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Week in Review 142 — Trump: Down the rabbit hole

Stephen Lewis comments on President Obama's legacy and the prospect of a Trump presidency. (Recorded January 12, 2017).

Transcript

January 13, 2017: Down the rabbit hole

OK, I’m back, I’m rested, I’m ready to take on the world and I noticed with interest as soon as I got back that when there is some kind of political crisis, people like to invoke Alice in Wonderland. And so, editorial writers and commentators have been talking about, “down the rabbit hole,” which is meant to describe what we’re going to confront in about a week’s time. I would have thought that living in a rabbit hole is probably the safest place to be on the planet during the era of Trump.

You know, I was watching Barack Obama’s farewell speech and thinking, as you must have thought: what elegance and eloquence, and integrity and principle, what soaring rhetorical flair. We shall not see his like again. Sure! Many of us were disappointed that he hasn’t been able to handle Syria, he hasn’t closed Guantanamo, and the African American population in the United States didn’t experience the emancipation they thought they’d experience under Obama’s presidency. But he has been a remarkable president. Now compare him to Donald Trump.

I watched Trump’s press conference and realized again that he is a moronic, bullying, bragging oaf. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a sick man. I think he’s deranged. I think his psychopathic paranoia will render him futile. Somewhere in the four years, I’m not sure he’ll last, and maybe that’s a good thing… I mean, can you imagine? …Just pull yourself back for a moment and try to imagine: Donald Trump delivering a eulogy at a funeral of nine African Americans gunned down in a Charleston, South Carolina church, or five people gunned down in a Fort Lauderdale airport. I mean, you wouldn’t even want to invite him! How could he possibly give coherent words to the agony?

But we need a strong American presence and President over the next four years. I mean, we’ve got climate change and terrorism, and a new Secretary-General of the United Nations, and poverty, and infectious disease. We need an American presence. We’ve got a situation in the world today where a number of countries are on the brink of genocidal self-immolation. Countries like Yemen, Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. We’ve got countries that are disintegrating into conflict again: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi… We have a country like Zimbabwe, which when Mugabe dies will descend into chaos. We have a slaughter of ethnic innocents like the Rohingya in Myanmar. We need a powerful American presence and we will not have it.

Oh, and by the way, just before I end these opinions… I want to remind you that almost exactly one thousand days have passed since the abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. I mention it because it’s a tiny microcosm of what we’ll be facing.

I’m glad to be alive in this era, glad to fight back. But it’s almost too much to think that we’ll be dealing with the absurd dalliance of Trump and Putin, or a focus on the financial corporate investments of a bogus President. I haven’t the faintest idea of what’s coming. And if I may be so bold, nor do you.

That was last week, I’m Stephen Lewis.