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Sunday, January 22, 2017

The art of misdirection: Trump's most serious lie-- so far

In its first two days in office,  the Trump administration has brought the colossal to America.  It has been colossal in the way it has streamed lie after lie into the media.  Saturday's lies were a festival of blatant falsehoods, but the inaugural address undertook a more serious attack through falsifying facts.

The press has felt compelled to comment on the malicious belligerence in Trump's inaugural address, but it has gone light on confronting the degree of untruth it contains.  While, as with most of Trump's public pronouncements, it is packed with outright lies and misrepresentations of facts, one big lie stands out for the depravity of its deception:

“Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed.”

The Washington Post cites statistical data that shows that Washington did not, in fact, become a repository for the wealth of America.  But the Post did not explain how the lie misdirected attention away from where America's wealth went and what the lie was covering up.  Bernie Sanders provided the explanation:

Trump's Big Lie: In his inaugural address, Mr. Trump talked about taking on the Establishment and standing up for working people. Meanwhile, right behind him in the V.I.P. section of the inaugural stands, were corporate tycoons and cabinet nominees worth tens of billions of dollars. Oh, yes. This "anti-establishment" president raised at least $100 million from some of the most powerful special interests in the country for his inaugural events. Mr. Trump is not an anti-establishment president. He and his billionaire friends ARE the establishment and the American people will learn that very soon.
As America struggled with the Great Recession that struck in full force in 2009, the nation began an economic recovery.  It was a slow recovery because the GOP would rather see the people of America suffer and perish rather than support anything proposed by President Obama to provide economic relief.  The GOP obstructed the recovery efforts because they were more interested in denying that black boy in the White House any credit for advancing the nation than they were in helping the American people.  Since the 1980s, when President  Reagan made trickle down economics the official program for the flow of American wealth,  the income and wealth was systematically directed toward the upper 10 percent while the middle class received diminishing returns for its work.  This was because the government became complicit with corporate America in arranging legislation and regulatory rules aimed at creating an economic privileged class. 

The blue line in the following graph shows how dramatically the top percentage has directed the nation's wealth into its own pockets in comparison with the bottom 90 percent since 1980.

In addition to seeing an ever larger share of income, the top 0.01% has also had their real incomes grow by over 600% over the last three decades, while real incomes for the bottom 90% have been stagnant:

Donald Trump is in the billionaire class that has manipulated the global economy to serve itself, diminish the middle class, and shove many people into poverty.  A tragic irony is that those people who voted for Trump because they felt left out of the economic recovery voted for the very people who have worked to exclude them from the benefits of the recovery.  Even as Trump stacks his cabinet with billionaires,  his economic struggling supporters do not understand that they have endorsed the system that holds them down and back.  They express hostility toward some political elite but cannot grasp that the economic elite has controlled their lives and is now poised for greater control.  

Trump's statement in his inaugural address was an attempt to misdirect attention to the politicians and away from the people who garnered the wealth for themselves,  shipped the jobs overseas, and closed the factories.  They made the decisions and took the actions that shifted the American economy to serve their financial interests, not the interests of the nation.  Politicians were involved by taking campaign money from the 1 percent and manipulating government to serve its greed for more money and lust for power.  

Now the billionaire class has achieved more power by having one of its own as President of the United States.  They worked against the nation's interests diligently over the past four decades,  and does anyone really believe they will change now that they control the presidency and the cabinet?  

Politicians are certainly complicit with the billionaire class, but they are not the ones who decided which direction the economy would take and who would benefit.  During the election of 2016,  the people turned over the nation to the billionaires.  The only thing that can stop them is those pesky women who demonstrated their power Saturday and have taken leadership in rescuing America from the fascist class.  Those who voted for Trump in hopes of bettering their situation had better hope now that the women succeed and that Trump fails in his mission with the billionaires and their lackeys, the GOP.  Trump's big lie is designed to destroy democracy,  and will if it is believed.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States