Dawn of the Dictatorship: Trump Wastes No Time Imperiling American Democracy

T. Belman. Haaretz is unrelenting in its attempts to smear Netanyahu and Trump. It keeps talking about Netanyahu’s guilt even before he is indicted let alone convicted. This Opinion piece on Trump is rife with accusations and conclusions but devoid of any facts which substantiate them. It pushes the narrative that Trump has a “nefarious purpose”, “American democracy is imperiled”, “long-held white-nationalist ideology”, “bigoted”, “dictatorship”, and “the extremism of Trump and his personal Goebbels, Steve Bannon”. It goes on and on.

The author is particularly vexed with Trump’s recent temporary ban on some Muslims saying “That measure also gave explicit preference to Christians, a religious test for admission that has never existed in American history.” The reason Christians are preferred is that Obama denied Christian refugees while green-lighting Muslim refugees. That aside, this is not a religious test, it is an ideology test. At its root is to ban all pro-sharia Islamists. From my perspective,all antisemites should be banned. We know from polls taken that 75% of Muslims from these countries are antisemetic. It rankles that the liberal Jews, Haaretz included, are chomping at the bit to support their entry.

Furthermore, All Trumps’ initiative are in line with his campaign promises that got him elected. Which returns us to the claim that Trump and his supporters are deplorables. The left and the democrats believe that they are right thinking and cannot accept the rule of the majority.

All cultures and all religions are not equal.

The only safe position for the opposition is to assume that every Trump gambit, no matter how seemingly spontaneous, fits a larger, nefarious purpose.

By Samuel G. Freedman. HAARETZ

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to senior staff Steve Bannon (R) and Jared Kushner (C) during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, DC January 22, 2017. 
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During Donald Trump’s improbable and inflammatory rise to the presidency, a truism emerged to explain the polar reactions to him: The media takes Trump literally but not seriously, and his supporters take him seriously but not literally.

What this bon mot meant was that journalists made far too much of Trump’s promises to build a wall, ban Muslims, erect trade barriers, destroy Obamacare and so forth, while Trump’s electoral fan base never believed in all details but did see the candidate as a serious figure rather than the demagogic, incoherent clown of liberals’ scorn.

Barely one week into the Trump regime, we now know both sides were right, and American democracy is imperiled as a result. Yes, behind all the scattershot Tweets and egotistical sputtering, Trump has a consistent, long-held white-nationalist ideology. And, yes, he was telling the detailed truth about all of his bigoted and benighted policies.

It has taken only nine days of the Trump presidency to see that we are in the dawn of a dictatorship. One of his first executive orders pushed forward a $25-billion plan to build a wall along the Mexican border. Another slammed shut America’s golden door on refugees from the Syrian civil war and both immigrants and already-approved resident aliens from seven majority-Muslim countries. That measure also gave explicit preference to Christians, a religious test for admission that has never existed in American history.

Our nation knows by now that it was a fantasy to have expected the Republican Party to act as any kind of brake on the extremism of Trump and his personal Goebbels, Steve Bannon. Well before Trump even took office, all but a handful of Republican senators and representatives had proven themselves gutless wonders. The primary-election opponents he mocked and subjected to conspiracy theories – “Little Marco” Rubio, Ted Cruz, son of that supposed participant in the JFK assassination – endorsed their bullying tormentor.

Now the Republican majority in Congress is palpably salivating at Trump’s signature on the party’s longstanding agenda of massive tax cuts for the wealthy and shredding of the social safety net for the poor and working-class. Trump will also give Republicans a Supreme Court nominee or two, which could reverse the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights and the Obergell case’s decision allowing same-sex marriage.

So it comes as no surprise whatsoever that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Mike Pence could all so readily contradict their own previously stated positions against a ban on Muslim immigration once Trump issued a Steve Bannon-authored executive order doing essentially that.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, no doubt delirious over Trump’s instant alliance with Benjamin Netanyahu in support of the settlement enterprise and confrontation with Iran, has gone similarly mute. When Sheldon Adelson has an aisle seat on the presidential platform for the inauguration, you know all you need to know.

And you would never guess that the same Reince Priebus now trying to finesse the offensive and instantly controversial Muslim ban is the same person who, in the wake of Mitt Romney’s 2012 defeat to Barack Obama, authorized an internal Republican Party study on the need to reach out to nonwhite voters lest the GOP continue to lose presidential elections as America becomes an increasingly young, brown, black, yellow and urban nation.

With the expedient exceptions of a few Republican representatives in swing districts and the more principled example of senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, mavericks who are even more liberated by likely being in their final terms, Republican office-holders have fallen into obedient line.

They live in greater fear of Trump’s alt-right base, which is disproportionately powerful in low-turnout primary elections, than of destroying the American values of religious freedom and openness to immigrants. Those are not Democratic Party values, mind you, but American values; Ronald Reagan, nobody’s idea of a left-winger, signed amnesty for undocumented immigrants and welcomed refugees.

So if one mistake for those of us in the resistance is to expect an iota of integrity from Republicans in Congress then a second is to believe that even the best investigative reporting will change the minds of Trump’s hard core – those 36 to 40 percent of Americans who approved of him in recent polls. Thanks to decades of efforts by right-wing Republicans to delegitimize reported, factual news as partisan bias, efforts that began with Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew in the late 1960s, a substantial share of the citizenry cannot be persuaded by truth if it contravenes predisposition.

At best, some of Trump’s voters will change their mind only after experiencing his unkept promises first hand – when the revival of coal mines and auto plants doesn’t happen, when trade wars kill jobs dependent on the import-export economy, when working-class whites lose their Obamacare coverage in favor of a wholly insufficient tax credit, if even that. Trump’s base must suffer before it learns.

