Authoritarianism

Another Opportunity To Salute The New York Times, Today 169 Years Old, A True National Treasure To Freedom Of The Press!

This author and blogger has hailed the New York Times numerous times over its courage and principle in always seeking the truth, and has celebrated its birthday many times, and it is time to do so again, on its 169th Anniversary!

The New York Times is a true national treasure to freedom of the press, the best guardian against dictatorship and authoritarianism.

The paper has won 130 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper, and has saved America with its investigations and revelations on government and its leaders since the middle of the 19th century, along with the best, most thorough discussion of foreign affairs, as well as culture and finance.

It was responsible for exposing Watergate, along with its “sister” competitor, the Washington Post, which has won 69 Pulitzer Prizes, the second most of any newspaper, and founded on December 6, 1877, so almost 143 years old.

The fact that both newspapers are seen as the enemy of Donald Trump and crooked Republicans in 2020 is a badge of honor.

The New York Times–“All the News That’s Fit to Print”–will survive Donald Trump, and will report on all authoritarian regimes around the globe, as it has done through the years.

It is not a perfect newspaper, and neither is the Washington Post, and they have both admitted shortcomings over the years.

But to be well informed and understand public affairs, one MUST read the New York Times and Washington Post, or give up a claim to being knowledgeable on all kinds of public issues!

Fascism Is On The Horizon If Donald Trump Is Reelected: Warning Of Author Sinclair Lewis In His Work “It Can’t Happen Here” In 1935

In 1935, Novelist Sinclair Lewis wrote a prophetic novel, “It Can’t Happen Here”, stating that what was happening in Fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler, could happen in the United States. Lewis wrote that it would be “clothed in a flag and carrying a Bible!”

This was way before the horrors of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany reached their peaks over the next decade, but already enough evidence of the dangers of the manipulation of minds with emotional rhetoric dividing groups in a society, based upon race, ethnicity, religion, and national origins.

Lewis was warning about the potential dangers represented by Huey Long of Louisiana, who was assassinated months later in 1935, with the story of his assassination covered in my book “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield Publishers 2015, Paperback Edition 2017).

It could also be applied later, in the 1950s, to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin; to third party Presidential candidate George Wallace of Alabama in 1968; and to President Donald Trump.

Only Trump, with his Fascist appeal, backed up by military, police and evangelical support, and rallies to appeal to those who are racist oriented, and also nativists, white supremacists at Charlottesville, antisemitic, Islamophobic, and misogynistic, is a clear and present danger, as he is the President of the United States.

He has stoked Fascist appeals as a manipulative method for the past five years since he announced his candidacy in 2015, and has set out to destroy all traditions and norms!

A lot of intelligent people, including those I know or knew, and also a lot of not so bright people who have emotional attachment to Donald Trump, since they are ignorant and share his horrific beliefs, have rallied around him.

And yet, many conservatives and Republicans who really care about our Constitution and rule of law, and the perpetuation of our democracy, are alarmed by Trump’s constant attack on “Fake Media”.

Trump calls everyone and everything which opposes his authoritarian bent as unAmerican. He waves the American flag as if he owns patriotism, when it is his critics who are truly patriotic, and care about human rights and freedom.

Donald Trump incites in a crazy manner on Twitter daily, and in the midst of the greatest crises since the Great Depression and World War II, he ignores and refuses to take responsibility for the Second Great Depression and the CoronaVirus Pandemic!

He stokes bloodshed and violence in attacking those who are promoting the need for racial healing, and encourages right wing hoodlums in the streets of Portland, Seattle, Kenosha and elsewhere,

This presents the danger of greater violence in the two months left to the Presidential Election of 2020, and the interim to the next inauguration, and his stated refusal to accept defeat if the election goes against him, an absolutely terrifying scenario!

It would seem that his opponents, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, face constant threats of assassination, and this author of a book on assassinations is truly alarmed that someone who is a Trumpite will attempt to do that!

