Class and the lack thereof is more about education, culture and breeding, than having huge amounts of money. You can't buy class. True, the members of the tiny group of oligarchs that rule America do so from a position of white entitlement. So when a belligerent, divisive, ungracious, and unrepentant man became the 45th president of the United States, many were desperately hoping that the sheer power and importance of the office would somehow transform this boorish brute of a man into something palatable that Americans could at least tolerate.
No such luck, pal. Commenting on class, manners, and decorum, former United States President, Barack Obama, once inarticulately said: "no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig -- its still a pig." Ditto. Thanks Big O! Words of wisdom! God, I miss you already!
Yup, that was way too much to ask. Strutting and preening himself for all to see Donald Trump reeked of arrogance and bombast his juvenile antics taking on an eerie quality of a man in the grip of a Caligula complex (Roman despot). Careful now, Trump may yet make some animal, like a horse, become a senator to outdo Caligula! I for one thought that the pomp and pageantry of the day would overshadow his massive ego and that he'd be magnanimous in victory and take the opportunity to set a tone of unity for his administration.
Alas, by his second day in office, President Trump -- and that's going to take some getting used to -- had already told his first untruth to the world, declared war on the media, and gave the most sinister, ungrateful harangue in United States presidential inauguration history. He re-litigated the 2016 elections reminding us for the umpteenth time that he won, not only promised to make "America great again," but to put America first. There is no "kinder gentler Trump" only the gruff, rough schoolyard braggart now gone drunk with power over a captive audience that immediately drew comparisons with the decaying days of the Roman Empire. Lipstick anyone?
Tone deaf to anything other than the sound of his own voice, Trump launched into a bitter, triumphalist screed striking fear in the hearts of 11 million undocumented immigrants, serving notice, that sooner rather than later, jack-booted men with runs on their hips would kick in their doors in the dead of night and send them back to a life of uncertainty. He conjured up images of a global apocalypse occasioned by the recklessness that is part of this modus operandi and the abandon with which he tears up rules of probity and decorum.
He's right on one thing though -- he'll make good on his promise to go through Washington as a bull in a Chinese shop. The Trump I saw on the steps of the Capitol was the same Trump the world has come to know and treat with large doses of apprehension and lingering fear. As he did at the Republican Party nomination in Cleveland, he came with a message full of anger and foreboding, criticizing the record of his predecessor, and painting a dark, bleak American dystopia. Trump spoke of an "American carnage", of gangs and drugs running rampant in society supplemented with crime and rotting decay. A place only Mad Max could love.
"From this day forward, it's going to be only America first," he said. "America first" -- embracing once again the slogan of the 1930s American nativist movement of appeasers and anti-Semites who sought to keep the US out of the war against Nazism. As he continued, Trump's rhetoric sounded chilling and alarmingly as a strongman in waiting. People say that he used to keep a volume of Hitler's speeches at his bedside, but I don't know if that's true.
Not missing a step Trump blew off world governments by embracing the failed system of American protectionism. "Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength," he said, in defiance of the historical experience that proves protection leads to crisis and world war. In lock step with North Korea, Russia and China when it came to viewing the world, Trump stated, "from now on, all nations [will] put their own interests first".