In the 1990s there was a tv show called Northern Exposures about life in Alaska. In one episode there was a chef who talked about a roux he once made from the essence of a hundred rendered a cows. I asked a chef about it and was assured that it was just a fiction invented for the show. This mystical roux is the perfect metaphor for President Trump. A lot of the left portrays Trump as an anomoly in American history, as break with the historical reality of the American executive. But Trump is exactly the opposite of that. Trump is the essence of American policy. He is the essence of our foriegn and domestic policy rendered of all its polite rhetoric and self deception.
Even at the personal level Trump exemplifies what the world thinks of as essentially American. Are there any French people surprised to see an overweight rich American tourist whp would rather sit in his hotel room than step out into the rain to honor the war dead of World War 1? But it is in the realm of policiy that Trump really epitomizes America for the world. Obama for all his faults, didnt make me cringe when he met with world leaders. But take for example his foreign policy, is his admiration for the killer Duterte so much different than the deference and support which Carter and Reagan gave to the killer Marcos?
When Trump was running for office I became slightly confused about the reaction of some Democrats to Trumps declaration that better relations with the Russians might be nice. But to some pundits on the left this was anathem. Peace with the Russians? Where are the pee tapes? Nobody could want better relations with the Russians unless they were being blackmailed. Right on time, following the election came the charges that Russia had thrown the election to Trump. This was patently absurd for a number of reasons none of which was it didnt happen. On the contrary it probably did but if it were not so depressing it would be laughable. I know the relatives of General Rene Schneider in Chile msut have seen some dark humor in the accausation after Kissinger sent money and guns in diplomatic pouches to his assasins because he wasnt amenable to a military coup of the democratically elected president Salvadore Allende. According to Kissinger the citizens of Chile had no right to elect a president who wasnt hand picked by America. If a few thousand murders to get the point across so be it. The fact that democrats were in such a tizzy was especially confusing when one recalls black members of the House of Representatives who sought in vain for a single member of the Senate to stand up in justifiable outrage at the systemic disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida during the 2000 election. Whatever effect Russian interference may have had the effect on the outcome paled when compared to the legal theft of voters rights every election cycle in America by the Republican party. If the effect of Russian interference can be said to have tilted the election in favor of Trump by merely pointing out the faults of Hillary Clinton where is the outrage over racist voter ID laws, the electoral college, uncounted provisional votes thrown in the trash whose cumulative effect has been to consistenly tilt elections towards right regardless of the expressed will of the voters?
Is Trumps immigration policy anything but the distillation of Obamas policy which removed undocumented immigrants at record levels from the country? Is this so far removed from the detainment of Muslim Americans without charge or suspicion by the Bush administration after 9/11? Is this so far removed from the internmt of Japanes Americans after Pearl Harbor?
When Trump decided to pull out of Syria the collective gasp of horror emanating from the left was surprising till one looked at who on the left was gasping the loudest. Imagine my surprise when I turned my head to the left and sitting there in the chairs were Ana Navaro, Bill Kristol, General Mattis and a host of others. I recognized them from somewhere. At first it eluded me where I had seen those Leftist critics of Presidential over reach before. Then like an echo I gasped in horror, They were the same people clamoring for war from the right under George Bush. Now they were on my side and I couldnt decide whether to laugh or cry. Of course those clamoring for war are never long disappointed in America and Trump backed down. How different really was this from Obamas support for Morsi in Egypt which disappeared like smoke when Mattis and Kerry decided he had to go. Morsi vanished like Obamas backbone in the face of American military desires.
At least the Democrats in Congress stood up to him when it came to our overfunded bloated military budget. There was no way they
were going to concede to an increase in the budget which in itself exceeded the entire military budget of Russia. No, he would have an extra 50 billion dollars even if that means we have to sacrifice the health and education of our poor and elederly. Its the least they could do.
In the end Trump is what is left of American policy when you strip off the hide and let it congeal down to its essence. He is no anomoly. He may more accurately be called the paradigm or perhaps the protoype of America at last revealing to Americans what the third world has seen for decades.