(ANTIMEDIA Op-Ed) Washington, D.C. — “And we’re nowhere. Actually, if you think about it, we’re less than nowhere. The Middle East is far worse than it was sixteen, seventeen years ago. There’s not even a contest. So we’ve spent six trillion dollars, we’ve got a hornet’s nest, it’s a mess like you’ve never seen it before. We’re nowhere. So we’re gonna straighten it out.”
That’s a direct quote from President Donald Trump, spoken Monday morning before an assemblage of United States governors. During the speech, the president loosely outlined his budget plan for 2018. The blueprint is being sent to federal agencies, and the president promised to explain the plan in “great detail” during his first speech before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night.
Minutes before the speech, White House officials had unveiled the proposal to reporters. As should come as a surprise to no one, the president is calling for an increase in defense spending — to the tune of $54 billion.
The boost will come at the expense of “lower priority programs and most federal agencies,” one of the officials said.
While noting Trump’s view that cuts to military spending aren’t the answer to America’s budgetary woes, Brian Bennett, writing for the L.A. Times, succinctly summarized the president’s plan:
“Instead, the increase he is proposing would be offset by be cuts to unspecified domestic programs and to foreign aid, which would in turn be made up for in part by demanding that other countries pay more for security alliances that have historically been underwritten by the U.S.”
The president has never shied away from making known his desire to beef up the military, and if nothing else, the proposed plan eliminates any doubt he intends to make good on that campaign pledge.
“This budget will be a public safety and national security budget,” Trump said Monday, calling his plan to “rebuild the depleted military” a “historic” one.
As President Trump made clear before the gathered governors Monday, he is tired of watching the United States lose face in the realm of warfare:
“We never win a war. We never win. And we don’t fight to win. We don’t fight to win. So we either got to win or don’t fight it at all.”
Though it may not seem so at first, these may be the scariest words yet to come from the mouth of the new American leader. They reveal a level of ego and arrogance in the man that — even for The Donald — almost defies belief.
This is his military. And his military, whatever the cost, is going to win.
Examine the quote that opens this article, for instance. Trump calls the Middle East a “hornet’s nest,” one on which the U.S. has wasted $6 trillion on over the last 17 years. “So we’re gonna straighten it out,” says the president.
Just like that. Donald Trump claims he’ll “straighten out” the Middle East. He and his military, of course. The most war-torn and geopolitically complex region on the planet? Not a problem for the leader of the United States.
How, exactly, he plans on accomplishing this goal by upping the budget of the largest military in the world by $54 billion — while cutting funding for domestic programs at home — he didn’t specify.
“We’re going to do more with less,” said the president, promising a “lean and accountable” government for the people.
A lean, accountable government that, as one White House official noted Monday, will be geared more toward “internal collaboration” between the Trump administration and federal agencies.
An interesting choice of words.
Last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, top Trump aide Steve Bannon said a goal of the president’s team is the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”
Deconstruction. Sure. That’s what everyone who seeks political power would like. To tear down the old and rebuild the new in their own image — with their values and beliefs, such as they might exist. It’s easier to exert your will in such an environment, as any good ruler knows.
That’s what makes these comments from Trump so scary; it’s becoming increasingly clear this is precisely what the man and his crew are attempting to accomplish.
Out with the old, in with new — as in authoritarian establishment.
Scary because of the ego. Scary because of the arrogance. Scary because of the popular support. Scary because of the people surrounding him. Scary because of the power he assumes he already has. Scariest, though, because no one’s really talking about it.
People call Donald Trump Hitler without really considering the words. They just know Hitler was a bad guy and, to them, so is Donald Trump. Few know how he came to power. Few truly understand how he rose to that position.
Well, look around, folks. Here’s how it happened.
That isn’t to say Donald Trump is the next Adolf Hitler. No one seems to know what the man will do next. That’s sort of the point. But with the election of Trump and his choices for positions in key roles around him, one thing is becoming unnervingly clear — the makings of a true, American fascist State have taken root in the White House.