If Trump is reelected, this nation will be threatened in its basic values in a way never having come to power with Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, or George Wallace, despite these earlier threats in the 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s. It will be an authoritarian dictatorship without any control, a nightmare that will mirror the horrors of Fascist Italy and even Nazi Germany!

As Sinclair Lewis wrote in “It Can’t Happen Here”, it actually “Can Happen Here”!

It Is Official: The Republican Party Has Become A Cult Around A Strong Arm Authoritarian Out To Destroy American Democracy!

The Republican National Convention began today during the daytime hours, and Donald Trump and Mike Pence were renominated for President and Vice President of the United States.

Donald Trump avoided tradition and spoke for an hour, ranting and raving against his “enemies”, reminding those who know history of Adolf Hitler at his Nuremberg rallies.

We are witnessing the Republican Party officeholders swearing their loyalty to a man who has lied 20,000 times in office; has promoted racism, nativism, misogyny, white supremacy; has become a friend of authoritarians and alienated democratic nations; has undermined the judiciary, intelligence agencies, the foreign policy apparatus, and attacked the news media as “the enemy of the people”; has bullied and attacked all of his critics incessantly; has undermined our environment and civil liberties; has refused to take strong action against the CoronaVirus Pandemic; has shown no sense of compassion, empathy, decency or dignity in any form; and a legion of others sins and shortcomings that has never been matched by any previous President in more than two centuries of American history!

The party of such Presidential luminaries as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush has been shamed by Donald Trump!

The party of such Congressional luminaries as Charles Sumner, Robert LaFollette, Sr., George Norris, Arthur Vandenberg, and Everett Dirksen has been embarrassed by the weak kneed refusal of today’s Republican members of Congress to show some backbone to Donald Trump!

Face the facts: the Republican Party has become a cult, and is unlikely to come back into respectability, even after Donald Trump leaves the scene, as he has done so much damage and harm, that the Republican Party name may very well go into oblivion!

Donald Trump: George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Pat Buchanan On Steroids!

President Donald Trump is a true nightmare, as he has brought to ultimate power the viewpoints and policies of Alabama Governor George Wallace, who ran for President on a third party line in 1968, and won 13 percent of the national popular vote, and 46 electoral votes from five Southern states at the height of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Donald Trump has also brought to mind the then South Carolina Governor and later US Senator Strom Thurmond, who won four Southern states and 39 electoral votes in 1948, also on an anti civil rights platform.

Donald Trump reminds us also of Pat Buchanan, journalist, commentator, and advisor to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, who challenged President George H. W. Bush for renomination in 1992, and weakened his reelection campaign in that election year.

All three men were racists, hatemongers, Fascist oriented, and against civil rights.

Additionally, Buchanan was also a big time antisemite, who actually, indirectly, affected the Presidential Election of 2000. Four thousand Jewish voters in Palm Beach County, Florida, were confused by the so called “butterfly” ballot, and punched the hole for Buchanan, rather than Democratic nominee Al Gore, helping to influence the election result, with George W. Bush being declared the winner of Florida’s electoral vote by a margin of 537 popular votes statewide, and winning the Presidency!

All three of these candidates were obnoxious, disgraceful, and reprehensible, but while they all gained popular support to some extent, none was feared or became a dominant factor in leadership of the national government.

But now, we have a President who represents all of the evil and horrors promoted by Wallace, Thurmond, and Buchanan, but he was able to manipulate votes with Russian interference in 2016. Despite losing the national popular vote by a massive nearly three million to Hillary Clinton, he was able to win three states in popular vote combined of 78,000 (Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania) and become President.

He has unleashed one horror and disgraceful action and utterance after another, doing massive damage to American domestic and foreign policy, and attempting to do everything he can to make himself an authoritarian leader on a level unimaginable in American history.

Donald Trump makes George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Pat Buchanan look like choir boys by comparison. He raises the historical profile of the President most reviled for his actions and behavior before now—Richard Nixon–to a higher level, with at least Nixon having accomplished some really significant goals that are seen as positive in historical retrospect.

