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My name is Michael Taylor.  I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying ... more

Pinning President Trump

Date: Friday, October 11, 2019 2:38 AM EST

Dictator_Trump

Like everyone, I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen with Trump. I have a grim theory, which I lay out at the end of this post.

In the spirit of a diary entry, I wanted to record my thoughts in October 2019. Impeachment has begun, but the outcome seems highly uncertain. I did this once before. In the month following the November 2016 elections I speculated on Trump’s future effect on authoritarianism, security crises, the economy, constitutional and democratic norms, and his fellow Republicans. On balance, versus those speculations, my worst fears about his authoritarian instincts have come to pass, and principled Republican opposition has been weaker than I even expected.1 We have not had a security crisis,2 nor a true economic crisis, thank goodness. In October 2019 we are, however, in the midst of the constitutional crisis I feared.

McConnell_Red_Wall

McConnell and the Senate “Red Wall” keep Trump in office, despite his obvious destructiveness to the Republic

If nothing changes from where we are now in mid-October 2019, it seems that the Republican red wall in the Senate will keep Trump in office, even after a Democratic House impeachment vote. I see the effect of that red wall as signalling a reward for Trump’s corruption, flouting of constitutional norms around the separation of powers and checks and balances, traitorous foreign policy, feckless and reckless financial and trade policy. Not to mention his general rapey approach to women and disgusting view of people living in or immigrating from Central America or Africa (or any place outside of Northern Europe.) And not just a reward, but a vindication of his style and an open invitation to do more crimes, more corruption, more subverting of our political system. Expect more rapeyness, more white nationalism, more inhumane treatment of immigrants. Why not? His party won’t abandon him.

As he famously said, he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and get away with it. The puzzling challenge of Trump is that he commits the most brazen crimes in the open – profiting from his office through his hotel business, inviting corrupt authoritarian governments to destroy his domestic enemies, urging violence on the media and political opponents, siding with dictators, undermining our intelligence agents, wrecking global alliances built over generations – and we can’t quite believe our own eyes and ears. Surely he’s joking, right? Does he really mean that? Yes, he really does.

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