Donald Trump’s Divided America – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Donald Trump’s Divided America

By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump

Democracy breaks down when there is a disconnect between people and their governments. When the voices of ordinary persons are drowned out by officialdom confidence weakens. The system becomes a fraud despite the rosy platitudes of the political elite.

According to Obama, ‘democracy breaks down when the average person feels their voice doesn’t matter.’ As Americans get ready to welcome a new President Obama’s legacy will be a divided America. He will leave a fractious society in which most people feel that the system is rigged in favor of the rich and the powerful.  

But what is disappointing to many is the fact the Obama’s speaks the lines well. He knows that democracy means bringing together disparate groups and reaching out to the disadvantaged to empower them. Policy implementation, however, is another matter. Obama found himself at odds with Congress and as the years rolled on bridging the divide became harder.

Read more: Donald Trump’s Divided America – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

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  • ndtewarie  On December 9, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    MR Narine,
    You said. ‘Obama found himself at odds with Congress and as the years rolled on bridging the divide became harder.’ that was because the Senate was controlled by the Republicans who was out to make Obama ‘a one term president’ There would always be this problem for the 2party system has failed, it happened in England, and even in little Guyana.

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 9, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    “It is not clear what Trump will do with immigration.”

    Dr. Narine: My take is the California Government intends to clear up any confusion for the Federal Government – the Wall or Fence will stop at the California-Mexico Border, for starters ….. and so on.

    “….. [Trump] can start the process of healing by saying sorry for some of the angst he has brought to bear on the nation.”

    Look: Donald J Trump is the President-elect of the Divided States of America. Saying sorry in the instant case would come across as meaningless drivel to anyone who has followed the man. Donald Trump rode the wave of angst, division and derision to win the election; he won the prize – hit the jackpot – a licence to do what he is doing – REWARDED!!!

    – These guys who write for a living say it better, check it out:

    Trump: Madman of the Year
    Charles M Blow – The New York Times

    So, Time magazine, ever in search of buzz, this week named Donald J Trump Person of the Year. But they did so with a headline that read, “President of the Divided States of America.”

    The demi-fascist of Fifth Avenue wasn’t flattered by that wording.

    In an interview with the “Today” show, Trump huffed, “When you say divided states of America, I didn’t divide them. They’re divided now.” He added later, “I think putting divided is snarky, but again, it’s divided. I’m not president yet. So I didn’t do anything to divide.” – [Really, Mister Trump!]

    Donald, thy name is division. You and your campaign of toxicity and intolerance have not only divided this country but also ripped it to tatters.

    This comports with an extremely disturbing tendency of Trump’s: Denying responsibility for things of which he is fully culpable, while claiming full praise for things in which he was only partly involved.

    As my mother used to say: Don’t try to throw a rock and hide your hand. Own your odiousness.

    But Trump delivered the lie with an ease and innocuousness that bespoke a childish innocence and naïveté. In fact, his words disguised cold calculation.

    That is the thing about demagogy: It can be charming, even dazzling, and that is what makes it all the more dangerous. – [I like “insidious” better!]

    Demagogues can flatter and whisper and chuckle. They can remind us of the good in the world because they have an acute awareness of the ways of the world. They can also love and be loved. They can reflect our own humanity because they are human, but their ambitions do not bend toward the good.

    The ultimate aim of a Demagogue is distraction, which allows domination, which leads to destruction.

    Trump is running two post-campaign campaigns: one high and one low, one of frivolity and one of enormous consequence.

    One is a campaign of bread and circuses — tweets, rallies, bombast about random issues of the moment, all meant to distract and excite — and the other is the constant assemblage of a cabinet full of fat cats and “mad dog” generals, a virtual aviary of vultures and hawks.

    On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that Trump had “settled on Gen. John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, as his choice for secretary of Homeland Security.”

    They also pointed out that Kelly had “dismissed one argument cited by those who advocate closing the military prison at Guantánamo, saying it had not proved to be an inspiration for militants.” The prison fell under his command.

    Make no mistake: the prison at Guantánamo is one of the most glaring and enduring moral blights remaining from our humanitarianism-be-damned reaction to the attacks of 9/11.

    – [President Obama did NOT fail – The Republican-Tea Party Succeeded!]

    Trump said of the prison last month:

    “This morning, I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantánamo Bay, which by the way, which by the way, we are keeping open. Which we are keeping open … and we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up.”

