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New ‘Sheriff’ Has A Badge — But Doesn’t Have A Clue

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New ‘Sheriff’ Has A Badge — But Doesn’t Have A Clue

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Trump, Democracy

It was, arguably, the most telling moment of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech.

People want good schools, neighborhoods and jobs, said the incoming president. “But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

“This American carnage,” promised Trump, “stops right here and stops right now.”

Leave aside the dubious veracity of painting our admittedly challenged nation as a hellish doomscape — “American carnage?!” Really? — and ponder instead what he actually said there. Poverty, unemployment, miseducation, crime and drugs, issues that have bedeviled every nation and all generations, came to a screeching stop “right here … and right now” at noon on January 20th.

Why?

Because there’s a new sheriff in town, pardner. Because he’s putting his foot down. Because he says so. If Trump gave any other reason — if he has ever given any other reason — it escaped notice. No, once again, we are promised a magic solution through the sheer force of his will.

It’s silly enough that you want to laugh until you remember that 63 million Americans didn’t get the joke, that they took this stuff seriously. Indeed, they took it seriously enough to make him leader

Never mind that Trump is really just that guy at the end of the bar who, with beer-lubricated certainty and megaphone volume, tells you how to solve humanity’s most intractable problems. And maybe as he’s speaking, as you’re under the spell of it, it sounds like wisdom. But the next morning, you sober up and see it for the hogwash it is.

Unfortunately, America has not sobered up yet.

It will soon. If the country is even halfway serious about resolving its challenges, it has no choice.

The magical thinking embodied in Trump’s speech is not a recipe for fixing problems, nor even for addressing them. It is, rather, a primal scream, viscerally satisfying in the short term but masturbatory and useless in the long term. At some point, in the not-distant future, after poverty, unemployment, miseducation, crime and drugs have not magically disappeared, one hopes the people who fell for this act will realize that.

Lasting change does not come because you yell at a problem. Lasting change comes because you work at it, because you commit to using the best ideas and the best minds to produce the best results. It’s not perfect, but it’s the process we have.

In the meantime, if there is a silver lining here, it is that the GOP now has the White House, the Congress and no excuses. So the rest of us would like to know when we can expect America to be “great again?” Is there a date the party would like to share?

Yes, the question is tongue in cheek, but it is also meant to point out what has always been painfully obvious and became even more so after the new president finished ordering poverty to get out of town by sundown. Namely, that it was all always an act, a fake, a con, even if voters have been slow to figure that out.

Bluster is not governance and the world doesn’t stop being complicated because you tell it to. Maybe even Donald Trump doesn’t know that yet.

But he’s about to find out.

IMAGE: President Donald Trump is joined by the Congressional leadership and his family before formally signing his cabinet nominations into law, in the President’s Room of the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington, January 20, 2017. From left are Vice President Mike Pence, the president’s wife Melania Trump, their son Barron Trump, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis. REUTERS/J. Scott Applewhite/Pool

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Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

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51 Comments

    1. Independent1 January 21, 2017

      So starts the spiral of America into a recession because of the idiocy of Republicans including the big lizard!!!

      CNBC REPORTS: OBAMACARE REPEAL COULD COST 3 MILLION JOBS AND UP TO $1.5 TRILLION.

      Reply
      1. I Am Helpy January 21, 2017

        It’s pointless trying to explain facts to these people. They decided that patriotism meant less to them than racism, and sold the country out to Putin; they aren’t worth considering as people.

        Reply
      2. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

        …and de-funding Planned Parenthood may cost many low income women their lives.

        Reply
        1. Independent1 January 22, 2017

          Not to mention more abortions because PP talks thousands of women each year out of going through with one and gives them guidance on how to prevent a pregnancy in the first place.

          Reply
          1. Max January 22, 2017

            I just thought I’d come over to this insanosylum and thank all you nutcases over here for all your help geting PRESIDENT Trump elected, So keep up the good work!! march, burn stuff down, lie, kill, beat and misrepresent etc etc etc, It all worked great!! I am sure you will lose even more representation in the next election.. So you have a great one.. See ya…

            Reply
          2. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

            Wrong website. We don’t engage in actions that would require the wife of a candidate to be escorted out of a political event for fear she may be lynched, and we don’t encourage adversaries to spy on us and share their findings with the world.

