Tag Archives: Stalin

Yes, Mr. POTUS, you’ve ‘made a difference’

Americans have known all along that Donald John Trump does not suffer from any lack of self-esteem.

He’s so damn proud of himself. Of his wealth. Of his stunning political victory in 2016. Of his children. Of his smarts. Blah, blah, blah.

He managed to tweet some idiotic messages overnight in which he talked about the things for which he is thankful. He said, if you can believe it, that he is proud of himself. I know . . . I’m stunned, too.

He is proud of the “tremendous difference I’ve made” as president. Well, you know what? I am going to agree with part of what he said. Yes, the president has made a huge “difference.” Except that I apply another viewpoint in assessing that difference.

The Ayatollah Khomeini “made a difference” when he took power in Iran; so did Adolf Hitler in Germany; same with Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union. They all “made a difference.”

I don’t equate Donald Trump with those hideous monsters. I merely use them as examples of how one can interpret the “difference” reference differently than what the president is asserting.

Trump has taken a politician’s penchant for self-aggrandizement to astonishing new levels. He said we’re “stronger now than before” he became president. How does he measure that strength? He doesn’t say. He alludes to allies that flock to our side. Who? When? Under what circumstance? He doesn’t say. Trump refers continually to the “fine-tuned machine” at the White House and how hundreds of applicants are knocking down the doors to come to work there. How does he explain all the key vacancies in Cabinet departments? He doesn’t.

Yeah, the president has “made a difference.” It’s just not the kind of difference with which he has deluded himself.


Media attacks = dictatorship?

I have been reluctant to equate Donald John Trump Sr.’s constant attacks on the media with the behavior of tinhorn dictators — and truly evil despots.

That is until now.

The president tore into the media again Tuesday night at that campaign rally in Phoenix, Ariz. He called them “fake” and “dishonest.”

Trump echoed much of what he has said ad nauseam ever since he launched his presidential campaign.

For seemingly forever, the media let him get away with it. They would report on his rants, letting his words speak for themselves. Trump obliged. He courted the media.

Then something happened. The media began calling the president out on the lies he kept repeating. The media started to reveal falsehoods. Trump didn’t like that. Then the attacks got really hot.

There’s a pattern developing, according to media watchdogs and political pundits. It’s disturbing in the extreme. The pattern follows a familiar course: political leaders seek to delegitimize the media, to reduce their standing among citizens. These leaders have sought to turn the people they want to lead against the media.

Hitler did it in Germany. Stalin did it in the Soviet Union. There have been assorted Third World dictators who have done the very same thing: Pol Pot in Cambodia, Idi Amin in Uganda, Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania.

I cannot pretend to know what is motivating Donald J. Trump’s incessant attacks on the  media. Nor can I pretend to understand anything as it regards the president’s thinking.

I just know that presidents for as long as I’ve been alive have sought to understand the media’s role in a free society. They’ve all reached a form of bipartisan understanding. None of them has liked reading or hearing critical news stories about their presidencies.

However, as former President George W. Bush said recently, the media are “necessary to keep public officials accountable.”

And, no, the media are not — as Donald Trump has said — the “enemy of the American people.”

Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ is a no-brainer


Here it comes: a good word about Donald J. Trump.

Time magazine’s Person of the Year is the 45th president of the United States. When the magazine’s editor in chief, Nancy Gibbs, was asked this morning whether this was a difficult choice, she said that it wasn’t. It was an easy choice, given how Trump managed to win the presidency by breaking virtually every known rule of conventional political wisdom.

I happen to agree with this choice.


I’m not going to get into the discussion about how the magazine has named some pretty despicable characters as its Person of the Year. They include, say, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin (twice).

It’s fairly customary for the magazine to honor newly elected presidents for this honor. So it’s no surprise that the newest elected president would get the nod as Person of the Year.

Look long and hard at virtually every aspect of Trump’s winning campaign: his lack of “ground game,” his insults, his bizarre behavior, his apparent complete ignorance of the principles of governance, the fact that the presidency is the first office he’s ever sought.

It’s good to examine what so many so-called “experts” said about his chances of being nominated, let alone being elected. He was dismissed as a joke, a circus act, a carnival barker, a huckster.

Here he now stands, ready to assume the role of commander in chief and head of state of the greatest nation on Earth.

All of that, by itself, qualifies this guy as Person of the Year.

Gibbs was right to say this was an easy call.

Now we’ll await this man’s ascension to the highest office in the land and we’ll see whether he has learned anything about the job he is about to do.

Willpower is enduring tremendous stress


Donald Trump is making it very hard for me to keep my pledge to create a “no politics zone” in this blog.

He keeps coming up with outrageous and disgraceful pronouncements, the latest of which is the notion that he would ban all Muslims coming into the United States of America.

I’m not going to comment on it here. I’ll save my comments to Twitter.

You know how I feel about this particular notion and about Donald Trump in general.


But let me offer this brief perspective on something not related directly to his idiotic declarations.

Time magazine reportedly has Trump on its short list of candidates for Person of the Year.

Trump’s influence in 2015 on the upcoming presidential campaign has been profound. Of that there can be zero doubt. For that reason, I can understand if Time decides to declare him as its Person of the Year.

There can be little, if anything, positive to say about the substance of what he’s brought to this debate.

But his influence on its tone and tenor is beyond dispute.

Look at this way: He ain’t Hitler, Stalin or the Ayatollah. They all got the magazine’s nod for their influence on the world — for better or worse.