Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are terrorists.
Terror is defined as intense overpowering fear. Terrorism is defined as the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. A terrorist is defined as a person who employs terror, especially as a political weapon.
Millions in America and around the world are living in terror under the Trump administration. In the United States, seniors and the poor and disabled live under the threat of having our health care and housing ripped away. Congressional Republicans (GOP) regularly conspire, behind closed doors, to dismantle Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and many other programs on which the most vulnerable depend.
It’s infuriating to hear the GOP refer to these programs as entitlements. THEY ARE NOT. We paid in to them out of every pay check we’ve ever earned. Eliminating them is nothing short of grand theft.
When I became ill with fibromyalgia-chronic fatigue, I was unable to continue working and had to apply for disability and Medicare. This illness is debilitating, and I’ve written about it extensively in my Chronic Illness posts listed in the above menu. While waiting the nearly two years it took to be approved for permanent disability, I was forced to exhaust my retirement savings. As a result, Social Security is my only source of income, Medicare and Medicaid are my only options for health care, and the only housing I can afford is government-assisted.
Can you imagine what it’s like to wake up every morning wondering if you still have health care and a roof over your head? It’s terrifying. Many seniors, poor, and disabled will die without health care, and many more will die if forced into the streets. If living under this threat isn’t terrorism, then what is it?
Have our elected officials forgotten that they’re public servants and work for us, not the other way around? The Trump administration is imposing the will of the minority on the majority and making us fear its goal is ridding the country of all those it considers irrelevant. No wonder terror is a constant in our lives.
All of this has affected me by causing a flareup of the fibro-fatigue. I’ve been off line most of the week and don’t know when it will ease up. Flareups either lay me flat or leave me with a very short window within which to function every day. Since the treacherous political climate in my country is adversely affecting the entire world, I’ve chosen to use that short daily window to compose this post. It’s quite long, and I’m sure I haven’t touched on everything. But there’s just no way to abridge the duplicity of Donald Trump.
Anyone who traffics in fear is a terrorist.
Donald Trump’s form of terrorism is both blatant and insidious. He employs lies and innuendo to exacerbate fear and anger in the authoritarian personality who feels disenfranchised and/or is zealously religious. He lies bold-faced and often, feeding his base what they want to hear and hoping everyone will become immunized against the truth. The Republican-controlled Congress is complicit in his terrorism by either publicly supporting him or remaining silent and doing nothing.
Trump’s motto: Lie. Deny. Blame.
Trump should not be underestimated. He’s a clever bully who lies and cheats to get what he wants. He’s a narcissist whose only concern is himself and his survival. His message is one of bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia. It attacks our psyches via a daily barrage of deceit and hatred that foments divisiveness and unrest. He never admits to lying and will say anything to make himself look good. He has advocated dehumanization by denigrating anyone who speaks truth to power or who is different – different from him, a white male plutocrat.
Trump has created an environment where bigotry is sanctioned, ruthlessness is applauded, and extremist values are encouraged. Some who have long felt ignored and disenfranchised take their cues from him. His incessant xenophobic comments arouse anger and hatred in some, disgust and fear in others.
I’m a negotiator like you folks. –Speaking to Republican Jewish Coalition, 3 December 2015
He’s a Mexican. –Reason given why Gonzalo Curiel, federal judge presiding over class action suit against for-profit Trump University, could not fairly hear the case
Who the f knows? I mean, really, who knows how much the Japs will pay for Manhattan property these days? –Response to Time Magazine when asked to give estimate of his total wealth
He has said Blacks are lazy, Mexicans are rapists, women are bimbos.
The U.S Justice Department has sued his company twice for not renting to Black people.
And the list goes on.1
Trump’s lies have been well-documented by many sources.2 He calls them truthful hyperboles, but their effects are malignant. People who resonate with his lies adamantly refuse to accept them as anything but truth. If we become immune to Trump’s deceit, the moral framework of our country will erode. And he’s counting on this.
Sexual Abuse and Misogyny
A video3 of Donald Trump on the set of Days of Our Lives in 2005 records him describing how he likes to sexually assault women.
I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.
I did try and fuck her. She was married.
Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
You have to treat ’em like shit.
And during an interview with Esquire: You know, it doesn’t matter what the media writes as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.
Many women have accused Trump of sexual abuse,4 yet he avows no one loves women more than he does. I’d like to know how he defines love.
His primary interest is keeping his followers happy in order to maintain power. The bottom-line issue for many in his base is abortion, which they call murder while simultaneously condoning capital punishment. The cornerstone of the anti-choice position is the religious belief that a soul enters a body at conception. Science has yet to prove this. In the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, justices upheld the separation of church and state mandated by the Constitution. In a 7-2 vote they decided that criminalizing or restricting access to abortion is unconstitutional.
But Trump shows little regard for the Constitution. Legislating female bodies would serve his autocratic misogynist purposes by relegating women to second-class citizenship. Women who seek an abortion could be imprisoned until they give birth, and then indicted for attempted murder. Pregnant women who even mention considering an abortion could be thrown in jail.
