Remember the story of the plague in the Middle Ages. The victims marched across continents, beating themselves with whips and chains for the sin of having caught the disease.
That’s us, now. Millions of us knew we were walking into the jaws of hell right up to the swearing in of Donald Trump, and we just kept on walking. Knowing what we knew about this fascist ideologue, recognizing that his choices for his cabinet are set up to undermine the very departments they represent, our laws are so inadequate this road to ruin is actually legal.
Let’s review a few of those choices, if you can stand it.
Jeff Sessions, racist, torture supporter is candidate for Attorney General.
Millions of us knew we were walking into the jaws of hell right up to the swearing in of Donald Trump, and we just kept on walking.
Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon who said about himself: “I represent Exxon, not the American people” is Trump's candidate for Sec of State. He said that before he was nominated but what has changed his mind? 63.7 million acres of oil rich land which he wants to lease from Russia, that’s what. Putin is all for it. Now they need Trump to lift American sanctions imposed by Obama so they can start digging. Trump will lift those sanctions. Tillerson sees the world through oiled covered glass. But will he get through the Senate? Probably.
Betsy DeVos nominee for Secretary of Education opposes public schools.
Scott Pruitt, nominated to lead the Environmental Protection agency has been trying to abolish that agency for years. He actually has a lawsuit pending against the EPA today. If he wins this nomination he’ll be suing himself and his own judge and jury. Madness.
Ben Carson as head of Housing & Urban Development insists poverty is a “choice”.
Andrew Puzder who doesn't believe in the minimum wage is nominee for Secretary of Labor. He has said workers should be replaced by robots. Robots don't come in late or leave early. They don't insist on vacations or healthcare, don't demand time and a half for overtime. Andrew Puzder, the enemy of labor, is nominated by Trump to represent the workers of America.
Steve Mnuchin who made his money foreclosing on 36,000 homes in California. Many of those homes belonged to working families and the elderly. He is nominated for Secretary of the Treasury.
The list goes on….and it doesn't get prettier.
You get the feeling Trump and his clique want to get rid of these agencies once and for all? You get the feeling we’re headed out of a democracy into a plutocracy at breakneck speed? With the media to whip us up, we kept this blowhard front and center for almost two years. The media could and should have stopped him early by ignoring him instead of adoring him. Now he’s sworn in and he has brought the plague in with him.
Who is to blame for this? Isn’t it we the people who allowed it? We don't even talk about the miscounting of the votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida. We don't examine the redistricting that favors the Republicans. We don’t blame the reckless invalidation of minority voters. All of these weapons against a true vote of the people were used. Yet they're rarely mentioned.
We have to blame someone for the election of a choice as potentially devastating as Donald Trump. But who?
I know…..Let’s blame……
Russia? Really??? Putin “likes” Donald Trump. He has said so. Trump can put big money into Russia's coffers. He’s been angling to build hotels and do other business in Russia for years. He and Putin have been waltzing around each other trying to make it work. So why not insist, as many Democratic leaders have, that Russian interference gave Trump the election. It fits nicely into our cold war mentality. Everybody knows that Russia is trapped under Putin's rigid dictatorship. So lets throw this rationale against the wall and see if it sticks.
We believe it does not stick. Theory is one thing but what are the logistics here? Did the Russians invade the polls and force voters to punch in Trump’s name? Did they threaten Hillary supporters with physical harm? Did they stop thousands of Americans from voting at all? Did they even show up?
None of the above. So how are they responsible for the actual results? Or is their cheer leading alone enough to blame them for the entire debacle?
If that’s it, let’s take a look in the mirror. When it comes to trying to influence elections, nobody does it better or more often than we do. What was getting rid of Kadaffi in Lybia all about, if not our engineered revolt? What was our war with Iraq all about if not the removal of Sadaam Hussein? In 1973 under Nixon and Kissinger we had Allende , a progressive democratically elected president of Chile assassinated and replaced with the dictator Pinochet. In 1953 we got rid of the democratically elected Mossaddegh and replaced him with the brutal Shah. In Cuba we supported the dictator Batista against Castro, leader of the people’s revolution. In Honduras we un-sat the democratically elected President, started a revolt, and helped put the military into power. And what were our wars against North Korea and North Vietnam all about if not our determination to select who would rule those countries?
The United States, convinced of its own “exceptionalism”, does not hesitate to let other countries know who we want in power. And most of the time we make it clear it’s our way or the highway.
So blaming Russia for the election of Trump is not only unproveable; it’s embarrassing. We’ve got to stop embracing the excuses sent out by the political establishment or we’re going to be stuck with their public relations lies forever.
We are a powerful country who insists upon running the world. And it is this overreaching desire for power that has lead us into the Trump trap.
This does not mean that Russia is a day at the beach. No question that they are contributing to the violence in the Ukraine and they are inexcusably brutal in supporting the dictator Asaad in Syria. No question that they are complicit in the tragic destruction of Aleppo and the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousand of its people.
But Russia is not responsible for the election of Donald J. Trump. We are. Throughout our country people were broke, losing their houses unable to find work, disgusted with the Democrats and ready to take a chance on just about anybody, as long as that somebody wasn't a “politician”. These working class Americans are Trump’s prime supporters. Democratic leaders who were in power for the last eight years, were mostly busy developing the drone “culture” and waging seven wars. They paid relatively little attention to the millions of Americans who were hungry and hurting.
So now we’re stuck with Trump. Interesting to note that on the day of his inauguration four issues disappeared from the Whitehouse website. They are: LGBT, Climate Change, Civil Rights and Healthcare. You might say he hit the ground running. Unfortunately it wasn’t into a wall.
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