Infinite jest: impeachment and the Democrat campaign references the folly I witnessed last week. Specifically the fifth Democrat debate and the impeachment inquiry hearing. Because both events were seemingly never ending and laughable. Yet the participants were grim, dour, and angry. Nevertheless, I was smiling underneath. Most importantly what I witnessed indicates that come next November – Trump wins in a landslide. Because the campaign will provide hilarious entertainment but no substance.
If the inane Democrats and their cheerleaders, the media and ‘the experts’, force President Trump into a corner wherein a hot war is his only way out.
Let me briefly explain. The above mentioned cabal, by continuing to insist that Trump does not have the best interest of America driving his actions, could cause the hyper-vigilant, aggressive president to take action against his, and by extension America’s, best-case outcome–a more peaceful and prosperous geo-political world.
Therefore – attacking him with untrue and hurtful accusations such as: He’s a Russian pawn; He cares only about himself; He’s only using his position to enrich himself – Trump, in order to disprove those charges, might act in ways that engender war, not peace.
The Big Lie
Trump is narcissistic, no doubt, but his personality is hardly malignant as claimed. Indeed, his behavior could invite anyone to check all nine boxes in the DSM’s criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. Except, his grandiosity etc. is not a fantasy. His achievements are unmatched. The DSM states:
- expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements
- preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power …
- sense of entitlement; unreasonable expectations
The big lie is that he somehow stole the presidency. He cheated and lied. He must have. Because so many experts, so many good people, just knew Hillary Clinton would be the 45th President of the United States. That didn’t happen.
Trump knew his expectations were not unreasonable. He knew his desires were not fantasies. That he was, in fact, capable of superior achievement. Becoming the president of the United States, against all odds and despite massive establishment opposition and money, just might be the single greatest accomplishment by an individual in history.
So it goes. Donald J. Trump was freely and fairly elected president of the United States of America – the most powerful position in the world. That fact drives the cabal and their followers bat-shit crazy, which says more about them than him.
I watched much of the impeachment hearings, especially the last two days. Importantly, I took notes and tuned into the final day’s testimony twice, live and again on Youtube. Ambassador Gordon Sondland (Trump’s guy) was on Wednesday, right before the Democrat debate. Thursday, it was Dr. Fiona Hill, a career foreign policy advisor, and Mr. David Holmes, a career foreign service diplomat. Holmes is what can be called a “Ukraine-iac”. (Shout out to Mickey Kaus and Robert Wright for their discussion. Watch it here.)
Such a person falls in love with the people and place where they are stationed. That state of mind is not uncommon for persons living in exotic or challenging locales.
Despite what people tell you, their primary motivation is self-serving. This applies to everyone. People want to feel good, and be validated and recognized for their contributions and achievements. Said another way – people want to be right.
Russia and Ukraine
The boundary between Russia and Ukraine is relatively new. But the people who live in those two countries have existed for tens of thousands of years. Not the individuals, of course. Rather their ancestors–the families, clans, and tribes of related individuals. Even today, Russian is a common language spoken in eastern Ukraine. Many families are mixed and have been for many generations.
Ukraine used to be part of Russia. It is in the interest of both countries to work together and live side-by-side in peace. My guess is, that’s what Vladimir Putin wants. It is western Europe that is pushing Ukrainians to act as a buffer and join NATO. The EU is acting in its own self interest.
As for our interests? There really is none. Like Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan – what those countries and people determine regarding their governance doesn’t effect us. They are not a threat. But that seems to be a lesson we haven’t learned. That is part of the infinite jest.
Foreign Service and foreign aid
The Foreign Service Agency (FSA) falls under the purview of the State Department, which is tasked with foreign policy and international affairs. The FSA has approximately 13,000 employees, 180 of which are ambassadors to other nations. Ambassadors are selected by the president, with confirmation by the senate, and whose salaries range from $130k to $160k.
Therefore, these are highly courted by ‘friends’ of the president, because the posts are prestigious and exciting. Consequently, ambassadorships are one reason wealthy ‘friends’ donate to campaigns. Aside from a few of the ambassador’s ‘friends’, other employees are career US diplomats. In contrast the career diplomats, and like career government officials, are not necessarily allies of the president. They are the ‘Deep State’.