From sexual-assault and marital-rape allegations to racial housing discrimination to antitrust violations, Trump’s scandal sheet is almost second to none.5
Condoning and Sanctioning Violence
On the eve of Montana Republican Greg Gianforte’s election to the House of Representatives, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the Guardian newspaper, asked for his reaction to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, which showed that the House GOP substitute for the Affordable Care Act would result in 23 million Americans losing health insurance. Gianforte’s reaction was witnessed and reported by a Fox News team:
Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. … Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’ Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken… To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff’s deputies.
Donald Trump’s reaction? He praised Greg Gianforte’s election as a great win in Montana.
Comments like this condone violence and incite his followers. They’re directly responsible for the numerous death threats sent to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, stating she should be lynched or shot. Waters’ response: If you shoot me, you better shoot straight. There’s nothing like a wounded animal.
In Brandenburg vs. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that the government can’t punish inflammatory speech unless that speech “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” This citing refers to a citizen’s behavior at a rally.
However, Donald Trump is no mere citizen – he is the President of the United States. Anyone holding this office is (has been?) considered the leader of the free world and must be held to a high moral standard. The following quotes by our current POTUS are nowhere near that caliber:
I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. –Sioux Center, Iowa during the 2016 primaries
I’ll beat the crap out of you.
Knock the crap out of them.
Maybe he should have been roughed up.
Part of the problem … is nobody wants to hurt each other anymore.
The audience hit back and that’s what we need a little bit more of.
They used to treat them very, very rough, and when they protested once, they would not do it again so easily. We’ve become weak.
I’d like to punch him in the face.
Again, the list goes on.6
Attacks on Journalists and Reporters
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ensures freedom of speech and press, hallmarks of democracy. When dictators come to power, these are the first freedoms annihilated.
Investigative journalists and reporters spend hours (at times, years) researching a story before bringing it to the public. They often expose matters deliberately or accidentally concealed.
The Press should hold accountable Donald Trump and his administration for all lies perpetrated against the American people. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders lies during press briefings, reporters should call her out or walk out in unison, sending the undeniable message that deceit will not be tolerated.
As a body, investigative journalists and reporters seek the truth and strive to report it. Yet Trump persists in labeling the media fake news. Could he be priming his base not to believe the outcome of the Mueller investigation? He admits to this in an interview with Diane Sawyer.7 And he’s not alone. Enter Russia and China.8
Obstructing the Mueller Investigation
Trump persists in denying that he and his campaign colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election, despite several of his associates having been indicted. The GOP has facilitated his attempts to sabotage and obstruct by issuing a number of subpoenas for documents related to the investigation, disregarding Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd’s warning that the request risks potential loss of human lives.
It’s common practice not to release information in an ongoing investigation, because doing so would compromise its integrity. Information demanded by the GOP in the past was taken straight to the White House and shared with Trump, even though he’s a person of interest in the investigation.
It is against the law to disclose classified information to someone not authorized to receive it. –U.S. Department of Justice
Much of DOJ’s work involves non-public, sensitive matters. Disseminating non-public, sensitive information about DOJ matters could violate federal laws, employee non-disclosure agreements, and individual privacy rights; put a witness or law enforcement officer in danger; jeopardize an investigation or case; prejudice the rights of a defendant; or unfairly damage the reputation of a person. –U.S. Department of Justice
Trump and the GOP are laying groundwork to discredit the Mueller investigation and fire Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. If Trump is found to have colluded with Russia and if one of his ultra-conservative nominees is appointed to the Supreme Court, he could pardon himself and have that pardon upheld by the law of the land.9
Inhumane Immigration Policy
When cruelty becomes policy, democracy is in danger.
Everyone has the right to immigrate as well as protect their borders. How these two are balanced determines and exemplifies a nation’s moral integrity. The United States of America is a country of immigrants, signified by the Statue of Liberty representing freedom from tyranny and oppression. The only people who truly have a right to claim indigenous status are the Native Americans of this land.
Trump’s forced separation of migrant families is both illegal and immoral.
These findings underscore that families arriving at the border often have compelling and valid claims that merit full consideration by federal immigration judges. –California Law Review June 201810
Removing children from their parents is state-sanctioned child abuse. Children as young as three years old are brought to trial without a parent or attorney present and expected to answer questions in their own defense. Yet the U.S. entitles children to an attorney and doesn’t allow police to question them without a parent present. International law also allows for due process. So why are migrant children being treated differently? And why are immigrants seeking sanctuary being treated as criminals?
The U.S. Constitution ensures that rights established by the Declaration of Independence are protected, even from the federal government, and it grants state and local governments the right to refuse enforcing federal law. Congress is authorized to establish laws for naturalization and immigration. But the preamble to the Constitution defines with whom ultimate authority lies:
We the People of the United States.
The Supreme Court has consistently upheld that “We the People” refers to all who stand within U.S. borders. Food for thought, isn’t it?
Although the Constitution doesn’t explicitly protect immigrants, the Supreme Court has granted them Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections, arguing that references to “any person” covers noncitizens. Courts have routinely held that the Constitution strictly forbids separating children from their parents, unless the parent is a threat to the child.
