Trump, the Anti-Obama, Ends in Tyranny

khan1
Khan in “Star Trek.”  A strong leader if you don’t mind tyranny

W.J. Astore

My wife, who knows how to cut to the chase, pointed out a big aspect of Trump’s appeal to me this morning: “Trump is the anti-Obama.”

Think about it.  When it comes to their personal qualities, it would be hard to envision two men who are such polar opposites.  Consider Obama.  He’s cool.  Rational.  Analytical.  A thinker.  He’s also polite, cautious, and considerate.  He’s a skilled writer and a poised, often inspirational, speaker.  He’s at pains to broadcast a message of inclusiveness.  He’s all about diversity and tolerance and embracing those who are different.  He’s also by all accounts a loyal family man, a loving husband and father, with a strong marriage.

Consider Trump.  Everything I just said about Obama is the opposite for Trump.  Trump is emotional.  Flamboyant.  Given to knee-jerk responses.  A man of action.  He appears to be impolite, impetuous, and inconsiderate.  Near as I can tell, Trump’s books are ghost-written, and his speaking style is bombastic and inflammatory rather than poised and inspirational. Promoting divisiveness rather than inclusiveness, his message of “making America great again” is read by some of his supporters as making America white-male-dominated again. Hardly a loyal family man, he’s on his third marriage, the previous two ending acrimoniously, and if you credit his boasts caught on tape he was trying to cheat on his current wife while they were still newlyweds.

Now, which one of these men is more desirable as a role model?  The loyal husband and family man, the one who embraces diversity and brings people together?  Or the disloyal husband, the one who boasts of sexual encounters, who objectifies women, the one who rejects tolerance for rhetoric that drives intolerance?

It’s sobering to see self-styled conservative or evangelical Christians, who claim they are all about family values and the sanctity of marriage, twisting their professed beliefs to embrace Trump and reject Obama.  Certainly, in some cases racism is involved here, a sense that Obama is “not one of us,” whereas Trump, with all his glaring flaws of character and behavior, is accepted as the imperfect guy who’s “just like me” (or perhaps just like a black sheep of the family).

Here’s another way of looking at it if you’re a “Star Trek” fan: Trump is Captain Kirk to Obama’s Mr. Spock.  In his coolly logical manner, Obama has often been compared to Mr. Spock.  And Trump as Captain Kirk: it seems to work, since Kirk was a man of action, often emotional, a womanizer, sometimes intemperate.

But this is to insult Captain Kirk.  More than anything, Kirk was a leader: a man who brought a diverse crew together and made them better.  Yes, he could be intemperate, but he had a capacity for personal growth.  Smart, tough, and experienced, Kirk was a ladies’ man, but he wasn’t married and never forced himself on women (with the notable exception of “The Enemy Within” episode, in which Kirk is split in two, his hyper-aggressive twin given to attacking women for his own pleasure).

stenemy_within
In “The Enemy Within,” a hyper-aggressive Kirk “twin” sees nothing wrong with sexual assault

In Trump you’re not getting Captain Kirk, America.  You’re getting a one-dimensional “evil” Kirk, or perhaps a Khan Noonien Singh, another “Star Trek” character (played memorably by Ricardo Montalbán), a tyrant and ruthless dictator, a man who believes it’s the right of the strong to take or do whatever they want.  (So-called Alpha Male behavior, according to one of Trump’s sons, though I prefer a different A-term: Asshole Male.)

Some of Trump’s success, at least initially, came from the fact he was a powerful contrast to Obama, the anti-Obama, if you will.  And the “anti-” was more than symbolic, considering how Trump drove the birther movement and its false narrative of how Obama was illegitimate as president.  And I can understand after eight years the desire among many for a “Captain Kirk” after two terms of “Mr. Spock.”

But Trump is much more Khan than Kirk.  He’d embrace Khan’s motto that “Such [superior] men [like me] dare take what they want.”  But a man who believes in his own inherent superiority — that his might will make right — is not a leader.  He’s a tyrant. And tyranny is the very opposite of democracy.

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16 thoughts on “Trump, the Anti-Obama, Ends in Tyranny

  1. “… a man who believes in his own inherent superiority — that his might will make right — is not a leader. He’s a tyrant. And tyranny is the very opposite of democracy.”

    Oh, you mean like the man who had U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki and his sixteen-year-old son, Abdulrahman, drone murdered in Yemen? That kind of tyrant? Or did you have in mind Donald Trump who talks a lot of trash but who hasn’t actually had anyone killed? The anti-Obama — not to mention the anti-You-Know-Her — indeed.

