I’m providing a link to the March 23 New York Review of Books article by Mark Danner, “What He Could Do“. Danner perfectly catches the dilemma we face dealing with Trump – a man who, as Danner puts it, creates chaos and then reaps the resultant opportunities. Here’s Danner: Trump’s enemies “include not just Stephen Bannon’s ‘handful of media elites’ but many others who are appalled and outraged and find themselves forced to live under the pall of permanent political anxiety that hangs over the nation’s cities. It is our outrage, our disgust, our knee-jerk shock and condemnation that animate the play and give verisimilitude to the battle being fought. We are the enemy and our screams of dismay are vital to the drama.” Our problem is a classic “catch 22” because it is our very anger and protests that fuel the now empowered right. Most disturbingly, and I think accurately, Danner describes how Trump has set himself up to benefit, and to consolidate power vis-a-vis both Congress and the Judiciary, in the event of a successful, or even unsuccessful, terrorist attack. This, of course, is all the more of a danger because Trump’s policies and proclaimed Anti-Islam stance is the equivalent of waving a red flag at an enraged bull. One need only consider the way that Erdogan in Turkey used a purported coup attempt to seize emergency powers, outlaw dissent, and purge his enemies. The possibility that Trump, a self-proclaimed admirer of Putin and other strong men, might feel the need for similar power “to protect us” is more than a hypothetical risk.
As I’ve been saying, pretty much daily, our best opportunity for dealing with Trump is to call him on his transgressions before he consolidates power. It is in the interest of all, Democrat, Independent, or Republican, who in good faith wish to preserve our democratic processes, that they stand up against Mr. Trump. Removing Trump might, in fact, free Republicans to run competitively in the 2018 races. And nothing that the Congressional Republicans might gain by not acting against Trump is worth the price to be paid if freedom of speech, due process, and voter rights are destroyed. If you can’t take a stand based on Trump’s conflicts of interest or embarrassing Constitutional violations, surely his off the wall accusations against President Obama, shot into the public discourse without evidence, should give you pause. Senator McCain? Senator Graham? As they say in the infomercials, act now – it may be your last chance.