The Foreign Service has a budget around 52 billion dollars, and is tax-payer funded. The budget for foreign aid has been around 46 billion, which is 1% of the total federal budget. Together that accounts for about 2% of the federal budget. Which lately runs a yearly deficit of around 500 billion. A case can be made that foreign aid and service fosters dependency, not independence and self determination.
Career diplomats are very much invested in their jobs (they want to feel good about themselves and their work), or how they make their living. Consequently, they become attached to the people and places they work. Most noteworthy when watching and listening to the testimony of Dr. Hill.
Dr. Hill’s testimony was truthful, passionate, and informative. So much so that it could be taken to support either position – impeach or not. I found it remarkable. She made the case for why the foreign service was important; but also seemed to understand Trump’s position of non-intervention and “America first”. Clearly, however, she disagreed with the president; but seemed to be sympathetic to his anger towards Ukraine.
Seems like Trump’s transgressions are a matter of policy, process, and personality disagreement, not crimes. He comes to the presidency with a businessman’s tool box – that of negotiation and making deals – using whatever leverage available to achieve the goal. While the career politician and government service folk are more focused on their lifestyle and careers.
Trump wants to succeed as president. Similarly, just as everyone else, he wants to feel good about himself and his work. Making America, and keeping America great is how he measures himself. Like most people, he has fused himself with his work, which just happens to be America.
My friend said he wants to turn America into “Trumpland”. That’s funny, but in some ways true. America begot Trump and the Trump Organization and, as president, he wants to return the favor. He sees foreign service and aid not essential to that. In fact, he has stated that ringing up debt in the service of other nations is contrary to making America great.
If “we” were running a surplus, then sure, aid to others would be valuable. In contrast, it seems like a bribe. Furthermore, it make us beholden to others. His position is “America first”.
The government is a bureaucracy and as such is inflexible. Career government bureaucrats like to do things the way they’ve always been done. Simply put, that is their mindset, with a personality that matches. In my book, Overcast, using the OCEAN personality construct, I determined that ‘Government’ was low in all five dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Donald Trump is pretty much the opposite, as are most business entrepreneurs.
Donald Trump sees the world differently than career politicians, career foreign service and career government employees. Civil servants, too. He’s a businessman and entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur takes risks in the service of profit. That’s a totally different mindset than career focused folks. Be that career in service, management, labor, whatever. Entrepreneurs are creative. By definition they break norms–the way things have always been done. They believe that by their success everyone benefits. In other words, if I succeed – ultimately the group does, too.
Making waves, pushing boundaries, is what the creative person does. I should know. It’s our nature, our personality. In contrast, the personality of the career-minded person leans toward safety and security. They don’t like risks and taking chances. It’s their nature to follow the rules and do what has always been done. They are good team players.
Ultimately, everyone has the same goals – to feel good and be right. That is human nature. However, peoples’ worldview’ varies. Peoples’ values’ differ, as do their approach. There is a group survival advantage to individual differences, which is why we vary. And that fact of group survival explains why the pull of tribalism is so strong. “One for all and all for one.”
The Democrat Campaign
What is driving the Democrats? They want to feel good about themselves and be proven right – in their approach and worldview. And yet they can’t agree. So each candidate has a signature issue, desperately trying to differentiate themselves from the others. The one fact they agree on is that the “orange man bad” (shout out to Scott Adams @11:42), and he must be impeached.
Victimology candidates and naive dreamers.
The victim candidates blame problems on others – generally successful, straight, white men. Especially Trump. Therefore anyone of them should be president because they are not him. They are not white, male, a business owner, or a billionaire. Their signature issues are racism, sexism, xenophobia, bigotry, the environment, greed, and corruption.
Dreamer candidates [Sanders, Yang, Gabbard (@1:40 shout out to Joe Rogan) and Williamson] believe in themselves, the power of the people, and love. The establishment and bureaucracy will do whatever in their power to prevent any of these candidates from gaining traction.
It’s entertaining and amusing to watch. It is the infinite jest.
Table talk for tomorrow. Go ahead tell me I’m wrong. For cover, you may invoke my name and this piece.