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Sunday, November 27, 2016


Only in America

by Tom Sullivan

There was a mass shooting in New Orleans' French Quarter early this morning. Details are still sketchy:

Ten victims aged between 20 and 37 were shot, including two women and eight men "one of whom has expired at the hospital," Harrison said. "Our hearts go out to the deceased."

Two arrests were made for illegal carrying of a firearm
Responding to mass shootings has been a sad routine of Barack Obama's presidency, one aspect of the job he will not miss. How will a President Donald Trump fake comforting families of the victims of mass shootings on his watch? I can't imagine. Trump is more inclined to insults than empathy.

We are headed into uncharted waters. Amy Davidson has a list of concerns raised by the Trump transition so far. She worries a Trump presidency might unalterably change the nature of the country itself:
More important than all these concerns is the way that a Trump Presidency might change our common conception of what it means to be American. In addition to naming Sessions, Trump has chosen a chief strategist who has retailed alt-right rhetoric, a national-security adviser who tweeted out a video presenting reasons to fear Islam, and a C.I.A. director who has called for the execution of Edward Snowden. And this is in a time of relative peace. Where Trump’s instinct for blame and diversion would take him and the country during an emergency—a terrorist attack, for example—is an unpleasant question to contemplate. This is why many people voted for Clinton rather than for Trump. But he won, so what do they do now?
This is a man who — out of the blue, at their first meeting — confided to Sir Richard Branson about five people who would not help him after his latest bankruptcy. Branson wrote, "He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people."

After genuflecting before the altar of "both sides do it," Dan Zak elaborated in the Washington Post about Trump's grudges:
The shelf life of Trump’s grudges is long. In 1975, Richard Ravitch, a New York housing official, denied a tax exemption for one of Trump’s construction projects. Thirty-four years later, when New York Gov. David Paterson named Ravitch as his lieutenant governor in 2009, Trump wrote to him to complain that Ravitch was “extremely weak, ineffective and a poor negotiator,” according to the Washington Post book “Trump Revealed.”
The president-elect will remember those who fail to treat him (and his office) with respect. His comments for Fidel Castro's family on his death showed none of that:

Trump did, however, elaborate with a statement hours later that allowed his administration would "do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.” In that order, you can bet on it.

But look on the bright side, Graydon Carter writes at Vanity Fair, only in America could a man like Trump be a man like Trump:
Only in America could a man for whom truth is an inconvenient concept feel comfortable referring to his opponent as “lying” and “crooked.”

Only in America, a nation built on a history of immigration, could a man who married two immigrants—one of whom is alleged to have worked illegally when she first arrived—run on an anti-immigration platform.

Only in America could a man with a legendary reputation for stiffing small-business owners and wage laborers be able to pass himself off as a champion of the little guy.
Carter goes on. Somehow, this one says it best, doesn't it?
Only in America could a man whose résumé of failed businesses and alleged sexual harassment is so miserable that he would have trouble finding work at a copy shop be named chief executive of the world’s largest economy.
You gotta love this country.