The fate of America seems daunting to many as they take to the streets overcome by disbelief, protesting the legitimacy of a man “uniquely unqualified” for the office of President of the United States of America, who is in fact President-elect. So now what?
Youth excited about the democratic process have been given purpose and conviction prompted by the pain of failure forcing them to express their protest in cities throughout the country as they carry signs and voice “Not our President.” I was able to join them last Thursday as they marched enthusiastically but peacefully fired up and anxious, so full of fear, the not knowing what’s in store for a future that does not look so bright from where they stand.
I spoke to several to get a sense of their mindset. They all voiced the same concern in summary: They did not support the divisive rhetoric and intentions of Trump. The diverse crowd of protesters were brown, Black, yellow, red and white with the Blue walking behind them or driving slowly alongside them. It was amazing to see the men in blue appear as if they had emerged with the spirit of these youth who mourned the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, or was it Hillary’s failed bid for the highest office in the land — the act that had she won would have catapulted America to that sacred space of an evolved, truly progressive country — her vision of a unified country, diverse and accepting of one another’s differences, inclusive and sharing in the benefits that really makes America great and the envy around the world.
Unfortunately, the electoral college/voting process in place must be upheld because we cannot change the rules after the fact. So the petition that has been signed by the people will be something to present for consideration as a possibility for the next election four years from now. Laws are meant to be respected and upheld. The American people have always accepted the peaceful transfer of power, which is why so many American gasped, when during debate #3 Donald Trump the candidate, when asked if he would, answered that he would let the people know after the votes were counted. Such an acknowledgement was a blatant show of disrespect for the democratic process in which he was a participant battling for the highest honor, and he refused to act honorable. Not to accept the peaceful transfer of power would throw us into the ranks of third world countries overthrown by coups led by military or radical cells.
The Democrats failed to launch the vote. Yes, Hillary won the popular vote. Not so bad for a woman touted to be the most hated candidate ever by some media sources, a weakness that her opponent used to fuel his campaign. “Crooked Hillary” is how he referred to her and had his supporters’ chant, “Lock her up, lock her up! lock her up!” This he incited at his rallies after he threated to hire a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails that he referred to as a criminal act over and over and, no matter that her use of a private server had been determined by the FBI as not so. He actually sounded very autocratic, ignorant of our laws that we govern by.
And so it was with the Trump rhetoric, one unsubstantiated accusation after another, some half-truths, others, straight out lies. We heard him say deplorable things about individuals, groups and the President of the United States. We heard him on tape discuss sexual assault of women, we heard him give a blanket description of a nationality of people as drug dealers and rapists, another group as having terrible lives living in poverty and beleaguered with violence, a religious group as terrorists; we heard and saw him make fun of a disabled reporter; we witnessed his disrespect for a female television host; we heard him disrespect parents of a Gold Star veteran and therefore disregard their fallen son’s life.
We heard him suggest the assassination of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. We witnessed his pitiful explanation of why he pushed the Birther Movement throughout Obama’s presidency, even after Obama had produced his birth certificate in 2012, up until the last stretch of the 2016 campaign when he reluctantly acknowledged Barack Obama as president. We saw him stalk Hillary on stage during the 2nd presidential debate, as an act of intimidation. We saw the video where he instructed his audience to “beat the crap out of them” (protesters) at his rally and added for them not to worry because the law was on their side and that he’d pay the court fees.
We witnessed Trump supporters attack a Black man (and he was wrestled to the floor) in attendance at one of his campaign events. We’ve heard him accuse the media of being biased and showing favoritism. We heard Trump imply that sexual harassment ultimately was on the woman. We witnessed him ban the media from his rallies and ignore press at his press conferences. We read his tweets always attacking someone negatively and then pout if he was called on his crap. We read about his discriminatory housing practices, and saw a video where his father told one of his staff, “You know I don’t lease to Niggers, so just put that (Black applicant’s application) away.
We know that Donald Trump followed the same practices instructing his staff not to lease to Blacks but go after the Jews,” presumably, because he thought they could afford the asking price and Blacks could not. We saw him promote, market and sell his books at his rallies; He leased conference space from his own hotels and charged the Republican Party for his own personal financial gain. We observed his campaign team in chaos, scramble, hire, fire, hire campaign managers (three in all) and we watched attentively how he never seemed prepared for a rally and definitely not the presidential debates. Most importantly, we observed his speaking behavior as rude, always over talking media who asked questions, dismissing the media if he didn’t like the question, blaming the media for his own performance caught on video. This over talking his opponent or anyone who questioned his position on a prior statement was noticeably a style adopted by all his surrogates.
And though we were appalled still, he has risen to the office of the president. He will be our 45th president. So what do we make of a man who is so unlike any other who has walked into the Oval Office to assume responsibility for the nation in which we live?
