BY VERN TURNER
My hands tremble, my eyes fill with tears, my anger and frustration boils up out of my insides as I cringe at every video and report coming from our southern borders. I am most assuredly not a religious person, but this passage from Matthew 19:14 strikes a bell in my soul that is basic, truly American and empirically right in every way that is us.
Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.
The Statue of Liberty’s inscription says:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
The images of internment camps from history haunt us every day, but now we see them being reincorporated by an evil, heartless and paranoid president and administration that seems to be doing everything it can to recreate the Nazi regime of 1933-45. Our president lived in New York City his entire, miserable life and yet scoffs, figuratively, at the hallowed words written by poet Emma Lazarus, engraved on our most enduring icon and symbol of our goodness and humanitarian intentions as a nation.
Stephen Miller, the second coming of Heinrich Himmler, is pouring his Nazi-like garbage into the ear of this president to the point that the echoes of Hitler’s speeches themselves are becoming manifest on television for all to see and hear.
Trump’s ravings at a recent business meeting underscore the lies, fears and hate from our latest election. The president is still blaming Hillary Clinton for most things and ridiculing the factthat she earned more popular votes than he did by a significant number.
Trump is defending his heartless and evil policy of policing up immigrants at our southern border by sowing lies, fears and paranoia the same way Hitler blamed the Jews, the Poles and the Russians for all the ills of the world. We know that that allowed behavior created not only the Holocaust for the Jews, but for homosexuals, intellectuals and anyone who didn’t follow Hitler’s edicts. Nazi Germany worked hundreds of thousands of foreigners to deathwhile they toiled in his factories building his war machines. We know the outcome of that era, don’t we?
Or maybe we don’t. The people and Congress and the courts are allowing the Trump Administration to pervert the law, create hatred toward our longtime allies who still believe in America’s original message and potential for doing good. Ever since Republicans have allowed starting overt wars with no end, jacking up the military budget to obscene levels and fostering military presence in hundreds of bases around the world, our image of the “golden door” has become more like a rotten, wooden trapdoor to the nether reaches of humanity.
Trump wants to blame the Democrats for all the lies and misdeeds that he is responsible for, so, based on actual evidence, it is more than fair to blame Republicans for the current state of affairs. Republicans did, after all, foist the most amazing liar in our history to become its 45th president. Now that we’re interning small children in “tender age” shelters, they must be ever so proud of their creation.
But who sponsors Republicans to run for office? Corporate/banking America, that’s who. Everyone may be tired of hearing about the vagaries of the Citizens United [a gross misnomer] v. FEC, but the legalized corruption of that misguided “decision” has fostered the horror show we are now enduring. What makes all this especially galling is the fact that the actual number of immigrants in our country is about one-fifth of the perceived number being pushed by Trump and the Trump-ites. That, everyone, is how Hitlerian fear, paranoia and social disruption begins.
With Donald Trump cozying up to ruthless dictators and murderers while casting aspersions on our oldest and most trusted friends, he aligns himself – and we the people – with all the worst aspects of the human condition. The concentration camp mindset and actual practice by ICE, DHS and HHS is an utter disgrace while it throws excrement at the Statue of Liberty. The people who defended this policy of separating children from their parents with noprotocol or method of re-uniting them is the most disgusting and frightening thing he’s done – among dozens of frightening behaviors and decisions.
But who is going to stop this? Will the November elections sufficiently repudiate this wretched creature and his cabal of trolls? What if Trump declares the election as a threat to our national security and suspends it? What do we do then? That would be our most basic freedom and tenet of democracy that we have being torn from us by a madman lusting for absolute power, no matter what. Why? So he can build another of his crappy hotels in Moscow and North Korea? Is that it?
No, I seem to have a lot of company when saying that Donald Trump is categorically insane and pathologically power-mad. This real estate con man has taken a very short time to wrest the political process from the people, cowed the Republican Party and turned it into his Storm Troopers for controlling Congress and appointed a Scalia clone to the SCOTUS after the chinless and mindless Mitch McConnell disallowed a constitutionally appropriate appointment by Barack Obama.
The confluence of all this electoral and governmental incompetence produced the Donald Trump phenomenon, and it is gutting us on a daily basis. Will the Mueller report be sufficient to unseat this horrible person from the Oval Office? Will anyCongress we put in place have the guts to save our country from the clutches of outright fascism, or will it become more compliant by putting party before country and allowing a dictator to dissolve it?
Our Constitution is at great risk right now. The passion of this essay reflects my concerns and anxiety at this greatest experiment in self-governing to fall into such evil hands and therefore be lost. The oath taken by every military personnel and elected office holder includes the words, to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.The photo of Donald Trump wrapping his arms around our flag disgusted me, and allowed me to imagine the trembling from all the graves of all the true Americans who died defending the Constitution against the very tyranny we are now seeing.
In the Biblical sense of “suffering,” we’d all better figure out what we’re going to do with ourselves and our nation. Are we going to continue to allow this vector toward Nazi-ism to continue, or are we finally going to get off our asses and get our representatives to do the right thing and return our government to “We the People …” – another quaint phrase.
– Denver resident Vern Turner is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Why Angels Weep: America and Donald Trump, is available through Amazon.