Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Americans Confront a Dangerous Crossroads on Independence Day

On the 241st anniversary of America's independence, we find ourselves at a crossroads unlike any other in our history.

Two words sum up the danger that confront us at this crossroads: Donald Trump.

Since he became the president a mere six months ago, a dark curtain has descended on America. We regress with every policy and tweet he hatches in the darkness of his heart and unleashes on the world. The bar for decency, civility and respect for the rule of law sinks lower and lower with every passing day.

Everyone on the planet, including (I am sure) the few dozen or so inhabitants of Internet-enabled Pitcairn Islands, Britain’s smallest colony in the South Pacific populated by the descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty in 1789, have read president Trump’s vicious and misogynistic tweets directed against Mika Brezinski and Joe Scarborough, co-hosts of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ TV program.

What has stretched the patience of even some of our fellow-Americans willing to give Trump a chance was the bald-faced lie and below-the-belt hit in the president’s tweet: “… how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with psycho Joe, came … to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift.”

It turns out that Mika and Joe did no such thing, as clarified in an article they co-wrote for the Washington Post. Their conclusion: “Donald Trump is not well.”

It also emerged that the president is a blackmailer as well. White House officials have been calling the two hosts for weeks, apparently to kill an unfavorable story the National Enquirer - a tabloid dedicated to sensationalism - was about to run on them. “They said if you call the president up and apologize for your coverage, then he will to pick up the phone and basically spike the story.” (Enquirer owner David Pecker is a dedicated Trump chum.)

The two hosts refused to fold. The Enquirer ran the story as “Morning Joe Sleazy Cheating Scandal,” which turned out to be another damn lie as well.

Trump’s obsession with women, his boast of grabbing women’s private parts, his
past-ownership of the country’s first in-casino strip club called ‘Scores’ when he built the Trump Taj Mahal in 1990, suggest that misogyny runs deep in this man’s vein. Women matter to him only to the extent that they can be quantified as sex objects. If they turn out to be smart, independent and strong-willed, on the other hand, this unprincipled man feels threatened and is compelled to expose his virulent misogyny.

If this were only a character flaw of the rogue president, the damage could perhaps be contained, but it is not. It is the same flaw that is at the root of some of his policies: expansion of the Global Gag Rule that restricts women’s access to comprehensive health care, his elimination of federal funding for Planned Parenthood, his sabotaging of law against gender discrimination in education.

It is the same mindset that is at work in his crude attempt to replace Obamacare with the cruel Senate Health care plan (dubbed “Relief for the Rich Act” by Warren Buffet) that, if it becomes law, will throw 15 million Americans off Medicaid that covers 40 percent of America’s children and essentially leave 22 million Americans without health care over the next decade. It will take about $700 billion from the poor and the middle class and transfer it to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts.

It’s the same mindset that made Trump withdraw for the Paris Climate accord. This will significantly weaken global warming that threatens our very survival. Trump, of course, regards global warming a hoax. It is the same mindset that propels this president to wage a relentless war against the media, as his latest crude video tweet against CNN demonstrates.

We now have a president who revels in his misogyny, who sends current of excitement through his support base because many of these men also look at women as sex objects too, who feel threatened by professional, smart, high-achieving women who will kowtow to no one. Trump speaks to their insecurity, which is why it is so difficult to reason with them.

There was always a toxic subculture of misogyny in America. President Trump has brought this to the surface. He coarsens our culture on a daily basis by attacking our values with his vile instinct and boorish behavior.

With his dangerous policies and roguish rants, Trump tarnishes the image of the United States every day and in every possible way. That is why it is important that on this 4th of July in the year 2017, all of us, irrespective of party, faith and color, resolve to legally, intelligently and vigorously continue our resistance until this scourge is forced from office.

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