This Is a Dark Hour for America

The question is: What are we — the vast majority of Americans — going to do about this? 

By Robert Reich, The Baltimore Sun
05 July 18

Seven suggestions:

First and most importantly, do not give up. That’s what they would like us to do. Then they’d have no opposition at all. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Please do not succumb to it.

Second, in the short term, contact your senators and urge them to oppose Mr. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

If your state has a Republican senator, you might mobilize and organize your friends and neighbors to do whatever they can to get that senator to reject Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Or, at the least, postpone consideration of that nominee until after the midterm elections, so there’s a chance to change the composition of the Senate.

Third, make a ruckus. Demonstrate. Engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance.

Many grassroots organizations are doing great work, and could use your help. Among them are: @IndivisibleTeam, @swingleft, @UpRiseDotOrg, @MoveOn. @Sister_District, and @flippable_org. I’m sure I’ve left out many others. Check with your friends, and check online.

Fourth, don’t engage in divisive incrimination over “who lost” the 2016 election. There’s no point in Hillary Clinton loyalists, Bernie Sanders supporters, Jill Stein voters, and others turning on one another and blaming each other for the outcome. We must be united.

Fifth, vote this Nov. 6 for people who will stand up to the Trump Republicans’ rampage. Mobilize and organize others to do so, too. If you live in a blue state, contact friends and relatives in red states and urge them to do the same.

Sixth, help lay the groundwork for the 2020 presidential election so that even if Trump survives Robert Mueller’s investigation and a possible impeachment proceeding, he will not be re-elected.

Finally, bear in mind that this fight will be long and hard. It will require our patience, our courage and our resolve. Yet the stakes could not be higher. We’re talking about the future of our democracy, and the well-being of our children and our children’s children.


Source: Baltimore Sun 07/05/18 republished ReaderSupportedNews.org

The Useful Idiocy of Donald Trump

“His bizarre antics are typical KGB dezinformatsiya tactics to divert our attention to the real danger – the destruction  of our democratic institutions.”

By Chris Hedges / Truthdig

“The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.

Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues.

Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying.”

Read More


Source: AlterNet.org

Is Trump Killing Democracy?

“Trump hasn’t staged a coup, and so far our institutions are holding up. But he’s doing more damage every day.”

By Heather Digby Parton | Salon | January 30, 2018

“There seems to be a consensus that over the course of the last few months Trump has shown an alarming propensity to abuse his power, but it’s still unclear whether there is a clear case that he broke the law. If it can be proven that he has abused his power or broken the law, the one remedy everyone can agree upon — as with any president — is impeachment.

Because the Republican majority in Congress is acting as Trump’s accomplices rather than a co-equal branch of government with oversight responsibility and an obligation to defend the Constitution, however, impeachment is highly unlikely. The GOP caucus in both houses is barely keeping up the pretense of investigating Russian interference in the election, and one group of powerful members is trying to create an alternative scandal, accusing top officials at the FBI and the Department of Justice of conspiring to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign and destroy the Trump administration.  Trump himself has been pushing this operation, telling Chief of Staff John Kelly and supposedly recused Attorney General Jeff Sessions to aid in the effort.

The FBI is under assault by a rogue group of powerful lawmakers and the power of the president of the United States. These elected officials are deeply authoritarian by instinct, ideology and temperament. They are clearly using their authority to undermine the rule of law and democratic norms and practices, not uphold them.

This president and his henchmen could create an authoritarian regime within the rough boundaries of the Constitution and the imprimatur of democratic legitimacy. It would hardly be unprecedented. It’s the way it happens in the modern world. Political scientists Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have written a new book, How Democracies Die,” which surveys how democratic nations can slide into authoritarianism when they lose their willingness to live by two specific norms: mutual toleration and forbearance.”

The first is the belief that the opposition is operating in good faith and with a common love of country. The other is the forbearance not to push the boundaries of power, something that all the players in our system have more of than the law can possibly constrain on its own. 

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Source: AlterNet.org

First president in history to fail to defend the nation from an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power

“Mr. Trump’s first year has been an unremitting parade of disgraces that have demeaned him as well as the dignity of his office, and he has shown that this is exactly how he believes he should govern.

Most important, he is the first president to fail to defend the nation from an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power — and to resist the investigation of that attack. He is the first to enrich his private interests, and those of his family, directly and openly.

He is the first president to denounce the press not simply as unfair but as “the enemy of the American people.” He is the first to threaten his defeated political opponent with imprisonment. He is the first to have denigrated friendly countries and allies as well as a whole continent with racist vulgarities.

George Washington warned that the actions of a president “may have great and durable consequences from their having been established at the commencement of a new general government.” If history is any guide — especially in light of the examples closest to his, of Buchanan and Andrew Johnson — Mr. Trump’s first year portends a very unhappy ending.”

Source: NYTimes.com 01/20/18