    How about if we get rid of the lying murderers first and then worry about the lying gropers and gold-diggers?

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    1. No defense of Obama or Hillary meant or implied. But the contrast between Obama’s image and personality versus Trump’s couldn’t be more marked. And indeed Trump poses as a man who’ll take strong stands, who will draw those lines in the sand and never back down from them, according to Trump, of course. Trump has posed as the anti-Obama, and now we see he is, at least in the ways that I wrote about here.

      Trump “who talks a lot of trash” — is he really just talk? Let’s look at his unsavory business practices, his casino capitalism. Or let’s look at his predatory behavior toward women, or his actions at his rallies, during which he encourages violence, including issuing veiled threats against his opponent. Just talk?

      And what happens if he wins, when all that “talk” can be actuated, when he’s the new “unitary executive”? Will we say then that it’s just talk. or that he’s just a groper, no big deal, let Trump be Trump?

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      1. In the first place, I don’t give a damn about public relations “images.”

        In the second place, Barack Hussein Obama’s name does not appear on any of the 50 state ballots this election year, so it escapes me what he could possibly have to do with Donald Trump or You-Know-Her or any of the other actual candidates. Did I miss that Constitutional Amendment where a President can now run for a third term?

        I just receieved my overseas ballot (for the State of California where I last resided before moving to Taiwan) and I notice with approval that my choice for President, Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party, appears as one of my choices. Dr. Stein’s name also occurs on 46 other state ballots. But nowhere do I see the current President’s name listed as someone for whom I or anyone else might vote. So again, what possible relevance does a comparison of Barack Obama and his “happily married family man” image have to with any of the other candidates? For his part, President Obama has killed lots of happily married family men. And their families. And their friends. And their neighbors. And their countrymen. And …

        So the happy murderer has a happy family. So what? Talk about a non-sequitur.

        As well, I saw the other day where Mr Cool (the Drone Murderer and Quagmire-War-Mission-Creeper-Extraordinaire) made yet another speech about one of his “visions.” Typically, this vision-thing involved peering decades into the future to a time (the 2030s) when some other president will somehow see to it that American astronauts land on the planet Mars. Now I wish to point out that after almost eight years in office, the United States can’t even get one of its own astronauts up into Low Earth Orbit to the International Space Station without asking the Russians — you know, those evil bastards who “don’t make anything” — to give us a ride. Even the Chinese can get their own astronauts safely up into LEO by themselves. So Mr Clairvoyant Rhetorical Wind Bag can “see” what someone else will do decades from now but not what he himself has manifestly failed to do over the course of two terms in office. I mean, back in the 1960s the U.S. developed the Saturn V rocket in less than five years and it successfully launched two dozen astronauts safely around the Moon and back to Earth again. So — almost half-a-century later — what has The Black Mascot of Wall Street (as Professor Cornel West calls him) done for America’s dawdling, foot-dragging space program?

        Easy answer: S.L.S., the still not flight-ready Senate Launch System, so named by cynics for obvious, pork-barrel reasons. I mean, NASA under President Rhetorical Windbag has an annual budget about half of what America hands out to CIA-sponsored, drug running Afghan warlords every year. Why, just the other day I saw one of my favorite pictures on the Internet: namely, U.S. marines on patrol guarding poppy fields in the foothills of the Hindu Kush. President Rhetorical Windbag just has to keep that heroin flowing into the veins of lower-class Americans so that he can have record numbers of them incarcerated in for-profit, slave labor prisons. But, hey, he has a “vision” about landing on Mars when he can’t even get us off the earth.

        If we could only find a way to bottle President Obama’s effusive hot air, we could probably fill a balloon with it and use that to land astronauts on Mars. And we wouldn’t have to wait until the 2030s (like one minute before midnight, December 31, 2029) to do it.

        But for some reason, you suggest that we find President Obama praiseworthy because he hasn’t knocked up one of the female White House janitorial staff, like President Warren G. Harding. Nor has he impregnated one of his female slaves, like President Thomas Jefferson. Nor has he fathered an out-of-wedlock child on one of his house maids, like Hollywood Republican “leftie” Governor Arnold Schwartzenneger. Nor has he gotten his actress girlfriend pregnant while still married to his first wife, like another Hollywood Republican “leftie” Governor and U.S. President, Ronald Reagan. So what? I don’t believe that Donald Trump has done any of those things. He may have talked dirty and threatened to kill head-chopping jihadi terrorists (like the ones the U.S. and its “friends” lavishly support), but after serving almost six years in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club, a.k.a., the United States Navy, I can say from personal knowledge that Donald Trump has yet to plumb the depths of vulgar male references concerning female pulchritude. Not even close.