            Reply
          3. Max January 22, 2017

            Ha ha Keep it up!! The more BS you spew the fewer reps you’ll have after every election.. DumbASS!!!

            You are a bunch of hyperbolic snowflakes, emphasis on flakes………..

            Reply
          4. Bill P January 22, 2017

            Speaking of being a dumbass , how did your so-called prediction of China ruining the US economy and preventing the election go?
            The Chinese Yuan has lost value versus the US Dollar since last spring when you made your ludicrous prediction.

            Reply
          5. Max January 22, 2017

            I said the Bush Clinton Globalist criminal cabal would steal the election for Hillary so they could finish off the USA all in the name of Globalism, the demonization of Russia and and the war they planned to start was supposed to cover for the financial collapse that is almost inevitable, more excuses for Hillary and a Democrat regime, they did steal 5 states and several million illegal alien votes for Hillary but it just wasn’t enough.. They thought they had a landslide in the making, they didn’t count on a rust belt rebellion.. I think Hillary and her partners in crime were all astonished.. They were supposed to have it all sewed up… Did you see who Hillary sat next to at the inauguration? The Bush crime family and the now finished Clinton crime family commiserating together.. Ha ha ha … Now you can tell me how the Russians did it.. Ha ha ha …

            Yeah we are talking about DumbAsses.. Grow up get a grip and watch a real American a patriot a nationalist American turn this country around, it won’t be pretty but it will be successful, Everyday you people are losing more and more credibility with the sleeping giant, The Americans that haven’t said much, the Americans that have sat back and watched the insanity unfold, they don’t riot in the streets, they don’t cry hold their breath and stomp their feet, they don’t destroy property they will simply and quietly start to vote, they are being moved to stop the stupidity and even if it takes several years it will be stopped…

            Reply
          6. itsfun January 22, 2017

            nope you have Madonna using filthy language to get her point across or Madonna offering BJ’s to anyone voting for Hillary. You have a class act there.

            Reply
          7. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

            I dislike Madonna for the same reason I detest Trump. I hate vulgarity, expressions of extreme immaturity by adults, debauchery, lies, and arrogant narcissism.
            If you want to come up with an analogy to justify Trump’s obscene, immature, vindictive, and arrogant behavior try someone in a position of responsibility similar to his, or someone aspiring to be in such position.

            Reply
          8. Independent1 January 22, 2017

            Nobody has claimed that the left-wing doesn’t have some bad apples but that’s a far cry from a right-wing where virtually everyone belongs in an insane asylum!!

            Reply
          9. Independent1 January 22, 2017

            Sorry but those kinds of nonsensical posts mean virtually nothing coming from a lunatic right-winger.

            Reply
          10. Max January 22, 2017

            Yeah I know, really I do know, don’t let me shut you up I like what you say, It just convinces anyone that can still think to reject the left, I love you guys you’re the greatest spokespeople for Nationalism and sanity I have ever seen.. I mean I was just delighted watching all those poor poor misguided women making fools of themselves over the past couple of days, and all the sour-grapes and lies being spewed by you guys and the MSM Ha ha Hell Trump couldn’t ask for a better advertising campaign, and again he’s getting it ALL for FREE!! So again I say keep up the good work my darling little snowflakes, you’re doing great..

            Reply
          11. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

            Higher incidence of breast cancer because tens of thousands of women cannot afford a mammogram, all sorts of psychological and physical medical care, access to contraceptives, etc.
            This is one of many examples of social decay portrayed as greatness by reprehensible ideologues.

            Reply
    2. Independent1 January 21, 2017

      And those phones were never Obama phones Dumpkopf they were initially started by Clinton to actually help people find and procure jobs – people who were jobless and couldn’t afford a phone of their own (ever try to get a job when you didn’t have phone number where a prospective employer could call you??0.

