Talk is Cheap

What is wrong with you people? Everyone is running around acting like the world is going to blow up because of a few speeches and tweets. Everyone at work is like, “did you see what he said NOW?” all day long.

I’m not impressed. The reason I’m not impressed is that talk is cheap. Let’s plunge right into the punditry.   Disclaimer: my punditry also predicted that Trump would never get within pissing distance of the White House, and I was wrong about that. Still, I’ll ask you to bear in mind that these scenarios, while technically possible, are extremely unlikely.

Let’s try a few, shall we?

Copyright – the Economist

Scenario Kim Jong Un nukes Guam. Trump nukes Kim. Kim nukes South Korean. China nukes L.A. and New York. Trump nukes Mexico, Germany, and everyone except Russia. Nuclear winter ends humanity.

Talk is cheap! Trump has already forgotten about those threats he made last week, because he has the attention span of a goldfish. North Korea has a much longer attention span, because they don’t have smart phones.   Does that mean nuclear war is imminent? Hold on there, pardner. Let’s not forget that talk is cheap.  North Korea routinely threatens Guam. What’s not so routine is a large orange POTUS using the same words to threaten North Korea.  Since both Kim and Trump are limited to words that can be used in movie titles, this is no surprise.

Anyone for 1934 all over again?

Scenario Alt-right white supremacists use their influence in the Oval Office to roll back the clock to 1934.

Talk is cheap! No, racism isn’t over.  But the days of Jim Crow laws are. Here’s my logic:  too many people have too much at stake. I’m not talking about doing the right thing, which is fairly weak tea for most Captains of Industry.  No, I’m talking about money. The CEOs who are bailing out of Ship Trump en masse are doing it because they will lose business. They will lose employees. They will lose customers. They will lose market share.

These were the same Captains of Industry who had no problem banning folks of color from lunch counters in the Mad Men days. They had no problem banning long-haired hand-holding gay hippies from Disneyland in the Nixon era. Why? They would have lost too much money if they skated ahead of their peers.   The same thing is true now:  we employees and customers are the foundation of their economic success, and we’re now a much more diverse group. And we’re not having it.

Can’t go back in. Too much stuff is there.

Scenario The military bans transgender people from serving. So-called “bathroom laws” pass in every state. Same-sex marriage is overthrown. It’s back into the dangerous, dark closet for LGBTQ people.

Talk is cheap! Clearly, the military is taking tweets from the our Commander In Chief as opinions, or possibly suggestions, but not as actual commands. Turning tweets into real policy is a bit more difficult.  Also, having gay friends is now thoroughly enshrined in family-fare sitcoms. The polls prove that Americans at large are trending towards acceptance.   These trends could slow with Trump, but they are not going to reverse.

Scenario Neo-Nazis and Klansmen bring Charlotte-style torchlight violence to rallies in New York City.

The sign says it all.

Talk is cheap! This one? I’ll believe it when I see it. And if it happens, you’d better believe I’ll be seeing it in person. Me and most of New York. The last time the Klan tried a rally was in 1999. Eighteen of them showed up and faced 6,000 protesters. Three “alt-left” counter protesters, posing as Klansmen, talked their way past the barricade and then proceeded to pummel the Grand Dragon before being hauled off. The truth is, the people who rioted in Charlotte are terrorists and deplorable cowards. And they are deeply, deeply unpopular in New York City. They know it, and they are afraid to come here.

Scenario Trump Wall is completed in time for 2020 election.

Talk is cheap!   It seems so long ago when “build the wall” was a chant that brought an orange-lipped smile to candidate Trump’s orange face. So very, very long ago. Almost one whole year! Trump and his minions are doing much damage on immigration policy – don’t get me wrong — and so did Obama and Rahm Emanuel.  This land hasn’t had a fair immigration policy since….well, ever.  If we don’t get a handle on it, it will cause real economic and social damage. But a fantasy wall has nothing to do with it.

Not just a great tatoo — a really good Justice too!

Scenario Trump does an end-run around the court system and before you know it, we’re all attending mandatory rallies and swearing allegiance to the Supreme Leader.

Talk is cheap! Even if Trump gets to appoint a supreme court justice, please remember that the nine justices are not now and never have been rubber-stamping yes-men for sitting presidents. They have done damage in the past, but future courts have often undone that damage. Trump is subject to the law. Even if he uses the presidential pardon, he can’t use it on himself. And he can’t use it after he’s out of office.

If you can’t get to the beach, it’ll come to you.

Scenario Increased coal mining and lack of environmental regulation cause mass extinction, human death, and global warming on a grand scale.

Talk is – well, wait a minute. This is already happening and nothing Trump says or does will make one bit of difference. Fortunately, other countries such as California are still taking the matter seriously.

Probably not this year, but here’s hoping!

Scenario Trump gets impeached before Christmas.

Talk is cheap! Seasoned investigators who have worked on international fraud cases for decades won’t be leaping up and down every time there’s a tweet, like you’re doing. They’ll be building air-tight cases with hard evidence, and that takes time. Once they get in full swing, I’m pretty sure Trump will quit before he gets too far into the judicial process.

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