Monday, March 27, 2023

My heartfelt warning to America

"There is no federal law prohibiting CURRENT presidents from criminal prosecution. Yet House Republicans want to pass a law prohibiting FORMER presidents — regular citizens — from criminal prosecution. I assume they will call it what it is: the Protect Donald Trump Act."

- Daniel Goldman, U.S. House of Representatives, 10th Congressional District, New York, Democrat

This is a cry from the heart from a deeply concerned Canadian. I am profoundly disturbed by the political landscape in the country next door to mine.  If, God help us all, Donald Trump should become president of the United States again, we will witness the end of democracy in the "land of the free and the home of the brave."  Democracy can be fragile and it must be nurtured.  Sadly, Trump and his spineless Republican colleagues are chipping away at the pillars of democracy every day.  The rise of the far right in the United States has spilled into Canada.  A case in point is the so called "Freedom Convoy" protest in Ottawa that brought that city to a standstill.

What is wrong with America?  What has happened to civility?  Why have mass shootings became a common occurrence in the United States?  How can people claim to be free when they don't feel safe anywhere?  What has happened to American democracy?  Why hasn't a man like  Donald Trump been banned from public office?  Trump behaves like a mob boss.  He is vengeful, mean-spirited and cruel.  His behaviour is erratic and I believe that he is fundamentally unstable and sociopathic.  He incites violence and his most loyal supporters are racist and ant-Semitic.

How can Donald Trump claim that he does not support violence when his actions prove otherwise?  With a possible indictment pending, the Republican former president has ramped up his rhetoric, warning that "potential death & destruction" would accompany any indictment.  He also posted a photograph of himself holding a baseball bat beside a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.  Trump referred to Bragg, Manhattan's first Back D.A., as an "animal."  This was too much even for the New York Post, a conservative tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch.  The Post published an editorial denouncing Trump.

Trump won the election of 2016, due to the unfair and outdated Electoral College system in the United States.  The Republican Party will not allow the system to be changed.  Its only path to power is via Electoral College and by gerrymandering electoral maps.  Instead of becoming more inclusive,  the party of Abraham Lincoln, has become a party led primarily by white males.  It has not adjusted to the rapidly changing demographics of America.  Instead of making itself more attractive and relevant to Blacks, Latinos, Asians, immigrants and women, it has embraced a far right agenda.  It endavours to suppress votes, rather than encourage participation in the democratic process.

The Republican Party is no longer the Grand Old Party.  It is the  party of right wing extremists, gun lovers, hate mongers and Q-Anon conspiracy believers.  The face of the party now belongs to the likes of Trump supporters Josh Hawley, Margorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, Lauren Boebart and Paul Gosar.  If Ike Eisenhower were alive today, he wouldn't recognize his own party.  He'd be appalled.  These are not traditional conservatives.  They are far right MAGA Republicans.  By the way, "Make America Great Again" is a Trumps dog whistle for "Make America White Again".  Exactly when did America lose its greatness?

In 2016, Hillary Clinton officially won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million.  Yet, the will of almost 2.9 million Americans was cast aside due to the Electoral College.  Still, Hillary Clinton conceded defeat and did not claim the presidency.  She did not yell and scream, "Stop the Steal." 

Trump is clearly an authoritarian.  He admires Vladimir Putin of Russia, Jim Jong-un of North Korea and Xi Jinping of China.  They are his heroes and they are all brutal dictators.  He aspires to be like them.  He would love to stand before a military parade as a great authoritarian.  The only thing standing in his way, should he become president again, is the United States Constitution.  Authoritarians and dictators can certainly find ways to get around constitutional law.

Donald Trump is the first American president who declined to peacefully hand over the reigns of power after losing an election to Joe Biden.  The peaceful transfer of power after an election is a cornerstone of democracy.  On January 6, 2021, Trump followers stormed Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.  I saw the images with my own ideas.  The picture that Tucker Carlson paints of the angry mob to his Fox News viewers is patently false and deceptive.  I saw what happened with my own eyes, as did countless others.  I am sane and clear-thinking.  That mob was out for blood and they would have killed former Vice President Mike Pence if they had been able to get their hands on him.  Donald Trump could have stopped the insurrection, but he chose not to.  In fact, he hoped it would succeed in preventing the certification of Joe Biden as president.

How can people of faith, particularly Evangelicals and Catholics, support a man whose behaviour is so un-Christian?  His gods are money and power.  He has lied and cheated his whole life.  "What's new about that?" you may say ask "Don't most politicians lie and cheat?"  Yes, many do.  However, Trump has taken lying and cheating to a new level. He makes Richard Nixon seem like a boy scout.  His transgressions are far more serious than Nixon's.  Yet, Nixon was forced to resign.  Meanwhile, Trump is running for president again.

Check out these facts.:

* Just before the 2016 election, Trump bragged about groping women. He dismissed it as "locker room talk."  

* Trump has branded Putin and Xi as "very smart people/"

* During the first 2020 presidential debate, Trump did not condemn white supremacy when do so.  He told the Proud Boys, a far-right hate group, to "stand back and stand by."  Of course, the Proud Boys considered those words an endorsement of them.

* Trump is the first American president to be indicted twice.  He is facing four criminal investigations: 

The Stormy Daniels hush money investigations (Manhattan District Attorney's Office).

The Georgia 2020 election interference investigation (Fulton County District Attorney's Office)

A pair of investigations into Trump's actions around January 6th and his mishandling of classified documents (the U.S. Department of Justices).

Ah, but poor Donald!  He never does anything wrong.  He never makes a mistake and he never loses.  He is always the victim.  His enemies (not opponents) are out to get him.  He can't get a break from all those "witch hunts."

Fox News is responsible for feeding its viewers a steady diet of lies and false narratives.  The network tells its watchers exactly what they want to hear.  Regardless of Donald Trump's actions, his deluded and brainwashed base will never change  Their support of Trump is not based on facts or on truth.  It is based on emotion.  It is based on fear.  They are afraid of losing their power and influence to non0wwhites and immigrants.

Trump's adherents would kill for him, even though he would throw them under a bus if it would save his own skin.  Their Dear Leader once said that he could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would still stand by him.  How true!  That is why I appeal to all conservatives who respect the rule of law to oppose Trump's candidacy for president in the 2024 election.  

In a democracy, country should come before party.  Loyalty should be to country, not to one man such as Donald Trump.  No one is above the law, be that person a president, a prime minister, a king or a queen.  The scales of justice apply to all, including one Donald J. Trump.  For the sake of justice, for the sake of democracy, this disgraced former president must be held accountable before the law. To many, he may seem invincible.  But he is not.  Soon or later, the law will catch up with him.  

- Joanne

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