      So they were intended to cut joblessness and reduce unemployment – in other words, they were a good thing and were continued by Bush. Obama had nothing with respect to creating them or even handing them out. It’s just that a lot of Obama’s supporters were lower middleclass folks who had the phones even before his campaign begun. You right-wingers are nothing but a bunch of clueless idiots!!

      Reply
      1. pisces63 January 23, 2017

        They also wanted to do this for online services since most jobs are found on line now. The tests are on line. First interviews are on line. It’s amazing, to this 67 year old, how so much is done online.

        Reply
    3. I Am Helpy January 21, 2017

      Haha yeah, it’s funny because Obama phones are a non-existent thing racists complain about AND Trump – like all Republican presidents – is going to make unemployment worse.

      Reply
      1. pisces63 January 23, 2017

        The really funny part is, Trump said it himself. republicans have never grown the economy nor created jobs. Our economy is always worse under republicans per trump.

        Reply
    4. Bill P January 22, 2017

      As usual you trolls haven’t a clue. This cell phone program started out in 1985 during Ronald Reagan’s administration called the Lifeline program. “The Lifeline program long predates the current administration,” Clyburn said in the speech at the New America Foundation. “It was actually created during the Reagan administration, so let’s give credit where credit is due. The Lifeline program is a legacy President Reagan could be proud of.”

      Congress first enacted the Lifeline program in 1985, and the FCC expanded the program to cover cellphone service in 2005 during the George W. Bush administration.

      The program pays for phone service, not the phones themselves. But many companies that receive funding through the program offer free and low-cost phones to their subscribers.”
      Once again you show your total lack of knowledge on a topic you choose to erroneously write about. Where did you get your information – from Infowars?

      Reply
      1. Independent1 January 22, 2017

        Thanks for updating my understanding the Lifeline program.

        Reply
      2. pisces63 January 23, 2017

        The alternate explanation files Kellyanne uses.

        Reply
    5. johninPCFL January 22, 2017

      Sure, it’s all about their, ” very socially conservative, low tax, balanced budget, agenda. With that teeny weenie, itsy-bitsy government they’re always taking about. (Wink, wink.) That’s going to round up 11-12 million undocumented people, sort them, and deport them to their respective countries. Build a 2000 mile long wall, ban all Muslim entries, question those Muslims already here including U.S, Citizens, to see if they qualify to stay. Ramp up police surveillance on Mosques, and majority Muslim neighborhoods. Initiate a tough law and order crack down on inner cities, Enact, then enforce an entirely new set of laws, regulations, and reporting requirements surrounding the criminalization of the abortion procedure. Revisit the marriage equality provisions with a different Supreme Court. Rewrite, or reinstate previous laws banning the recognition of such same sex unions. Then we mustn’t forget the promised disassembling of the Affordable Care Act. Then we can expect amazing action by a newly energized Congress, to either replace it with something else, or heck, just put the health insurance cartel, big Pharma, and hospital corporations back in charge. Whichever seems easier in light of what will be a very busy schedule, as the Trump Administration forges ahead by kicking off his secret plan to defeat ISSL, and end international terrorism. As he promised, “Very, very, quickly, I can tell you that!”

      Reply
      1. Independent1 January 22, 2017

        Great recap of all those super Trump/GOP objectives; maybe I missed it in your list, but did you see in today’s news, that Trump says he’s going to meet with the presidents of Mexico and Canada to renegotiate NAFTA?. And miraculously make the treaty better for U.S. workers.

        However, one big problem with all these objectives that Trump and the GOP are setting up, is they’re not taking into account the downside of what they’re intending to do; they clearly don’t realize or even think about the fact that in the process of doing all they have outlined, they’re going to throw America into a full fledged depression and run America’s debt so high and reduce tax revenues so low that America will default on its debts for the first time in its history.

        Repealing Obamacare is projected to kill about 3 million jobs and cost about 1.5 Trillion.