But many of the accomplishments of Nixon are now either gone or being destroyed by this maniac, who if he is somehow reelected by manipulation and fraud, is a clear threat to the Constitution and Bill of Rights!

Donald Trump Unleashes Rubber Bullets And Tear Gas On Legal Protesters: When Will Elected Republicans Speak Up?

Donald Trump is an authoritarian Fascist, and it showed through last night when he ordered the unleashing of rubber bullets and tear gas on legal protesters, so he could walk to a church and hold a Bible. He was trying to show how “religious” and “tough” he is, after threatening, illegally, that he would send military forces into the states, against the wishes of their governors, to quell the demonstrations related to the George Floyd murder in Minneapolis.

And in the midst of this outrage, not one Republican Senator or Governor, other than Lisa Murkowski to some extent, has spoken up in denunciation of Trump’s dictatorial bent.

The party has lost all credibility, and yet, at the same time, conservatives who are not in the government, have come out against Trump in large numbers, including most recently those in the Lincoln Project headed by George Conway, husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway!

Hopefully, most of the elected Republicans who are coming up for election this fall will be retired by voters!

The Growing Danger Of A Constitutional Crisis After November 3

With 162 days until the Presidential Election of 2020, we are on the brink of the most consequential constitutional crisis since the Civil War.

We have a renegade President who has made it clear that he has no intention of giving up his office if he loses on November 3.

It may not matter to him if the election is a landslide, and certainly not if it is close.

We have to expect that the Secret Service, the FBI, and military will intervene to insure a peaceful transition of power.

But the possibility of bloodshed and violence by the one third of the nation which are Trumpites is literally terrifying!

Trump is trying every tactic imaginable, including voter suppression; trying to make mail ballots not acceptable even though many people already vote by mail; foreign collusion; and gerrymandering attempts as methods to fix the election of our next administration.

This is a time to worry that anything is possible, as Donald Trump has authoritarian tendencies, and might be willing to unleash his followers to seize the government by force!

A Sense That Pete Buttigieg Is On The Rise As A Moderate Alternative To Joe Biden

The big winner of the Ohio Presidential debate this past week seems to many to be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who is seen as on the rise as a moderate alternative to Joe Biden.

Mayor Pete has been successful in raising large amounts of money in the third quarter, and his debate performance demonstrated his intelligence, his knowledge, and his perception of what Americans want, similar in his understanding of what Americans were looking for as when they voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

He is not promoting “pie in the sky”, massive changes in four years, as Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren are doing, knowing full well that the nation is not going to elect a Democratic Congress large enough in majority to do the kinds of path breaking changes that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were able to bring about in 1935-1936 and 1965-1966, respectively.

As Pete has said, we first need to recover from the chaos and anarchy of Donald Trump, and to expect the nation to go to the far left, and support a required end of all private health insurance, is simply not reality.

This blogger takes the view that Americans should have a choice of keeping the health care coverage they have, or move toward government control through Medicare, but not force it on everyone over a four year period, and always allow private health insurance as an alternative, left up to the decisions of individual Americans and their families.

A long range goal is extend Medicare in stages, first to those between 50-65, then those in their 40s, then those in their 30s, and continuing on, but again with private insurance allowed if preferred.

And in foreign affairs, Mayor Pete would offer a revival of American respect and responsibility, veering away from the disastrous and reckless diplomacy of Donald Trump, and would restore American rationality and respect among our allies, and recognition that he would not be pushed around by authoritarians as has been occurring with Donald Trump.

A young, dynamic President is needed, and Mayor Pete fills the bill, following in the Democratic Party tradition of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. A new generation of leadership is required.

Donald Trump Becoming More Authoritarian By The Day: A Danger To Democracy And The Constitution!

Donald Trump condemns four women of color in the House of Representatives for ten days straight, and no end of such attacks on legally elected members of the Congress.

Donald Trump praises China’s leader for patience and standing by while there are massive demonstrations in Hong Kong, effectively giving a pass to China to crack down on the former British colony with force.

Donald Trump asserts that Article 2 of the Constitution allows him the power to do anything he wants, with no limitations.

