We’re only a little more than 1/3 of the way through the first term of the Trump presidency and it already bids fair to end the tenure of the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower.
Until recently, it felt to me like we might be in for a full four years of Donald Trump but just lately things seem to be coming to a head.
Accordingly, I want to get my predictions into print now so that some day in the near future I will be able to either (a) crow insufferably about how prescient I was or (b) laugh ruefully about how the very worst we could imagine in those days was nothing compared to how it ultimately turned out.
Continue reading “How It Ends”
People reflexively compare Donald Trump to Hitler, but they have the wrong German. It’s Kaiser Wilhelm that the Donald is freakishly like. The similarity goes far beyond their extremely distinctive hair. (Trump’s elaborate blond comb-over is easily matched by the Kaiser’s trademark handlebar mustache with tips that stood straight up an inch high on the ends.)
The Kaiser’s power, like Trump’s, was unearned; he inherited the throne, while Trump fell into the presidency through a freak accident of history and demographics. Popularly perceived as foolish, Trump, like the Kaiser is actually reasonably intelligent, but also like the Kaiser, he convincingly simulates stupidity through his combination of extraordinary vanity, a comical level of arrogance, a negligible attention span, and legendary immaturity.
Trump famously surrounds himself with yes-people of mediocre talent. How like the Kaiser, who, soon after coming to power, fired Otto von Bismark, one of the great foreign policy geniuses of modern history. It was Bismark who had forged the German Empire out of Prussia and an assortment of minor German states and principalities, but the Kaiser wanted him out of the way so he would be free to pursue a militaristic course that was more or less opposite to the peaceful course Bismark had wisely set.
Continue reading “You’ve Got The Wrong German”
It’s almost impossible to get through to young people how egregiously they are getting screwed. The current economic situation crept up so slowly that you can only see the broad strokes when you look back over decades.
It’s like the frog in the cook pot, but in this case, the frogs aren’t just sitting there—they are loudly cheering the cook. It’s beyond the wildest dreams of the rapacious classes of yesteryear.
What follows is my personal perspective on what young people in 2018 can’t see because their frame of reference is too short. I know it’s boring, but it’s your money, people. I wish you’d think about it.
Continue reading “Here’s One Way to Put It”