Trump: Trying to Remake America in His Own Image

The president would make us selfish, dishonest, friendless and ready to stab anyone in the back.

Comments: 237

  1. When the financial meltdown occurred in 2008 I watched almost daily briefings by President-elect Obama. He and his advisors and future cabinet telling us what actions they would be taking to reduce our risks of another Great Depression.

    I felt more secure then than I have in the last 18 months. Our current President is unquestionably ill prepared to carry out the duties of the executive branch.

  2. To cherrylog 754 from down the road in Jasper - Do you ever wonder if this insidious freak show we're living through might have been avoided if the Obama administration had DOJ do a forensic criminal investigation of the crash, identified more than a few Wall St. culprits and sent them to jail? I do. I understand his wanting to concentrate on mitigating the damage, but I think even many of us who didn't feel the most extreme adverse affects felt hugely let down, and that it might have given rise to this burn the whole thing down attitude. Beyond that, I see it as long festering racism and resentment against those evil elites - as depicted by Rush and Hannity, at al., which circles back to the perception of an ivy league black man, in service to Wall St.

  3. The terrible reality is that Trump has undone much of what President Obama did. From the policies Trump has dumped, to the diplomacy he shuns, to the coarseness he embraces, Trump has given the United States a different (and obnoxious) character to Americans and to the world.
    The silver lining is that all presidents impart themselves on the nation they lead, and none of them lasts forever. President Obama reversed much of what his own predecessor had been known for, particularly the warmongering and financial recklessness.
    Trump won’t be in power forever, and he will not forever define America. We can, in the meantime, vote in a Congress to check Trump’s reach and also do our own part to be environmentally responsible, as the damage done to our one planet will long outlast anyone’s time in power.

  4. NM - "The terrible reality is that Trump has undone much of what President Obama did."

    You must realize that undoing what Obama achieved is what is driving every action of this so-called president. Between his racial bigotry and his animus over Obama's jokes at the Correspondents' Dinner, he is willing to do anything to counteract any action that Obama took. And, if that means destroying a country while he is at it, so be it.

  5. Well said. The base, just as the regime it worships, is an enemy. The line is drawn.

  6. While I'm sure your optimism is appreciated, it's probably a little late to say "he will not forever define America."

    There is an old adage, "once bitten, twice shy." Trump has revealed the ugly interior of a great many citizens of your country. How can anyone now believe there won't be more people just like him in power in the future?

  7. We are living a waking nightmare, but Trump, as evil as he is, isn't doing this on his own. He has the help of the cowardly Republicans in Congress and Fox state news.

    Our democracy is approaching the breaking point. Appeals to reason, decency, our history or even our long-range interests fall on deaf ears. We must continue to do everything we can to win in November.

    Who would have ever imagine we would be in this place?

  8. Congressional Republicans aren't being cowards. They're acting on principle, however evil. Look at their behavior in response to President Obama--they had already embraced the cynical ideology that propaganda & hatred drive politics, and that the end justifies the means. Supporting a fascist conspiracy theorist is no different from holding the country's credit hostage to politcal demands, holding fake investigations of political opponents, suppressing votes, or designating Court seats for their own party. They can, so they do. Trump is only what they have long been: corporate weapons for controlling politics.

  9. We and especially Germany saw this coming right from the beginning. We were warned.

  10. We must never forget that this man did not seize power. Trump may be trying to remake America in his own image, but he is the reflection of over forty percent of us, right now. This is the America they very much want.

    Trump was elected by more than 60 million white voters who believe, as he does, that demands for equality by ethnic or religious minorities are an attack on their privilege. Trump supporters continue in lockstep with him because he believes as they do that as whites, they should exercise sole control of this country. They are the "real" Americans. As long as he continues to tell them this, he will remain in power. Trump will remain in office as long as this 40% of our citizens want to continue to cling to their hateful, disgusting bigotry.

    Trump voters do not care if they lose their healthcare. They do not care if they lose their jobs. They do not care if their children grow up in a safe, decent environment. And they do not care if we're now a national pariah.

    Trump could declare martial law, and his base would stay with him. In fact, this is what they want him to do. They would be thrilled if he rounded up minority citizens like my family, stripped us of our civil rights, and worse. We need to take the gloves off when speaking of Trump voters. Trump isn't remaking the country in his image, but his voters are remaking our country in theirs. Those of us who detest the bigotry he and his supporters stand for need to start fighting back. It starts now.

  11. Trump voters may not care about losing all you mentioned while that loss is still vague and hypothetical; when it is at their door, it will become a different story.

  12. @DB Cooper - At the risk of revealing my age - right on. As a southerner who was taught from an early age by a mother who actually followed the teachings of Jesus, that we are each other's brother/sister, it disgusts me beyond words to see so many who call themselves "evangelicals" (gag) blindly devoted to a person so full of hate, spite, greed, cruelty and deceit.

    I'm placing a good sized Canadian flag decal on my car. It's my first step in fighting back. May sound silly, but considering where I live, it will be noticed and likely invite comment. It will probably tick off a few folks - I hope so (especially the confederate flag types).

    I've had it with these people, their nasty attitude, their emulation of the bully they thought would stick it to everyone else not like them. You have to wonder, what it will take for them to realize he's used them to aggrandize and enrich himself, that he probably laughs at them late at night thinking up his next inflammatory tweet.

    They really loathe "political correctness", therefore and henceforth, I will shed any semblance of manners, or polite discourse in consideration of their hurt feelings at having been "forgotten". This applies to family and now former friends. I may be a bespectacled little granny type, but I'm mad as he((. No more tip-toeing around them - the gloves are off.

    Next up - a bright blue t-shirt emblazoned with VOTE BLUE. Should be quite the fashion statement at the local Walmart.

  13. During the debate on the 2nd amendment there was a discussion of a standing army versus an armed militia.....would a standing army best defend our freedom or would volunteer militias--Madison came down on the side of militias ergo the beginning clause of the 2nd amendment..Right now we have the despot in office the founders feared would come. Given the cowardice and lack of moral courage by the leaders of the Republican Party AND our current military leaders who did not even have the nerve to stand up to a president who wanted a ridiculous military parade I fear for our country.

  14. We're not a banana republic. We're a Trump Coal republic, stuck in 19th Century, robber baron " economic thought " and policies. White makes right, the Rich get Richer, the Man rules the House (and Senate ). And freedoms just another word for nothing left to CHOOSE. If you're not Rich, just gather what crumbs you can, and be grateful. Seriously.

  15. America has indeed done many good things in the world, but we've also done some pretty rotten things. Overturning elected democratically elected leaders that we didn't like, setting fire to the Middle East, torturing people are things we have done abroad, and at home we suffer from an inherent racism and other bigotries we have never really looked in the face and worked to fix. All these things are components of our Achilles heel, boiling down to International arrogance and various domestic bigotries. Now is really the time to decide what kind of country will want to be. Shall we keep Emma Lazarus' poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty, or shall we erase it in tribute to the followers of Trumpism?

  16. Mr. Friedman, you need not speculate about what would happen if another 9/11 materialized; it already has in Donald Trump’s presidency. As you have aptly analyzed, he has undermined our own health, our global commitments to protect the planet, and our longstanding relationship with our allies, all to give succor to our adversaries who want to see democracies defeated in their attempts for world domination.
    He has singlehandedly destroyed the foundations of American Constitutional law. He has terrorized children crossing our borders and insulted our nearest neighbors.
    Thank you for staying strong. We need your voice and direction.

  17. “If interest rates rise even moderately … budget experts believe that nondiscretionary spending on interest on the debt, government health care programs and Social Security will leave virtually nothing left for us to invest in improved bridges and roads, scientific research, new weapons systems, education programs and housing.” Tom, you’re a smart man who has a pretty good sense of human political behavior so you should know EXACTLY where Trump and the Republicans are going. Yup, you got it, PRIVATIZATION. Public roads, schools, housing, and research programs will ALL be turned over to DeVos’, Carson’s, Pruitt’s, and especially Trump’s relatives and cronies. Privatize profits and socialize costs has been the GOP long game forever, and now they just might win.

  18. I haven't felt secure since 9/11/2001. Trump has merely added to the insecurity I'm feeling. Obama ameliorated some of it. Bush started an unwarranted war with Iraq. He signed the Patriot Act. The police stopped being approachable in my village and became prisoners of their cars and computers. We're not even sure if they know how to walk on the sidewalks any longer. Add to that that they are extremely belligerent whenever we approach them.

    Trump took office in January 2017. Because of funding cuts that were made to a program that paid my salary I haven't worked since July of 2017. I can't save for retirement when I have no job. I can't afford medical care even if I am on Medicaid because I'm not earning anything. I'm back to living in my mother's home. I'm one of the lucky ones because she could take me in. I'm going to be 60 this year. It's not my idea of fun to be unemployed, living in the parental home, looking for a job and getting nowhere fast. It's not my idea of fun to be told that it's my fault I can't find a job. It's depressing.

    Trump is merely the latest in a long run of inept politicians. The most inept ones are members of the GOP, the Grease Our Palms party. These politicians won't do anything unless it helps them or their rich donors and that, by default means that you and I are worthless to them. Trump is doing what they want to do: destroying America for 99% of us. They've lied to us for decades. Too many believed the lies.

  19. Our American adoration of Capitalism is also implicated. I've asked people many times to define "capitalism" and they confuse it with Democracy. Nope. The root word is "capital", which means MONEY. We have now branded ourselves as people who judge everything by and are propelled solely by the compulsion to have more money and frame and value everything by the amount of cash they have. There's a word for that. Greed.

  20. Trump gets almost 90% approval ratings from Republicans because of all the reasons you listed, they love a tough take-charge guy. In his book, that is a win. Hard to argue with success. Besides, elections have consequences, this is what America voted for. Stop complaining and enjoy as Trump does is thing, MAGA..

  21. It's very easy for me to argue against certain kinds of "success." Phony success. Neo-nazi success. Racist success. Misogynist success. Just because Republicans win elections doesn't make them virtuous or admirable. Evil frequently wins out. History is full of the evidence of that. Reality is not like Hollywood movies. Trump is evil to the core, as are millions of his brainwashed followers, maybe tens of millions. Not a pleasant thought, just a fact.

  22. You credit Trump with the economy Obama created. Right wing media didn't tell you it improved until the night Trump took office.

  23. Correction: America did not vote for it - he lost the popular vote by over 2,900,000 votes.

  24. Trump is a sociopath as we have all said for the millionth time. You have to sign on to believing his bunk.

    No Thanks.

  25. No, Mr. Friedman, I don’t feel more secure with Trump and his wrecking crew. But we need to start with fixing a nontransparent and unverifiable vote-counting system. Statistical and pattern evidence from exit polls indicate that vote counts are being shifted to the right. And today, extreme rightwing Republicans hold the largest majorities at the state and national level not seen since the 1920s.

