Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

2018: When Greed Meets Need

Photo by Anirvan | CC BY 2.0

When Donald Trump won the presidency, pundits predicted he would “grow into the office.” The hope was that he would realize the enormous responsibilities that come with the leadership of a powerful and wealthy nation, put aside his overwhelming need for self-gratification, and exhibit the gravitas of a world leader. But that didn’t happen.

So in 2018, expect those who kindly cut him slack in 2017 to realize the only way to deal with Trump is to fight back hard in the New Year with teeth and claws bared.

The simple but sad truth is that President Trump has very little experience dealing with the wide spectrum of our population. Being a billionaire, when he needs something done, he hires people from the “working class” to do it — and sometimes he even pays them what he owes them. But as far as socializing with or understanding the travails of lower or middle-class citizens, that’s not part of his life.

As disgraced heiress Leona Helmsley once said before being prosecuted for not paying her contractors and federal taxes: “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.” And sure enough, if you have the money to hire the best accountants and lawyers in the nation, they will pry the tax loopholes open big enough to drive trucks full of money through without paying a dime to the government.

Being so vastly displaced from the plight of the “common man” makes it difficult to identify with the realities those “little people” face on a daily basis. Thus, if you think you have to defund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) so you can give enormous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, you can do it without experiencing the impacts of your actions.

But as Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France, found out when told the common people couldn’t afford bread — and supposedly haughtily replied, “Let them eat cake” — there can be real consequences for ignoring the needs of the many for the greed of the few. In her case, the lesson ended with her head in a bucket on the wrong side of a guillotine blade during the French Revolution. She is not alone in this regard and history is replete with examples of kings, queens and czars who faced the wrath of a populace preyed upon by unscrupulous leaders.

It’s not likely that 2018 will see any guillotines; there is little doubt that the majority of the population that currently disapprove of Trump will remain peaceful while their environment is destroyed, their public lands handed over to extractive industries, the social safety net is shredded, and the nation’s Treasury is looted to benefit corporations and the already wealthy.

For one thing, it’s a mid-term election year, which is when political parties that hold the presidency and majorities in Congress traditionally suffer their greatest losses. That bodes ill for Republicans and Trump in the political arena. Is it possible the Republicans could lose their majorities in Congress? Absolutely. And if they do, Trump’s destructive “agenda” will grind to a halt.

The political arena is not the only place for a disgruntled populace to rise up, however. Expect the protests that already plague Trump to intensify and broaden. With the very pillars of our democracy at stake, Trump will find out that endless cruel attacks on individuals, the media and social civility have consequences. 2018 is likely to be the year when “greed meets need” and our narcissistic president finally faces the realities of his misplaced priorities and policies.

More articles by:

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Cesar Chelala
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
October 18, 2018
Erik Molvar
The Ten Big Lies of Traditional Western Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lockheed and Loaded: How the Maker of Junk Fighters Like the F-22 and F-35 Came to Have Full-Spectrum Dominance Over the Defense Industry
Lawrence Davidson
Israel’s “Psychological Obstacles to Peace”
Brian Platt – Brynn Roth
Black-Eyed Kids and Other Nightmares From the Suburbs
John W. Whitehead
You Want to Make America Great Again? Start by Making America Free Again
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail