Tom Friedman, whose writing and reporting I respect a lot, has an interesting piece in the New York Times. He suggests that we stop driving ourselves crazy following every bit of Trumpian nonsense and look around the world to see all of the interesting and generative and positive things that are going on — many without U.S. involvement or technology or products being part of them.
“Yes, while our president has been busy playing golf, tweeting about LaVar Ball and pushing an anything-that-will-pass tax plan, China has been busy creating a cashless society, where people can pay for so many things now with just a swipe of their cellphones — including donations to beggars — or even buy stuff at vending machines with just facial recognition, and India is trying to follow suit.
These are big trends, and in a world where data is the new oil, China and India are each creating giant pools of digitized data that their innovators are using to write all kinds of interoperable applications — for cheap new forms of education, medical insurance, entertainment, banking and finance.”
I think Friedman’s suggestion is a good one, and I certainly felt more hopeful after reading his article than I do after reading piece after piece decrying Trump’s craziness, the awfulness of the tax plan, or the latest racist insult that flows from Trump’s unfettered Twitter fingers.
And yet. His re-tweeting anti-Muslim videos, his Pocahontas slur while talking to Native American code talkers, his re-igniting the birther controversy and his apparent denial that the Donald-and-Billy-on-the-Bus video is actually him takes us to yet another new low.
I understand — we all keep saying things are getting worse with Trump, that there is no bottom, no baseline to his awful behavior. Those who could do something about it do no more than shake their heads and say they wish he wouldn’t tweet so much. Nothing seems to change.
I don’t know how this ends, but yes, I think Trump is spinning out of control. I think the Republican Congress is spineless. And I think the damage Trump is doing is immense and sickening.