    Why the U.S. State Department Would Not Certify Trump’s Election as Legitimate

    Mark Crispin Miller: Can US Elections Really Be Stolen? Yes.

    “The system is both computerized and privatized. Private companies tell us what the vote is. And we have no way to check it. We have no way to tell if it's honest. That’s the real danger here."

    Computer experts fmrom top universities have proven over and over that electronic voting machines can be easily hacked without leaving a trace.

    Victoria Collier points out in her article below that Jimmy Carter and James Baker stated in their report for the nonpartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform: ”There is no reason to trust insiders in the election industry any more than in other industries.”

    Harper’s Magazine: How to Rig an Election

    German Court Rules E-Voting Unconstitutional

    Other democracies have gone back to counting ballots by hand after realizing the vulnerabilities with computerized voting. It’s the gold standard.

  26. Snookered!

  27. Mr. Friedman, allow me to riff on a famous rhetorical question. ''Are you better off than you were four years ago?''

    Are we better off than we were 17 months ago?

    Donald Trump has taken a buzz saw to the policies and achievements of President Barack Obama since he assumed office on January 20, 2017. Aside from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that shifted the national debt squarely onto the shoulders of the shrinking middle class to the permanent benefit of the one percent, just what has Trump accomplished?

    Are we better off than we were 17 months ago?

    America has gratuitously yielded its pre-eminence in several international agreements: the Paris Climate Accords; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; the working, effective Iran nuclear deal of 2015. President Obama was respected around the world. Is Trump?

    Are we better off than we were 17 months ago?

    We had a healthcare system that, for all its flaws, was working and only needed bipartisan support in Congress to to improve it. Trump wishes to wreck it for no good reason except that the man before him brought it into being.

    Are we better off than we were 17 months ago?

    President Obama's economic achievements eased us back from the abyss to where, today, Trump dishonestly claims credit for another man's work.

    Are we better off than we were 17 months ago?

    The eight years prior to Trump were scandal-free. That is hardly the case now as a many-headed hydra of corruption flings its arms around us: Russia; E.P.A.; Kushner, etc.

  28. I personally have a permanent migraine, nausea and an inability to get out of bed in the morning from this administration.

  29. And THIS is why I will never go on a cruise!

  30. Dear Sox.. I think you just coined the critical, operative phrase/argument for the mid-terms.

  31. Trump seeks to remake America in his own image? What a MONUMENTAL mis-read, Tom. Trump was elected because he accurately fine-tuned an image for use with an American electorate that ALREADY had embraced that image! Trump is the American everyman writ large, supplied with billions of personal wealth and wearing suits that Mafia dons wear. He is kitsch because WE ARE kitsch. Except for the elites who are becoming less relevant with every single passing day.

    Hey, you’re the guys who believe in an unlimited franchise calling on every beer-drinking yahoo with an opinion to exercise his or her “best judgment” with a vote cast by any means that relieves the act of ANY inconvenience and even effort, supremely confident (despite mounting evidence to the contrary) that this will keep Dems in their high-office sinecures forever. How’s that workin’ out for you? But I’m the one who wants to make voting as inconvenient as we can, to limit the effective franchise to those engaged who are most likely to be informed, regardless of their ideological convictions: there should be a lot FEWER excessive beer drinkers at the polls – “D’s” OR “’R’s”!

    You lose an historic election … and it’s not only not your fault but you’re constantly agitating to reverse its outcomes. Trump is understandable to the common man, and all of a sudden the common man is trashed as “deplorable”. You guys should try some soul-searching, a dash of coherency and a proper regard for how UNimportant you’ve become.

  32. What presidential election isn’t historic? How many have “you” lost over the past twenty years? Save yourself the trouble of looking it up. Plenty. And get ready to lose another one—unless events intercede to accelerate the schedule.

    And what is the “American Everyman”? An ignorant, rude, lazy, mendacious, incompetent, incapable of thinking strategically about anything but the next special or midterm or national election? Is that what you think of the salt-of-the-earth voters in middle America? Who’s the elitist now?

  33. Luettgen -- Your statement that "Trump is the American everyman writ large" is the "MONUMENTAL mis-read" here. Apparently by "American everyman" you mean white, more male than female, middle to upper-middle class (check the voting stats), Republicans (mostly) who bothered to vote. They are no more American everybodys than anybody else. Your bias is obvious.

    The primary reason Trump won is the ridiculous institution called the Electoral College. He lost the popular vote, a method that gauges a more accurate indication of the American everyman. I stopped characterizing the USA (my country and one I dearly love nonetheless) as a democracy in 2000 when George W. Bush also won the Electoral College, but lost the popular vote.

  34. The inference is that your misguided wish may be that the vote franchise be limited to citizens bearing qualifications or character most like your own or according to some test or screening for “beer-drinking yahoos;” sort of like the draft or the citizenship test for immigrants, but in this instance only for voters. Hey! That’s it, lets make registration and voting an obligation, not just a right.

    If voting is to be qualifications-based, then so too should be a resurrected military draft. Take only those who met these yet to be defined terms for voting rights. Only those judged qualified to vote should be burdened with the enormous responsibility of going to war. These franchise-granted citizens it seems would make the best soldiers; they’d understand best for what they were expected to die. Right?

    But let’s not just try to screen “beer-drinking yahoos” from voting, let’s also try to screen the same from running for office. Think of how many Quayle’s (draft dodger), GW Bushs (draft dodger), Palins, Trumps (another draft dodger) and Freedom Caucus types we would be spared, maybe even Devin Nunes types.
    let’s also limit campaign financing to one’s own resources, although that would not disqualify or weed out some of our inheritance-funded yahoos, like GW Bush, and, of course, Trump. After all, if you’re smart enough to have made your own fortune, you’re smart enough to hold public office.

    Dumb ideas, sure, but right in line with your logic and philosophy.

  35. How do you figure both sides contributed to the debt? Clinton built us up to a surplus which Bush overspent. Then Bush created a calamity handed to Obama, who reduced the deficit every year possible while the GOP blocked every attempt at fiscal stimulus to help get us out faster. Now Trump gives away a $1.2T plus in tax cuts.

    Both sides? Who's left? No sir, not both sides.

  36. Trumpland. Hucksters. Shysters. Conmen. Fraudsters. Liars. Racists. All welcome. No green card required. Whites only. All welcome.

  37. And if the deficit continues to grow who's to say that massive reductions in Social Security and Medicare won't be on the table after all? The fact that Paul Ryan is leaving congress doesn't mean that other, even loonier folks won't try to tear up the final vestige of the social contract the U.S. has made with its senior and disabled citizens. And despite Trump's assurances that he won't cut those programs who's to say that those assurances are worth anything more than the ones he's previously countermanded?

  38. Are you feeling more secure? no way,
    Most Americans would say "alarmed and uneasy". That is what a poll by the USA Today/ Suffolk University found recently. 42% of those surveyed said "alarmed and 33% said "uneasy". I agree with them. You cannot make America great again by insulting your closest allies. America is not the most respected nation anymore under Donald Trump neither we are more secure. I totally agree with you if we have another 9/11 how many of our allies would support us? Donald Trump has rapidly made us the "ugly America"

  39. Actually, if, God forbid, another 9/11 happened, Canada and Canadians would again do their best to help out of simple compassion and humanity. We couldn’t not help. Now, on the other hand, it might be difficult to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US in the next one of its wars.

  40. Canada contributed 1.29 percent of it's GDP to NATO. The US over 3.5 percent. please tell me why we should subsidize Canada's defense?

  41. Actually, I do feel more secure today than yesterday, and certainly more secure than I did three months ago, when the idea of a North Korean cargo ship armed with a nuke blowing up 12 miles off the Seattle coast on a day with a big west wind kept me up at night. I would venture to say that the majority of the country agrees with me. Maybe not those in the east coast bubble, though.

    As for remaking the nation in his image, Trump is learning from the best, President Obama: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." (Oct. 30, 2008 speech).

  42. Anyone who was kept up at night by fear of a Korean Cargo ship blowing up needs to see a mental health professional. Phony crisis from A to Z. Phony prez. There was zero chance of a nuclear attack from NK before and there is zero chance now.

  43. He did transform the US by creating stability out of a free falling economy (handed to him courtesy of the GOP). Republicans conveniently forget the ills they visited on this country

  44. Apologies to G and S’s Major General

    My name is Donald Trump, I am the world’s greatest at everything
    i never read, listen to Fox and send out tweets like ills of spring
    At making deals I have no peer I outsmarted that little Kim
    I was so cunning and he never knew that I had snookered him.
    I am the greatest admirer that Vladimir Putin has had
    A saintly man who in his actions never never did things bad,
    I love all peoples, naturally i do prefer the color white,
    The other shades I’ve often said it turns out just are not as bright,
    Now Pruitt of the EPA is doing such a dandy job
    My enemies all slander him and call him overspending slob
    My VP Pence, a little dense, now flatters me both night and day
    But deep inside I know that he wants POTUShood in every way.

  45. Brilliant, as always. Thank you, Larry.

  46. "When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental—men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack, or count himself lost. His one aim is to disarm suspicion, to arouse confidence in his orthodoxy, to avoid challenge. If he is a numskull like the idiots he faces it is easy"

    "In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by the force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum."

    "The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    - H. L. Mencken, 1920

    Dumb and Dumber 2018

  47. It would be an insult to Lewis Carroll to refer to Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Even characterizing them as Saruman and Sauron wouldn't encompass the stupidity and evil we're seeing. I think we need to add a few more creatures to the swamp. Alligators, crocodiles, a few very hungry piranhas, and after they are satiated some tornadoes or hurricanes. No arks needed. There's nothing worth saving and I never thought I'd say that.

    Trump and the GOP, the Grease Our Palms Party, have gone far beyond George Orwell's "1984" with what they've done or undone. While the likes of the Koch Brothers, Adelson, and the others may be thrilled at the anarchy being created, the rest of us would like to be able to make plans, to raise our children, retire rather than drop dead on the job or in the street. We'd even like to have a leader we can respect, one who doesn't alienate our allies in favor of the local petty despots.

    It's about time Americans learned that it takes more than a loud mouth and feel good one liners to make a leader. I don't think we can survive unless we do.

  48. As a former Baltimore resident, H.L. Mencken is, unfortunately, extremely relevant at this time. Thank you Socrates.

  49. "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
    - H. L. Mencken, 1920

    Or more likely a politician who really has only love of power as their only fealty. Sounds like a lot of our presidents from times past. For that matter, it sounds most politicians in our nation's capital.

  50. The party of Lincoln is now the party of Trump. This "so called" President, this "third rate" leader, this "low IQ" man is a contradiction to all that is good and noble in America. And yet his party's leaders continue to bow and pray to this neon God they made. What gutless guttersnipes.

  51. I know that this is petty, but I am in no way ashamed of it, so here goes.

    Here's how "meek and mild" Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is. Watch the whole video, Mr. President.

    Can you top this, Mr. President? Care to give the man you call a dishonest wimp a try?

  52. Justin Trudeau, in one of his past jobs, was a bouncer at a nightclub. There is no question he is "tough enough" to take someone like Trump. The point, however, is that this is irrelevant to any intelligent human being. Not to Trump, but to everyone else.

  53. How to feel more secure:

    1) Support Congressional and Senate candidates who will support a constitutional amendment for direct election of the President, as well as state legislative candidates who will support ratification of such an amendment.

    2) Vote to throw Republicans out in November. If you can't find any new reasons to do so, try some of the old ones--they're pretty good:

    "Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home--but not for housing. They are strong for labor--but they are stronger for restricting labor's rights. They favor minimum wage--the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all--but they won't spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine--for people who can afford them ... They think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it."
    — Harry S. Truman, October 13, 1948, St. Paul, Minnesota, Radio Broadcast

  54. Thank you, Ohio Guy.
    A little dose of common sense Harry is a good innoculation for depression-by-trump.

  55. Mr. Friedman, for us oldies, do you remember that old Seinfeld episode, the theme of which was "Bizarro-World"? The basis was Elaine's new group of friends who were total opposites from her own clique, from character to behavior to ethos. We laughed and enjoyed this half-hour comedy and then, well, forgot about it...until now.

    Fast forward twenty years or so and we find ourselves living in a real-life bizarre paradigm. Evil has become good; public service is now self-service; greed has replaced charity, compassion now bigotry, racism, and nativism. Our close allies with whom we have shared an historical friendship are now our enemies, impugned by a man not worthy of his title or office. Our "former" enemies - thugs, dictators, murderers, who relentlessly oppress, suppress, and violate human rights - are presently "looked to" as our new geopolitical partners. You ask if we are feeling more secure. I can only answer for myself. And that is: No. I'm afraid for others and myself. But we can not take this lying down. It is vital that we fight this administration...Trump, his Cabinet, and his Congress. It is up to us.

  56. When Trump was, beyond our wildest dreams, elected I began feeling depression, mixed with feelings of numbness`and disbelief. I even held out some hope, as foolish as this now sounds, that the electoral college would somehow up-end his election. I began a scrapbook of articles which were to me right on-point and spoke from a very educated, intellectual place and I thought that when collecting these articles I could read through them and they would make me feel better. In short order the articles I saved were, more or less, 3/4 of the both the NYTimes and the WaPo on a daily basis -- what a futile effort, how ridiculous this endeavor of mine so I ended scrapbooking.

    What does one do when it becomes so clear that this president cares not a whit about anyone other than himself? In my life I believed that good triumphs evil, I believed in my wonderful country. Can it really be just this one person who has ruined so much of what I love in this country while the GOP stands on the sidelines?

    Thomas Friedman's article is brilliant, perhaps I will cut just this one article out. I am not feeling more secure. Far from it.

  57. “Trump: Trying to Remake America in His Own Image”

    And he’s doing a good job of it. Witness the the ATT-Time Weiner merger. The time of robber barrons are returning.

  58. Oddly enough, Trump opposed that merger. But not for the reason you think. He hates CNN and wanted to block the merger to hurt the network.

  59. The Big Question: will Justify be invited to the White House?

  60. "On Top Of That", Monday, June 11, 2018

    Good Morning Family,

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is the perfect person to acknowledge what bullying truly is now that Donald Trump is U.S. President. Even soon to be Premiere of Ontario, Canada Doug Ford, Jr. is sticking up for Trudeau in a recent tweet. Just waiting to see what Trump's tweet response will be. Don't hold your breath. Because I don't read Trump's tweets. So I won't relate what is said.

  61. So to answer your question: No, no and no. Then again, as a Venezuelan, I didn't feel secure when he won. I recognized him, you see. We had one of our own in the form of Hugo Chavez: another blowhard con man.

    Until Trump, I am not sure I ever really hated another human being. Feared them? Sure, there are some murderers that scared me. But I always saw them as broken animals whereas I see Trump as the devil himself.

    The devil has divided us. I lost several friends--one of 30 years--over Trump and I am hardly alone. Trump ripped into the social fabric of this country, destroying relationships big and small.

    The devil has confused us. Even as I cringe, there is a part of me that says "well maybe he IS a disruptor." I know better, but with Trump, the danger of cognitive dissidence is always around the corner. Up is down, right is left, wrong is right.

    The devil has tempted us. He whispered into the ears of whites everywhere and suddenly mild mannered people are booing, hissing and yelling at hispanics ALL THE WHILE ignominy is happening at the border. I literally feel sick 24x7 about what is happening to the migrants--and it sickens me to see people I know shrug and turn away. Where is our moral soul?

    The thing with Trudeau is par for the course. Really.

    My only hope--the only whisper of hope against the devil is one word. One word only: MUELLER.

    ....and when this is done, I will never again vote Republican. They made an enemy out of me.

  62. Decades of Fox news have made it impossible for half the population to see what's really going on.

  63. Please notice what Trump did this week with his many stunts during the reality television show that was the G7 and Singapore Summits.

    Did you hear much in the news about the Mueller investigation, the Justice Department snatching immigrant children from their parents or the work of the administration to remove coverage for pre-existing conditions in Obamacare?

    Whatever this guy is, he has crafted the art of distraction and deflection and America is following this circus with rapt attention just like it did during his run for the presidency in 2015-16.

    It’s the spectacle of the circus that feeds his followers, tossing insults at allies and empowering dictators like Kim on the world stage. For cable television, 24/7 Trump coverage shows no signs of abating.

  64. " ready to pay any price (trade imbalance in the billions) and bear any burden (unemployed in the tens of millions because of outsourcing) i to do the right things, say the right things (apologize to the world for being America), model the right things (deaths in the thousands in failed attempts to shape Muslim countries into democracies) and stand for the right things (open borders to any and all, any time, all the time) — when others were unwilling or unable to do so. (and become the world's patsie)"

  65. I feel very much not secure. I believe Trump is purposely destroying the United States. I believe he has instigated a revolution that is about 50% complete and his aim is to be the dictator. Trump does not love the United States. Trump loves Russia and other countries that have dictators. Trump and Russia are overthrowing the United States using the weapon of deception in politics. He seems to have won over the Republican base already. Fox News is Trump's enabler. They do not report the enormity of damage that Trump is causing to our nation.

  66. You are right. This is what is happening whether we realize it or not.

  67. Trump loves Trump and money and luxury. That is all.

  68. But wait, it's all a reality TV show, isn't it? If things don't go as planned, don't they just cancel the new season? Nothing to worry about, right?

  69. We are NOT feeling more secure, but I'm pretty sure Russians are, and by association our 'so-called' president is. He was more upset with our allies fighting back over his tariffs then he continues to be over Russia interfering in our elections. It is quite possible that is because he knows they got him elected and he owes them BIGLY! No one is above the law in America. You'd have to go to Russia or North Korea to gain that kind of corruption. We are a nation of laws, which is no respecter of persons' celebrity, notoriety, or wealth. Sorry to say Mr. President, but justice will be served. The day of reckoning is coming.

  70. Time for me to go over to the DNC's website and make another donation. And might I add, you too? I won't put the URL here, somehow I think that must be against Times policy, but just Google "democrats" and choose the site that ends in "org".

    I'm doing it now. Don't be a slacker. This article just about sums up every reason to spend all day on that site donating. If we don't take steps while we can, Trump's kind will come for us eventually.

  71. Even better, get out the vote and vote blue in every small big election everywhere.

  72. Yet %87 of Republicans , the party of the patriotic and religious , approve of Trump . SAD

  73. I used to not like the word patriot, because it had been tainted by flag waving Republicans and murderous war mongers.

    Now we are at brink in which the word takes on new meaning: patriots are needed to step up against the tyranny of greed and the stranglehold of oligarchic idiocy.

    And pox on any church, that believes Republicans are doing God's work.

  74. Oh, I'm just starting to feel more secure.
    1) That I know the FBI is nothing but a political hit machine that takes its orders from George Soros and Barbara Streisand.
    2) That the Justice Dept. used to be the deep state controlled by billionaire globalists and is now the personal lap dog body guard of Trump.
    3) That my little cottage industry business is about to be hammered with huge parts cost increases because of the tariffs on steel and aluminum. Not to worry, the really big blow will come when all the electronic parts I use, which are made in China and nowhere else, go up 25%.
    4) That millions of registered voters are about to be thrown off the rolls.
    5) That the ACA is about to collapse because of Trump and I will be left without insurance. No problem, in a few years I can go on Medicare which is broke and on the verge of collapse. I will schedule any illnesses to occur then.
    6) That my Social Security is on the chopping block of doom. But that's my fault because I never struck it rich. I was too busy earning a living.
    7) That when I was a child, believed that the post WWII order would keep me and my country safe forever and would never falter. How could we forget what the fascists did. Trump just broke it to make America great. Silly me.
    8) That values and religiosity were fundamentally connected.
    9) That science was respected and revealed the truth about nature.
    10) I'm getting depressed with all this glorious security.

  75. Right on the mark as usual. A devoted follower.

  76. "1) That I know the FBI is nothing but a political hit machine that takes its orders from George Soros and Barbara Streisand."

    Made me smile.

  77. To sum it up, you’re overwhelmed by all this winning!

  78. America all by itself elected Trump with its undemocratic electoral college,make believe political partys,television dominated elections resulting in Trump victory.The USA is now a tv reality show with no script.

  79. And lots of help from Republican gerrymandering.

  80. ...and the world's readiest nuclear arsenal.

  81. And Russia didn’t help? Not even a little bit?

  82. Trump did not remake the Republican Party, in his own image or anything else. He just destroyed it. He built nothing in its place. He can't even build a staff for himself.

    Trump is not remaking America either. Fortunately, America is too big to be destroyed by four years of bad leadership.

    Instead, America is reacting against Trump. I see two reactions, one failing, and one succeeding.

    The failure is the Never-Trump approach, blaming outsiders like the Russians for the collapse of the Democrats behind a truly awful candidate, and for their own refusal to present the ideas voters wanted to hear.

    The success is seen in the special races, and in some of the more promising mid-term matchups. It is new ideas, candidates saying what She refused to say or do last time. It is not full Bernie (which I'd prefer) but it is real policy choices plainly presented as things possible and to be done, things voters longed to hear.

    These policy choices are especially potent because they are so very much not what Trump is doing, and what Republicans blocked before him.

    So Trump's success has been to destroy the Republicans, whom we so needed to be rid of. America's success is the failure of the rest of what Trump is doing.

    We could get from this a revitalized Democratic Party, and Republicans swept back out of the way. It is a long hard path to get to that, but the Democrats made that path necessary when they failed us by pushing the status quo, refusing to move into the future in 2016.

  83. I can think of several contenders who were "truly awful" candidates, but HRC was not one of them.

    As to "real policy choices plainly presented as things possible and to be done, things voters longed to hear" --- that was exactly what HRC had to offer and that is precisely why she won the popular vote.

    Obviously you and those you purport to represent in your comment had a basic inability to perceive a woman candidate as a strong and viable choice for President. It is you and your ilk who refused to move into the future. Instead, we have been hurled back 50 years into the past.

    Don't you worry about a strong and revitalized Democratic party. Winter is coming.

  84. Well, look what we got now instead of your maligned status quo of 2016. Gorsuch on the SC, dismantling worker protections and Unions and the ACA, tax heist for the rich, persecution of non- whites who can be asked for their papers by ICE anytime, repeal of consumer and environmental protections and the loss of Western democratic allies (for now). We did move into the future allright, but it’s the opposite of the future you or Bernie envisioned. Give me the 2016 status quo anytime over the socialist Bernie dream that never materialized.

  85. "Tell me, are you really feeling more secure today?"

    Yes. It seems much less likely today that Trump will nuke Korea and throw us into a long nasty war. At least in Korea.

    As for Iran? I hope now he does the same thing there, putting his name on the deal as the "fix" and signing a letter with a flourish instead of doing Netanyahu's war. I'm still not feeling at all secure about that.

  86. I agree....however whats happening there is' I fear, driven by Kushner and Netanyahu....

    Suspect Iran will now use what's happened in Singapore to its advantage....

  87. "With the increasing crowding of the planet, it becomes more difficult to exist as an individual, and easier to become subject to the tyranny of the commonplace. The real world recedes, artificiality pushes into every arena in life, and the mass man's days are filled with escapist thoughts and dalliances. Those who can provide escapist, unreal ideas and entertainments become society's leaders."
    —Tom Shachtman, The Inarticulate Society: Eloquence and Culture in America

    Published in NINETEEN NINETY FIVE. Can you say "prescient"?

  88. Bill Clinton is an entertainer too.

  89. “I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...

    The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

    ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

  90. "God forbid we become the United States of Trump."
    There is a huge problem with that statement. For Trump's base, man is no longer created in the image of God. God has been recreated in the image of Trump. As long as Americans are willing to embrace a cruel, clownish god with no moral sense, we are the United States of Trump. We are a nation with no justice, no empathy, no equality, and no future.

  91. Traveling in Europe, we hear Americans apologizing to Canadians, tourists all. Everyone here is very sympathetic that Americans have gotten themselves a chump.

  92. Not feeling any more secure. Just feeling like I’m trapped in a Reality TV show.

  93. Don’t know what has happened to our country. Just a few years ago a candidate could not get away with an honest mistake m. Today no less than our President can lie, cheat, insult, change facts, denigrate women, minorities,
    fire anyone at will, insult judges, institutions and nothing happens. This is not my country any more

  94. Howard Dean was undone by a YELL.

  95. For a perfectly cogent explanation as to why none of this matters, see DB Cooper, above.

    Looked at another way, Trump is our Dart Vader: he has embraced the Dark Side of the Force of the American psyche, and will use that power to get away with whatever he can to enhance his wealth and ego. His legions who have also now embraced the Dark Side empower him.

  96. What happened is that the voters in gerrymandered districts lost the power of their votes and the Republican minority and their hateful platform won. If people don’t like it the only remedy is to turn out en masse in November and vote straight Democratic. They are no angels but they sure as H— are not the devils who are in charge now.

  97. A friend just emailed me that she feels like she's watching the Titanic not turn.

  98. US's neighbors and dissed-on allies are feeling very insecure, too, because of Trump's runaway behaviors.

    We will suffer "collateral damage" , despite our efforts to defend ourselves and stabilize our economy.

    Our consolation is that we don't live in the country he is demolishing. Small comfort.

    Wishing that the " Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue" will be over soon, for the sake of the world.

  99. I'm sorry, but trump didn't remake the Republican Party in his own image. The GOP has been busy remaking itself since Reagan declared government to be the problem not the solution, but it took a quantum leap first it opened its doors wide to the tea party. When trump came along, he was a leader very much in the party's image. Oh, a few Republicans say they don't like him but most have their fingers crossed, because they get what they want like tax cuts, stolen Supreme Court seats and repeated attempts to gut Obamacare.

  100. The GOP & the KOCH Bros. created the Tea Party. They also created the lawsuit that instigated the SCOTUS Citizens U decision, which gave them the launch pad to do so.

  101. "... because they get what they want like tax cuts, stolen Supreme Court seats and repeated attempts to gut Obamacare."

    These domestic issues are extremely serious, but the contempt Trump just displayed toward our allies at the G7 and cozying up to the likes of North Korea, China, and Russia crosses the line. Trump represents an existential threat to his country. His presidency cannot be allowed to continue. I don't know what voters and our elected officials are going to do, but I sincerely hope Mueller does the right thing.

  102. Trump runs the presidency like he ran his business – often into the ground. The NYT reported two-thirds of his business ventures failed or failed to meet his hype over a decade through 2016. Like Trump University and Trump Steaks.

    He cares only about promenading in today’s headlines. Results don't matter.

    Look how he is rebranding everything from healthcare to global trade in his name by undermining:

    1) the Affordable Healthcare Act and the social safety net, while slashing taxes for corporations and the richest 1%,
    2) global efforts to combat climate change, endangering the world,
    3) American and global prosperity by instigating a trade war – mostly against our allies,
    4) American unity, choosing instead to drive division by vilifying any who dissent, and
    5) our alliance network that has largely preserved global peace for 70 plus years – while embracing the world’s most vile dictators, like Putin.

    And now we are to trust him with whittling our forces in South Korea in hope he and Little Rocket Man will hold hands and denuclearize the Korean peninsula? If their plans blow up, literally, Trump will likely blame Hillary.

    Trump is beyond thinking through his actions. Consequences don’t matter to him. All he cares about is the TV show he’s producing and its rating.

    Trump is like a guy riding an incontinent elephant through town, to the gasps of the amazed crowd as they see it coming. But willfully oblivious to the mess left behind for others to clean up.

  103. Your last paragraph is a classic and must 'meme'.

  104. "I’m glad Trump sat down with Kim Jong-un — nothing else has worked."

    Except for the sentence above, Thomas Friedman’s column about the erratic behavior, faulty decision-making, personal avarice, willful ignorance, moral emptiness, grandiose narcissism and vengeful cruelty of Donald Trump is directly on target.

    As far as Trump’s sitting down personally with Kim in Singapore, that theatrical production was an enormous error.

    Kim received immediate world stature which he has not earned. Worse, in a desperate effort to create the illusion of accomplishment, Donald Trump signed an agreement which made all of the concessions with nothing substantive from North Korea to show for the meeting.

    No face-to-face meeting of an American president with the leader of North Korea should have taken place until a true denuclearization agreement was ready to be signed with a detailed, vigorous inspection program and a plan for supervised dismantling of weapons and launchers.

    Until such a detailed agreement had been worked out by representatives of the relevant cabinet officers, no proposed relaxation of sanctions should have been announced.

  105. The Democrats have been a minority party in Congress since 2010. They did vote for Obamacare by increasing taxes on the rich, but not a single Democrat voted for the great tax cut for the rich in 2017. They are not to blame for the fiscal insecurity of our country.
    People voted for Trump because they trusted Republican Congress people to be financially and ethically responsible.
    The only solution is to vote for politicians who uphold the Constitution.

  106. No, I'm not feeling more secure--I'm feeling stunned, seasick and scared. The best of America is receding; the worst is being borne on a tide of Trumpism that I fear won't be ebbing...

  107. It can be made to ebb, and I increasingly am thinking there is no such thing as "too far" in making it ebb.

  108. Brilliant piece! It's content, reasoning, and tone are precisely spot on. It sets forth a framework that every candidate for political office should embrace. The question it asks, repeatedly ("Are you feeling more secure?"), is THE one that every candidate for political office should repeat, mantra-like, two or three times a day. Even if you think that, ultimately, Trump will be good for the country, or for your company, or for your family, or just for your own retirement, "Are you feeling more secure?" is exactly the thing to be talking and thinking about, long and hard.

  109. Outstanding response to Friedman's brilliant article.

  110. I feel really insecure about the long-term prospects for this wacky goodwill phase that's supposed to lead to something better. The wild twitter feud of the last year necessitated a major rapprochement to stave off nuclear war - and Trump is now as irrationally in love as he was previously hate-filled, only a couple of months ago. In a few months from now, when nothing much has come of this farce, he'll be whining that he was stabbed in the back and that will be the end of that. Fortunately, Mattis has Trump's number - big time - and I doubt those military exercises will be cancelled any time soon.

  111. I hope & pray that you're right.

  112. Beyond not feeling secure in Trump's conservative world, witnessing the fundamental paradigm change, that of an "America that Protects" towards an "America that Threatens", destroys the heritage and pride of values and beliefs of many like me born at the term of WWII bear, now increasingly shamed by their desecration.

  113. As part of the complex multilateral negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership that Mr Obama supported, the former Conservative Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, agreed to the elimination of Canada's Supply Management System and the dairy tariffs that support it and was discussing legislation laying out the financial arrangements for doing so. When Mr Trump backed out of the TPP, the elimination of Supply Management also was thrown out. Opponents of the elimination of Supply Management in Canada were, needless to say, opponents of the TPP, but there were enough other attractive components of the TPP (concessions by some of the many countries involved, not necessarily the United States) that the agreement was seen as win-win overall. With multilateral agreements involving many countries, that is much easier to achieve than with bilateral agreements.

  114. That is interesting information. So Trump pulls out of the TPP in which Canada had agreed to eliminate its Supply Management System (leading to high tariffs for dairy and poultry), and then attacks Canada for its tariffs on dairy and poultry (Canada has no tariffs on other American imports). That's pure Trump logic!

  115. "The world has come to rely on an America that, more often than not, has been ready to pay any price and bear any burden to do the right things, say the right things, model the right things and stand for the right things — when others were unwilling or unable to do so."

    Uh, like the Iraq War?

  116. More often than not, Mr. Seekins.

    The Iraq war was a massive error, but more often than not - say, 50.00001% of the time over the course of our whole history, and looking at our ideals more than our actual behavior - our better angels have ultimately ruled us.

  117. My cynical take on the efforts of Trump to propose the face to face meeting with Kim is that has a more devious purpose. Is it possible that the entire Summit in Singapore is designed to create an International crisis that might be used to protect Trump from having to appear before the Mueller Committee? I believe that a sitting President may claim that the pressure of attending to urgent matters can exempt him (or her) from having to answering a subpoena. Whether or not it accomplishes anything positive regarding denuclearization of Korea, it is certainly creating a timely distraction from the Investigation by the Mueller Committee

  118. Well actually everything in the real world is a distraction from the Mueller "Committee". We wouldn't want the possible denuclearization of Korea to interfere with the indictment of Russia companies that did not exist at the time of the alleged crimes. Mueller has presented no evidence of any collusion by Trump but I'm sure that Trump's distractions are the only thing that has prevented him from doing so in the first year or so of his investigation. By the way, there is no "Mueller Committee".

  119. Every day I feel like telling Trump and his supporters the same thing Robert De Niro said at the Tony awards. I don't, but that doesn't mean I don't want to. They ( let's call them "they") seem to only understand and speak in grunts and slogans that say to "us" what De Niro said.

    They are becoming successful at dragging us down to their level and it's getting harder and harder to find a language they understand. So go ahead and get it off your chest and tell them what De Niro said and do not under any circumstances apologize for it.

    Then we can pick ourselves up out the sty they live in and get back to work to banish all those "theys".

  120. It has come to the point where Trump has a 'Fake' Movie trailer promoting his meeting with Kim Jong-un, created with all the fervor of a Major Event without an ounce of subtlety or nuance, mirroring the persona of his Majesty Himself. This is the donnybrook we as a country have arrived at, the other side of the mirror Lewis Carroll's Alice found herself in, where Up is Down and all logic is thrown out the window. I pray American voters come to their senses, those voters who thought this man was the answer our country needed. Vote in November, using both heart and mind, for the health and well being of our nation.

  121. This a great article in terms of identifying the issues and why we are less secure than anytime I can recall in my life, except for the 10 days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Can anyone imagine Trump having to deal with an immediate problem now as potentially catastrophic as that one?

    The refrain "are you still feeling more secure" is chilling, but problematic. The problem is that the "yous" who need to consider this are not reading the Times and have no interest in facts, consequences, character, history or logic.

  122. Yes, and because that group, if they ever read this article, would answer YES. Why? Because white supremacy reigns.

  123. With team comprising of the hawks like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton who share Trump's impulses if Trump is embarking on the uncharted path of shaping America in his own mould, it is going to be a great disaster as he he would be the last to own responsibility for his actions guided more by his gambling instincts than the well contemplated policy support.

  124. Get use to it. DJT will be reelected. Bernie Sanders is running again and will lose again and take the rest of us down with him.

    As Bernie sees it, he’ll never have a better chance to win than to run against DJT, but he’d be wrong. Bernie has no chance to be POTUS in this country ever. He may have a chance to be the winner in a party run but never a national one.

  125. "Bernie has no chance to be POTUS in this country ever." How many said that in 2016 in reference to DJT?

  126. I thought that Bernie was running again for Senator of Vermont. In which case, fine. But anyone who runs for POTUS should, in my opinion, be under the age when most people retire. Properly done, the job of President is physically, emotionally and mentally more grueling than that of Senator, and there's a lot more riding on it if the President dies of old age while in office, or falls and breaks a hip than if, God forbid, a Senator dies or falls.

  127. Here's what makes me feel more insecure than anything: the GOP leadership knows everything you wrote about and is remaining silent because they are afraid to cross the "nationalist base" of their party... but even more scary is the unwillingness of EITHER party to cross their donors who want to rake in profits at the expense of the environment and the well-being of workers.

  128. Mr. Friedman, Donald Trump isn't just "trying" to remake America in his own image, he's succeeding.

    He's succeeding because of an unprecedented level of cowardice that has taken over the minds of Republicans in Congress.

    No matte what Trump does, demands, says, shouts, tweets, or freaks out about, this Congress aims to please.

    Through silence. Through obeisance to an emperor with no clothes who's not worthy of our magnificent system of government, because he's trashes it daily, and has been since January 20, 2017.

    No, I don't feel more secure. That sinking feeling in the pit of stomach I had Election Night has only deepened with every strange move Trump thinks is bold to shock the world but ends up biting America where it hurts.

    The North Korean caper is just the latest, and the worst. What was REALLY said when the two of them were alone. What other promises were made in addition to concessions freely offered with nothing in return?

    Just look all around us: He's gutted government, gutted healthcare, pitted American against American, alienated allies and encouraged dictators like Putin--whom, he eerily seems to be directed by. Example: The Russians have been pushing an end to war games for the past decade.

    It's time for all of us to call a spade a spade, because this president is a clear and ever-present danger to the economic, political, scientific, psychological and cultural health of our nation.

  129. Speaking of the Russians, at least twice this week (and the week is young), while I was cruising the Net, I came across two articles that were written in Russian. From what little I could tell, the articles were fairly benign, but the fact that there were two articles written in Cyrillic was startling. We don't have to worry about whether or not the Russians are coming. They're already here.

  130. Trump's actions... there is nothing new... He is exhibiting the same dishonest, conniving, unethical and self-centered behavior he has embraced for decades. His take on resolving issues with North Korea's modern day Hitler... "I am going to rely on my intuition. I don't need to read, I am a visual learner." INSANITY.

    What is newer and extremely distressing is the apathy and ambivalence of our elected leaders in the Congress and Senate who have allowed Trump to rule untethered. They can and should stop the dangerous lunacy taking place within the Oval Office... Why haven't they? Are ALL OF THEM on the dole with Putin? The Mercers? The Koch Brothers?.


  131. trump promised Kim a Disneyland and Kim gave trump the instructions on how to set up a Dictatorship.

  132. I bet Iran has observed these proceedings with great interest.... and are glad Trump has pulled out of their deal, so they can now carry on with their nuclear development, with no reprisals...or inspections to fear. 'Cos they can always quote Trump not ensuring the same in NK, so why would Iran allow what NK did not, especially after a PERSONAL meeting with the US Pres. Something very devious going on here, and I think the mid east (and Kushner) is what to watch while Trump diverts attention to the Pacific....

  133. Reply to DB Cooper,
    This wholesale attack on Trump voters, aka working-class whites is inaccurate at best, and a vicious canard at worst. Painting an entire group as bigots is bigotry, itself.

    People are nothing if not complex. Many Trump voters have seen their communities fall into despair, their men dying early deaths from opioids and alcohol. Are they bigots?

    Yes, there are a core of bigots among Trump voters, but millions voted for Obama before turning to Trump. Are they bigots?

    The Times reported, recently, on a Tennessee town that rallied in support of illegal immigrants after an ICE roundup. Are they bigots? all

    In fact, these townspeople are the very working-class whites that many readers denounce as ignorant racists, often in sweeping, angry and apocalyptic terms.

    Blaming is a learned response. Blaming leads to hatred and bigotry. But blaming rarely solves problems. As David Brooks argues eloquently, we need to restore a sense of community if we are to solve our problems. That is what young, Democratic candidates in the heartland have been doing, successfully.

    The angry, hate-filled rants that we encounter daily in The Times reader forums do not help this process of healing; they undermine it. They serve the very purposes their authors claim to oppose. They play into the hands of the true, ignorant racist, Donald Trump.

  134. You have something there. The working class may have a smattering of ignorant racists but most want to do the right thing. Just a decent job, medical security and free from fear of falling through the cracks.

  135. Dear Mr. Cohen, no one can fault people for voting for Trump given their economic circumstances and the deeply flawed alternative presented by the Dems, even if one ignores Trump’s vile pre-election behavior. But since he has doubled down on that behavior since his election and has chosen to destroy our institutions, debase our allies, sow division among Americans, elevate corruption within his government, and praise despots while admiring authoritarianism, it is apparent to me and millions of others that sufficient time has now been rendered to judge Trump supporters as dangerously lacking in any type of moral discernment.

  136. I'm reading White Working Class by Joan Williams (who appears to think her book is some kind of healing agent. She's wrong) . If you want to expand the word 'bigot' to being against include any thing that isn't them, then yes, I think you can say most of them are bigots.
    PS. I come from a white working class family

  137. Policies can reversed. Taxes can be raised and lowered.
    Most difficult to reverse and change are ingrained attitudes of political and cultural hostility. Without trust, mutual dignity, and a common vision, the family falls apart.

    The current leadership, rather than soothing and healing this delirium is actively working to exploit and increase our nation's sad predicament.

    The start of a solution: let go of "I've got to be right," respectfully listen, and open the heart of empathetic understanding, even while disagreeing. Humans can solve problems with communication.
    This can't be legislated. It's up to all of us.

  138. Unfortunately one can not "open the heart of empathic understanding" when talking to a Trump voter, at least in my opinion, and I do not discuss politics with them in order not to flip out.

  139. I will feel more secure when the Dems take control of congress. And will feel even more secure if the Dems take control of the senate and the 2nd worst politician in the country is relieved of his leadership role.
    Yesterday Dems flipped a congressional seat for the 45rd time Tsince Trump and the Russians won. This is whar RESIST is about. Resist! AND TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK TO VGREATNESS . VOTE IN November.

  140. Trump does not want the United States of Trump; unity frightens him.
    He wants the Merged Entities of America; ME instead of US.

  141. 75 years of wealth, power and respect that comes with leadership of the free world erased in 500 days and the Party of Strength and Responsibility's response is silence. Amazing.

  142. The dismantling of the ACA is getting little attention, and it is frightening. Our 25-year-old daughter suffers from a hybrid of autoimmune disorders. When she turns 26 in December she will no longer be covered by our insurance. She gets up and goes off to work every single day, sick or not. Because we live in Massachusetts, she will not be refused health insurance. She would be crippled financially for the rest of her life without coverage. What is wrong with people who keep voting to do this to themselves?

  143. Apparently for a lot of Americans hatred of people with darker skin and/or resentment of the “cultural elite” trumps everything. Who cares if you lose your health insurance or your job if you finally have permission to be openly racist?

  144. I've heard a lot of talk among them about "culling the herd". No use for folks that slow down the profits, apparently.

  145. Editorial writers lament. Immigrants who have been her for decades, some of them born here, quake. Other nations can't find words (in our language or theirs) to express their shock and amazement. None but the very wealthiest live better than decades ago. In the face of this, and everything else you mention in your article, Trump's support grows? There is a much deeper problem here. I fear Trump is not attempting to remake America in his image. He simply is a presidential personification of America's real image.

  146. Wow, frightening thought. I'll continue to have faith in the 60% waking up to the dangers ahead and get out to vote. If that doesn't help, God help the rest of us.

  147. What an outstanding summary of the situation by Tom Friedman - I wish all Americans would read it. It is sad and frustrating that in just 16 months so much damage has been done. However, it is important that those who agree with this analysis focus on the upcoming mid-term elections. Commenting and complaining has its place and must be done, but please the far more important task, being engaged in the upcoming mid-terms. Remember this can all be changed at the ballot box in November - a loss of either House will dramatically reduce Trump's power, minimizing the immense damage, and further dividing the Republican Party. At the same time, if 2018 is a status quo election and Republicans continue to hold power, this will get far worse - Trump and his Republican protectors will be emboldened.

