• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal


We are inching along, but not as quickly as we (or you) would like. If you have already donated, thank you so much. If you haven’t had a chance, consider skipping the coffee this week and drop CounterPunch $5 or more. We provide our content for free, but it costs us a lot to do so. Every dollar counts.

Why Does Trump Keep Doing This?

Does Trump understand democracy? I’m really asking.

His approach to politics is combative — kill-or-be-killed. If you hit him, he will hit you back harder, no matter what the rules of the game are.

That might be a great strategy in a WWE ring. It’s less good in life.

Trump gives demeaning and sometimes racist (“Pocahontas”) nicknames to political opponents. He never apologizes, even when he has been caught admitting to sexual misconduct with women (and been accused of plenty more by a host of women) or making fun of a disabled person.

He appears to believe you are either the winner or the loser, and he must be the winner. His only strategy has been brute force. And he doesn’t seek out solutions in which all parties win.

This approach has been very destructive on the policy front. But it’s not clear whether it’s going to work for him in the long term.

He kicked off his reign with a host of executive orders attempting to strong-arm the government into bending to his will while bypassing Congress. He silences climate scientists. He appointed Betsey DeVos.

After being investigated for collusion with Russia, he appears to have attempted to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on his political opponent in the next election.

And now we find out that he pressured the prime minister of Australia to help his attorney general, William Barr,discredit the Mueller investigation.

Does he not understand how the government works? He seems to be missing some key lessons about the Constitution, Congress, and oversight.

I am not suggesting that it would be better if he enacted his platform of climate denial and opposing immigration through more shrewd, yet Constitutional means. I would like to see more compromise, moderation, and humaneness in how this administration operates.

I don’t wish for him to be more competent at achieving an agenda I believe is harmful. However, I am somewhat baffled at why the sitting president of the United States repeatedly attempts to circumvent democracy even after getting politically dragged for it.

Perhaps that’s because, up to a certain point, it’s working. The man’s still president. He’s getting at least some of his agenda accomplished, even if it’s only in the form of stalling progress on fighting climate change and other forms of throwing wrenches into anything he doesn’t like.

And he gets to meet world leaders and feel very important. (Reportedly the clever ones have figured that making him feel important is a useful tactic for manipulating him.)

He still gets crowds of adoring fans at rallies — even if the host city’s government simultaneously publishes a statement opposing him.

Donald Trump’s presidency feels like a test to push the limits of our Constitution, to find its weaknesses, and see if it truly protects the liberties and principles it was designed to protect.

Personally, I’m ready to be done waiting with baited breath to see if the Constitution holds up to these assaults. It would be less exhausting to trust that we had a leader who believed in it.

More articles by:
October 23, 2019
Kenneth Surin
Western China and the New Silk Road
W. T. Whitney
Stirrings of Basic Change Accompany Protests in Haiti
Louisa Willcox
Inviting the Chief of the Grizzlies to Our Feast
Jonathan Cook
The Democrats Helped Cultivate the Barbarism of ISIS
Dave Lindorff
Military Spending’s Out of Control While Slashing It Could Easily Fund Medicare for All
John Kendall Hawkins
With 2020 Hindsight, the Buffoonery Ahead
Jesse Hagopian
The Chicago Teachers Strike: “Until We Get What Our Students Deserve”
Saad Hafiz
America’s Mission to Remake Afghanistan Has Failed
Victor Grossman
Thoughts on the Impeachment of Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
Celebrity Protesters and Extinction Rebellion
John Horning
Spotted Owls and the National Christmas Tree
Dave Lindorff
Moment of Truth on Military Spending in the NY Times
October 22, 2019
Gary Leupp
The Kurds as U.S. Sacrificial Lambs
Robert Fisk
Trump and the Retreat of the American Empire
John Feffer
Trump’s Endless Wars
Marshall Auerback
Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Fake Withdrawal From Endless War
Dean Baker
Trump Declares Victory in China Trade War
Patrick Bond
Bretton Woods Institutions’ Neoliberal Over-Reach Leaves Global Governance in the Gutter
Robert Hunziker
XR Co-Founder Discusses Climate Emergency
John W. Whitehead
Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A World Partnership for Ecopolitical Health and Security
Binoy Kampmark
The Decent Protester: a Down Under Creation
Frances Madeson
Pro-Democracy Movement in Haiti Swells Despite Police Violence
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Challenges Logging and Burning Project in Methow Valley
Chelli Stanley
Change the Nation You Live In
Elliot Sperber
Humane War 
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Poll Projection: Left-Leaning Jagmeet Singh to Share Power with Trudeau in Canada
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline