I wrote a fair amount during the George W. and Obama administrations, particularly the former's. Incensed by the stupidity of squandering the 2000 budget surplus by giving tax breaks to the rich, deregulating the banking and investment sectors to the point of laying the foundation for the Bush Recession, and the unnecessary start of two simultaneous land wars in Asia, I vented my anger in words frequently on a site at www.vause.name. An unfortunate choice of hosting company contributed to the total loss of all my notes in 2016.
I would have re-engaged that year on another platform but for events on the American political stage. I recoiled at the spectacle of Trump in the Republican primaries as he began to debase the dialog. Instead of taking the high road and ignoring or censoring him, his rivals joined him in a race to the bottom in front of cheering Republican audiences that resembled a mob from the French Revolution. The respect that I still harbored for the party of George Will and William Buckley evaporated. The only appropriate reaction to the 11th Republican presidential reality show episode - not debate - was disgust. To engage this man in any way, even by dissent, was to be soiled by the vulgarian. He is a downright disgusting human being.
George Will repudiated the Republican Party because of Trump. Thank heavens, for his sake, Buckley was spared the lurid story. The first time I heard Trump speak, I realized he was the first I had seen of a particular link politician: a true demagogue. Since then, he has managed to exceed my worst expectations of him. From vulgar insults about hands to limitless self-aggrandizement, hotel trysts with porn stars, emoluments, collusion and extortion of foreign leaders, making millions charging the Federal Government for his own travel, conspiracy theory amplification, and, finally, inciting riot and insurrection, Trump has led America down a path of increasing shame. I am glad that I didn't follow, even if to oppose on an obscure website. The man who began as a bankrupt casino owner and icon of conspicuous excess in golf hospitality morphed into the host of a frivolous yet self-aggrandizing reality show. He and his entourage, idolized by a nation drunk on materialism and consumption, entered a pantheon populated by the utterly talentless but exalted likes of Kardashian and Hilton. The nation that mistakes brand for character made him President, the ultimate apotheosis.
The Republican Party made a Faustian deal with Satan, and now we jointly pay for it. The damage to America's international standing will last a generation. This is both Trump's legacy and gift to China and Russia.
image credit: By Richard Westall - , Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28397009