  148. Great and insightful as usual. I am so depressed over what has happened to my country since Trump assumed the presidency.

    How could this be happening? I wish the midterm elections were tomorrow. Or even better, today.

    The political pendulum needs to swing the other way and soon.

  149. Mr. Friedman, your column makes powerful points. Still, a good forty percent of the population are lulled by Mr. Trump's Siren song. Consider this post that I spotted on social media:

    "President Trump did very well in Singapore. Obama, Bush, Clinton could not have done this. Why? First, because President Trump is a proven negotiator/businessman, while the others are politicians who make careers out of putting themselves first. Second, he is an American. He loves his country and wants it to continue our 250 year history of allowing its citizens to be free."

    Many share this perception. And I doubt you can persuade them otherwise. At some point, by his own emboldened behavior, only Mr. Trump will persuade them otherwise.

  150. Mr Trump, Fox News, and Right Wing radio you mean.

  151. "Obama, Bush, Clinton could not have done this....(they) are politicians who make careers out of putting themselves first."


    This is the Bizzaro world that is that of hard core Trump supporters. Everything is exactly backwards.

  152. Once somebody falls for a con, they will do almost anything to avoid having to admit that they were dumb enough to be taken in.

  153. Punish Republican acquiescence in 2018 then hold your breath till 2020. The true challenge is finding the right challenger. A doorstop could do a better job in the Oval Office. However, as we learned in 2016, not anyone can beat him on the campaign trail. Right now he has incumbency and a decent economy to his advantage as well. According to one academic paper, those are the only two variables that ultimately predict election outcomes. Everything else is statistical white noise.

    Maybe we'll get lucky. Maybe the Mueller report will lead to an impeachment investigation. However, I wouldn't count on Trump ever getting removed from office. Half his base would need to mutiny in order to end Trump's term early. I'll summarize their position by quoting Sean Hannity. "If you have more proof that this is not a witch hunt, I don't believe you." Justify has a better chance of winning two triple crowns back to back than Mueller has of convincing a partisan Senate that Trump really did commit high crimes.

    So again, the best way to get rid of Trump is to vote out the Republican Congress in 2018 and prepare for 2020.

  154. Add to all of Mr. Friedmans's points this; we have one branch of government that has, for all practical purposes, ceased its role as a check on the president. Rather than put on the brakes, they cower in the Cloak Room and pretend everything is fine. As Senator Bob Corker said yesterday, they "are too afraid to poke the bear."

    Feel more secure?

    Perhaps it is WE who should consider moving TO Norway.

  155. First, the headline is silly, because pretty much every Presidential campaign consists of proposals for "remaking America", into the candidate's preferred image. Voters then choose which image/remake they prefer. Secondly, please explain why it is "selfish" for Americans to want other countries to EVER foot any of the bill for their own protection, this after decades of US taxpayers shelling out to be world cop and world sugar daddy. And why is it "selfish" to want national borderlines recognized? Other countries' borders are respected, so why not US borders? If you want to see "selfishness" and smugness, Mr. Friedman, please look north or across the Atlanic. Canada is, maybe like Norway and Switzerland, essentially a rich upper middle class country. Canada has infinitely more available, unoccupied land than the US, higher wages (thanks to smaller population and strict immigration policies), and offers much easier access to health care and education. The US accepts around 1 million LEGAL immigrants each year (meaning that figure only counts LEGAL immigrants), while Canada's extremely strict immigration policy allows less than 300k, even though Canada has more land and a growing economy. How is the US "selfish" given statistics?

  156. The only reason this headline seems "silly" to you is because like some Americans, you can't see the forest for the trees.
    This isn't about trade tariffs against Canada some phony show of patriotism, or even immigration, as Trump would have you believe -- it's part of his overreach in reshaping every aspect of this country, starting with the U.S. Constitution.

  157. Well put!

  158. Is it fair to say both parties have contributed to the deficit when it He past two democratic administrations left it shrinking?

  159. If Donald Trump is trying to remake America in his own image, not only are we in deeper trouble than previously thought, there's no reason to doubt this isn't true.
    But what's even more frightening, is that he may very well get away with it.
    With an overly enthusiastice support base that he caters to hand and foot, and a narcoleptic Congress content to do nothing while ignoring the reason why they're supposed to be there, and Trumpicized Republicans in control of all three branches of government -- nothing short of a popular uprising of the American PEOPLE appears to to be the only solution, and salvation to save our country before this president changes Department of Justice laws to install himself in the Oval Office permanently.
    And for those of us who decidely fall outside of Trump's American vision for this country, there is no other option.

  160. The Republican Congress could step in and use their mandate of checks and balances to keep Trump from continually taking us down the path of Dictatorship. The Republicans need to step up and do what they can to stop some of Trump's worse blunders.
    It is obvious that Trump's advisors have little to no influence over his actions.
    Do I fell more secure? No, even September 11, 2001 did not make me feel this insecure. For a short time we were one with each other and the world.
    Trump has fast ruined that moment.

  161. Sorry, but Trump has already shaped the USA in his own image. We have let him run the country for a long painful time now, and his appointments, compliant Congress, and judges have given him the power to do it.

    There's no pretending it can be stopped or easily reversed. There are vestiges of what made America great left, but they are on the run. And so is civilization across the world.

    It's as if God has decided we have had too much of free will, and it's time to take it back from the mass of humanity and concentrate it in dictators that conspire in a cabal of evil to rule us. Probably as a lesson for failing to live up to our responsibilities. With vast freedom comes great responsibility. Well, perhaps not in Trump's case. And that is the lesson.

  162. Sorry. But that is not the "lesson" for those of us who saw through Donald Trump to begin with, and don't forget -- WE are the majority.

  163. Good summary of Trump and his administration and its many failings. But yesterday the citizens of South Carolina voted out Mark Sanford in a Republican primary in favor of a hard right Trump acolyte.

    Maybe this is just South Carolina being South Carolina? Maybe it's just the new Republican party being Republican? Maybe this is the new America rising out of the swamp of the current politics?

  164. In the larger sense, we shouldn’t be surprised that we have Trump, he’s the avatar that proves the rule: You can’t have an economic system run by a different set of values than we expect our political system to follow. Too many Americans buy into the idea that there’s nothing wrong with a capitalism that reflects the ‘animal spirits’ of the market, and any regulations to limit the collateral damage to the community of that battle of animal spirits is inherently bad. Trump is the embodiment of those ‘animal spirits’—he describes it as his gut, his instincts—that determine whether one is predator or prey. The problem with this is that it transfers the values of an economic strategy onto a political system that was never, and should never, be designed that way, if we still care to believe in the values that made us ‘great’ in he eyes of the rest of the world. The rest of the world didn’t see greatness in discrimination, victimization, and obfuscation—the law of the jungle—that is the darker corner of the American story. They saw greatness in the good will, charity, and friendship that benefitted everyone, while expanding the economic pie, through shared opportunity...and made us the richest superpower in history. It’s not bad to want to MAGA, but it IS bad to see and believe Trump as a champion of what it actually was that made us what we, and the world, recognize as ‘great’.

  165. Citixen, very good thoughts, nicely written. This should be a NYT PICK for this column. It is important for the American citizen, and hopefully voter, to get on-board with real involved citizenship, and cast a sophisticated and responsible vote. I am reminded of a quote from Pres. Obama, as he was prep'ing to leave office, "The highest office in the land is not president but citizen." Let's do our jobs!

  166. This is what you get when you have a propaganda channel like Fox News and Sinclair repeat, repeat, repeat the Trump message. What will it take for Trump supporters and enablers to see and feel the damage this administration is doing so beautifully pointed out by Tom's piece? They must feel the damage of these policies. Right now they are counting on Trump to solve all their problems. They do not yet realize his solutions are empty promises designed to enrich the Trump family, Republican donors and other pay to play participants.

  167. In answer to your question, Mr. Friedman, no, I am not feeling more secure.

    The only security I feel is the knowledge that as I am in the last 1/3rd of my life, my range of choices will progressively narrow until I wink out with the other seniors in my cohort.

    Mr. Trump is the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to dross. He preens and struts about the stage, making himself bigger by making everyone else smaller. He swore an oath to the Constitution but he does not act as if it is a standard or even a guideline. To him, it is but an option, easily cast aside in his hagiography.

    Try leafing through the book on your shelf, Mr. Trump, which you speak of so highly to your evangelical co-conspirators. You know the book I speak of, although by now it must be very dusty. It is the Bible. Here's a small sample:

    "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." (1Co 13:1)

  168. We do have the ultimate power. It's called our vote. Especially powerful when you consider the small percentage of citizens who use this power.
    We need to vote starting with local as well as national politicians. That is how we can and will counteract and stop the Trump agenda.

  169. Amen.

  170. As one of the seniors in your cohort, Douglas, I share your misgivings, as well as your assessment of Mr. Trump as the "anti-Midas."

    But you know that your suggestion to him that he actually read something for comprehension and reflection falls upon willfully deaf ears, don't you? Ah, what to do in this utter mess we find ourselves in? It is a puzzlement.

  171. No, I’m not feeling more secure. As long as Trump is president, how could I?

  172. Friedman is once again spot on. But he could have broadened his scope to include, as he has in previous columns, a complicit Republican-controlled Congress that has let Trump run unchallenged in his assault on the Constitution. Per the Constitution, one of the duties of Congress is to "...promote the Progress (sic) of Science." Not only has Trump failed to appoint a science advisor and given nods to science deniers, he has praised EPA Director Pruitt, and candidate for the most corrupt official ever to head a federal department, for his efforts to knock down as many environmental protections as possible. Trump is at once attacking efforts to expand the number of participants in our health care system while undermining environmental regulations aimed at improving public health not only in America but worldwide. The absence of Congressional push-back in an area clearly denoted in the Constitution as part of Congress' "job description" should be on the minds of anyone voting in November who opposes a government that reinforces, or worse, celebrates ignorance.

  173. Except for the nobel prize nomination...that’s exactly how i feel...fearful of the future that has arrived.

    Post 2008 recession there was stress, certainly. I did not have a job for a while. But i knew and felt the country, the northeastern (at least) were working toward a better world, brighter, more compassionate world for all. Corky yes but that’s how i felt.
    Today, after recovering somewhat financially (to be clear...during the Obama administration), i have to make two financial decisions. 1. College for my daughter. 2. Investing. I chose income property. I have examined both like Amazon style. I don’t belong to an upper class so those two investments are my life savings. The winner, Canada. My decision was already at 85% because of the developments of the last 18 months. The threat to our ally, friend, neighbor and the loving country of Canada did the remaining 15%. So from feeling to reason, why in the world would i spend my life savings in a country with very little planning, short-side policy, and aggression from the base every time we point their hypocrisy. The “base” will probably congratulate me because under their eyes, i am not worthy of the greatness of the United States so i should leave. Well, i am not leaving. I am voting in November. I am resisting. And I am investing my little pathetic money outside the US purely as financial transaction and the uncertainty of MAGA (aka as Make America Gag Again).