Trump alleges that immigration is at an all-time high. Statistics show otherwise. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Southwest-border immigration peaked in 2000 and has since declined.11 He also alleges that most immigrants entering the U.S. are sex traffickers, rapists, criminals, or work for drug cartels. Again, statistics prove him wrong.12
Our government has abandoned its moral leadership.
Trump would have the Supreme Court overturn every ruling that doesn’t serve his interests. A narcissist is incapable of consideration beyond his own benefit. His bigoted and sectarian approach to governing is threatening the very core of U.S. democracy.
The three branches of U.S. government are expected to be strict constitutionalists, nonpartisan in upholding life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice for all. They’re expected to uphold the separation of church and state, one of the many principles upon which The United States was founded. These principles of democracy should be championed, regardless and in spite of influence leveraged by special interests or foreign powers.
Donald Trump either has no idea what constitutes a democracy, or he just doesn’t give a damn. As one pundit so eloquently stated, He thinks his job is to bark orders and crush dissent. Trump blames Democrats for policies solely created by himself as Chief Executive. Yet Democrats have no majority in the House, no majority in the Senate, and no one in an administrative position in the Trump White House. As another pundit stated, A real leader faces the music even when he doesn’t like the tune.
Trump has hijacked our democracy and is serving it up to the plutocrats.
Trump is advancing fascism: radical authoritarian ultranationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and control of industry and commerce. Although his 2017 tax bill lowers individual taxes, the cuts expire after 2025. Corporate tax cuts, however, are permanent and deep, and inheritances shielded from estate taxation double. This will drive up the federal debt considerably; hence, the GOP’s threat of cutting vital programs relied upon by seniors and the poor and disabled.
The reach of this bill extends far beyond taxes. It eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, which ensured guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. The Congressional Budget Office projects insurance premiums will rise about 10% annually as a result. This bill also opens the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.13
The Trump administration is on a mission to reverse myriad environmental protections. The Administrator of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is charged with enforcing our nation’s environmental statutes. Instead, Scott Pruitt is systematically undermining them, sacrificing our children’s future for short-term personal gain.14
Democracy isn’t merely the right to vote. If it were, Russia would not be autocratic. A true democracy is governed by the rule of law, where the minority is protected from the majority by adhering to the moral standards set forth in its constitution.
If Trump does know what constitutes a democracy, then he’s on a persistent and diabolical mission to dismantle it. Testament to this are his admiration for dictators Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un; alienating our most trusted allies; withdrawing from international bodies and agreements; relentless attacks on the media; incessant lying to the American people; denigrating anyone who disagrees with him or by whom he feels threatened; and (add your 2 cents here).
I urge all of us not to turn a deaf ear to Trump’s lies and throw up our hands in surrender. Trump traffics in fear and counts on us absorbing his propaganda. He preys on the fears of the ignorant, systematically calling to the fore everything they hold dear and convincing them only he can serve their interests and save them from all that threatens.
But therein lies the truth. He has created an imaginary world where he reigns as king, hoping most of us will ultimately waive our rights in exchange for security – security threatened only by his terrorism.
I’ve had many dialogues with Trump supporters, and few have responded with respect. Most either leave the discussion or resort to name-calling when asked to back up their statements with facts.
In a moment of tolerant pondering, I wondered what the difference was between their ideology and mine. A good friend kindly pointed out that the difference is one of belief versus rational thought.
One of the arguments I often hear is that all the negatives ascribed to Trump began under previous administrations. There’s some truth in this, but no other President has sanctioned them.
Of this I am certain: Trump is making America great again by awakening the masses and compelling us to safeguard our democracy against his would-be dictatorship.
Last year I reviewed Timothy Snyder’s book, On Tyranny. I recommend it as crucial reading while our democracy hangs in the balance.
The road to tyranny can be subtle, drawing people in with false or exaggerated claims of terrorism from homeland or abroad. Real news is purported to be fake and is consistently repeated as such, gradually moving people to mistake falsehoods for truth. Free thinkers become the enemy of the State, and the exercise of free speech becomes a criminal act.
The more I dedicate my time to two things, the more they fill my life with ever-increasing pleasure. The first is the sky above me, and the second is the moral law within me. –Immanuel Kent
It’s essential we keep abreast of this duplicitous political climate and take action every day to transmute it. It’s equally vital we not get sucked into its vortex. While calling out oppressors and naming their heinous deeds, we must not allow ourselves to become them. We must be that which we respect and emulate. With every ounce of our beings, we must focus our united intention on the change we wish to see and direct that energy into the world.
The only way to do this is by keeping our hearts open to all. To ALL. Hearts don’t have revolving doors. Open is open and closed is closed. Separate the person from the essence. Forgive the soul but hold the person responsible. We can throw someone out of our homes while keeping them in our hearts.
This can be difficult and extremely nauseating, but it’s not impossible. If we don’t come from a place of love in our hearts in all we do, we’ll eventually succumb to all that we abhor. Only love can eradicate fear. It is imperative we embody this. Our lives depend on it.
Until the next time, my friends . . . Namaste ❤️
©Tina Frisco 2018