        Deporting illegals aliens and putting the pressure on Muslims will set such a negative impression of America in the minds of all foreigners (not even counting the Gestapo like tactics they plan to use to do that), that effort will cause millions all forms of foreigners to flee America which will kill another 8-10 million jobs; and add a bunch more to our debt.

        And screwing with Social Security and Medicare will create so much uncertainty in the minds of millions of Americans, especially millions of seniors and at least the Americans getting close to retirement, that at least 1/3 of Americans or more will drastically reduce spending thereby causing retailers to kill several million more jobs.

        So 6-12 months from now, Trump and the GOP will be presiding over essentially a crippled nation on the way to a full depression – with millions of the unemployed pulling billions in unemployment (adding more to the debt and decreasing tax revenues), millions of more seniors will be going broke and falling into the homeless ranks, millions will be added to those without health insurance which will drive more hospitals into bankruptcy along with doctors, nurses, etc, and the abortion rate will be going up because there will be no PP to counsel women about the downsides of an abortion and to provide them with info and help on how not to get pregnant in the 1st place.

        And I’m probably not even covering other disaster areas, so should that all of this happen just down the road, what would all these billionaires who spent a billion plus in supporting Trump and the GOP actually have ended up accomplishing other than trashing America??? And setting themselves up for huge losses!!

        Reply
        1. johninPCFL January 23, 2017

          ” they’re going to throw America into a full fledged depression and potentially run America’s debt so high and reduce tax revenues so much that America may well have to default on some of its debts for the first time in history”: that would be Agent Orange’s agenda to catapult Putin to world dominance.

          Reply
          1. Independent1 January 23, 2017

            But even Russia is in the throes of recession/depression. What could these mential idiots hope to gain in ruling over a world that’s in total economic collapse with the majority of the world’s people living in abstract poverty??

            Reply
      2. pisces63 January 23, 2017

        You know one of the amazing things I just found out? The village idiots are whining about losing their ACA because they did not know that and Obama care are one and the same. Are they really that stupid??

        Reply
        1. johninPCFL January 23, 2017

          Very likely. My next door neighbor is one, and he and I have argued over the last several years over the name. He always bring up Kynect as ACA, and Dildo Scott’s use of the Federal system as “Obamacare”. Apparently he learned of the difference from “Handjob” Hannity.

          I call him “toothless drooler” for a reason, and he calls me “Johnny reb”.

          Reply
    6. johninPCFL January 24, 2017

      Yeah, Agent Orange definitely has an agenda…

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/87830614aa3e0f573e174bcda1abceebb28971604709d954dc0d6ba51d62e1f2.gif

      Heil Trump!!! Heil Trump!!!

      Reply
  1. browninghipower January 21, 2017

    Remember when Grover Norquist’s wet dream was to elect someone who was just barely able to sign his name on laws a rabid GOP congress would pass? He’s here!

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 21, 2017

      Right you are. Four years or less of humiliating Trump coming up.

      Reply
      1. Priscillacmagee January 22, 2017

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        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !mj291d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash291TopMailGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj291d:….,……

        Reply
  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 21, 2017

    Emperor Trump has a badge. And now he’ll wear it over his zipper or on his backside. Put him on a leash and walk him around the block to the nearest fire hydrant—he likes to talk about his genitalia, and maybe the badge will remind him to be civilized in the company of women.

    Trump must not be given any quarter for his crimes committed against at least half of the world’s humanity. He’ll be reminded of his transgressions—BET ON IT!!

    This would be manifest justice, and forgiveness is not for us to show on behalf of women, blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, and all others he has defamed and denigrated.
    In Trump’s case, it is for God to determine if forgiveness is deserved in Donald’s unusual case.

    Reply
    1. Independent1 January 21, 2017

      Did you notice in the picture for this article how Pence is looking down? There’s an article on Yahoo’s main page about Melania, and in the picture for that article there are a number of people in the background most of them have their eyes cast to the ground or somewhere else. It’s even hard for Trump’s supports to show their support for Trump.

