By ann summers
February 2014 interview on Fox News:
“You know what solves it?” he said of America’s sorry state. “When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”
21 January 2017 begins an inevitable destruction of society wrought by an attempt to install a RWNj minarchy called “creative” but only in the sense that it can be seen as more arbitrary in justice, in equality, in equity, and in decency
Herein lies the paradox of progress. A society cannot reap the rewards of creative destruction without accepting that some individuals might be worse off, not just in the short term, but perhaps forever. At the same time, attempts to soften the harsher aspects of creative destruction by trying to preserve jobs or protect industries will lead to stagnation and decline, short-circuiting the march of progress. Schumpeter’s enduring term reminds us that capitalism’s pain and gain are inextricably linked. The process of creating new industries does not go forward without sweeping away the preexisting order.
“I don’t have to be told ― you know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day,” Trump said in an interview airing on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t need to be told … the same thing every day, every morning ― same words. ‘Sir, nothing has changed. Let’s go over it again.’ I don’t need that.”
SIMON: Do you have some sympathy for Donald Trump when he says he doesn’t need these daily briefings? Have a lot of people overreacted?
NIXON: Oh, I – no. No, I think that is a very dangerous, very, very dangerous idea. I really would hope that the president-elect would reconsider that because the president needs an intelligence community. And the intelligence community needs a president that’s going to support them and protect them. Case in point, if I can, if I…
NIXON: …And it comes back to the book. Saddam Hussein sort of behaved like that. He didn’t have daily briefings. And the invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saddam never asked any of his advisers, he never asked for his intelligence community to prepare a study. He just announced it one day that he was tired of what Kuwait was doing and he was going to invade. And everybody said, oh, yes, Mr. President, that’s a great idea. And it turned out to be the biggest fiasco in, probably, his ruling career. And it was something that happened that he never kind of got out from under that.
But let’s get real. Everything we know suggests that we’re entering an era of epic corruption and contempt for the rule of law, with no restraint whatsoever.
How could this happen in a nation that has long prided itself as a role model for democracies everywhere? In a direct sense, Mr. Trump’s elevation was made possible by the F.B.I.’s blatant intervention in the election, Russian subversion, and the supine news media that obligingly played up fake scandals while burying real ones on the back pages.
But this debacle didn’t come out of nowhere. We’ve been on the road to stan-ism for a long time: an increasingly radical G.O.P., willing to do anything to gain and hold power, has been undermining our political culture for decades.
People tend to forget how much of the 2016 playbook had already been used in earlier years. Remember, the Clinton administration was besieged by constant accusations of corruption, dutifully hyped as major stories by the news media; not one of these alleged scandals turned out to involve any actual wrongdoing. Not incidentally, James Comey, the F.B.I. director whose intervention almost surely swung the election, had previously worked for the Whitewater committee, which spent seven years obsessively investigating a failed land deal.
People also tend to forget just how bad the administration of George W. Bush really was, and not just because it led America to war on false pretenses. There was also an upsurge in cronyism, with many key posts going to people with dubious qualifications but close political and/or business ties to top officials. Indeed, America botched the occupation of Iraq in part thanks to profiteering by politically connected businesses.
The only question now is whether the rot has gone so deep that nothing can stop America’s transformation into Trumpistan. One thing is for sure: It’s destructive as well as foolish to ignore the uncomfortable risk, and simply assume that it will all be O.K. It won’t.