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A Reflection on Trump the War President


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Trump likes to call himself a ‘war president’. But his claiming this term turns the definition into a bad joke.

Here’s a few brief thoughts on that theme:

Today Trump announced he was ‘invoking’ the war production act to get GM to produce ventilators at its abandoned Lordstown, OH, auto plant.

But wait. Didn’t Trump already ‘authorize’ the War Production Act a couple weeks ago? Was ‘authorization’ just a PR stunt? Appears so. And authorize who to do what? Well, that was never defined either. Nothing happened after authorization. It was just a media soundbite. It was all a sales pitch and marketing spin to the nation. Kind of like someone bankrupt saying ‘the check is in the mail’. Or ‘call me on friday when I get paid’. You can’t believe a word he says.

If Trump were a true war president, instead of the fake and caricature that he is, he’d have seized the Lordstown GM plant weeks ago, ordered the requisitioning nation wide of all required materials to produce ventilators, moved all necessary technical personnel for production to the plant, used the Army Corp of Engineers to build new housing onsite at the plant for the new workforce; requisitioned local construction equipment necessary for such; then run the plant 24-7 and deliver ventilators via the USAF C-135 fleet to cities most in need.

If he were war president, he wouldn’t have ‘invoked’ the war production act just for ventilators, but for all needed medical-hospital equipment. And told everyone involved if they didn’t deliver on time they’d be fired.

In the interim, he would have ordered FEMA to immediately purchase all medical equipment worldwide asap, regardless the price (no negotiations), to be delivered again via USAF to needed cities directly, without diversion to warehousing by the Federal government.

No. Trump isn’t even close to a war president. He couldn’t stand in Franklin Roosevelt’s shadow. Or Harry Truman’s. Or Woodrow Wilson’s even.

No, Trump is a ‘true believer’ that the market solves everything and immediately. Just wave the magic market wand and it will appear! Like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, just pull a couple levers, make some loud noise, and it will all happen by itself. Just ask private enterprise and they’ll do it!

In 1941-42 Franklin Roosevelt activated US War Production. A special War Production Board was formed within days of December 7, 1941. It was empowered to requisition anything and everything considered necessary for the war effort. And it did. Roosevelt’s first executive order was to mass produce penicillin, which was thought impossible at the time. The US did it within a few months. Millions would be saved from infections during the war as a result. So where’s Trump’s Executive Order to produce a vaccine for the virus? He calls in a few CEOs from big Pharma and then conducts a media event. Why haven’t all the best medical research minds been mobilized, put in a room in Atlanta at the CDC or even the Pentagon, and told don’t come out until you have it?

During world war II the US didn’t wait for private enterprise to convert factories to war production. The government itself built factories and plants, then leased them over to the private sector to manage. It built entire sections of cities to house workers coming to the new facilities from around the country. You couldn’t obtain building materials to build a house during war time. Ford motor company made a total of 169 cars during the war. But was able to produce tens of thousands of trucks and tanks. So where’s our factories to produce ventilators, N95 masks, face shields, medical gowns, and all the rest of PPE needed. (I’ll tell you where, they were offshored decades ago by US capitalists seeking cheaper wages and greater profits…mostly to Asia and to China which, by the way, now has a surplus that it’s giving to Italy). But when US state governors tried to buy from offshore, the ventilators and PPE are seized by FEMA and the Federal Government. Trump’s administration not only can’t deliver, it’s become an obstacle to governors’ trying to do so. It’s like a general telling his troops to launch an attack but leave half your guns and ammunition here at headquarters company!

If Trump is a war president, he should be sacked, demoted, and sent to a base on the north shore of Alaska to count the caribou.

Trump is a Herbert Hoover wrapped in a Neville Chamberlain; an incompetent general who dribbles out ammunition to his colonels (governors) and tells them to steal from each other if they don’t have enough. He’s an armchair general whose chair has no arms! He’s all ‘talk the talk &amp’ and no ‘walk the walk’, as we used to say!

He’s a commercial real estate pitch man, a barker for a carnival sideshow government, and pathological liar who insults us by running his daily ‘dog & pony’ sales pitch he dares to call a press conference.

Give him a pension and send him away to count the Caribou. Better yet, to the US base in Antarctica to count penguins!

1 comment

  1. owlishdog March 28, 2020 11:42 pm 

    ” he would have ordered FEMA to immediately purchase all medical equipment worldwide asap”

    Er…but wouldn’t that have left the rest of the world without any?

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