Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump Wins. The World Loses.

Our country is about to become a rogue state - the only major nation in the world that is not cooperating to avoid catastrophic global warming. 

Trump has promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.  Though he cannot withdraw legally, he will undoubtedly reverse the policies of Obama's EPA that were aimed at controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris agreement was the world's last chance to avoid the most destructive effects of global warming by limiting warming to 2 degrees. It would have to be strengthened to accomplish this, but it includes regular reviews that were likely to strengthen it.

Trump cannot stop the world's shift to clean energy, but he can slow it down - probably by five or ten years.  The most likely outcome is that global warming will be extreme enough to create hundreds of millions of climate refugees, fleeing from drought and flooding in their own countries - an ironic result coming from a president who is against immigration.

It is frightening that the majority of Americans could not see through Trump.

He is so thin-skinned that he lashes out at anyone who criticizes him. He wakes up at 4 AM, so angry that he goes straight to Twitter to abuse people who have gotten in his way, even when his advisors say it will hurt his campaign.  In fact, his advisors stopped him from using Twitter during the last few days of the campaign, so he wouldn't shoot himself in the foot with one of his angry outbursts.  This is not the temperament we want in a president, who is constantly criticized, who can lash out with the Dept. of Justice or with the armed forces rather than just with Twitter, and who has his finger on the nuclear trigger.

His campaign was based on bragging and personal attacks. His policies are the sort of thing you would expect of someone who is such a braggart that he is delusional.  He promises to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it - but he doesn't say how he will make Mexico pay.  He promises to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something better - but he doesn't say what he will replace it with.  Early in his campaign, he claimed he would make everyone rich - luring the suckers to back his campaign in the same way he lured the suckers into his gambling casinos.

He knows nothing about policy.  When a reporter asked him what he thought was the most important element of the nuclear triad, his response showed that he didn't know what the nuclear triad is. He wants to weaken our commitment to NATO, which would make the world less secure. His economic proposals focus on tax cuts for the rich, which will make the national debt balloon by trillions of dollars.

His core backers are working-class whites with little education, who are falling behind in the global economy and who apparently cannot see how implausible his policies are. They are trying to deal with their economic failures by scape-goating immigrants, so they love Trump's xenophobia. They don't realize that Trump's promised tax cuts will increase inequality and leave them even further behind.

The only comfort is that someone so ignorant and so emotionally unstable is bound to do something - or many things - during his first term that disgrace him and his party and turn the country against him. But he will do immense damage along the way.