the presidency of donald trump continues to amaze and trouble. the world watched as he bragged about the sale of billions of dollars worth of armaments to one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world, describing the sale as a boon to american workers, as he shoved aside the prime minister of another country at a photo-op, and as he alienated our closest allies. all the while, the revelations about his campaign's connections to the russian government continue to play out here in the usa. his proposed budget guts the social safety net for the poor and for family farmers, crippling environmental protections. the good news on the budget front is that leading republicans said that the this budget was "dead on arrival."
it is difficult to have compassion for bullies like mr. trump. his continuing rallies where he reinforces the prejudices of his base are too reminiscent of rallies of another bully who was masterful in exploiting the longing for a scapegoat among the german people. one can only hope that the country will wake up to the danger in which this presidency places it and that leaders of his own party will disavow the man who now heads their party. the 2018 mid-term elections should signal whether the american people are ready to turn away from the path on which mr. trump's election placed us.
it is apparent that mr. trump is out of touch with the lives of ordinary people and that he has no experience with the difficulties faced by those at the bottom of the economic ladder. he sees the world as being made up of "winners" and "losers," the losers being those who haven't managed to enrich themselves at the expense of others and the winners those who have. his rhetoric is close to the randian view of producers struggling against looters, moochers, and parasites. during his campaign, he promised to leave social security, medicare, and medicaid untouched, yet his first budget contains drastic reductions in social security disability and medicaid funding. those who are his strongest supporters are among those who will be most harmed by the implementation of his policies, but the effect of those policies has not hit home yet. pronouncements at his rallies and those of his surrogates like mr. pence distract the loyal followers by reinforcing his base's view of an "us versus them" society.
may we find ways during this 100th anniversary year of the birth of john f kennedy to return to the ideals of his presidency. may we who are citizens of the usa renew the spirit of mutuality that embodies our highest ideals. may our government serve all its people, not just those in power and those at the top of the economic ladder. may we see that, as citizens of the world, we are more alike than we are different and that we have a responsibility to care for one another. shalom.