  174. Nuclear proliferation and global climate change are the two most critical scientific issues we face. This administration’s attitude is “we have PhDs on call if we need them” or words to that effect. Wrong. Listen to experts, then form your opinion.

    So says this PhD.

  175. The rhythm of this column mirrors the breathlessness of the reporters
    I see on what little television news is inflicted on me (by
    my wife, while preparing dinner). The basic fallacy, I suspect, is
    to impute the bad stuff to Mr. Trump, the person.
    He's clearly is an actor. But who's writing the script? This, as
    a journalist might say, cannot "be learned" at this point. The arc
    at any rate, is definitely Old World. Divine right of kings, maybe
    even divinity itself. This script must end, of course, in a
    recapitulation of the Enlightenment and the Revolution. American
    or French?

  176. A reliable and trustworthy voice in the wilderness of poor news reporting. Mr. Friedman has maintained a position as a respected and well-informed observer of the world we live in and has steadfastly offered observations based on research and founded in truth. Because he hasn't fallen into the trap of simply reacting to Fox News propaganda, his opinions are refreshing and usually sobering. No, I don't feel more secure. However, I know I am better informed and intellectually capable of making sober judgements about issues that matter, beginning with the survival of America the beautiful and our better angels who inspire wise governance.

  177. Maybe Trump reflects the American populous, rather than what is suggested by the column's title. Realize that, at best, 50% of the eligible voters do so, and if that 50% was split between Trump and Clinton, then 25% of eligible voters cast ballots for each. The 50% who did not vote seemed not to care about Trump's worldview and manner of treating people and institutions. In other words, 75% of voters apparently have no problem with this, and so perhaps he is US.

  178. For him to be successful, he indeed needs a receptive audience. However, any leader has a responsibility to lead responsibly, and has the power and authority to lead, or mislead, their constituents. Obama used to talk about appealing to our "better angels"; trump has no interest in that, and that is the tragedy. He is deliberately guiding our country into a very dangerous corner, one from which we may not recover. That is all on him.

  179. @Melitides It wasn't 50/50 of the voters it was the seriously skewed Electoral College that effected the result... NOT the majority of votes cast!!! The EC was a post Civil War concession to the Confederate states & the freed slave population!!!

  180. This should not have been a NYT pick due to the incorrect statement about 50/50 vote split by those who voted. HRC had 3 million more votes than trump, so clearly the election was NOT 50%, or anything near a majority or mandate for this mess.

  181. What will we be celebrating on July 4, 2018?

    Will we remember the values that formed the basis of this country or will we be going through the motions while the authoritarian values of Trump and conservatives rule?

    Liberty is liberal. Freedom from oppression of the monarch is a liberal concept. Equality is a liberal concept. Self rule, representative government, and judged by one's peers are all liberal ideas and values. The United States itself was, and is, a liberal idea. Conservatives (Tories, loyalists) lost the war of independence and they have been fighting the battle ever since in reimpose authoritarian values.

    Something to think of when Trump speaks of the presidency as ruling or a regime or when conservatives usurp patriotism and the flag.

  182. I am not an historian but I do recall that at some point in America's short political history we had a political party called the "no nothings". I truly no nothing other than their name. No nothing of what they stood upon or why they came into being. I know only that Mr. Trump and is weird MAGA bunch stand for ignorance, and greed above all else. They are true No Nothings. Our country's government now values greed above kindness; greed above humanity; greed above long lasting alliances. All of our central government is focused on collecting power, and demanding that we pay tribute in cash or words to Mr. Trump or his minions. Our vast resources; places we have held and valued of ages are now being sold off to the highest bidder. Our children's fortunes have been given to bankers and investors in a tax give away. We embrace foreign demigods as great world leaders. The "no nothings" are in power.

  183. Nicely done sir. The only thing that scares me more than your list is the fact that tens of millions of his followers will never leave him. When he has made enough money, he will cut them loose and they will move down the food chain in search of a new messiah. So will the Russians, and the big money. They are likely to find one. Will any institutional brakes be left to stop our descent ? It certainly won't be the court system.

  184. Okay, people, we are all angry. We are insulted. We grieve for our Constitution, for our long-cherished values. We are appalled that the sacrifices our parents and grandparents made in the wars are now trampled underfoot by someone who, motivated by nothing more than spite and ignorance, rallied millions who could look no further than the ends of their spiteful noses.

    There are more of us than there are of them. We can take back the country. We can throw out the sorry, complicit, Republicans who have spent the last three decades doing their best to destroy what is great about America. We can restore what is good about the country. We can be kind, forward-looking, compassionate, visionary, inventive, creative, inspiring, and fair. We can take care of our neighbors. We can be nice to each other. Isn't that a fundamental precept of those who voted for him? To love they neighbor?

    This is a moment for the chastening of America. To remember that this country is by and for the people, not the personal piggy bank of greedy billionaires. Our hardworking, mostly poor, many exploited, and many more enslaved, ancestors, built this country. The rich exploited their labor and got richer. That doesn't have to continue.

    We can change it. Take back the country in November. And maybe even convince a few misguided trumpeters to come along for the ride.

    Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does. Nothing could be more important than your vote on November 6.

  185. "Vote as if your life depends on it. Because it does".

    The lives of others depend on it also....the children seized from their parents, hoping to immigrate (how traumatized are they, and their parents?).....your children, in schools that are falling apart, with inadequate supplies......folks without hope of medical coverage or timely treatment......
    peoples of other countries, affected by US-instigated regime change......; one could go on.

    Nothing could be more important than your vote - in any election. Nothing could be more important than speaking up, and in taking action.

    Canada defeated a Trump-ish Prime Minister and his government a few years ago. It CAN be done.

  186. The best advice I can possibly give to those Americans who see Donald Trump as he truly is (an extreme narcissist) has been brilliantly documented by the distinguished Professor of History at American University; Allan J. Lichtman. He has now forecast correctly every Presidential election for 30 years. He not only got Trump being elected (one of the very few); but also had the vision to write a book about the dozen reasons why Trump would be a total disaster for the U.S. and the World. One chapter alone (The Unrestrained Trump) chillingly details how such a man with a clear "Napoleon complex" would try to bend an entire nation to his narcistic will. The book I refer to is of course titled " The Case for Impeachment." Ignore the prophetic warnings by Professor Lichtman at your peril!

  187. Just finished Comeys book. Wow. An eye opener. Trump clearly mentally unfit. Vile and self serving. We can and must do better.

  188. Mr Friedman, the North Korea deal that Trump just brokered is a breakthrough deal that the world have never seen - it's a big thing, you should admit it. For peace, everything is worth a try. Of course there is good Trump and bad Trump, get used to it.

  189. There is no deal yet! Nothing, Nada! Thats the point.

  190. Come to New York...and ask anyone who has ever done
    business with trump how good his word is.......
    how many he has stiffed........Puhleeze.

  191. They didn't "broker" anything.. 1 nasty dictator and another nasty wannabe dictator looking for photo ops is not a deal.

  192. Trump may not have mastered the art of the deal, but he has certainly been effective in manipulating public opinion. We will not be able to counter the negatives Mr. Friedman identifies until we find a way to change that.
    Apparently, Trump's gut resonates in ways that appeal to his supporters. If Republicans show disloyalty, they will be primaried and, all to often, lose.
    There's an answer to everything. Trump and his minions charge ahead in an alternate universe and nothing seems to stop them.
    The 2018 election is our only hope and polls apparently show that it might not be a Blue Wave after all. Help!
    He has the bully (pun intended) pulpit and he's not restrained in using it.

  193. No, I am not feeling more secure.I feel scared! I feel scared that Mr.Trump honors dictators, dishonors our friends and allies and has turned his America First doctrine into the Trump First enterprise.I am scared that Mr.Trump does not honor our Constitution or the men and women who work to defend it.I feel insecure, scared and indignant and I will VOTE in November.

  194. It is probably true that the chance of a nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea is smaller now than it was a few months ago; it is also true that the reason for heightened tensions was Trump’s rhetoric. Before we heap praise on Trump for decreasing the chance of war, we need to remember it was he who almost started one.

  195. This column is so absurd. Trump hasn't remade this country in his own image. The voters have. We need to reframe the way we look at his voters. It's not what they are for that matters, it's what they are against. Trump defies the normal metrics for success because his voters don't support him for what he does. They love him for what he's against. Trump is against the political establishment ,the media, the Republican Party, the Bushes and the Clintons. Trump is against rapid change which for the working class encompasses everything they had but fear they are losing. Trump is against globalism and unrestricted immigration which has taken jobs from many Americans. It's not that a third of US voters are fervently on the side of Donald Trump - what's more relevant is that they are adamantly on the opposing side of a culture war that's been brewing here since the 1980s. Trump isn't causing this populist revolt, he's reflecting it. It's Conservative values vs Liberal values. Liberals are going to lose. They've been losing at a pretty steady clip for the last six years. During this time we have lost the Presidency, both House of Congress, the Supreme Court, the majority of state legislatures, Governorships, & most important local offices. In 24 states, Dems have almost no political influence. This trend will continue. Why is the Democratic Party in shambles? One reason. The majority of voters no longer are buying what the Democrats are selling. That is a fact that can't be denied.

  196. Yes I do feel more secure. One thing: restricted immigration, legal and illegal.

  197. "God forbid we become the United States of Trump. That would threaten our future and the stability of the world. The world has come to rely on an America that, more often than not, has been ready to pay any price and bear any burden to do the right things, say the right things, model the right things and stand for the right things — when others were unwilling or unable to do so."

    Yes, like spending 5.6 trillion in the Mideast, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths, leaving behind utter chaos and invading sovereign nations on false pretenses. You mean that kind of "right thing"??

  198. Don's base has no time to check and see if they are feeling more secure. His only question to them is, "Are you feeling more angry?" Don is stunningly insecure and his method of self-comfort is to mask his fear by keeping the voltage of his anger higher than the voltage of his fear.

    He deviously equates patriotism and anger. His disciples conflate their anger with patriotism or moral indignation. Being "for" America equates to being against fill-in-the-blank.

    Since Don hasn't the substance to conceive of true greatness, all he has to pedal is the greatness of greatness—an empty word somehow associated with money, bombs and the power to intimidate and make up silly schoolyard names for opponents.

    His superpower is hypnotism. And, of course, the way to avoid being hypnotized is to not watch or listen to the hypnotist. But people in pain and fear seek out hypnotists to blunt such feelings. This does not make them feel more secure, it makes them feel less of anything except anger—that shiny, overpowering feeling that puts their rational self to sleep.

