First, we have the president (as expected) go off "script" and attack the media again and again as "public enemy #1," designed to whip his adoring crowds into a cheering frenzy. Sadly, by cheering they fail to recognize their own hypocrisy of demanding free speech for White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis while applauding a narrative designed to corrode the institution of the free and independent press (as guaranteed under the First Amendment). How many of you have read comments on social media from Trump supporters slamming "libtards" for publicly claiming "Trump supporters are Racists?" Those supporting Trump get very defensive with such remarks, and insist "we are fine people and not all of us are racists!" But what about those same supporters claiming that anyone opposing Trump or White Supremacists or Neo-Nazis are "all Communists?" Can't we all agree that using absolutes in making proclamations about folks never actually are accurate? Why the double standard from the Trump crowd? Because Trump and his supporting media have created a narrative designed to divide this nation. The more divided we are, the easier it is to take advantage of all of us, and our very system of democracy. Think I am wrong? Keep reading.
On Friday, I tweeted a comment that hurricanes and Trump share something in common. They blow both ways and leave devastation in their path. Due to the popularity of the tweet, it was retweeted time and time again. So much so, that two days later it was still popping up, while Hurricane Harvey was wreaking havoc on Texas. The response from Trump supporters? Hate-filled obscenity-laced venom I will not repeat. Ironically, a quick look at their profiles reveal them to be supporters of Donald Trump (who also hadn't bothered to check to see the tweet was posted well before Harvey reached land). I wonder if these same people railed against NPR for assuming their tweeting the Declaration of Independence on July 4th was an attack on Trump? (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/05/some-trump-supporters-thought-npr-tweeted-propaganda-it-was-the-declaration-of-independence/?utm_term=.2b8ccacfa405).
The worst was the shared theme employed in the replies claiming that I was pursuing a political agenda of hate when so many lives were in danger. Except a quick look at their personal tweets posted subsequent to my original hurricane tweet revealed they themselves were boasting about having Hurricane Harvey hit Texas by tweeting "Everything is BIGGER in Texas!" Perhaps the most ironic is the fact Donald Trump himself used Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to tweet political attacks against President Obama; "Not only giving out money, but Obama will be seen today standing in water and rain like he is a real President - don't fall for it. 'Hurricane is good luck for Obama again- he will buy the election by handing out billions of dollars." (See: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2225402/Donald-Trump-uses-Hurricane-Sandy-launch-attack-President-Obama.html). And this is a core problem in America today - folks claiming some form of "higher moral ground" while ignoring the reality their man Trump himself interjected politics while lives were in danger. What struck me as worse, is the fact folks claim "Hate and politics have no place when people are suffering" all the while they support politicians and a president that deny climate change science. The one place is science, where we may find solutions to the devastating reality that weather related tragedies are only going to get much worse without human intervention. Supporting policies that actually contribute to devastation is political. Yet, how dare you attack our president! My favorite comment? "Its because of haters like you that WE WON!" What exactly have they "won?" Sadly, we have all lost, and these folks will be the very last to realize it.
Among these folks are those that seemed to believe Obama thought he was "above the law" and "Trampled the Constitution" for his "tyrannical use of Executive Orders" aided by "lawless Democrats." So as expected, many of these same folks support the pardoning of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt for refusing to abide by a ruling from a Federal Judge. So much for "law and order!" And what rationale do some Trump supporters write in favor of the Pardon? The finding of criminal contempt was from a "Deep State Judge." Since when has law become convenient to observe, obey or ignore based solely upon the judge? Since when are judges appointed under the Constitution for life to be somehow ignored? When folks get to pick and choose which laws they wish to obey and which laws they choose to ignore, all of society will suffer - and the suffering may eventually become fatal to our democracy.
To top the week off, news has been leaked that Trump is considering an Executive Order authorizing the sale of military hardware to local police forces. Now I understand the need to stay ahead of the weaponry average citizens are now allowed to possess and use (thanks to the NRA and GOP legislatures throughout the country), but once local police are clothed and equipped by the military, what is left to separate the police from the military but for a couple of patches and insignias? Could there be an argument that weaponizing local police forces is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act? Signed originally into law by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878, the PCA was enacted to safeguard against armed insurrection by local forces following the end of the Reconstruction Period. Yes, I know the Act prohibits the use of the "military" to police our citizens, but if the only thing separating our modern military from our modern police is a mere insignia, then how far fetched would it be for local forces (trained in military tactics and arms), to in effect become a local army challenging Americans' civil liberties? Only Congress can deal with this issue, and they seem to remain AWOL ever since the inauguration of Donald Trump!
So until the rollercoaster known as President Trump comes to a halt in the station, we can expect the continuation of an Administration filled with twists and turns that may inevitably damage our democracy. Hypocrisy rules the day and unfortunately, blind support for any politician is never a good thing. This is true no matter which side the extremism comes from. As Robert F. Kennedy once wrote; "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." Have a great week!