        So please forgive me for not giving a shit what rhetorical drivel comes pouring out of Mr Cool’s mouth at any given moment. His actual record of accomplishment as President of the United States — other than for the 1% who fund his campaigns and staff his neocon-infested administration — probably ranks somewhere in the neighborhood of Calvin Coolidge, if that high. And as for his reputed mastery of rhetorical tropes and metaphors, each time he babbles his signature line: “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” I wait impatiently for some intrepid “journalist” to ask the obvious question: “So, tell us, Mr President, how many fibers does your being have?.” But I wait in vain. Practically no one does real journalism in the United States anymore (other than Julian Assange and Wikileaks), and if they did, President Obama — he of “the most transparent administration ever” — would have them prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. Apparently, President Obama suspects that the German Kaiser still lives and threatens the “homeland.” What “intelligence”! What a big brain! If only we could find evidence of his ever having used either.

        I won’t vote for either of these two braying right-wing jackasses that everyone in the Kept Corporate Media seems obsessed with writing about. Nor can I wait for President Rhetorical Wind Bag to depart the scene and start raking in those big bucks making secret speeches to insider-trading Goldman Sachs executives. For my part, I want to end these decades of U.S. sponsored savage slaughter. And I don’t give a tinker’s damn what the Medieval Saudi Monarchy and Zionist Occupation of Palestine demand that we Americans do to further their parochial interests while doing irreparable damage to ours. President Obama and You-Know-Her have proven beyond a doubt that they care very much what our “friends” want and will do as these two dog-wagging tails (among others) order. Donald Trump, not so much. At least, not yet. Dr. Jill Stein, for her part, promises not to do these things at all. So by the time that November 8 rolls around, I will have already done my part to vote the lying, murdering bastards out of office.

        I can’t do it by myself, but I will do what little I can. Join me, please, fellow Crimestoppers. If you don’t, and You-Know-Her and Bubba Bill get back into the White House, you’ll have only yourselves to blame for those infamous Clinton “family values.” So much better than Donald Trump’s, to hear some people tell it. But, seriously?

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  2. … and about that “polite” and “intelligent” President Obama, I just caught this classy retort from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

    “Russia Meddling in US Elections? Not Bad for a ‘Regional Power.'”

    Now, there you have the epitome of cool. Respond to gratuitous U.S. “presidential” insults by quietly turning them against themselves.

    Of course, with You-Know-Her calling Russian President Vladimir Putin “Adolph Hitler” we can soon look forward to even worse U.S.-Russian relations. What a “diplomat,” which in the U.S. government (present and projected) means “dunce.”

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  3. Has the advent of tyranny begun with FBI’s faux investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private self-serving email server providing immunity to targets, Bill Clinton meeting with Loretta Lynch, Attorney General, on a tarmac days before result of FBI’s investigation, Hillary Clinton’s incriminating deletion of 33,000 emails with bleachbit without explanation or legal liability, the pay for play of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton providing government countless favors to donors of the Clinton Foundation including recommending 18 ambassadorships, unlawful immigration policies of President Obama(Supreme Court) and unlawful payments by President Obama for Affordable Care Act according to GAO?

    With a mainstream press favoring President Obama and Hillary Clinton how much abuse of power is unreported clearing the way for authoritarian government, especially if elections become a public railroading by the press? Freedom of the press includes unlimited bias and prejudice in news reporting of candidates and issues. Is this “loophole” of bias and prejudice the beginning of the formation of a one party state? Is this bias the explanation why reporting of this country’s disastrous foreign policy has been ignored or minimized or marginalized to benefit the status quo of both political parties to prevent outsiders to the political process?

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  4. When I write an article critical of Trump, I can count on replies that say, essentially, but Hillary is worse.

    First, I’ve written many articles at this site that have been critical of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment. A quick click or search at this site on her name will confirm that.

    Second, I’m not convinced that Hillary is worse, because Trump is reckless, ignorant, and self-centered to a degree I’ve never seen presented so openly and obviously. Consider some of Trump’s positions. He promises to bring back torture, to include waterboarding and worse. He says he wants to kill terrorists’ families, because they must be guilty through association. He promises to rebuild the military even more so than Hillary. He’s constantly demonizing the Other, even as he makes wild accusations (that Obama and Hillary created ISIS, for example, when it was Bush/Cheney and their botched occupation of Iraq that led to ISIS). This list could be easily expanded, e.g. he wants to preserve and enlarge Gitmo, indeed relishing the chance to do so. Just badass posturing? I don’t think so.

