Noam Chomsky: Trump's First 100 Days Are Undermining Our Prospects for Survival
Date Written: 28/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20581
No recent US president has demonstrated such an overwhelming ignorance about governing as the current occupant of the White House. But is Trump's apparent inability to govern and conduct himself in a remotely conventional manner an innate character flaw or part of a well-conceived strategy aimed at a society that loves reality TV? In this exclusive Truthout interview, Noam Chomsky shares his views about the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
Chomsky: Bannon/Trump (and the pathetic Sean Spicer, who has to defend the latest shenanigans in public) have the task of dominating TV and headlines with one wild performance after another, the assumption apparently being that his fabrications will quickly be forgotten as the next episode displaces them, and the base will be satisfied for a time, believing that their champion is standing up for them. So, who remembers the millions of undocumented immigrants who "voted for Clinton," or the charge that that really bad guy Obama ("sad!") literally wiretapped poor Trump -- a claim now downgraded to irrelevance, but not withdrawn -- and so on? Look how well the birther tales played for many years, ending hilariously with Trump blaming Clinton for initiating the farce.
Meanwhile, the real work is going on more quietly, spearheaded by Paul Ryan, a different and more malicious kind of posturer, who represents the most brutal fringe of the Republican establishment and somehow manages to present himself as a man of ideas, maybe because -- as Paul Krugman argues -- he rolls up his sleeves and uses PowerPoint. The ideas are quite familiar. They are the standard fare of the component of the Republican establishment dedicated with unusual ferocity to enriching the rich and powerful -- bankers, CEOs, and other types who matter -- while kicking in the face the vulnerable, the poor and Trump's rural and working-class constituency. All of this abetted by the ultra-right billionaire cabinet and other appointees, selected very carefully to destroy whatever within their domains might be helpful to mere humans, but not to the chosen few of extreme wealth and power.