    The Times also said that Kelly “questioned the Obama administration’s plans to open all combat jobs to women, saying the military would have to lower its physical standards to bring women into some roles.”

    This is disturbing, but Kelly isn’t the only one of Trump’s military picks who has a disturbing attitude toward women.

    Last month, The Daily Beast reported that the office of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for national security adviser, “told women to wear makeup, heels, and skirts.” These directives to women were presented in a “January 2013 presentation, entitled ‘Dress for Success,’” which was obtained by a Freedom of Information request by MuckRock. The presentation reportedly made sweeping patriarchal declarations — “makeup helps women look more attractive” — and gave granular detail — “Wear just enough to accentuate your features.”

    According to the presentation, “Do not advocate the ‘Plain Jane’ look.”

    So, in other words, while G.I. Joe is in camouflage, G.I. Jane should be in concealer. Got it.

    Indeed, on Wednesday, my colleague Susan Chira pondered in these pages: “Is Donald Trump’s Cabinet Anti-Woman?” She went through a litany of anti-woman positions taken and policies advanced by Trump appointees, leaving this reader with the clear conclusion that yes, it is. She closed with this: “One of the few bright spots that women’s advocates see in a Trump administration are proposals championed by Ivanka Trump to require paid maternity leave and offer expanded tax credits for child care.”

    But, as she notes, there is legitimate criticism that even that is patriarchal because it doesn’t cover paternal leave.

    The question hanging in the air, the issue that we must vigilantly monitor, is whether the emerging shoots of egalitarianism in this country will be stomped out by the jackboot of revitalized authoritarianism.

    I feel like America is being flashed by a giant neuralyzer, à la “Men In Black.” We are in danger of forgetting what has happened and losing sight, in the fog of confusion and concealment, of the profundity of the menace taking shape right before us.

    That is our challenge: To see clearly what this deceiver wants to obscure; to be resolute about that to which he wants us to be resigned; to understand that Time’s man of the year is, by words and deeds, more of a Madman of the Year.

    Addendum: I should have explicitly noted, as the link to MuckRock shows, that General Flynn repudiated the “Dress for Success” presentation.

  • Albert  On December 9, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Many of the points discussed by Dr. Narine would require several chapters to do an adequate job. For one thing when was America not divided. It also fail to explain Obama’s achievements in the light of massive republican obstruction.

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 10, 2016 at 3:49 am

    DELUSIONAL American Voters Elected Donald Trump

    .

  • demerwater  On December 10, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I seriously doubt that the system of Government in the USA can be described as a “Democracy”. I am no student of this sort of topic but “Govt. by the people …” appears to be different from “… deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”: different from “…’Majority Rule’ congruent with ‘Minority Rights’…”
    My opinion is that it is a melding of these various and varying ideas / ideologies is what makes America exceptional. It is a wonder that the system gets it right at all.
    There is a line of thinking that the Founding Fathers wanted to embed dissidence into the Constitution. It is a necessity of good, clean Government for the three branches to be continuously functioning like the three legs of a bar stool. They must keep the seat level because the inebriated might occupy it – and we all know that the inebriated need all the help they can get.
    https://guyaneseonline.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/the-american-people-elect-the-right-person-to-be-president-by-ron-persaud/

  • tulsiedas402sqn@Gmail. com  On December 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Dr Dhanpaul Narine should be cautious with his commentary on Prez. Elect Donald Trump the American Voters are never wrong he won the election fair as square witH almost + 10% of ballots cast, he did not need the electoral College support or adjudication.

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 14, 2016 at 12:31 am

    From Trump to Brexit, power has leaked from cities to the countryside

    Andy Beckett – The Guardian UK

    Cities may dominate our culture, but a backlash against liberal values and multiculturalism has been led by rural and small-town voters

    As the most successful British and American cities have gentrified and repopulated in recent decades, reversing the inner-city decline of the 60s and 70s, it’s become a cliché to say how powerful they are: economically, culturally, politically. Many people think they’re too powerful. A revolt against urban liberalism and multiculturalism, and their supposed imposition on the rest of the population, was a big element of the Brexit and Donald Trump campaigns.

    Almost two-thirds of USA rural and small-town voters chose Trump, while a similar proportion in the cities chose Hillary Clinton. In the English countryside, 55% voted for Brexit, while cities as varied as Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool and London voted even more decisively for remain. The stark and growing political division of the USA and the UK by population density has been one of the most striking, if under-reported, revelations of the great 2016 electoral reckoning.

