WHITINGHAM — Two things made Donald Trump's second attempt at the presidency successful.
One: millions of eyeballs looking in the same direction is a mind-bogglingly profitable commodity these days.
The other: A very well-orchestrated and -funded operation to suppress votes, polarize the country, smear the opposition, and focus on getting enough electoral votes locked in.
Other than that, all Trump's backers needed was a lightning rod for public attention.
And that, putting it politely, is Trump's single area of expertise. He was a perfect patsy: willing to do anything at all and pay for it with his own money - or not their money, anyway - because of his pathological compulsion to be in the center of the spotlight.
Others have had the policies, legislation, and nominees for cabinet and Supreme Court ready for years. Once the election was decided, nobody paid any attention to this process until actual nominations were made, and then only as further evidence of Trump's outrageousness.
Now we have a president proposing to purge every trace of human decency from our government and hand it over to Big Oil lock, stock, and barrel.
Never mind that his decrees are mostly unconstitutional (holding sanctuary cities hostage to federal funds), redundant (the wall), or just irrelevant (investigating voter fraud and media bias). Everybody is tied up in knots trying to figure out which way to jump.
The brand-new Republican governor of Vermont, for example, has suspended campaign-promised changes to the state health-care system because of “uncertainty in Washington.”
Meanwhile, America's new owners probably haven't even bothered to clue Trump in on what all their ready-to-pass legislation contains. He hasn't had time to read much of anything, what with staying up all night making up distracting tweets to keep us busy with trivia while they ram the new laws through.
The question is not what Trump will do or say next. Whatever it is will be more outrageous than the last thing. He will ramp up fear and repression until he is restrained. The question is what effective political and legal action to take right now.
The president's bullying, violent tone is covering a very small number of billionaires, operating for their own benefit, at enormous cost to the people of the United States and the world.
When the dust clears, it may be too late to restore your Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, not to mention air, water, and food. They will sell it back to you, for a price, while it lasts. After all, they want to “run the government like a business.”
Listen: it is not about Donald Trump. His work is done.