  199. What ever comfort he gives to some, settles them into eternal apathy. That is deadly for our Democracy. Register, vote. Flip the House and Senate. Do your homework on candidates carefully. Beware politicians wearing cowboy hats.

  200. Yes, I am feeling more secure. Thank you for asking.

  201. Are you really that afraid of people with dark skin?

  202. I am not sure which comes first..the chicken or the egg. Is Trump remaking America into his image? Or, Mr. Friedman, is it the opposite? That being, is this quintessential showman who knows his audience all too well audaciously reflecting a more vociferous and more radical segment of our society? I would wager it is the latter. Nativism, bigotry, and racism has always simmered. But because of the fear, insecurity, and, I dare say, ignorance of half of our nation, Trump has given them the green light to "be themselves." That's the thing, you know. We on the left are the "elitists," the "politically correct." However, the sad reality is because of this opening of Pandora's Box, this volcanic spewing of evils and ills, our stability and safety across the spectrum has never been more at risk, at least during my lifetime.

  203. You need not dare to say a large percentage of the country is, shall we say, cognitively challenged, and intellectually incurious. It's a fact, and on at least one occasion Trump famously professed his love for them.

  204. What a great point about needing Canada if there is another 9-11! Could the US have toppled Saddam without the help of Canada.

    I guess we'll never know since, according to Mr. Friedman, Canada always has our back.

    "Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien's decision to break with U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a very public and rare expression of Canadian sovereignty that many critics here feared would jeopardize U.S.-Canada relations for years."

  205. Despite jeopardizing US-Canada relations, our most important relationship, we told you not to invade Iraq. We wouldn't join because the justification for it was invalid, it would be destabilizing and the war in Afghanistan wasn't finished.

    Iraq wound up costing you immensely, in both lives and dollars, it gave rise to ISIS, and the battles continue. And, as the UN inspectors and almost all of your allies told you, there were no WMD.

    Having your back also means telling you when you're wrong. That's the difference between a friend and a sycophant. Its why the former is valuable and the latter is useless.

  206. Thomas is wringing his hands, again lamenting the many known defects of Trump.

    Instead, how about lamenting the venality of the GOP Congress bought-and-paid for by the Mercers, the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Wilks? How about analyzing where their ideas came from, and how they have managed to take over the country just with a little planning and a lot of money?

  207. The U.S.A. was destined to have a charlatan (read the great article in today's NYT about charlatans) at the helm because we are no longer a "country." We have become the United Chamber of Commerce of States: a loosely connected bunch of zones competing against each other both culturally and economically. The glue that holds it all together are a cadre of rich, self-serving oligarchs who couldn't care less about infrastructures, schools or health care systems that serve "the serfs." The Chamber simply wants to fill its coffers without cost no matter the consequences to the "little people."

  208. Mr. Obama could have fixed this, no?

  209. mrfreeze6 - Kind of severe, but not that far off the mark. Free enterprise is a good thing. But, unfettered free enterprise has long proven itself to be a bad thing. Clearly, corporate goals and culture need to be tweeked for some companies. The profit motive is important, but not the be all and do all motivation. Many companies do show a social conscience - far too many do not or claim to but put it far down on their list of goals. Time to up there game.

  210. What Mr. Friedman et co still does not understand is that in the United States of Trump, he and his ilk are not meant to feel secure. Just the opposite. The more insecure Mr. Friedman is the better.
    Everything Mr. Friedman complains about is, according to Mr. Trump's supporters, is exactly what Mr. Trump should be doing.
    Mr. Trump does not have to re-make the US in his image; it is already is there. Mr. Friedman is the aberration. He just can't see it because he writes for and talks to only those who feel as he does.

  211. Mr. Friedman, with Trump sycophants being successful in the current primaries and Trump polling very high (mid 80s percent) among Republicans, I guess at least Republican voters are feeling very secure.

    The real question isn't why Trump is the way he is, since he has been that way his whole life. The question is why GOP voters think isolation, hatred, selfishness and dictator-love is a good way to run our nation and handle our relationships.

    I have no idea.

  212. One idea
    Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton gave us Mr. Trump.

    Clinton gave us Bush who gave us Obama.......

  213. President Lincoln in his Gettysburg address was prescient not only about the 1861-4 Civil War, but the cultural civil war America is now ferociously battling.

    Lincoln, a truly great man and great president said, "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure."

    Mr. Friedman might also have summarized his outstanding article by stating that America is now engaged in a great cultural civil war. Just as in the first civil war, the two sides have dug in their heels and the acrimony is ferocious. If America does not recover its best values in a post-Trump era, there will be a vast reshaping of world leadership, as other nations take up the mantle in leadership of compassionate freedom, we hope and pray.

  214. If only HRC were in the WH none of these problems would exist

  215. He might be trying but, in the words of the Economist, "there is no guarantee of anything that even resembles success." The conservative magazine says Trump's major foreign policy fumbles -- scrapping the Iran nuclear deal, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, launching trade wars with traditional allies while flip-flopping on China, and going unprepared to a summit with Kim -- all give the impression that the great dealmaker actually "comes cheap and can be played...the chances of Mr. Trump being looked back on as a latter-day Reagan are nil."

  216. There is one aspect of all this that troubles me a great deal. Many Americans want this. They voted for him because they felt no one listened to them.Others are getting ahead and they are not. They assumed winning for them was guaranteed. And in order to get back on top they don’t care who loses. They don’t care who suffers. They don’t care if other people die from treatable illnesses or lawlessness in their own countries or civil war or brutal dictators. And hatred for America will rise because America has no empathy for anyone else. They, in short, have only one priority: themselves. So when they lose healthcare, inflation gobbles up their small pay increases, and they watch their tax break disappear while Republicans eliminate any government assistance they could benefit from, they will once again cry “No one listens to us”. And they will get no sympathy from the 60% of America that had agreed with them in 2016.

  217. We are not only feeling more secure. but we are more hopeful about the country's future than we have in quite some time. Here's who are more secure: millions who saw their premiums balloon under Obamacare; tens of thousands of workers back in the manufacturing sector; more blacks, Latinos, and women with jobs; millions formerly terrorized by a now defeated ISIS; untold millions freed from the menace of North Korean nuclear weapons; veterans now treated with dignity and respect, and a military funded to secure the lives of every single American. But to Trump-haters, none of this matters. How credible is that?

  218. you have to stop listening to Fox and friends...what policies have been implemented by trump and GOP congress that has brought "better" health care, jobs... the North Korean meet and greet has no substantive policies behind it...just the bluster of trump saying all is well... Veterans have been treated with the utmost respect every since the wasted Iraq war started...I am a vet of that misadventure and people continue to thank me for my service...

  219. Mr. Friedman: Mr. Trump won a national election. He IS a reflection of the way millions of voters think, including those who do not care enough to vote. We have a Congress who thinks Trump behaves like a President should behave, with no respect whatsoever for the rule of law, honor, integrity, or simple courtesy. In short-----This horse has already left the barn, and you are apparently just beginning to realize what this means. For most of us, this is the new reality of America, and a very sad thing it is.

  220. Thank you, James, for putting it as bluntly as possible. All I can add is the laughable line that so many say nowadays in our country "we're better than this". Well, guess what, we are not, and as you rightly say, he IS a reflection of the way millions of voters think. Desperately sad.

  221. Remember that Trump only won the presidency by 77,000 votes in 3 states (with a little help from his friends in Russia and the Middle East.)

    Also, only 58% of eligible voters turned out to vote in 2016.

    And Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million.

    The solution is to increase voter turnout and prevent foreign countries from influencing our future elections or we'll get more of the same.

  222. James - Trump did not win the election, just the Electoral College. Including 3rd parties, 10 million more votes were cast for 'other than Trump' and 89 million voters stayed home. Hillary only lost by fewer than 80k votes in three states, so only a small fraction of those who didn't vote could have swung that election away from Trump. Vote!! Please!!!

  223. Yes, Thomas, America is a progressive country on its way downhill. As fate has it.

  224. The republican party no loner exists. It is now the trump party. This is how Hitler got started.

    We need Mueller to put an end to this. Now more than ever. America is on the brink of doom. And so is the world.

  225. Agreed. Except that the world will move on without America. Doom will not befallen the rest of the world.

  226. Trump has increased the amount of risk in the US economy significantly with his misguided trade war, debt financed tax cut and personal meddling and picking favorites among industries and at the level of individual companies. The potential disruption in global supply chains and domestic power production could strand existing assets and cause managements to defer new capital investments.
    Whatever short term benefit we might have gotten from the corporate tax cuts have been whittled away by his ineptitude and the stench of corruption that he and his minions carry with them. I reduced my US Equity holdings by a third and sold my foreign equities this week and will hunker down until we get some clarity on the midterm election .
    Right now,there are no adults in the room exercising oversight on the Idiocracy he has installed in DC.

  227. You are correct. I don't know how Wall Street has not caught on that the instability should be crippling the stock market. But it isn't. The gamblers out there will ride it to the just before the crest and then bail. They know when that will be since the restrictions on insider trading will never be enforced now. We are going to experience a recession that will recycle many times now.

  228. Donald Trump was duly elected as the President of USA. He represents America to the world. He is what USA stands for. That's American Democracy.

  229. Ha ha ha. Boris, please.....

  230. Umm, I beg to differ.
    He won less votes.
    He is just an example of how the Republican gerrymandering of states nationwide has made the electoral college undemocratic.

  231. No, Observer, Donald Trump was elected because Russia interfered with the elections.

  232. We live with many factions that want a helpless federal government. Southern Evangelicals want nothing stopping them from imposing their version of religion on everyone. Neo-Confederates want nothing stopping them from winning That War. White Nation wants nothing to stop them from expelling minorities and rejecting immigrants and refugees. Capitalists want nothing to stop them from accumulating all the money. The federal government stands in the way of total faction frenzy. Maybe Ike shouldn't have gotten rid of E pluribus unum back in 1956.

  233. Agreed! And none of those groups you mentioned care much if Trump is antithetical to what they believe and the way they live their lives as long as he and the lapdog Republicans can facilitate their desires. In other words, they'll hop into bed with anyone who can do them some good.

  234. And what is the common thread binding all of those groups (except perhaps for the capitalists)? Sheer unadulterated stupidity, that's what. The country is being held hostage by folks who could not spell cat if you spotted them the "c" and the "t".

  235. Agreed. Sadly, but fully agreed. The capitalist are the ones running the show. The rest would be nothing without their money to sustain them. The billionaires club of ALEC and the endless "freedom" groups are the real traitors. Trump is just their distraction while they rob the treasury and the rest of us.

  236. The juxtaposition of Mr. Friedman's column with that of Ms. Boylan moves me from sadness to depression. What future does this country have if Trump succeeds in remaking us in his selfish image?