It’s not easy to frighten a self-made man from the Bronx, looking back on a storied life of military and public service at the ripe old age of 81.
However, President Donald Trump and the corporate royals gnawing away at American democracy have done just that to former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Prompting the Republican political icon to join with his Democratic counterpart – former Secretary of State Madeline Albright – to ring the alarm bell on the man who would be king Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” news show.
“My favorite three words in our Constitution (are) ‘we the people,’ but recently it’s become ‘me the president,’ ” the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of State said. “How can a president of the United States get up and say the media is the enemy of Americans. Hasn’t he read the First Amendment?
“You’re not supposed to like everything the press says or what anyone says,” he added. “That’s why we have The First Amendment. To protect that kind of speech.”
Translation: Trump is a moronic man-child who is undermining American exceptionalism and democracy.
The architect of the first successful Gulf War in 1991, who astutely left Saddam Hussein in power as a check on Iranian expansionism, also lamented Trump’s recent attacks on U.S. allies and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He spoke critically of The Moron President’s rejections of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the 2015 deal limiting Iranian nuclear ambitions.
Trump was a five-time draft evader during The Vietnam Conflict, when Powell served two combat tours.
“We used to be the leader of (the free) world,” the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. Now, “what are we doing? We’re walking away from agreements, we’re walking away from the alliances.”
Translation: Trump is isolating America from its allies, destroying our reputation for national coherence, and undermining our ability to lead the free world.
The nation’s top diplomat during the presidency of George W. Bush, and its top general under George H. Bush, stopped just short of accusing Trump of outright treason and fascism. Implying that The Moron Presidency was a disaster by negligence, rather than intent.
Albright was less diplomatic toward The Moron President, who was laughed at by his peers in The United Nations two weeks ago and is widely believed to be a Russian puppet.
“In many ways Trump is almost a gift to Putin,” Albright said. “He does see some kind of kinship with Putin, and the Russians are trying very hard to undermine our democracy and to separate us from our allies.”
Translation: This piece of coddled, rich shit has to go.
Albright also lamented the demise of America’s free press, whose regional newspapers are a shadow of their former selves. Poor and middle class voices are largely absent from the remaining national newspapers – like The New York Times and Washington Post, which rely on staffers raised rich.
“There (are) a lot of … steps that don’t seem big at the time,” Albright said. “But if you put them all together, they are moving more and more into a direction where there is no respect for institutions; where we call the press the enemy of the people; where the President thinks he’s above the law; and where we are not engaged enough in political activity in terms of people really getting in there and doing something.”
Translation: The country is falling apart.
“We are in a very different era,” she said, “People are getting their information through their social media. They see things from the perspective of what they already agree with.”
Translation: America’s free press is being gutted by Facebook and the new corporate royals of Wall Street. Who cannot be trusted to safeguard our freedoms because their only principle is forever profit growth by any means necessary.
“People want to know what their identities are,” she said. “But if my identity hates your identity, then it’s not patriotism, it’s hyper-nationalism and it’s very dangerous.”
Translation: Fascism. The practice of convincing the masses they’re being victimized by vulnerable minorities. Instead of the super rich.
Who does this divisiveness serve?
The new global royals who are desperately trying to turn the masses against each other. So we won’t resort to regicide and start accurately targeting those monetizing our rights and freedoms.
As Powell and Albright politely accused Trump of being someone who could make any room better simply by leaving, I was struck by what they weren’t saying. The macro changes which allow trust fund babies like Trump and celebrities like Oprah to aspire to elected office without so much as a day of prior public service experience.
Their failure to address the poisonous intersection of forever profit growth and high speed trading was also a notable omission. It’s this combination which has allowed the super rich to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses since 2001 in a way not seen since the days of prima noctis and absolute monarchs.
Democracy and social mobility are clearly the enemy of those at the top of the new global economy.
It’s a world in which the super-rich view themselves and their sheltered children as first-class citizens and everyone else as corporate serfs.
It’s not capitalism, which is all about competition.
It’s not socialism, which is all about the greater good.
It’s not communism, which is all about the power of the central government.
It’s just Saudi-style haves and have-nots.
That’s the rationale which is spurring the Predatory 1 Percent to undermine democracies, free markets and free trade, and monetize the freedoms and rights of their fellow Americans.
In this cowardly new world, only trust fund babies like Trump and the Koch Bothers matter. The rest of us are irrelevant.
Curiously, the very qualities which are now viewed as being superfluous are those the Trumps of the world so obviously lack.
-Leadership by example?
Zakaria actually touched on these shortcomings Sunday, when he asked Powell if Trump could be a moral leader for the world.
“I don’t know that he can do that,” Powell said. “Because right now that is not the way he is acting.”
Translation: Trump is no leader.
What we’re really talking about is the return of hereditary power and the creation of new absolute royals who pass on power to their kids. Like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the House of Saud, and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
This is the return of an old evil, which is now cloaked in the guise of forever profit growth. Instead of Kings and Queens, we just have CEOs and billionaires. Instead of princes and princesses, we have trust fund babies and heirs.
Think of it like this: If you were Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and you destroyed America’s free press to make your 8 percent profit growth target in 2014; did it again in 2015 by selling reputation protection to the rich; sold everyone’s privacy in 2016 in the guise of “Big Data;” and sold your kids to Satan in 2017 – what are you gonna do to push your profits higher again in 2018?
Because more of the same isn’t enough. Every year has to be a new profit record to keep global investors – aka the new royals – buying shares of Facebook.
These new royals are billionaires like the Koch brothers and the Walton and Sackler families who hide behind corporate alter egos as they wage economic war on America’s faltering middle class.
The only parallel for the financial evil they demand from the world’s new sonderkommandos is a cloud of locusts, consuming everything in its path until its needs can only be met through cannibalism.
The painful truth is the new royals have absolutely nothing to do with preserving America and everything to do with our destruction.
Gee, I dunno. What’s left of America to monetize?
-I guess the new royals could transform medicine into a for-profit industry that charges so much it becomes the No. 1 cause of personal bankruptcy.
Oh wait, that’s already been done.
-Maybe they could establish for-profit colleges which turn working class kids into a debt slaves for life.
Heck, that’s already been done too.
-How about privatizing defense and intelligence jobs so big corporations can ransack the federal treasury?
Oops, too late.
-What if we double billed voters via usage fees for stuff like highways and national parks their taxes already cover?
Dangit, too late again.
-What about creating a religion that celebrates working class morons who subsidize rock star lifestyles for false prophets.
Too late, it’s called prosperity theology.
-Perhaps, Wall Street could legalize the excessive interest rates offered by criminal loan sharks by undermining the state usury rates that cap them at 11 percent.
-Hey, maybe we could legalize the numbers rackets.
Too late. It’s called the lottery.
Already legal in Nevada.
-What about legalizing drugs like marijuana, forcing the little guys out of the industry, and then taxing the crap out of it?
Marijuana bonds, coming soon to a crooked state legislature near you.
How about heroin bonds?
We could call them Trump bonds and get the dumbest 40 percent of the American population to buy them.
Here at The Cynical Times, we try to find the fun in social collapse. Look at the bright side, how many people actually get to live through the end of an empire?
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I fantasize about skinning Spammers alive.