BY VERN TURNER
It cannot be ignored any longer. With barely one week in office, the Reich of Trump is on the march to destroy our government one agency at a time, our nation one freedom at a time and our Constitution one amendment at a time. With each passing day something more horrific, illegal, disgraceful or pathological comes tumbling out of the White House, either from the lips of the despot himself or from those of his beleaguered surrogates.
When will it stop? Probably only when the Reich of Trump ends. Here are a few examples of how despotic dictators take over a democracy:
– Federal funding cuts for the arts, humanities, violence against women programs, PBS, NPR, civil rights [DOJ], environment [EPA, DOJ branches], Planned Parenthood, renewable energy and sanctuary cities that try to protect innocent immigrants from the jackboots.
– Gag orders for the National Park Service, EPA and international organizations that even mention abortion [First Amendment]. The NPS committed the unpardonable crime of not telling the world that Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history. In fact, the news media produced pictures of the crowd compared to Obama’s first inaugural, and it was embarrassingly small … like so many things. The bleachers along the parade route looked more like the day after the Rose Parade than celebrating the new president. These reports of facts brought more and seemingly endless wrath from Trump for being so dishonest.
– Threatened our biggest trading partner over islands in the South China Sea. Does this put us on a war footing with China?
– Stated publicly that he wants the U.S. to take Iraqi oil as payment for our forces killing all those Iraqis and now ISIS fighters. Since we already have over 5,000 troops fighting alongside Iraqi soldiers against ISIS, one can only wonder when they will turn on our troops to defend their country and its resources from our takeover and hegemony.
– Makes war on the media [that pesky First Amendment again]. He has to do this to control the audience and the content of the news. Blame them for all the lies coming from the Reich of Trump and you cast doubt with the fourth estate in the minds of the people you are trying to control – not govern. Discredit the media for telling the truth and justify “alternative facts” and declaring “the right to deny facts.” This is how third-world dictators do it and Trump has watched those movies.
– Nominate corrupt and corruptible people for important government posts and cabinet slots. Nominate people with no experience or knowledge to those important posts. He even nominated people who have spent major portions of their professional lives trying to destroy those very offices.
– Dismiss all the U.S. ambassadors around the world on Jan. 20, 2017. Appoint an oil mogul as secretary of state who is also a friend of Russia and Vladimir Putin, the man who arranged the hacking of our political system to defraud the election and allow Trump to win. After all, Trump still has to keep defeating Hillary Clinton and her State Department career as if he’s still campaigning. Apparently, Trump still needs to have his straw men [and women] to knock over and feed his massive, desperate ego.
- If these aren’t bad enough, there are the graceless and classless moments, too. Despite trying to make nice with the intelligence community Trump kept slandering before and after the election, he spoke in front of the Wall of Honor at the CIA and talked about … wait for it … himself. Yes, after a few conciliatory words, the new president launched into talking about crowds at the inauguration, his face plastered on TIME covers [he does not hold the record] and how we should take Iraq’s oil. Every psychologist in the country watching this clown show must be pouring over their manuscripts to find new definitions for narcissism, paranoia and xenophobia.
Oh. Right. Xenophobia. On Jan. 25, Trump signed an executive order directing Congress to fund the building of a wall along our southern border with Mexico. While Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell held off their apoplexy at where the money would come from, the president of Mexico broke the date with Trump on Jan. 31. Imagine that. It’s like your neighbor inviting you over for dinner, but building a 20-foot fence between your yard and his … for security purposes and to keep your kids from walking on his lawn. Classy.
Then there are the issues with our veterans. It sounds like this:
“We will take care of our great Veterans like they have never been taken care of before.” – Donald Trump, accepting the Republican nomination.
Trump has been in office one week, and here’s what he’s done for veterans:
– Implemented a hiring freeze that will cost thousands of veterans’ jobs and keep at least 2,000 positions unfilled at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
– He has talked about bringing back secret detention sites and torture, which only serves to help our enemies, recruit more terrorists, and endanger American troops.
– He has put a stop to many refugees – almost all women and children – from coming to the United States from the Middle East. A move that alienates our allies in the War on Terror and usurps any goodwill we’ve built up. This puts our troops in further peril.
There are some other disturbing threats coming from this White House.
The president ordered the renewal of two oil pipelines across Native American sacred ground and areas where human drinking water sources are at risk. He even put the city of Chicago on notice that he will institute martial law if the crime and the shootings don’t slow to a point that he finds acceptable. And even after being inaugurated, Trump is till raging about the popular vote count claiming that illegals voted for Clinton thus giving her the three million vote advantage. It’s almost like he’d rather have won the popular vote and not be president, than win the Electoral College and be the president. By the way, between Clinton’s votes and those of the third-party candidates, Trump lost the popular vote by almost nine million votes. Oh well, narcissism is a very weird and individual thing.
There are some promising signs that rational life is poking through the snows of this winter of our scariest election season since 1860. The gagged employees of the National Park Service have gone underground with Twitter accounts to keep the science and information coming from the research being done in the parks. Scientists from the EPA, OSHA and the NPS are going to have their own demonstration and march to protest being gagged by the paranoia of the gagman. Man, when you can get scientists out of the lab and in the streets, it must really be bad.
Speaking of which … The entire senior staff of the State Department resigned en masse. One can only wonder what the absolutely inexperienced Rex Tillerson will do with no ambassadors and nobody with any working knowledge of one of our most important departments in government.
Is this a sign that the rebellion against fascism and tyranny is already under way? Tillerson may even have to fly coach, because nobody will be there to find him a reservation.
Tyranny is defined by verbiage having to do with abuse of power, overreach and irresponsible despotism in government. From Trump’s first week in office, it certainly seems like he’s stepped onto that slippery slope without looking down. How far well we slide before we the people stop him. There is the 25th Amendment, of course. Go read it. It’s fascinating.
– Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, is available through Amazon.com.