It’s That Bad And You Can Stop It

I can’t possibly touch on all that is going tragically wrong in the world based on the radical right wing’s rise to power in one article. Today I’d like to point out a few things and show you how you can be the beginning of the end of this. Let’s explore.

Even though America has lost its position of moral leadership under Donald Trump, it is still the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. If your plan was total world domination it would have to include America. Our founding fathers designed a representative democracy with a series of checks and balances. Each of the three co-equal branches of the federal government serves as a check on the others. What the founders did not envision was a simultaneous corrupt executive and an enabling legislative branch. The Republicans have taken it one step further and appear to now have a judicial branch which is only too willing to be complicit.

Over just the last few days there have been two major attacks on the free press. In Bulgaria journalist Victoria Marinova’s body was discovered. She had been raped and severely beaten. The Bulgarians (who are well known for “eliminating” inconvenient journalists) are trying to pass it off as some pervert and a pretty girl. Sounds more like a message killing to me.

Much more press has been given to the disappearance and assumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist who was splitting his time between Istanbul and Washington, DC in a self-imposed exile because he feared for his life in his home country. He entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a week ago and has neither been seen nor heard from since. That same day 15 Saudi agents flew into Istanbul and back out on private jets. You connect those dots. The only reason this has received a lot more coverage is because Khashoggi was a frequent contributor to the Washington Post.

Donald Trump has called the American press “Enemies of the people.” Freedom of the press is endangered in America. In order to function properly a democracy must have a well informed and active electorate. How far behind Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia is America with an unconstrained Trump?

As a totalitarian regime begins to seize and consolidate power it not only gets rid of the independent press it also suppresses freedom of speech, assembly and association. The Trump administration (along with other regimes across the world, particularly in Europe) is certainly moving in that direction. For an American example you need look no further back than the last few weeks and days. Trump and the radical right have recycled the word “mob”. I say recycled because I remember the early days of the Tea Party movement when right wing rhetoric attacked democracy as mob rule.

I remember more than one political discussion from 2009 and 2010 when I would describe America as a democracy only to have a Teabagger (as we called them then) – who only became interested in American politics as a racist reaction to Barack Obama’s election – jump on my choice of verbiage to smugly inform me that America was not a democracy, it was a republic. They would pause with the satisfaction that they had outsmarted me with their newly found political wisdom. I would ask them to tell me the difference between a republic and a representative democracy (the most accurate description of the American political system). Of course I was greeted with a silent reply that swiftly became a desperate change of subject.

Under a totalitarian regime life would be very foreign and miserable for Americans used to our freedoms. It is almost impossible to find an adult survivor of fascism in 1930’s Europe still alive, but ask someone you know who grew up under the communist oppression of the former Soviet Union in Russia or one of its satellite nations. If elections existed they were a sham. Free assembly, speech, association and a free press were certainly not allowed. It was authoritarian rule by the few and suppression of the many. Like Trump, the great fascist leaders of 1930’s Europe were originally elected by a minority of the electorate.

Under that scenario life would still be possible, if miserable. There is even a greater ongoing threat that receives precious little press coverage. It is the attack on our environment. Short of nuclear war the world will survive Trump, Putin and the other wannabe autocrats. Such is the political history of the world. However, there is no Planet B. In the pursuit of near term economic gains for their financiers they are willing to poison the planet. A major scientific report recently came out saying we were perilously close to the point of no return on significantly mitigating climate change. The Trump regime prides itself on reversing environmental regulations. It is one of their major talking points when they outline their successes. This is part of the Republican policy of being business friendly.

I don’t want to go on much longer so I will leave you with this thought on the subject: How much is your house or job worth when you can’t breathe the air or drink the water? Keep in mind I am writing this simultaneously with Hurricane Michael making landfall. Perhaps I should add when your house and your place of work are under water or blown to smithereens to my earlier statement. You can deny reality but that doesn’t change it.

The final check in the process is the right of the people to vote. That means vote the scoundrels out and promising people in. The vast majority of American citizens have the right to vote. Exercise it! You are the literal last line of defense.

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2 thoughts on “It’s That Bad And You Can Stop It”

  1. Meanwhile voting places are being eliminated, and voting eligibility for tens of thousands are being “put on hold” in Georgia under the auspices of the State Attorney General while he is simultaneously running for Governor. Who are the real mob?

  2. Correction to my previous comment. I mis-identified Brian Kemp as the Georgia Attorney General. He is, in fact, the Georgia Secretary of State, and as such he is responsible for elections in that state, even as he is simultaneously running for Governor.

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