    I get it: Hillary is a bad choice, as Jeremy Scahill indicated — I agree with this, which is why I posted his article here. But Trump, if you judge him by his words, actions, and ignorance, is an even worse choice. Hillary, for what it’s worth, is predictable. Another neo-con. Another interventionist. Bush/Cheney lite, if you will, at least internationally.

    But Trump? Honestly, who knows? He’s ill-informed, impetuous, and entirely unpredictable, and I don’t see these qualities as a good thing. He’s not crazy like a fox. He’s just crazy. He seems to have no self-control: see a woman I like — grab her whatever and wherever. Someone says something I don’t like? Tweet about them at 3AM, then sue them. A personal insult? Never forget it, and be sure to get even.

    He lacks the balance, the maturity, and the self-control to be president.

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    1. Bill, your own preferred candidate Jill Stein has stated: “Trump Is Less Dangerous Than Clinton; She Will Start Nuclear War With Russia”

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/10/12/jill_stein_hillary_clintons_declared_syria_policy_could_start_a_nuclear_war.html

      The difference between Trump and Clinton is that she has proven to lack balance, maturity and self-control to be president. Clinton unethical conduct and failures are too numerous to recount here. Trump is politically incorrect clashing with a prescribed way of engaging in politics our media and status quo politicians which is often misleading for political advantage. We live in a culture driven by a biased and corrupt media that has now championed someone whose mountain of unethical official conduct borders on criminality that is ignored while someone whose private vulgar remarks are elevated to disqualification.

      A Clinton victory is imminent with U.S. mainstream media and TV networks championing a candidate whose political life has embraced dishonesty as its core trading political power and influence for money. Jill Stein better be wrong on Hillary Clinton, if not, mankind will return to barbarism.

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      1. Syria is a strange case. When I was young, Syria was basically a client state of the Soviet Union. U.S. leaders cared little about Syria except when it was at war with Israel, which was rather often.

        Now, of course, Syria is in disarray, and we’re told America Must Lead. Why? For humanitarian reasons? But the proposed solutions, such as “No Fly” zones,” will lead to more casualties. And American troops on the ground? Even Hillary is ruling this out.

        American intervention overseas is consistently defended in humanitarian terms. Only the U.S. military can stop the killing. How’s that? By more killing?

        I know the Syrian situation is complex and messy — which is precisely why simplistic solutions like “No Fly” zones make little sense to me. And Russia — heck, they have a long history with Syria. A lot longer than ours.

        Next thing I’ll hear is that American credibility is at stake, so we Must Do Something.

        Yes, work for some kind of diplomatic solution. More military escalation and inflammatory rhetoric is not the answer, especially between nuclear powers.

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  5. I’ve been thinking something similar as I immerse myself in the sociological experiment we call middle school. The Obamas have been a model of such stodgy old values. Do your homework. Eat your vegetables. Read books. Exercise. Be loyal to your old friends. Stay married to the same person. They’ve even made these things look like fun, when we know they are really hard work.

    I see people (young, unformed people, but still people) who think they are being smart by gaming the system. They think the other kids are fools (I can see the disdain on their faces) for actually doing the work when you can Google something, copy and paste it and pass it in. It seems the exact moral equivalent of bragging that you paid no taxes like the rest of us chumps. I even have one young man who is so handsome, so entitled and so scornful of me and my ridiculous, old fashioned expectations that I can’t help but think of him as the young Donald. If only someone can get him started with a small, 14 million dollar loan, he’ll be all set.

    I truly can’t wait until this election is over. I usually enjoy seeing signs sprouting and talking with earnest young volunteers and bringing food for the dozens of out-of-towners who are working on campaigns. (My contribution to the election of President Obama mostly consisted of pots of chili.)

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    1. Yes, it’s weird, isn’t it? The Obamas are like Ike and Mamie Eisenhower. Heck, Obama even plays golf!

      I wouldn’t say Trump and Melania are like JFK and Jackie, except to say JFK was a womanizer too. Maybe they’re an anti-Camelot couple, if that makes any sense at all. Trump has a certain charisma about him (for his followers, at least). And Melania has a certain exoticism. But JFK and Jackie were the image of A new, “hip” generation, an America as utopia, whereas Trump appeals to the image of America in decline, a dystopia.