    Yet the USA election and the EU referendum have also shown that even the most confident, expansive cities are politically quite weak. Not simply because their preferred causes lost narrowly in both cases; but because patterns of urban life and both countries’ electoral systems are increasingly out of sync.

    According to the Office for National Statistics, there are currently more than a million non-British EU citizens living in London – almost an eighth of the city’s population. Much of the sense of present-day London as a teeming and important global city has come from this influx.

    Yet none of these converts to the capital, nor foreign residents from outside the EU, nor the more than a million foreigners estimated to be living in other British cities, can vote in British national elections or referendums, only in local ones (assuming they have bothered to register during a stay that may be brief). Their presence may have a huge economic and social impact, but it carries little political weight.

    In the USA, the revival of many cities has also left them under-represented. Between 1950 and 2015, the proportion of urban Americans rose from 64% to 82%. But the ancient, creaky workings of the electoral college mean that the recent population booms in downtown Los Angeles and Brooklyn, for example, have simply concentrated liberal voters even further in urbanised states that were already easy Democratic wins.

    Clinton’s futile popular vote victory suggests that hipsters are not a decisive electoral demographic, or at least not yet.

    The very thing that makes modern cities vibrant and culturally dominant – increasing population density, and the atmosphere and networks that result from it – has left them politically under-represented.

    Meanwhile, the scattered and thinned-out populations of many struggling rural and small town areas distribute their voters through the British and American electoral systems much more efficiently.

    A large and growing proportion of city Britons are not registered to vote at all. David Cameron’s government was as good at bending the pliable British political system in his party’s favour as it was bad at attracting urban support. Starting in 2014, it rushed the introduction of individual electoral registration, requiring voters to register themselves rather than letting others do so on their behalf.

    In a 2015 report, 10 Million Missing Voters!, the Smith Institute found that “inner-city areas, especially those with young and/or student populations and high levels of privately rented property” were “most at risk” of shrinking electoral registers.

    Exactly that has happened. This June, in the left-leaning London borough where I live, the Hackney Citizen newspaper reported that in some local wards the proportion of eligible residents registered to vote was less than 70%, a fifth below the already unimpressive national average.

    A fortnight later, for the EU referendum, the Hackney turnout was only 65% – again, well below the national average of 72%. Put another way, less than half of eligible local residents had voted in the EU referendum.

    People living in cities are often transient, overcommitted, easily distracted. On the day of the referendum, psephologists expected a great urban voting surge for remain, especially in the evening, when liberal professionals got back from work. That never happened. In the pro-remain strongholds Manchester and Glasgow, the turnout was even worse, at under 60%.

    In the UK and the USA now – and possibly France too, given the likelihood of an anti-metropolitan bidding war between François Fillon and Marine Le Pen – politics is dominated by voters who are less busy: country pensioners, unemployed or underemployed workers in ex-industrial areas.

    Instead of a city-style politics based on novelty and compromise – the approach of the Obama and Blair eras – Britain and American now have a politics that feels provincial, old-fashioned, almost millenarian, full of suspicion of outsiders and yearnings that somehow Brexit or a strongman president will make everything all right.

    In the UK, the boundary changes to parliamentary constituencies will almost certainly marginalise cities further, as they will be based on the new electoral registration system. London, despite being in the middle of a population boom – much of it British – is expected to lose five of its 73 seats. The Conservatives insist that the rationale is to “reduce the cost of politics”, but it looks more like gerrymandering. Barely a third of London MPs are Tories.

    What can liberal city-dwellers do about this? They can bother to vote. They can elect city leaders who make cosmopolitan urban values – what new Ukip leader Paul Nuttall cannily caricatures as “dinner party” thinking – appealing to rather than alienating voters elsewhere.

    Or they can wait for further urban population growth and the perpetual migration of city people and ideas to other places to shift the political balance.

    Politics is never just about elections; it’s also about prevailing values and lifestyles, and who holds economic power. However triumphant and impregnable Trump, the Brexiteers and their anti-urban supporters seem now (and will their supremacy last once the consequences of their airy promises start materialising?), it is hard to imagine the big cities losing their enormous economic and cultural clout any time soon. The internet, for one thing, makes it impossible to keep urban ideas and behaviours corralled inside city walls.

    In a democracy, electoral politics tends to adjust to social trends in the end. But the process can take a while.

    City liberals should hunker down: the city-haters rule for now.

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