You all know the Hans Christian Andersen tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis: “A vain Emperor who cares about nothing except wearing and displaying clothes hires two weavers who promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is either unfit for his position or “hopelessly stupid”. The Emperor’s ministers cannot see the clothes themselves, but pretend that they can for fear of appearing unfit for their positions, and the Emperor does the same. Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him, and the Emperor marches in procession before his subjects. The townsfolk play along with the pretense, not wanting to appear unfit for their positions or stupid. Then, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all, and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor suspects the assertion is true but continues the procession.”
As many of us know today, Mr. Trump is wearing nothing at all. He is a total fraud. He was elected with less votes than Clinton and he declares it a landslide. He says three million people illegally voted for his opponent when, as best we can tell there was little or no voter fraud. He says his crowds are bigger than Obama’s, defying the accuracy of modern photography and videos. He says his ban on Muslims is not a ban on Muslims and claims it makes us safer when in fact his ban is a ban on Muslims and provides recruiting fodder for ISIS. He accuses mainstream media, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and CBS and CNN, respected centers of journalism with self-imposed standards for truth and accuracy, to be “fake news”. He accuses his respected predecessor, without evidence or minimal investigation, of bugging his phone. He denies the science of global warming and takes actions to increase carbon emission. He surrounds himself with staff that are either intellectually bankrupt like Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and EPA head Scott Pruitt or dredged up from the right-wing alt fringe, like Stephen Bannon. All the while, the sycophants and toadies on his staff and in the Republican party applaud him like he is a wonderful breath of fresh air.
It’s time for the American people to call out Trump and the sycophants. Let’s say it together. Mr. Trump, you’re a fraud, you’re a cad, you’re a cartoon character out of Dr. Seuss. Time to go. If those of you in Congress can’t figure out how to make it happen, I can suggest at least five grounds of impeachment, beginning with his treason for collusion with Putin in the election itself, his violation of the emoluments clause, his violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, his violation of the First Amendment, and his abuse of office in making unsupported accusations against his predecessor. Or just use the 25th Amendment, remove him from office for unfitness, and go directly to go. Your choice.
Speaking of intellectual bankruptcy, did you catch the details on the Republican replacement for Obamacare? They can’t pay for it but they give tax breaks to billionaires. With a straight face. Mr. Ryan, you’re a fraud too.
And while I’m at it, did you catch the proposal to fund construction of the Mexican wall by stripping funding from the Coast Guard? See this article by Nicholas Fandos in the March 9 New York Times, “Trump Weighs Cuts to Coast Guard, T.S.A. and FEMA to Bolster Border Plan“. Fandos writes, in part,
“The Trump administration is considering deep cuts in the budgets of the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as it looks for money to ratchet up security along the southern border, according to a person familiar with the administration’s draft budget request.
The goal is to shift about $5 billion toward hiring scores of additional agents for Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as toward infrastructure to support a crackdown on illegal immigration at the border. A significant portion of the money would go toward erecting a wall along the border with Mexico, one of President Trump’s signature campaign promises.”
For the record, the US Coast Guard has an ongoing domestic mission safe-guarding lives and protecting the navigability of our water ways. If you recall the disaster in New Orleans with hurricane Katrina, it was the Coast Guard that was first on the scene with effective disaster relief. The Coast Guard covers more than 12,000 miles of coastline – which will, of course, become the preferred mode for illegal entry to the US should the land borderline be closed. This is one more proposal that simply makes no sense. In the intellectually bankrupt Trump administration, making sense is irrelevant if not disqualifying.
One more note. Last night, I read Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny, just released at the end of February. Snyder is a Yale historian of European history and his book is a warning on the history of democracies sliding into fascism. It’s a short, compelling read, a clear response to the election of Donald Trump, and a prescription for us to resist, now. This should be your next read. Then join me and resist. This cannot be allowed to stand.