      Is Trump our first dystopian candidate for president? It’s a serious question. The anti-Camelot vision, an America that’s lost hope, with no Arthurian romanticism, no lofty dreams. All hard angles and thrusting and screw the other guy, especially if he’s poor or Muslim or Mexican. No round tables of equality: just a “You’re fired!” asshole CEO at the head of the table, with a bad comb-over and worse attitude.

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      1. “… just a “You’re fired!” asshole CEO at the head of the table …”

        You really don’t get it, do you? The people who support Donald Trump want nothing more than for a CEO asshole to go to Washington D.C. and fire the entire political establishment there. Personally, I don’t care for Donald Trump the asshole. I would prefer Dr. Jill Stein and intelligent surgical prophylaxis. But either way, I want to see the Pentagram cut by 50%. I want the CIA, the NSA, and the Department of Homeland Security abolished. I want all student loans forgiven by the same Federal Reserve that bailed out the crooked bankers who wrecked — and continue wrecking — our economy. I want an embargo on all weapons sales to the Middle East. And I want the Earth’s natural environmment to take precedence over proffitering corporate polluters and their obscene stock options. In other words, I know what I want and I know whom I want to get the job done. But asshole or reasonable medical professional, I want done what I want done. But You-Know-Her and Barack Obama will not clean house, no matter the filthy stench emanating from it. They have grown so accustomed to the foul odor that it smells like perfume to them.

        And speaking of JFK, he famously said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” So if some asshole doesn’t go to Washington and fire whole boatloads of self-serving sycophant courtiers, then the next round of the revolution will feature actual heads rolling down the blood-drenched streets with aristocratic elite corpses hanging from every lampost on Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The proto-fascist bowels of America have vomited up Donald Trump, not to mention You-Know-Her, but the poison will only get worse and make more people deathly sick if someone doesn’t get rid of the lice-infested rats in our nation’s capital.

        Obviously, I do not count myself among the supporters of Donald Trump. Still, I think I understand them and him. He may disappear as quickly as he appeared. They won’t.

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  6. Trump’s tactless behavior and lack of intellectual staying power is obviously not a recipe for the kind of President (someone like Jill Stein for instance) I could applaud or agree with. But I have been ashamed of my country’s “leadership” for quite some time, and can’t seriously view Trump as having as yet approached the level of disdain and “deplorability” with which I view the likes of Obama and Clinton. We need to be clear about what it is that Clinton represents and responds to, what her policy formulations reek of and serve….because there comes a point when “more of the same” exacts consequences. The dirty war on Syria is about to exact consequences.

    From an article by Gilbert Doctorow:

    “…the air defense was installed because of U.S. and French threats to impose a “no fly zone” and because of the lessons learned from the U.S. coalition strike against Syrian forces at Deir Ezzor on Sept. 17. Konashenkov stressed that there will likely be no time for any hot-line discussions with Americans about stealth aircraft or incoming missiles: they will be shot down, “whatever the dilettantes” in American military circles may think…
    Indeed, the remarks of Hillary Clinton to the effect that the United States must stand up to the Russians and impose a “no-fly zone” in Syria missed the point that to do so now will mean destruction of U.S. aircraft and naval vessels, or, in other words, the onset of World War III. Either she and her policy team do not have their eye on the ball or they are playing a reckless game. For his part, Donald Trump came out marginally better on the issue of what to do about east Aleppo. He said that, as he understands, it’s lost already. That appraisal is much closer to reality.
    The end result of the official silence in the U.S. about Russia’s message of defiance and about its military wherewithal in place in Syria to defend what it construes as its national interest is that as a nation the U.S. is flying blind.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/10/14/the-warnings-of-a-new-world-war/

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  7. Trump is just like Obama–a demagogue and a narcissist. But Trump is not a left-wing ideologue to boot. But Trump is not “ending in tyranny,” he’s ending tyranny.

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  8. Obama may be something of a narcissist, but he is certainly not a leftist and doesn’t come across as demagogic or ideological. Obama is just another garden variety warmonger and elitist primarily concerned with feathering his own nest…plenty of those types on both “sides” of the aisle.
    I suppose you could say our economic system has “tyrannical” aspects. And one could say that we are politically straitjacketed to an extent. True tyranny is possible if we lose our rights to expression and dissent or if draconian economic conditions overtake us.

    You might elaborate on just what you mean by an extant tyranny that Trump will supposedly end. I wish him well and would like to see Trump’s “opposition” commit themselves to working with him on public investment, corporate repatriation, Russian & Chinese cooperative dealmaking, or any other positive developments Trump may have in mind. But I’m not optimistic that grown-up behavior will take hold of our political class, whether it be from the so-called left or from the so-called right.

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