Trump supporters keep telling those of us who are immensely concerned about Trump that we are “cry-babies.” For those of you wondering, “Why?” … this article tries to explain our concerns. (Please pass the tissue!)
Some of you who voted for Trump may be wondering why everyone seems to suddenly be “freaking out” about this candidate — all over the country. Certainly, the response is like nothing we have seen before, with any Republican candidate in our lifetimes. … Do you wonder why?
Love and acceptance, “coming together” and healing are appropriate at certain times, but those of us viewing and reading media from a wide range of sources (not just Fox News, Reddit and affiliates), believe we are facing a threat to our democracy of the highest order. This is why so many of us were willing for the electoral college to not vote for Hillary, but another Republican — even “any other” Republican. Are we crazy? [Note, we are now past the electoral college vote.]
Here are our very grave concerns: Freedom of the press. Donald Trump, unlike any candidate before him, is currently attacking reporters personally, who are then threatened with death threats and even threats against their children, by his most “avid” supporters; and not having any press conferences whatsoever. [Update: One press conference was held pre-election. During this press conference, the President had paid staff on hand both “booing” other reporters, and “cheering” him on. He accused CNN of “fake news,” which was not true, and excoriated the CNN journalist there. His allegations against BuzzFeed — who released, not “fake news” but unverified news — are shared by others, probably. Currently, there is an idea from the Trump team to move the White House Press Corp out of the White House and off-site totally.]
If his goal is to control the channels of media that report on him (and it seems clear that it is), then he moving from a democracy based on the free exchange of information and a free press into a dictatorial kind of “regime” where the leader controls the information (similar to Vladimir Putin’s Russia). He then rallies supporters on his “Thank You” tours and tells them not to listen to the mainstream media. Indeed, he’s been bashing the media throughout his campaign. I wonder if you can sense how dangerous this is to a free and open democracy?
Megyn Kelly of Fox News, writes in her memoir, just released, about the unprecedented attacks on her person via Twitter from Trump supporters. (See photo from her new book, above.)
Additionally, Roger Ailes, who led the Fox News team, was sexually harassing her, and other women. Ailes is a Republican political operative, former confidante and supporter of Richard Nixon’s (impeached), who has had an arch-conservative agenda at Fox News, has promoted conspiracy theories and “fake news” at Fox, and who even Fox Network-owner Ruport Murdoch’s family finds despicable, according to reports. Since the sexual harassment scandals, Ailes left Fox and went to work for … guess who? Donald Trump — though he may have been consulting for Trump before that. (It is now reported that Ailes and Trump have had a falling out.)
An estimated 21 journalists have been killed since Russian President Vladimir Putin took power in Russia in March, 2000. One of these was Anna Politkovskaya, known globally for her fearless reporting on the second Chechen war, a conflict Putin pursued “with the same ruthless brutality that he is using today in Syria.” (See photo left. Source: Washington Post.)
Freedom of speech. Trump’s tweet about union leader Chuck Jones, who called him a “liar” around Trump’s Carrier jobs claims led to threats against Jones and his children by Trump supporters who solely follow the “Trump news” on Twitter, and maybe other conspiracy-theory based news sites. Threats of violence against people who speak out about the President are a major threat to freedom of speech in this country.
Freedom of religion. By threatening Muslims with a “registry” that would track them somehow. (There has also been mention from the Trump team of “internment camps” like for the Japanese in WWII — a civil rights disgrace that Ronald Regan apologized for during his presidency). Although we may all agree that we would like to keep foreign terrorists out of our country, Islam is a major religion; and tracking people soley because of their religion is a profound threat to freedom of religion in this country. One of the central pillars of U.S. democracy, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.
All of these rights are enshrined in our Bill of Rights, in the very First Amendment, an essential foundation of our historical democracy.
To these extremely grave concerns, we can now add major interference in our democratic election process by the Russians, and Vladimir Putin directly — interference that likely tipped the election to Trump, as it was aimed at doing, according now, to both the U.S. FBI and CIA, both of whom have used the strongest language available to them. (Trump says this is “ridiculous.”)
It has been widely reported that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort received large payments from pro-Russian groups in the Ukraine, and other of Trump’s cabinet members (Rex Tillerson of Exxon, as the most obvious example) have extensive business dealings with Russia — not to mention Trump himself.
Russia is a major threat to our democratic, European allies & our own democracy. One European woman on an international webinar I was recently part of spoke of her sense of grieving and loss with the election of Trump: “The U.S.A. has always been like our protector, our protector of Western values. It feels like losing a father,” she said.
Russia is not a true democracy, and they do not have freedom of the press. (Click above for Amnesty International Report). Putin is known globally as a major human rights abuser, on every level, and is one of the richest men in the world because of his ability to siphon government monies into his own pockets. You may already know that Putin supports Syrian President Assad, also known as the “butcher” of Syria behind the government’s near genocidal bombardment of Aleppo.
We could go on, the white supremacist ties, the avid enthusiasm for Trump from neo-Nazi’s and white nationalists, the hate crimes now erupting across the country.
Finally, Donald Trump has attacked so many of us in the most childish and boorish of ways. But as President, these attacks take on a much larger significance: Women, people of color, gay people, transgendered people, Muslims, the disabled — we who have been paying close attention, we human beings and citizens, now see hate crimes erupting against these groups we are a part of, across the country — including for me, against my own friends and family members. We do not see Trump as “on our side” by his speech or deed in any manner. When has he said anything to make us feel included and protected within his worldview?
So, this is why we cry. We cry for what we see as one of the most serious threats to our democracy since World War II. We cry because Vladimir Putin seems to have “had his way” with Trump, and his cronies. And crimes committed by possibly cooperating with such a man as Putin would normally be called treason, but they are now spun so as to somehow seem “OK,” which they are absolutely not. And if we protest, you, my friends who supported Trump, tell us that we are “cry babies.” So be it.
When we finish crying (as I have), we will move to protect democracy and so, no, unless there is some kind of “conversion therapy” that actually works for Donald Trump (and he would undergo such), you won’t see the growing #resistance to Trump-as-President stop any time soon. You won’t see “coming together” and “healing.” With one huge exception …
I will come together and heal with you, if you are willing — you as my fellow countryman, or woman — I will listen to you if you are willing to also listen to our concerns … If you can try see our point of view. The split between us now seems so wide at this time as to be nearly insurmountable — and yet, so many of the issues raised by Trump supporters were actually the same as those raised by “progressives” on the “other side.” Where there is a will, there is a way. If you will stop telling me to “stop crying,” I will engage with you, discuss with you.
Perhaps together we can follow the money trail, and figure out who is invested where … and what they really care about. Perhaps we can come together on our shared issues and bring back dignity, and a path forward for those who want to simply live a healthy, happy middle class life.
But this man Trump has seriously got to go.
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