A man who clearly defies the rules and has built a substantial empire of wealth off of knowing the legal loopholes. One could look at his financial dealings and easily recognize that it’s not his actual business that has made him wealthy, but rather his manipulation of laws, tax laws included, that allow him to skate through what otherwise would have been failed ventures. So when he said publicly during the debate that using the loopholes to escape having to pay taxes made him smart, listen. His six bankruptcies enabled him so many years of having not to pay taxes. In doing so, he could accumulate and build non-taxable wealth. He’s yet to produce an income tax return, and if he can get away with it, he never will. This traditional protocol has been ignored and basically overturned by Donald Trump and so far allowed. It has not been demanded by the governing body (Congress) in Washington, predominantly Republican.
Shades of Facism
Look, everything that this man has said, done or demonstrated screams racist, Fascist.
Interestingly enough, after the initial shock, everyone but our youth, thank God for the youth has tried to settle into a state of normalcy–accepting, when there is nothing normal about the president-elect, who will be taking office in January. The country knows it, the world knows it.
So last Thursday, President Obama met with Trump and his chosen few, for lack of better description, which included his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner’s meeting with Press secretary Josh Earnest has insiders suggesting that Kushner may be appointed as his father-in-law’s chief of staff, though it is unclear whether or not Kushner, who is a real estate developer and publisher of the New York Observer, will accept.
The main meeting was broadcast by the media as short of a miracle, all because the two men sat down and exchanged conversation civilly following the torrid past of Donald Trump’s ‘Birther Movement,’ which is perhaps one of the most demeaning of the insults white men have thrown at President Obama over the last eight years. Obama stepped up during the presidential campaign and spoke candidly about Trump’s lack of preparation or experience for the undertaking of the presidency. He did not disrespect him as Trump has disrespected his presidency. So the real question was how would Trump deal with the man who is president? President Obama is consistent. He respects democracy, he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, so his intention was to make sure that he passed on what is important and significant about the job his nemesis will soon assume. Imagine what he was feeling about one who has had no governing or public service experience who dared critique his policies and strength as a leader, while praising Vladmir Putin’s strength.
Putin, the president of Russia, former Russian Prime Minister who in 1998, was appointed deputy head of management under Boris Yeltsin’s presidential administration. In that position, he was in charge of the Kremlin’s relations with the regional governments. Shortly afterward, Putin was appointed head of the Federal Security Service, an arm of the former KGB, as well as head of Yeltsin’s Security Council prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. He rose to prominence in the declining days of the Yeltsin administration.
Such dangerous behavior sends questions throughout the world regarding who is he really? First, does he know how dangerous this highly trained man is? Has he already been compromised? It’s very possible. Putin is a master at manipulation. Moving forward, we should connect dots. The last name Trump derives from the Middle High German word trumpe, which means ‘drum’. So is it possible that Trump is the foundation builder for a new world order? He is a builder, and in music the drum is the rhythm keeper.
Cabinet Taking Form
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is an American attorney and politician recently named by President-elect Donald Trump to Chief of Staff designate . He has previously served as RNC general counsel, and is the former chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, where he is credited with helping to bring nationally known figures such as Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, and Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, into power on the state level and prominence on the national stage. Like Donald, his father is of German descent.
Enter Steve Bannon, recent past executive chairman of Breitbart News before hired by Trump in August to run the campaign. Bannon said that his goal was to make Breihart the platform for the Alt Right Movement — an ideology animated by white nationalism and misogyny. In keeping with that ideology, the site has a history of publishing incendiary and divisive stories, many of which are outright anti-Semitic, misogynistic and racist.
Now Trump has appointed Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor, an “equal partner” with Priebus. Be clear, make no mistake it is the latest and clearest signal that Breitbart has risen from right-wing outlier to conservative juggernaut. After years operating on the far-right fringe of American politics, Bannon will now be one of the most influential members of Trump’s White House.
All of these men join the president-elect as uniquely inexperienced to hold these powerful positions because none of them have ever held a public office. In fact, Thursday at the White House, Kushner asked the question, “How many of the staff remains?” And he was informed, “None you have to hire 4000 people.”
Then there’s Rudy Giuliani on the list for attorney general, Newt Gingrich for secretary of state, retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn for defense secretary or national security adviser, Trump finance chairman Steve Mnuchin for Treasury secretary, and Republican National Committee finance chair Lew Eisenberg for commerce secretary and Conservative pundit Laura Ingraham could soon become the voice of President-elect Donald Trump. The talk radio host and author who has blasted the so-called biased “Hillary media” is being considered for press secretary under the Trump administration. She also helped to prepare Trump for the debates.
