Everyone who takes on a new position wants to do well—wants to establish a name for himself—and there are probably two common approaches to that goal: one is to do the job well and let your reputation build; the other is to have no idea what your job is but hope to disparage your predecessor.
Yes, this is about Donald Trump.
Throughout the campaign he threatened to attack and undo every piece of legislation Barack Obama ever signed, considered, or breathed on. The Trump campaign—short on ideas and long on vulgarity—basically comprised sixteen months of attack ads. Of course in that respect, he was just another political candidate. Lest we forget, Obama wasn’t nice to McCain or Romney either, Bush II was tough on Gore, etc.
But once you win, that sort of thing should stop. Trump views it differently—winning has given him the power to effect all the stupid promises he made, and the process has begun.
Obamacare? On the way to being eviscerated.
The START treaty with Russia? That depends on Putin, and if that’s the case, who cares anyway?
And on and on.
The death of Fidel Castro last week has given our minority President-elect* another opportunity to eradicate all memory of Barack Obama. In this case, it’s threatening to close off Cuba again unless The U.S. gets a better deal. Deal is one of Trump’s words, and he wants us to associate it with him. As of now I have a number of words with which I associate him, most of which I choose not to employ in this blog. Deal isn’t one of them.
What Trump knows of history would fill a thimble, part way. Cuba-Castro-communism—that would constitute the breadth of his knowledge—that and the moronic belief that Marco Rubio’s predecessors planned the JFK assassination. Maybe Trump has an inkling that for more than half a century Cuba lay there as our enemy ninety miles away, and was, for a couple days in 1962, the flashpoint for what would have been the world’s first (and probably last) nuclear war. It’s only recently that relations between Cuba and the U.S. have begun to normalize—a situation Trump wants to work to his own benefit.
I don’t know if the man has seen any photos of Cuba other than those of the glitzy hotels in Havana. He probably isn’t aware (and wouldn’t be concerned anyway) of the fact that 9% of the population lives in shanty towns and that it isn’t unusual to see a 1957 DeSoto (that’s a car for those of you under 60—see photo) or a Buick Roadmaster parked in a driveway. They aren’t classics—in Cuba they’re transportation.
At a time when the Cuban people are beginning to feel a part of the world community, only a cynic of privilege like Trump would seek a better deal. He’s never struggled a day in his life, but he doesn’t mind watching others do it.