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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Should we be worried at Trump's increasing disengagement with reality?

It has only been a few days but US President Trump appears to have become increasingly disengaged with reality, and distracted from focusing on key issues by his own insecurities and obsessions, wildly thrashing around at anything that moves which is not a Republican.

The question has to be asked at what point does it become unsafe to allow him near the nuclear codes and who is there who could take them off him if that point is reached?

The BBC reports on the latest madness. They say that he has issued an executive order for a 2000 mile long "impassable physical barrier" to be built along the US border with Mexico. He is also insisting that Mexico will "absolutely, 100%" reimburse the US for this wall even though that country's President has made it clear that is not going to happen.

The sheer logistics of such a wall are daunting. How long will it take to physically build? What permissions are needed and how long will they take to get? What is the role of State Governors in this exercise? And where will the materials be sourced from? My guess is that we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.

We won't have to wait long to find out where that money is coming from. That is because Trump has also signed an action to strip funds from US cities that are sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants. Surely there will be a major outcry from those cities, who are being scapegoated for Federal incompetence, not least from the citizens who rely on those funds for employment and other services.

The Independent reports that Trump is preparing executive orders that would dramatically reduce US funding of the United Nations, as well as other international organisations that do not meet certain criteria.

Funding will be taken away from any organisation that is "controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism" or is behind the persecution of marginalised groups or systematic violation of human rights. The order has singled out peacekeeping, the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Population Fund.

The paper says that the order demands decreasing US funding towards international organisations by at least 40 per cent. Trump has included the International Criminal Court, yet the US currently pays nothing to the ICC. They add that if this order is signed, it would essentially decimate a global peacekeeping operation which is present in 16 countries.

He has also announced immigration restrictions from seven African and Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, Yemen, and Iraq and plans to reinstate dubious interrogation techniques for foreign nationals off American soil.

And then there is his obsession with the crowds who attended his inauguration and with the fact that he did not win the popular vote. The BBC say that he is going to have a "major investigation into voter fraud", to back up his claims about millions of illegal ballots.

Trump said the inquiry would include "those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal" and that the probe would focus on "those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)". He has alleged that up to five million illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton, but has offered no proof.

Fact-checkers have rejected it as untrue and Republican election officials in key states have said they found no proof of fraudulent voting.

That the most powerful politician in the World cannot move on from this obsession but instead uses his office to chase wild gooses is deeply disturbing. With such a giant fragile ego in the White House, nobody is safe.

Update: The Independent says that according to veteran Washington journalist Carl Bernstein, Donald Trump’s “emotional maturity [and] stability” are being discussed in private by senior members of his own political party.

Bernstein said discussions going on in Washington this week were “unlike anything I have seen in 50 years as a reporter”.

“I am hearing from Republicans, and other reporters are as well, that there is open discussion by members of the President of the United States’ own party about his emotional maturity, stability,” he said.

“People are saying that his psyche is driving the news cycle.

“We are in uncharted territory here and we ought to talk to some of our colleagues about what they are hearing. I’ve never heard [people] talking about a president… the way this subtext is now a talking point.”

Update 2: The White House Press Secretary has revealed that Trump has decided how to pay for the border wall by imposing a 20 percent tax on all imports from Mexico. So a $20,000 car will now cost $24,000. This is going to end well.
Are we in the new 30s when other nationalists 'took control'? If he is not checked bad times are ahead. In 1933 changes happened, 6 years later WW2 began. Let us hope that after 4 years he is gone.
Rustin Dodd (on Twitter) refers to Trumps use of this site to enhance his ego ,and journalists,to build up support in their own spheres, preaching to the converted.He quotes how many people do not use it. Yes, to get our parties UK wide support built up facebook would be the best bet.
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