The country is at loggerheads. I imagine the way I feel tonight may be the way some felt about the incoming Obama administration.
I’m on the way out of town. We have the pure honor and privilege to be able to spend the next couple of weeks immersed in African wildlife. I’ll post here as opportunities allow. I can’t help but observe, though, that we leave a most unsettled America.
- The neoliberal economic model, unsteady since the 2008 crisis, is under attack at all the ideological fringes, fraying at the edges. What will be the impact of a tycoon-president determined to commingle his business interests with the exercise of power?
- What is to become of the existing western defense structures? I fear especially for the brave but tiny Baltic states. Then there is the incoming administration’s unsteady start with China.
- In light of the incoming president’s apparent appointments, what’s really up with the Trump/Russia relationship?
- Come on, now. About this incoming Trump cabinet, consider:
- An education secretary who wishes to privatize education
- A labor secretary opposed to the minimum wage
- A national security advisor who joined in a chant to “lock her up” at the Republican convention
- An environmental protection head who is suing the agency he will be nominated to lead
- An Attorney General who was denied a judgeship
- A health secretary who apparently wishes to privatize Medicare
- A UN representative with no international experience beyond trade missions as a governor
- A housing secretary, a surgeon, with no managerial experience
- A transportation secretary who is married to the Senate majority leader
- A Small Business Administration head who is a wrestling promoter
- Apparently, John Bolton
One or two of these, okay, sure. But collectively?
Now, you may make the “he won, he has a right to assemble his own people” argument. Or the “he’s a small government Republican (if you say so) and these people will advance that agenda” argument. I agree with the former. We can argue about the latter.
But really, are intelligence briefings too inconvenient for a president-elect to be troubled with? Really really? And does a president-elect really need to get publicly prickly against a local union leader in Indiana?
Back over the summer, as we left to visit Greenland, I wrote that I was happy to leave the dismal Trump/Clinton campaign behind, if only for a couple of weeks. For the next couple of weeks I’ll leave the transition with you, but this time I’m uneasy. Things don’t feel right.
If you feel I’m wrong, or wish to quibble on the particulars, please do. We can discuss with civility and respect. Let’s engage.
Meanwhile, for me, it’s onward and upward, for a brief two weeks, to Africa. The law of the jungle (in this case, the savanna), is way more uplifting.