November 29, 2016

DAVIES | We Need to Talk About Trump (As if We Haven’t Already)

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Donald Trump, like Mobutu Sese Seko’s illegitimate child, is already showing his nepotistic tendencies. Unprecedented is an understatement. Trump’s transition team reportedly enquired about obtaining security clearances for his children, the very people who would be controlling his “blind trust.” Ivanka Trump sat in on her father’s meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Trump, *ahem*, reportedly closed their meeting by asking his guest if he could help him understand just quite why “the nuclear” is so bad.

Jared Kushner, a newspaper proprietor, could bring peace to the Middle East, according to Trump. That is despite members of his family coming close to disowning, for what appears to have been at least the second time, him for backing Trump’s anti-Semitic tweets. Still, his Wikipedia page now states him to be a “political operative.” No one has ever sat down as a guest at a dinner table and asked their host what they do, only to have them reply, “Why, didn’t you know? I’m a political operative.”

Down to nominations for positions that many believe will hold little power in a Trump administration, like Ambassador to the U.N., we see glimpses of the megalomaniacal machinations of this man. Trump has nominated South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) to that post, in a seeming ploy to bind the wounds of division within the Republican Party. Haley has no foreign policy qualifications or experience.

If Haley were confirmed to that position, South Carolina’s current lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster, an early Trump endorser, would slide right into the governor’s mansion. It seems odd that Trump would nominate Haley to such an important post considering her paucity of experience. Maybe not so odd when put in the context of Trump trying to reward his faithful. McMaster’s ascension would give Trump a zealous ally in state government. This, in conjunction with his selection of Reince Priebus for White House chief, seems to be a continuation of Trump’s attempt to smother the Republican Party.

Trump’s nepotism will be greatly intensified by his lack of preparation and the disgust he inspires among much of the conservative foreign policy elite. One is almost required to staff vital agency chairs with one’s own progeny when one has repulsed most of the Republican Washington swamp-dwellers.

Equally worryingly, Trump continues to sideline the press, breaking long observed precedents for that oh-so-important steak dinner. With Breitbart looking set to morph into a Trumpian Pravda, Trump’s media strategy will only make it more difficult for Americans to hold his administration accountable. The Donald doesn’t even try to justify his infringements through, say, arguments about his family’s privacy. No, among Trump’s most substantive critiques of the media has been that “they don’t know how to write good,” a statement after which an aide interjected, “at least he speaks good.” I’m not joking.

The latest piece of Trump antics that seems most concerning is his persistent questioning of the election results. Previously he stated that he would have won the popular vote if that had been what mattered. Now he is stating that he did win the popular vote once one subtracts the millions of illegal votes. This is unsubstantiated, untrue and dangerous. Will Little Donald’s tight-shut eyes and tantrums and arguments save us at the eleventh hour when “millions of illegal nuclear weapons are pouring out of Russian borders and coming to America”?

Donald Trump is clearly a man frustrated with the details of means. Don’t talk to a woman, just grab what you want, you’re a star. Don’t construct buildings, just license your name out like a washed up country singer bringing out a new line of Walmart clothing. America must not let its president’s immaturity steer us away from questioning his actions. If “millions” of votes can be arbitrarily declared “illegal” by a soon-to-be-sitting president, and the American people — not the American intelligentsia, not the American coasts — barely stirs, like an opiate addict in a trailer park, it only becomes more likely that this country will rue the day it did not do more to stop what may happen.

Alex Davies is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at ajd253@cornell.edu. Have I Got News For You? appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

13 thoughts on “DAVIES | We Need to Talk About Trump (As if We Haven’t Already)

  1. What the heck are you grousing about old sport? sHrillary shared classified information with her daughter, her housemaids, and any second grader who is an amatuer online hacker.

    • bob,

      Elitists like Alex will never understand, but they’ll feel very smart and above-it-all writing oh-so-clever articles which pretend they do “get it”.

      At rock bottom Alex is less interested in understanding the reasons for the Trump revolution than in coming across as smarter than the common man. And, yes, he is smarter than the common man when it comes to writing clever missives and when it comes to academic excellence, but the common man would love to watch him change a bathroom faucet, fix a wax seal on a leaky toilet, or most any household task that the common man can do with aplomb.

      So who is the genius here? The Alex of the world? The guy who becomes a high paid expert – you know, the experts who always get it wrong – or the common folk who actually know how to do shit.

      The joke’s on you Alex. And all your clever words and cruel insinuations about Trump and his supporters ring hollow. You’re irrelevant now. Obama failed you as the most important job of any leader is to create an environment wherein he hands the reigns off to his followers who can build on his beliefs. Obama failed in this because like you his words rang hollow. His actions did not match his words and the common man – the man you love to call racist and stupid – are the people who saw things for what they are/were.

      Tough luck dude. It’s time to be the brunt of the jokes for a change. No doubt you’ll enjoy being that.

      • “Every time there’s a national disaster, a gigantic event, a shooting, a breakthrough, really any news at all, you can rely on television news to find an expert. Some of them know quite a lot about what happened, what will happen, and why. But when it comes to a lot of experts, they really have no idea what they’re talking about.

        Blogger Eric Barker points out that political experts’ predicitons are only slightly better than a random guess, and way worse than a statistical model. In fact, so called experts were better at predicting events outside their own field. Barker points to a study from the 1980′s, when Philip Tetlock had 284 political “experts” make about a hundred predictions. The study is summarized in the book Everything Is Obvious* Once You Know the Answer:

        For each of these predictions, Tetlock insisted that the experts specify which of two outcomes they expected and also assign a probability to their prediction. He did so in a way that confident predictions scored more points when correct, but also lost more points when mistaken. With those predictions in hand, he then sat back and waited for the events themselves to play out. Twenty years later, he published his results, and what he found was striking: Although the experts performed slightly better than random guessing, they did not perform as well as even a minimally sophisticated statistical model. Even more surprisingly, the experts did slightly better when operating outside their area of expertise than within it…”

        Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-experts-are-almost-always-wrong-9997024/#LdiKKRIA310ImHkb.99
        Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
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      • I am a Cornell graduate and unlike Alex, have also developed useful skills along the way as well. For example, speaking of a leaky wax seal on a toilet, I did one of those over the Thanksgiving weekend.

  2. Not once, not a SINGLE time, has there ever been any mention on these pages of the flood of corruption exposed by Wikileaks and the FBI investigation. It’s as if the Clinton Mafia doesn’t even exist on the pages of the CDS. Such pervasive denial is pathologic.

    • Speaking of the flood of corruption rampant with the democrats and the sHrillary regime, I was speaking with an upper eastside Manhattan liberal elite just before election day asking how he could possible support a reprehensible corrupt cretin such as sHrillary. His answer was that he accepted corruption with politicians because they all are corrupt. Ta;lk about lowering the bar for selecting the leader of the free world.

      • Look at the Mayor of NY. Following the explosion of the dumpster on W 23 St., the bozo said on TV, “This is not terrorism. But this is intentional.” Yikes!

  3. Alex,
    Have a job yet?
    See you are a senior.
    Real life is coming at you fast.
    Bout time you start to learn about “making a living”.
    That is who Trump spoke to and who listened.
    BTW, there is nothing wrong with rewarding loyalty. It’s an old American trait.

  4. How do you know that there were not thousands of votes cast by illegals? California is issuing drivers licenses to illegals in droves. Voter registration is nearly automatic at that point. Allegedly, non-citizens cannot register but in a State that falls over itself in welcoming illegals, enforcement is dubious.

  5. geez no wonder the liberal arts are dying.

    if all it gave you are the emotional stability of a michael bay set then you got screwed.

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