The Lernaean Hydra in the Washington DC Swamp

There is a hydra living in the quixotic swamp in Washington, D.C. and if you are not aware of this you would better be. This hydra is like the multi-headed serpentine monster that lived in the swamp of Lerna according to Greco-Roman mythology. Legend has it that the Lernaean Hydra was a terror to the people of Lerna and so great effort was made to destroy the creature. This effort was futile though as for every head that was chopped off, the Hydra regenerated two more.

The Washington hydra has the same characteristics as the Lernaean Hydra, but in reality it does not look anything like the mythical hydra because it has incarnated itself into a human form. OK by now you should have figured out who this human hydra is−it  is none other than Donald Trump the 45th president of the USA.

Any other person who advocated an opprobrious conspiracy theory like birtherism would not have been considered as a credible candidate for public office, much less elected president of the US.

Comparing Donald Trump to the Lernaean Hydra is not an effort to disparage or disrespect him, as through his own actions and behavior he has long ago attracted these negative sentiments. The comparison then to the hydra is based on his incredible survivability. With this ability, Trump was able to win the 2016 Republican primary and subsequently went on to be elected president. From that time to the present time he has been president, he has managed to survive many things that would have tripped up any other president.

When Trump advocated the birtherism conspiracy theory against Pres. Obama, he did not get the full condemnation for what was not just blatant disrespect but a meritless idea that the first African American president was born in Kenya and not Hawaii. Any other person who advocated an opprobrious conspiracy theory like birtherism would not have been considered as a credible candidate for public office, much less elected president of the US. We can only surmise that Trump got away with it because he did it against a black man who happened to be the president.

With the many flaws that Donald Trump brought to the primary campaign contest no one believed that he would survive the rigorous process and go on to win the nomination and the presidential election. His outrageous and abhorrent  comments such as calling Mexicans rapist and criminals and mocking a handicapped person would have stopped any other candidate – not Trump though, because he is the embodiment of the hydra. His propensity for insulting those who challenged him knew no bounds as he did so to his fellow Republican candidates by calling them names – Little Lindsay Graham, Lying Ted (Sen. Ted Cruz, and Little Marco (Sen. Marco Rubio).

One incident that most people thought would have put an end to Trump’s presidential bid in 2016 was the Access Hollywood video. The breaking news across the TV media, sent shock waves over the air when Trump was heard on a 2005 tape making vulgar comments about women that included, “When you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything” while the host of the show, Billy Bush laughed like he was being titillated by Trump’s lewd comments. Like the mythical hydra monster, he survived this and went on to win the election to become the 45th president of the US.

…there is no evidence that he is fulfilling his campaign promise to “make America great again.” To the contrary he seems to be doing the opposite…

During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump’s mantra was that he was going to “drain the swamp” in Washington. He has been in the White House for 16 months and instead of draining the swamp it has become bigger. This expansion of the swamp began with allegations of Russian interference in the election and collusion with Russian operatives and Trump campaign. The allegations eventually led to the appointment of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. Since then, several “victims” of the swamp have surfaced – his National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn indicted; his son Don, Jr. and others meeting with Russians in Trump Plaza; his campaign manager, Paul Manafort being indicted; his firing of the then FBI Director James Comey; more sexual scandals and specifically the one involving Stormy Daniels; his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and others being caught up in the dragnet cast in the swamp by Mueller’s investigation.

It’s now 16 months since Trump has being in the White House and there is no evidence that he is fulfilling his campaign promise to “make America great again.” To the contrary he seems to be doing the opposite as there have been more chaos, conflicts, controversies, and high turnover rate in his administration. Simply put, Trump is doing what he has done all his adult years as a businessman–run the country like he is running one of his bankrupt companies.

While Trump has problems launching his policies and agenda, he has demonstrated mastery in two things” 1) the psychology of transference – he calls people liars when he himself has been questioned frequently about his veracity: and he calls Hillary Clinton “crooked Hillary” when he himself is under investigation for all kinds of nefarious activities that smacks of criminality and corrupt practices; and 2) creating conspiracy theories –because of his penchant for conspiracy theories,  the Chicago Times dubbed him America’s conspiracy theorist in chief.” Trump’s big conspiracy theory was birtherism and he used it to gain publicity and notoriety as a man who can speak “lies to power.” As president he has used the following conspiracy theories to distort and undermine Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion: unmasking, Obama wire tapped Trump Tower, and “spygate.”

It is interesting to note that all of Trump’s conspiracy theories have a common denominator – they are all linked to Pres. Obama and his administration. This of course confirms his aversion for the African American president and his obsession to obliterate his legacy. Not surprisingly, most of his detractors see this as a manifestation of his racist tendencies.

Trump’s veracity, offensive comments, sexual misconduct, and clandestine business deals which lacks transparency are not the kind of things Americans expect in any leader who is also seen as the leader of the free world. These things are the kinds of things you would expect to see in a nondemocratic country or a banana republic. It is therefore mind-boggling that he gets away with all these things. To be sure he has set a dangerous precedent – like his attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice – that has damaged the country and its institutions and no doubt will make it difficult to recover from.

Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign said, “I could shoot somebody in the streets of New York and nothing would come of it.” He says these things because he knows he has hydra-like characteristics. Fortunately, he has not done that yet, but he has actually destroyed the lives of many people through lawsuits, firing them in a manner that seems unjustifiable, or simply by bringing them into his web of what allegedly seems to be corruption. The high turnover rate along with multiple firings and resignations provide testimony to this.

…if it was Pres. Obama’s daughter doing this business while her dad was president, Americans would be outraged and Sean Hannity of Fox News would be screaming his head off…

It is worth emphasizing that no president could do the things that Trump has done and get away with it. And this is not just about the scandals that he has been battling, but also about things that affect his policies and his judgment. For example, Trump never released his taxes as his predecessors have done and he has not paid attention to nepotism – his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner both hold high level position in his administration.

With respect to Ivanka and Jared the question is where does their loyalty lies? To the US or to their business interests? It would appear to be to the latter as they are still peddling their business ventures – so much for conflict of interest and Trump divesting himself from his family business. Just this week it was announced that China approved trademarks for Ivanka’s products to be sold in that country. Being the daughter of the president and having a position in the White House sure helps to seal deals like this. Just imagine though, if it was Pres. Obama’s daughter doing this business while her dad was president, Americans would be outraged and Sean Hannity of Fox News would be screaming his head off about corruption and calling for impeachment of Pres. Obama. So why does Trump get away with all of this? The answer is he has many supporters who treat him like a cult leader who can do no wrong; he is the multi-headed hydra; and he is a Svengali.

In the Lernaean Hydra story, it took an extraordinary man, Hercules to eventually destroy the creature. Will it require a Herculean effort to dispose of Trump too? Robert Mueller maybe that extraordinary man as he still has his dragnet cast in the swamp. Trump with his hydra-like powers is fighting back ferociously and exerting pressure on the boundaries of the constitution and judicial process in a manner that is unprecedented for presidents. If Mueller fails to get Trump then it will up to another greater or equal power to Mueller to do so –  the power of the ballot box in2020.

 

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