I was, shall we say, deeply disturbed by the results of the 2016 presidential election, and I was not mincing Facebook words in those days about my feelings. Shortly after the election and before Trump’s inauguration I had a run-in with a Facebook friend who mocked my concern and told me not to worry about it, because, she said (paraphrasing), “…just wait until he gets to Washington and comes up against the existing power structure. He’ll be brought to heel in short order.” I was saying that through a fluke, a dangerous wannabe dictator had been elevated to the White House, and she was saying the system would rein in his hateful instincts and that I should hope for his success and give him a chance.
Instead what has happened is that Trump is remaking the federal government in his own hateful image, getting rid of everyone with a shred of integrity and replacing them with unqualified sycophants, Fox News commentators, anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists and worse. His cabinet — Betsy DeVoss, Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, et al — is made up of right wing True Believers, corporate shills and now William Barr, the ex-Attorney General in for his second time around after applying for the job by sending Trump a letter saying that he didn’t think there should ever have been a Mueller probe and that a president can’t be charged with anything no matter what.
There was plenty of reason to look into Russian meddling into our election. There was plenty of reason to find out if Trump was working with them. There are already two ongoing “investigations into the investigation,” but Barr, because Trump told him to, is now starting a third investigation into the investigators (or as Trump puts it, “…the oranges of the investigation”). It’s completely obvious that he’s doing this not to track down any wrongdoing, but to try to discredit Robert Mueller, because that’s the way Trump always fights: He tries to personally destroy whomever he sees as his enemy.
I was right in December of 2016. We should be very, very worried about what is happening to our politics. The levers of power are now being used for vengeance and self aggrandizement. Trump has not been brought under control by our system of checks and balances, He has subverted that system.
The 2016 presidential campaign was the dirtiest in our history. The 2020 campaign will be much dirtier, as this ignorant loose cannon desperately clings to power.