Donald Trump is the perfect American.
Born into a life of the unimaginable wealth, privilege, and freedom from consequences reserved for the 1% of the 1%, he yesterday made clear the paramount American principle that will dictate our reaction to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi Arabian government: Money Talks. If you buy enough warplanes from us, you can brutally murder journalists; it’s all good.
We get the politicians we deserve. And the politicians we deserve further shape who we are. We got Trump because enough of us don’t care about facts, basic morality and ethical principles that we (sort of) elected someone who perfectly embodies our ignorance and arrogance to run the whole show. And now, ignorance and “America-first” arrogance are bedrock national policy, along with disregard for science and fact, at least when they come into conflict with making money or cementing political alliances and concentrations of power.
At least it makes it easy for the rest of the world to know where we stand on anything. Trump is nothing if not predictable. Flatter him, and he’s your best friend. Criticize him, and you are the enemy. Agreements are for the weak. History is irrelevant. Everything is for sale. Ratings are all that matter. (And brown people who speak other languages are scary.)