Bannon, Kushner and Giuliani have major conflicts of interest, as does Trump, who so far has ignored the rules of common practice in place to protect the president and the country. Perhaps two of the most important are one that he place his company under a blind trust. However, Trump has publically acknowledged that his children will run his company. That is not a blind trust. Second, the president cannot hire family for salaried jobs. Trump has requested security clearance for his three eldest children.
Again, ignorance reeks here. The trump children are not trained in the specifics of how to address such matters that are top secret, the request is actually far more dangerous and far reaching than Hillary’s private server could ever be. The Trumps are not trained to handle such important information. Suppose a foreign government or a terrorist cell kidnaps one of the Trumps, or all for that matter. They will spill the information in a hot minute. Or if money is asked in exchange for the life of Trump’s child, what will Trump do? You cannot have your family involved in White House business and run your company’s business too. It interferes with everything America does in terms of trade agreements, putting the country in a very compromising position.
Giuliani has personal business deals with foreign entities, Bannon has the associations and affiliations with White Supremacists and the Alt Right, and of course Breitbart News, and Kushner is a publisher and is a real estate mogul.
Further, the atmosphere of a criminal element, or certainly wrong-during, surrounds this group. Gingrich was forced from Congress on an ethics breach because he misspent funds and lied about it. He was ordered to pay the money back. Bannon has police files based on spousal abuse and can be indirectly linked as instigator of violent behavior by the KKK and the Alt Right, and there is question about Giuliani’s connection to the FBI’s role in the James Comey letter, a controversial move about reopening the Hillary Clinton email investigation just nine days before election day that he hinted about prior to the letters release. And finally, you have Jared Kushner’s father, who pleaded guilty to 18 felonies, served one year in prison, was prosecuted by Chris Christie when he was U.S Attorney. Christie, of course, was released from being in charge of the transition team and identifying those for Trump’s cabinet positions.
VP-elect Mike Pence has been given the responsibility, even though he returned to Indiana to complete his term as governor. It revealed that has sealed off records from his 12 years in Congress.
So it appears that the highest value for Trump’s team obviously is personal loyalty to Donald Trump.
This group is not a band of angels. And their ideologies, though they dare not say, is in keeping with Steve Bannon’s.
As for Trump’s aggressive polices that helped him win the presidency, he has already said he’d consider a fence instead of a wall, that he’d reconsider repealing and replacing Obamacare to first looking closely at various aspects that he wants to keep. He has said that he’s more interested in building the infrastructure and creating jobs. He has maintained that he will ban Muslims from entering the country as freely as they have been allowed to enter.
We can expect more surprises that are not really surprises at all. He is consistent in his disrespect for the law or any form of authority. President Obama has said the good news is that Trump is not ideological but rather pragmatic, and it can be a strength.
While in Greece this week, President Obama praised Greece for its financial commitment to NATO — specifically, for being one of five NATO allies that dedicated at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product to defense spending.
President Obama said Greece has met that threshold despite difficult times, and if it can do so, so should all NATO allies.
Obama has pushed for higher defense spending by NATO members, an issue that Donald Trump took to task during the campaign, suggesting that the U.S. would look at whether NATO members had paid their proper share in considering whether to come to their defense, challenging the strategic underpinnings of the NATO alliance.
The trip marks President Obama’s last foreign visit before Trump becomes president. And Obama is using this trip to try to underscore the U.S. commitment to the alliance.
The world is watching and has voiced its many concerns to the president, who wants to assure them that all is well.
Trump made plenty GOP enemies: Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, both Presidents George Bush, Mitt Romney and others who publicly said that they would not vote for him have come forth and congratulated him. So that’s it? Paul Ryan has acknowledged him for winning the election, maintaining dominance in Congress. There are 31 Republican governors to 18 Democrats. And just like that, the Republican ideology seemingly dominates the country. So just like that, all is forgiven?
I think not.
The votes are still coming in and it’s fact now that Hillary won the popular vote by a major margin. With that the American people can pursue their interest to abolish the Electoral college. They can consider what polarized the country. Was it Obama’s presidency that incited suppressed racism to rise or was it the misogynistic oppression of women; or was it the word change that Obama’s campaign promised which the working class still longed for that turned them to Donald trump? Whatever the reasons, moving forward the people must start here, right now.
So the Democrats must regroup, rebuild and begin right now to identify leadership and participate in the process, because it may seem that four years will be insufferable, but let your anger fuel your mission to get the Democrats back in the game. Organize now and every citizen needs to be involved in identifying who the next candidate of choice for president will be.
Finally, as a member of the media, it is imperative that we realize how racist Donald Trump’s cabinet is and how none of what has been done so far by Trump is normal. We have to stop normalizing it.