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  1. Joe Scarborough: Democracy Will Survive, Trump Will Fail
  2. Joe Scarborough: Democracy Will Survive, Trump Will Fail - Hartford Courant
  3. Is America a Failing State?
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That is not to say that those fears are unfounded. President Donald Trump has repeatedly shown contempt for the rule of law, disrespected strategic alliances, smeared the free press, dismissed democratic traditions and disregarded common decencies. The language he uses while attacking federal judges and political reporters borrows more from Benito Mussolini than Benjamin Franklin. And although the United States' democratic institutions have shown their resilience over the past year, Trump's disregard for constitutional norms has come at a cost.

One college student home for spring break this week passionately argued to her parents and me that "Trump proves democracy doesn't work anymore. But even older Americans have their doubts. Even the American intelligentsia is retreating from its once stout defense of free trade. And that reality makes the politics of trade very difficult. Both the American people and the world would be worse off. It will need to confront its enormously wasteful and inefficient health care policies and the deteriorating standards of its public education system. It must finally confront its economic failures as well, and stop rewarding them.

Joe Scarborough: Democracy Will Survive, Trump Will Fail

If General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford cannot compete, it will be futile to protect them. E very problem has a solution. This has always been the optimistic American view. It is just as true in bad times as in good times. But painful problems do not often have painless solutions. This is equally true of the current economic crisis. To deal with it, American leaders must add an important word when they speak the truth to the American people.

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The word is sacrifice. One paradox of the human condition is that the most logical point at which to undertake painful reform is in good times. The pain will be less then. But virtually no society, and especially no democratic society, can administer significant pain in good times. It takes a crisis to make change possible. L et me suggest for purely illustrative purposes three painful reforms the United States should consider now. First, there is a silver bullet that can dispel some of the doom and gloom enveloping the world and admit a little hope.

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And hope is what we need to get the economic wheels turning in the right direction. You have to address the confidence thing, and that requires a different type of agenda than we have. The good news is that the deal is almost 95 percent cooked. One of the key obstacles to the completion of the Doha Round is the resistance of those 25, rich American cotton farmers. Millions of their poor West African counterparts will not accept a Doha Round agreement without a removal of the U.

In both moral and rational terms, the decision should be obvious. The interests of the 6. If they cannot make a sacrifice, who in America can? America has a second silver bullet it can use: To prevent the diversion of the resulting revenues into pork barrel projects, the money should be firewalled and used only to promote energy efficiency and address the challenge of climate change. Last year, the United States consumed more than billion gallons of gas.

This brings me to the third silver bullet: As leaders, they should be prepared to make the ultimate political sacrifice in order to speak the truth: The latest budget presented to Congress by President Obama offers a great opportunity for change. Instead of tearing the budget apart in pursuit of narrow interests and larding it with provisions for special interests, Congress has the opportunity to help craft a rational plan to help people at the bottom, promote universal health care, and create incentives to enhance American competitiveness.

I know that such a rational budget is almost totally inconceivable to the American body politic. The American political system has become so badly clogged with special interests that it resembles a diseased heart. When an individual develops coronary blockages, he or she knows that the choices are massive surgery or a massive heart attack.

Joe Scarborough: Democracy Will Survive, Trump Will Fail - Hartford Courant

The fact that the American body politic cannot conceive of the possibility that its clogged political arteries could lead to a catastrophic heart attack is an indication that American society cannot conceive of failure. View the discussion thread. Trump has repeatedly shown a reckless disregard for U. He has shown a contempt for the law and for the American legal system. And when challenges to the legality of the behavior of his associates have arisen, Trump has repeatedly acted in ways that appear intended to prevent or impede the ability of those who would seek the truth.

Is America a Failing State?

Perhaps worse, he regularly takes to Twitter and other media to do to them what he never does to the Russians who attacked our democracy: This deeply disturbing behavior is only made more worrisome by the fact that in other circumstances, as when the legality of immigration policies were repeatedly struck down by the courts, he has attacked judges and shown no appreciation for their independent and equivalent status to the executive branch in our system of government.

In other words, he has repeatedly shown a desire to attack the system, laws, and Constitution he swore an oath to uphold. He has done so using all the tools of a demagogue and some of those more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes. We have reached a moment of crisis in the history of American democracy. But the pressure on others in government will grow. CNN has reported that grand jury subpoenas have been issued for Flynn associates with regard to the Russia matter. They have also reported that the Senate Finance Committee is seeking financial records of the Trump team which must necessarily include Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, given the history of their business dealings with Russians as part of their investigation.

But while this investigation is gaining momentum, Trump is acting more brazenly and desperately as illustrated not just by the Comey action or his tweets seeking to intimidate Sally Yates prior to her testimony, but also by his bizarre behavior including, for example, the weird, distorted, and misleading interpretation of the testimony of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Trump is acting like a desperate man, not to mention a guilty one.

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That his team, in particular Kellyanne Conway , has gone on television to argue that somehow the Comey firing was okay because Trump is not personally under investigation is the defense of a narcissist who does not understand the responsibilities he has as president. It is lie after lie after deception after misstatement to protect their man.

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With every syllable they utter, they make him look more guilty. This activity is not lost on the rest of the world. They see an America unlike any they can recall and a leader who is clearly not fit for office.

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We think he is. We have had experience with leaders like this in South America. But I never expected to see it in Washington. America looks like a country it has never been. Trump is a laughingstock in the best of circumstances, a disgrace based on his known behavior to date, and a threat to global order and security with each action he takes. He discredits the office he holds and the government he leads.