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Donald Trump Is Forging an America as Greedy, Deceitful and Cruel as Its President

December 28, 2017 in Blogs

By Jacob Sugarman, AlterNet

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he has remade the country in his own repugnant image.

Eleven months into his presidency, Donald Trump remains something of an enigma for a large subsection of the political press. Is he a white nationalist, as his affiliation with Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon and his refusal to condemn the marchers in Charlottesville might suggest? Could he be a Western chauvinist, who believes Islam poses an existential threat to America's survival? Or is he just a plutocrat with a potty mouth and a golden toilet, a nominally more vulgar version of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)? What if he's all three at once?

The recent passage of so-called tax reform, which could kick as many as 13 million people off their health insurance and extinguish the last embers of America's middle class, raises yet another possibility: he's none of these things. While the president is indisputably a bigot, a misogynist and a predatory capitalist, one component of the GOP tax bill offers compelling evidence that his sole ideology is his own malignant narcissism, what David Roth at the Baffler calls the “blank sucking nullity of vanity and appetite.”

Trump has made no secret of his contempt for America's first black president, but the legacy he has worked hardest to dismantle might not be Barack Obama's but that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As Heather Cox Richardson argues in the Guardian, the Trump administration has launched an all-out assault on the New Deal, not just the welfare state it helped establish but the very idea that government can be used as a mechanism to improve people's material conditions. Ultimately, Trump's presidency represents the culmination of a right-wing movement that has been underway for nearly half a century.

Ronald Reagan, with his derision of the welfare queen and his mantra that 'government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem', rode that racist anti-government cowboy image into the White House,” Cox writes. “Trump is this conservative macho individualist exaggerated to caricature. He …read more


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