Donald Trump leads a Nuremberg type rally in North Carolina, and allows the crowd to chant “Send them back”, without any interference or chastising as to how undemocratic such a chant is.

Donald Trump allows his Attorney General William Barr to order Special Counsel Robert Mueller to avoid straying from the published report on the Presidential Election of 2016, during his testimony to Congress being held today.

These are just five examples of abuse of power and the danger of Donald Trump to our Constitution and our democratic system of government.

The warning signs are there, that we are moving every day closer to a totally authoritarian government, which would eventually lead to censorship, including even the ability of this author and blogger to express his opposition to what is going on.

When will America speak up and say, “Enough is Enough!”

Future generations will look back and wonder why there was so little backbone in American government leaders to take action!

Time and the American future is waiting!

The Most Tumultuous Of Many Weeks Under The Presidency Of Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been President for 92 weeks–one year nine months and one week—and each week has been one of tumult and turmoil, with the situation becoming more dire by the week.

But sadly, this past week has been the absolute worst, with the mail bomb threats against two former Presidents and their wives, and many other top Democratic leaders, as well as other key public figures and CNN; and then the worst attack of antisemitism in all of American history in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leading to the death of 11 Jews and wounding of six other people, including four police officers.

The divisive rhetoric of Donald Trump, constant insults and name calling, which incites right wing extremists, is getting worse as the Midterm Elections of 2018 come upon us in nine days.

There is fear that it might have an effect on the elections, and in the wrong direction, rather than the need for a repudiation of Donald Trump and his behavior and divisiveness.

The thought that some are expressing, that it will lead to the continuation of Republican control and embolden Trump further toward authoritarian actions is enough to cause any decent, fair minded person, a lot of stress.

One has to believe that justice, equity, fair play will triumph, but we will not know until after November 6.

The Muslim Ban Decision Of The Supreme Court (Trump V Hawaii) Will Go Down As One Of Worst Decisions In 229 Years Of Our National History!

The Supreme Court has just made one of the worst decisions in its 229 year history, and has besmirched its own reputation in the process.

It will match such decisions as the Dred Scott Case of 1857; Plessy V Ferguson 1896; and Korematsu V US 1944—all racist decisions justifying slavery, racial segregation, and the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

All have been roundly condemned, as violations of basic human rights and civil liberties, and now, once again, the Supreme Court has proved how it has allowed itself to promote discrimination and racial prejudice, all in the name of “national security”.

Instead of labeling African Americans or Japanese Americans, now the whole Islamic religion has been judged as a threat to national security, based on the hysteria and racism of Donald Trump.

We have, therefore, allowed an authoritarian who threatens our whole system of government to win a case based purely on bias and religious hatred.

This is a slippery slope that can lead to victimization in the future of people from other nations and other religions.

Jews who were refused entrance in the late 1930s, and now people from Central America who want to escape similar violence and bloodshed and are being held in detention away from their children, are just further examples of how religious prejudice and racism are winning out.

The John Roberts Court has undermined its own reputation in the process, and will be condemned in history.

And the fact that Merrick Garland, appointed by President Obama, was denied a hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, led to Neil Gorsuch, who predictably now and in the future will advocate an extreme right wing agenda, harming our constitutional liberties for the next thirty years.

The fact that three members of the Court would not be there if the popular vote had won out in 2000 and 2016 just adds to the tragedy, as George W. Bush would not have been able to appoint John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and Donald Trump would not have been able to appoint Neil Gorsuch.

Sonia Sotomayor registered her vehement dissent, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the opposition of Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. But it was all for naught!

America’s reputation has been permanently damaged, and we are no safer against those Muslims who are extremists, who are now emboldened to do harm more than ever, and at the same time, those Muslims in America who have served in our armed forces honorably, and those who have done good work in other fields, have been slapped in the face.

Our most ugly side as a nation has been displayed for all to see, and anyone who believes in justice and fair play is weeping today, and will for the long term of our history as a nation, as tolerance and open mindedness have been denied!