Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Michael Simms: The Daily Disaster of Donald Trump

With a vote of 217-213, the House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass Trumpcare and strip health coverage from 24 million Americans. The new program will undermine the health, safety, and economic security of the American people while driving up costs for millions. In a tragic example of poetic justice, the health bill hits Trump’s own supporters hardest. If passed by the Senate, Trumpcare will be a disaster for America and for the Republican party, so of course the President took the opportunity to have a brag-session and photo-op of this train-wreck-in-progress. 

In the last three months, we’ve witnessed one disaster after another. We’re only a few months into the presidency of Donald Trump, and it’s already clear that we are enduring the most corrupt and incompetent administration that America has ever experienced. The problems, of course, stem from Trump’s poor character — his racism, his greed, his willful ignorance. Below is a sampling of recent articles that explore the burgeoning idiocy and malevolence of this administration:

Neal Gabler: The Sham Presidency

from Moyers & Company

“Presidencies are often defined by images: FDR delivering his reassuring fireside chats; Harry Truman speaking from the back of his campaign train, whistle stopping in 1948 and giving ‘em hell; JFK and Jackie, elegant in Paris, defying Henry James’ stereotype of Americans as bumpkins; Reagan at the Berlin Wall; and George W. Bush in his flight suit against the banner reading “Mission Accomplished.” And then there is Donald Trump. To me, the defining image of Trump’s presidency so far may not be his Mussolini-like pose of narrowed eyes, wrinkled brow and jutting jaw that is supposed to strike fear in our hearts, but his brandishing of his executive orders, holding them up like a 3-year-old showing off a finger painting. See what I’ve done! I’m so proud of myself!…”[continue reading]

Chris Hedges: Reign of Idiots

From Truthdig

“The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor, and project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles and impose crippling debt peonage on the citizens. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, “experts” and “specialists” busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of the rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore and fantasy….” [continue reading]

Nomi Prins: The Empire Expands (Not the American one, but Trump’s)

from TomDispatch

“President Trump, his children, and their spouses aren’t just using the Oval Office to augment their political legacy or secure future riches. Okay, they certainly are doing that, but that’s not the most useful way to think about what’s happening at the moment. Everything will make more sense if you reimagine the White House as simply the newest branch of the Trump family business empire, its latest outpost. It turns out that the voters who cast their ballots for Donald Trump, the patriarch, got a package deal for his whole clan.  That would include, of course, first daughter Ivanka who, along with her husband, Jared Kushner, is now a key political adviser to the president of the United States.  Both now have offices in the White House close to him.  They have multiple security clearances, access to high-level leaders whenever they visit the Oval Office or Mar-a-Lago, and the perfect formula for the sort of brand-enhancement that now seems to come with such eminence. President Trump may have an exceedingly “flexible” attitude toward policymaking generally, but in one area count on him to be stalwart and immobile: his urge to run the White House like a business, a family business….”[continue reading]

Michael Winship: Don’t Know Much About History

From Common Dreams

“Gene Tunney, the champion prizefighter of the 1920s, wanted to promote an image of himself as a great intellectual. Trying to prove it, he always carried in his pocket a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Many members of the press weren’t buying it. When Tunney published a volume titled A Man Must Fight, one sportswriter began his story about it with this immortal line: ‘Gene Tunney, who has written one book and read several others…’ It’s a line that would work for Donald Trump, too, but only if flipped: “’Donald Trump, who has written several books and read one other…’” [continue reading]

Abby Zimet: Tweets of the Master Class — And Ten Dollars Extra, For Every Hundred Lashes

From Vox Populi

Stop the Runaway begins an 1804 ad placed in the Tennessee Gazette urging civic-minded souls to capture a “Mulatto Man Slave” escaped from one Andrew Jackson, “unrepentant”owner of 161 slaves, soon-to-be 7th president, and role model for our dizzyingly ignorant 45th, who with rabid encouragement from Bannon likes to glowingly compare himself to the prosperous slave trader and infamous Indian killer who precipitated the Cherokees’ Trail of Tears….” [continue reading]

Copyright 2017 Michael Simms



2 comments on “Michael Simms: The Daily Disaster of Donald Trump

  1. Vox Populi
    May 5, 2017

    Thanks, Dan. I love your essays as well.


  2. Daniel R. Cobb
    May 5, 2017

    Michael Simms, thanks for sharing theses. Excellent essays, every one. I sometimes run from the Trump news, feeling my head is going to explode. Powerful, enlightening essays like these reassure me that I’m not going insane… yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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