January 29th, 2017
As a fiscal conservative with Liberal views defining our civilized society I have followed from across the pond the election in the US of A during the last two years. With great concern I have seen a deterioration of values and how easily anti-Semitic, racist and misanthropic ideas reverberate today – right into the heart of democracy.
After reading the interesting article of Francis Fukuyama addressing the question “is Democracy strong enough to resist Trump, check and balance” I have taken time and opportunity to give this some thought.
I understand through history our different Democracies have weathered many storms and have survived these more or less, but our environment today is different from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Sir Winston Churchill World.
Today our World is more flat than ever, everything is interconnected and pragmatic realism is required. Our Multi-Polar World faces several problems with China and Russia being part of the solution. CETA, TTIP, NAFTA, TPP are all great opportunities and Globalization is here to stay, despite all the attempts by the Bannon-Trump Alt-Right wrecking crew to minimize national and international structures and institutions.
Thoughtless decisions taken in today’s World have an immediate and much greater impact than before. But like our brain when once expanded, our World will never return to its original shape. In addition factors beyond much of our control influence our societies, progress in Technological and Artificial Intelligence is having a faster pace than human education and development.
All these aspects require intelligent, thoughtful and humane leadership. Sadly having Donald J Trump, a pathological liar with no legal, moral and ethical standards or standing as President of the United States is an enormous security risk for the US and the World. We cannot accuse Donald Trump of having a coherent thought process, unhinged from realities as he is, but nevertheless he is having the immense power to end all human life at his fingertips
Since the “Black Friday” inauguration of Donald J Trump the foundations of Free Society and American exceptionalism are under attack.
Unless civil society is reacting strongly and aggressively to Trump and is uniting around the defense of free society, free trade, human rights and climate change, otherwise the destruction of the foundations of American democracy is imminent. But it’s not only Democracy which is at stake; there is a real danger of upending our World order which has served us well since WWII.
In the present environment with the Republican Party in control, to have great confidence and to rely on the Republican Party to resist Trump is a very risky and dangerous strategy.
Observe if you will, not many serious reactions came from the GOP representatives against the appalling “Muslim” ban. But the first reactions from the “people” and the “courts” against this “evil” are reassuring; but the road will be long and hard.
The only one answer against this repulsive “evil” is to be united in continued opposition and resist Donald Trump in Congress, at State Levels, in the Courts, in Climate Change bodies and never surrender in order to protect Free Society.
We Europeans know one or two things about “Authoritarian” regimes and how they start. Conclude Donald J Trump is using the first chapters out of the playbook to create an authoritarian system. There similarities with the 1920’s – 1930’s.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric and methods can be compared to the rhetoric that allowed Hitler and Mussolini to move forward which led to World War II. In no way do I minimize what the Nazi regime did during that dark period, but if we study history there are similarities with the early 1930’s with Steve Bannon, a white Nationalist with an apocalyptic view, the modern version of Joseph Goebbels.
In Germany in the 1930 not all Germans supported or were Nazi’s but this evolved and those who were complicit came to regret it. But the holocaust did not start immediately in 1922, it started first with hate. We saw the same patterns at the rallies of our demagogue Trump, but in limited form. People were attacked and the press threatened and victimized. In the 1930’s there was a kind of hypnosis when people went to Hitler his speeches; often they did not remember what was said afterwards and how they behaved. In the election of 1932 when the Nazi’s grabbed power they were also a minority party.
On November 21, 1922 the writer Cyril Brown wrote in the New York Times “Hitler’s Anti-Semitism wasn’t so genuine or violent‘”… That line couldn’t have been more wrong.
Those who were complicit in 1932 came to regret it, but today with our knowledge of history complicity with Trump is inexcusable and those who do today will be remembered.
What we will see from Trump will be a gradual process and it has already started. Trump election was based on a campaign of fear and distorting the truth; alternative facts are old fashioned lies. With his tweet storms he seeks to exhaust our critical thinking in order to annihilate the truth. This can only be neutralized by free press, critical thinking and the truth.
Since the election he has been obsessed by legitimizing the election results, while in fact he lost the election. Already he is undermining free Society by crossing legal boundaries and needs enemies to blame and attack. But autocrats always attack the weak never the strong.
It will start with limiting free press, the libel laws will be modified, free press with be limited. Already he is calling the serious press “fake news”, “liars” and ignores or banns news organizations and journalists and will seek to change the format of press conferences and limit them. The format President Putin uses for his yearly Press conferences is of course ideal. Gradually civil opposition will be called unpatriotic and then free protests will be limited (like in Russia under Putin 1000 is maximum) and forbidden.
All of this will be called patriotic and in order to protect the people against chaos new laws limiting civil liberties, privacy and freedom will be passed. Then opponents will be prosecuted. This is why Newt Gingrich suggested reactivating “The House of Anti-American Activities Committee.” This brings us back to McCarthy. This is the start of the fascist state.
As Albert Camus wrote “the welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.”
In all of this the Republican Party plays a major role, a Party which has not changed over the years. It seems we are still in 1968 and I remember vividly Robert Kennedy; his departure has been a tragedy. The Republican Party has the same old 1968 rhetoric and old Nixon “Law and Order” ideas. But divisions in Society have only increased and are reaching a breaking point. Deficits have been created over the last 15 years by refusing any attempt to reach consensus or compromise in Congress and Senate.
Long held values are being destroyed which will set the party back for years to come; I do not recognize the GOP I once knew and respected. In the hunger for power and the hate against the Clintons the Party has been corrupted. The Republican Party has endorsed a brand of populism which is rooted in ignorance, prejudice, fear and isolationism which is killing conservatism from within.
One can only conclude supporting Donald J Trump was been not in the interest of the Republican Party or Democracy in general. Trump an affront to human decency is insulting our intelligence. Xenophobia and Islamophobia are permitted by a person who committed acts of violence against women and is no stranger to discrimination. The question is only “when will Republicans say enough?”
In the first week President Trump has already lost credibility with the people and confirmed that like all demagogues we should take him at this word and this is only week one. He has shown America has gone from “tear down the wall” to “built up the wall.” But by bordering a wall, bordering itself in, the wall will only imprison America itself.
The “Trump” Presidency shows great ignorance and Donald Trump is heading for antagonists relations with the rest of the World. His dismissal of the European Union is already creating doubts on the transatlantic relationship which has brought us peace and stability since WWII. What is left from American exceptionalism, despite its many strategic mistakes, can be thrown out of the window with the dishwater.
Today with Donald Trump’s delusions it seems we are entering George Orwell “1984” dystopian World. The dissent in this environment will increase and there is one alternative for leaders which is to ride the tiger of Nationalism and we see foreshadowing of “diversionary” war based the “rally around the flag” syndrome to distract of this instability. Not surprising at all.
To conclude, in the present environment the United States seems to have become subservient to Russian interest and this is making Donald Trump an immediate threat to US independence and Democracy. This weakening of American society from the inside is a dream comes true for Al-Qaida, ISIS or Russia and a disaster for our World order and peace and stability in the world.
There is only one answer “OPPOSE” “RESIST” and “IMPEACH”….