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Okay, America, we are now experiencing what it means to go back in time. This is what they meant when they said we were going to take America back. It meant we were going to revisit the good ole’ days when overt racism was the order of the day, when nuclear detonations were rationalized and accepted as, well acceptable, when white men made all the decisions and coal was king. Back to the days when environmental degradation was a critical component to economic progress. Back when civil liberties could be curtailed in the name of law and order, especially if you were from the classes of the troublemakers.

america first

Making America Great Again means entertaining support from white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the survivalist movement, vigilante militias, and it is all neatly packaged in a spiffy new advertising meme labelled the alt-right.

This is making America great again? Reverting to the slogans of yesteryear, like America First, which struggled mightily to keep America out of World War II and has been linked to latent support for Germany and Hitler? Making America Great Again means entertaining support from white supremacists, neo-Nazi’s, the Ku Klux Klan, the survivalist movement, vigilante militias, and it is all neatly packaged in a spiffy new advertising meme labelled the alt-right.

The alt-right is prominently represented in what passes for the Trump brain trust in the White House: Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and God only knows how many minions who fill out the ranks of those in political appointments throughout the government. It is prominently represented in the most pathetic Cabinet in our history spearheaded by Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who is the chief law enforcement in the nation, the Attorney General of the United States of America.

Republicans have until only very recently stood with their hands in their proverbial pockets while the Trump administration has reshaped administrative regulations all in the name of “deconstructing the administrative state,” while Trump has redrawn the ground rules of international relations by dissing allies and praising murderous dictators, by standing alone in the world on climate change through its rejection of the Paris Agreement, eviscerating the diplomatic corps, and forcibly rebuking the Secretary of State, the National Security Advisor, and the Secretary of Defense. In the past week alone he has engaged in a reckless and dangerous war of words with the fanatical dictator of North Korea, and even hinted at considering American military actions in Venezuela. The President who vowed to keep us from needless wars has upped the ante in Syria and is in the process of doubling or tripling down in Afghanistan.

Domestically he is threatening a return to the disastrous War on Drugs, seems totally confused on what to do about the opioid crisis, is promoting voter suppression efforts on a wide scale, tried to legislate by tweet the treatment of transgender personnel in the military, attempted to secure a health care approach that would deny benefits to anywhere between 15-30 million Americans, still entertains illusions of building a wall that Mexico would pay for, and attempted on numerous occasions to stop legal immigration.

This is a return to the glory days? Is this what Americans really want? I doubt it. America we are so much better than this. His increasing hostility to the co-equal institution of government known as Congress may eventually turn it against him but they have been slow to risk losing the near monopoly power they currently enjoy and knowing the glacial speed in which they react may actually be too late to save the day.

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So lets just call it as we see it folks. Taking America Back means returning to a white America. It means holding on to the last vestiges of white power in a society that is inexorably acceding to demographic shifts that will guarantee that whites will be in the minority within the space of a decade or more. It means stoking the fears of bigotry, racism, misogyny, anti-intellectualism, anti-science and a form of populism that is closer to anarchy than to the liberties and freedoms outlined by the founding fathers in the Constitution.

The President embodies all that is anathema to the ideals striven for in the outline of our divorce from England nearly two and a half centuries ago. He defies the sacrifices we as a nation have made since 1776 to define us as a shining beacon of opportunity to all who inhabit its shores. He makes a mockery of the steady progress we have made towards becoming an egalitarian society that rewards hard work and adherence to laws not personalities. Donald Trump is the embodiment of a cult figure, self-obsessed in a narcissistic crusade to amass wealth and fame. He wishes not to be respected but to be worshipped.

Some have likened him to Hitler, some to Mussolini, but those individuals, as despicable as they were actually did believe in government. Trump’s adoration of Vladimir Putin may very well be more a function of blackmail than actual respect, hopefully time and the various investigations will bear this out and if it is proved that he is indeed deeply indebted to Russia you can add treason to the list of deplorable atrocities that accompany the Donald’s growing portfolio. I fear he is more like Jim Jones who ended his experiment in the jungles of Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. Of course he only took nearly 1,000 people with him, the stakes here are much more serious.

Trump’s mental condition is another concern. The man is unstable and exhibits basic traits and qualities that would scare the bejesus out of any rational individual. His inability to hold anything resembling an attention span or to speak in complete sentences is neither endearing nor acceptable. He is a child in a 70 year-old body. He possesses a level of immaturity that is alarming: easily pleased with praise, deeply offended by criticism.

Quite clearly, Donald Trump needs to be removed from office, now. Oh, I am not sanguine about the prospects of a President Pence for sure but I believe our chances of survival are marginally better under his tutorship than under the current leadership. I have written that the prospects for removal under the 25th Amendment might actually be a more productive path for quick action, it has never been invoked before so it is a gamble, but time is of the essence.

With the threat of a nuclear exchange currently hanging over the world and the President’s seeming inability to control his appetite for conflict, whether it be with friends, enemies, his own staff or the Republican leadership in Congress, the increased odds of miscalculation, miscommunication, or a simple juvenile misreading of the tea leaves only heightens the need for immediate, effective removal from office. I believe the case is building for increased support for such action, but do we really have the luxury of time? Hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives are potentially on the line here.


America, we must prove to the world that we are better than this.

Lance Simmens