      Reply
      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 21, 2017

        Thanks for the link. As I read the article, all I could think was how disgusting, deplorable, with a particular emphasis on luxury and living a good life.
        I’m waiting for the right article here on National Memo to integrate that article along with some other insights to further highlight the lower nature of Donald, Melania, and others of their ilk. Hopefully something will appear tomorrow.

        This is truly another disturbing trend for the worse.

        Reply
      2. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

        Welcome to what now passes as ethical behavior worthy of a President and First Lady. The worst part is that most Trump’s supporters love it.
        Let’s not confuse a few concerned Republican strategists that fear that the excesses they are already seeing may backfire, with what the rank and file, that love His Tweets, think.

        Reply
  3. mickster99 January 22, 2017

    tRump steals the Black Power Salute and turns it into the White Power Salute. I am numbing out.

    Reply
  4. Dominick Vila January 22, 2017

    It would be wonderful, even excusable, if Trump did not have a clue. Unfortunately, he does. That’s the problem. His decision to repeal the ACA, defund Planned Parenthood, build a wall along our Southern border; deport millions of illegal immigrants, including those who came to the USA with their parents when they were toddlers, his proposal to impose high tariffs on imports and on companies, such as BMW, because they plan to build a plant in Mexico, the irresponsible rhetoric that has angered China, his plan to ban Muslims from entering the USA and using a Gestapo like task force to round up Latinos and American Muslims, his offensive expressions of misogyny and xenophobia, his disdain for efforts to achieve equality, and many other similar matters, are all designed to rally his base and turn himself into a Messiah or, as a minimum, the head of a monarchical dynasty that, if it is up to him, will be in power and flaunting their wealth for many years to come.

    Reply
    1. itsfun January 22, 2017

      I hope so

      Reply
      1. johninPCFL January 22, 2017

        So now you want a dynasty instead of democratically elected leaders?

        Figures.

        Reply
  5. joeg2028 January 22, 2017

    How DID this EVER happen?

    Reply
  6. itsfun January 22, 2017

    A new sheriff is in town, the rules have changed and the establishment on both sides better get use to it. The President going to the public via social media will end up putting so much pressure on the establishment, they will have to start listening to the people, instead of the other way around.

    Reply
    1. I Am Helpy January 22, 2017

      I know you’re excited by your fascist coup, but that’s not actually how America works, KKKomrade.

      Reply
    2. Independent1 January 22, 2017

      Where’s the Swastika avatar?

      Reply
  7. Jim Samaras January 22, 2017

    Or you are about to find out that he just may will it so. Do not underestimate this man yet again

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth January 22, 2017

      Jim, read your comment again and repeat it in a more thoughtful intelligible way. As it reads now, it’s gibberish, and a diligent high school student would do a better job. Your fawning over Trump is nauseating and continues non-stop to no avail. Gushing over Trump the way you do isn’t going to help heal his dysfunctional and depraved character—a character that runs totally counter to what God expects of us humans.
      Will you ever understand so fundamental a concept as that??

      Reply
    2. Independent1 January 22, 2017

      Nobody is underestimating Trump, he has a history of one failure after another – being president will just add to his list of failures that is longer than your arms!!!
      Just ask his Daddy how many millions he spent keeping Donald afloat for about 20 years!!!! My hunch is it was over 30 million!!

      Reply
    3. Independent1 January 22, 2017

      And just because he can con people like you into believing his BS, doesn’t mean he can actually end up with positive results in what he tries. Try asking the thousands of investors including banks and investment firms and contractors and even his workers whose lives and businesses he has destroyed over the past 3-4 decades.

      Reply
  8. johninPCFL January 24, 2017

    From the expressions, it looks like Ryan, Agent Orange and Pence just finished a three-way, with Pence catching from both ends. You can almost read their minds:
    Ryan: Wow!! We get to do this again tomorrow!!
    Pence: Oh God. We have to do this again tomorrow!?!?!
    Trump: This was better than when I cheated on Marla with Melania!!
    Melania: Finally! The horror’s over!!
    Barron: Are you my new mommy?

    Reply

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