And the third mistake for moderates and liberals is to put faith in a vision of Trump as impetuous, inconsistent, and disorganized, a contraption ticking down to self-destruction. May it be so. But in the meantime, the only safe position for the opposition is to assume that every Trump gambit, now matter how seemingly spontaneous, fits a larger, nefarious purpose.

Those complete falsehoods about millions of illegal immigrants having voted for Hillary Clinton? Trump’s announced investigation into nonexistent ballot fraud is the ideal way to keep Republican momentum for voter-suppression laws. Sending out his flacks Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway to repeat presidential lies to incredulous reporters? Those moments provide the perfect video clip for the Breitbart, Drudge, and Fox audiences, which see not Spicer and Conway but the mainstream media being humiliated in the encounters.

As has already become apparent with the Muslim ban, the future of the republic rests with the courts, or at least it does until the 2018 and 2020 elections. Judges in New York, Seattle, Boston, and northern Virginia all issued restraining orders against portions of the executive order.

Surely, the Trump regime will counter-sue, and it’s hardly unreasonable to expect a resulting case to reach the Supreme Court. However conservative half the high court’s current judges are, they are also lifetime appointees, free to actually decide on the basis of conscience and the Constitution.

And should Trump lose at the Supreme Court, then every sensate American will be waiting in trepidation to see whether his reaction is capitulation or a coup.

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3 Comments

  1. The “ha’aretz” and its swan song. Play it again Gustav!
    President Trump has landed with the cleats forward. Hussein is not longer of any consequence except as a lingering saboteur.
    I have very close friends in New Mexico who are members of the Pueblo people. Native Americans. We have been informed that a growing number of imported Clinton voters are heading South, back home. The INS is also netting some more Muslims of interest.

  2. There is no provision in the Constitution of the United States of America that prohibits the government of our country from determining who can be admitted to this country for purposes of citizenship, and who cannot be so admitted at any time. For that matter, the USA can ban all such immigration irrespective of this or that particular reason.

    It is becoming increasingly known that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, beloved so thoroughly by the American Jews of the 1930s and 1940s, was in fact a closet antisemite who allowed the US State Department to more or less ban all immigration into the USA of Jews fleeing from Hitler’s pending mass murder of all 11 million Jews of Europe.

    The only reason so many of them survived the war was that Stalin, the grim dictator of the Soviet Union, moved as many of them as possible to the Ural region of the USSR, where those not of military service age were put to work in the great arms-producing factories which had been rapidly set up in locations where German bombers and SS killer groups could not get access to them, and where the large numbers of them who could be used to help fill up the various and vast Red Army units that ultimately destroyed the Third Reich. And I guess few of you would believe that Stalin was served by more than 100 Jewish generals in those vast Red armies. Compare that to the a bare handful of American Jews having attained the same rank in the US armed forces of World War II.

    Which is one of the reasons this American Jew still salutes the memory of Stalin. If you don’t like that, than lump it.

    In any case, I have no interest whatsoever in anyone allowing any Moslems whomsoever into this country, using whatever excuse Trump and his folks can find to keep them from coming here.

    All of you who read my comments know by now that I have no interest whatsoever in democracy. My hopes for the USA — and for Israel — are based not at all on democracy, but on nationalism and written constitutions, and on governments that protect first and foremost the American nation in the case of the USA, and the Jewish nation, in the case of the State of Israel.

    So, any of you who think of yourselves as liberals can call me a fascist, racist, homophobe, whatever. If you want to get real nasty with me, I think I have HaShem on my side.

    And if He isn’t, and if push ever were to come to shove, I’ve got, among other shootables, a genuine Remington-Rand Typewriter Company Colt GI Joe Colt Automatic Pistol, .45 caliber full metal jacket, manufactured for the US Army in 1943. You all would gulp if you could see the diameter of the holes made in gun-range targets by those big slugs.

    Arnold Harris, Outspeaker

  3. @ ArnoldHarris:
    We’re on the same page, tovarich, except I’m an unarmed New Yorker, though my salute to Stalin is qualified.

    See:

    https://www.amazon.com/Stalins-Secret-Pogrom-Inquisition-Anti-Fascist/dp/0300084862

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-doctor-s-plot

    Google Solomon Mikhoels for example:

    http://thefileroom.org/documents/dyn/DisplayCase.cfm/id/1273

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_and_antisemitism

    [By the way, this is Brezhnev era not Stalin but there is a wonderful movie, “The Concert.” One of my favorites. You’ll laugh and cry. I wonder if the opening premise wasn’t inspired by Deanna Durbin’s “Hundred Men and A Girl”. Similar. This is relevant and it is Stalin’s legacy.]

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320082/

    The Jews of Lithuainia and Belarus (one community – Litvaks) were mostly murdered by their Christian neighbors together with the Germans. Over 95 percent were murdered But, most of those who survived, did so thanks to Jewish partisan brigades like the Bielski Brigade (Kushner is a third generation Bielsky Brigade Partisan*) and others like the one led by Abba Kovner** and the Japanese Schindler, Chiune Shugihara (Wallenberg, really, but people know Schindler).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara

    * Defiance (2008) the true story of the Bielsky Brigade. They fought alongside Soviet partisans who wouldn’t give them guns and betrayed them, executed Nazis and Nazi collaborators, created a mobile Jewish Army and Shelter in the Forest. They rescued as many Jews as Schindler (more than a thousand) and were never defeated. A graduate student discovered them by accident in a footnote and ran with it very recently, became 2 books then a movie. Of the three, one joined the Soviet Army later and died in the war. Two came here after the war and lived at least another twenty or thirty years. The Bielsky Brothers were never acknowledged until long after their deaths. May their memory live on.

    http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1034303/

    ** http://www.holocaustresearchproject.org/revolt/kovner.html

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