock indices to fall. Expect more of the same soon.

His strategy for the Middle East is just plain scary, both for the threat of war and terrorism, but also for the global economy.

Trump has already worried Israel AND Palestine by saying he’s going to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that is guaranteed to stir up trouble. And while he’s said he wants to pull out the US military from the region, conversely, he’s also said he wants to destroy ISIS, and with many of his new administration being long-standing supporters for military action against Iran, it’s only a matter of time before we ** war there too.

If anyone criticises these ideas or claims, Trump usual response is to say they’re lying, no matter how much evidence they provide. Reporting on his inauguration, US media showed photographs clearly showing the turnout by the public was about half that of when Obama was sworn in. This was backed up by public transport data on the day. Trump said it’s all “lies” and that the journalists responsible (all journalists in fact) are “among the most dishonest human beings on Earth”.

He’s also appointed people just as bad as him for his administration. There’s Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, a billionaire Republican donor, who’s said schools should be able to have guns in case of grizzly bear attacks. Or Michael Flynn, the new National Security Advisor, who has variously described Islam as “a cancer” and claimed Hillary Clinton was involved with “sex crimes with children”. And, while Trump spent most of his campaign criticising Wall Street and Goldman Sachs, he’s just made Steve Mnuchin, a hedge fund and banking mogul, his Secretary of the Treasury. Guess what: Mnuchin used to work at Goldman Sachs.

Say one thing and do another is common for Trump. At least with issues around the environment he’s consistent. He’s said: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. He’s now appointed climate change skeptic and ExxonMobil-backed Myron Ebell to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mind you, all of this may come tumbling down if the multiple investigations by the Treasury Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA) into Michael Flynn turn up anything interesting.

Flynn, who’s a frequent visitor to Russia and guest of Vladimir Putin, made multiple phone calls to the Russian ambassador leading up to and on the same day that Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats from the country and imposed sanctions on Russia for its hacking of computers central to the US presidential election.

Maybe we should trust everything Trump tells us though, because he’s just smarter than us. He said on the election trail: “My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”

Not just smarter, but also astoundingly attractive: “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” This is the man who will eventually meet the Queen and the PM Theresa May. Worried? You should be because he also said this: “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Er...Donald. A quick word.

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