“A Republic if you can keep it.”
The Republic is in trouble. Mr. Trump has followed the dictator’s playbook as Klaas has documented in The Despot’s Apprentice. Trump has
Attacked the press
Attacked the Justice Department and the FBI
Attacked the Courts
Demeaned political opponents such as Hillary Clinton in a way normally seen in a Banana Republic by threatening to lock her up.
Big money in politics has been the cause of such corrosion to the integrity of our political system. This began in the 1870s and has become much, much worse since the Supreme Court decision in Citizens-United.
It can happen here. I know this to be true because it is happening here. President Trump wants to be a dictator. He struts around with his chin jutting out like a copy of Il Duce, Mussolini.
Just look at his desperate effort to push his way through the crowd of world economic leaders in 2017 to get in front of the group for a photo op so he could thrust his chest out and stick his chin out like Mussolini.
Trump has attacked the courts. He has tried to place sycophants to courts where he is in trouble on legal terms.
When Trump is removed from office, and he must be removed for high crimes and misdemeanors, a series of Constitutional Amendments and Congressional laws must be enacted to correct our over reliance on presidential traditions. Here is my short list.
- Constitutional Amendment ending the Electoral College
- Constitutional Amendment ending Citizens United and massive amounts of money in American politics.
- Strong anti-nepotism laws
- Law requiring every presidential candidate to reveal his/her income taxes and other personal and corporate financial holdings.
- A law requiring every member of the White House to divest themselves from any and all personal investments, etc. No longer should they be able to serve the people and make themselves rich as Trump and others on his cabinet have done.
If the Trump presidency has shown us anything, it has proven that we can no longer rely on the faith of candidates in our political institutions and traditions. As America has become a nation of entertainment dominance, we can be certain that future candidates will increasingly come from the world of show business, pseudo reality shows, talk shows, etc. Ronald Reagan and Trump are but two cases in point. The potential candidacy of Oprah Winfrey is yet another potentially serious example. She knows how to deliver a speech. She is an actress for goodness sake, but she was also amazingly gullible on the later seasons of her talk show. Such gullibility ultimately cost her this program.
The America Republic has been in a downward trajectory for over 150 years. This trajectory reached a dangerous point during the Gilded Age but was rescued by the Progressive Movement. Since the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson, a concerted effort by very rich right-wing forces have worked to increase the roll of big money while working to rig every state election possible. The confluence of big money, very large corporations, the American Empire and Age, have helped to gradually erode the role of the average voter in making electoral decisions. Whenever the right-wing has dominated American politics, it has enacted catastrophic policies, such as
- Trade tariffs under Coolidge and Hoover that contributed to the Great Depression
- Reagan’s de-regulation policies, Gingrich’s vengeance motivated effort to impeach President Bill Clinton,
- Citizens United Ruling by the US Supreme Court that permitted massive amounts of money flow into the political system.
- The Administration of George W. Bush supported legislation that led to the worst recession in American history. Bush also added $5.849 Trillion to the national debt.
- Ryan-McConnell corrupt Congress that blocked President Barrack Obama from enacting meaningful legislation and Supreme Court nomination hearings and passed or attempted to pass legislation for the top 5% of the rich and punish the working class and retirees of the nation.
- And now there is Donald, a reality show star with a real estate empire and no government experience.
Donald Trump is a narcissistic, compulsive liar, bully, and cheap con-man. His every public appearance focuses on himself, projecting his behaviors onto his enemies, and his paranoid perceptions. He has tried to suppress the press with accusations of fake news, rude nicknames, and conspiracy theories about the Main Stream Media. At the same time, he eats up whatever FOX News’s Sean Hannity says, Alex Jones hallucinates, and the racial reports of Breitbart. He has tried to manipulate and misuse the Justice Department. He seems to think, given his ignorance of how government functions, that the Department of Justice must report to and work to defend him. Finally, Trump has made his presidency function as a crude money-making enterprise. His properties in Washington D.C. and in New York City and in Mara Lago, Florida are used to make money by housing visitors to see the President.
America’s crisis of the Republic is the world’s crisis. If the American experiment should fail, then young republics around the world will be in danger of failing. In fact, there may well be a major rise in right wing dictatorships around the world. From Venezuela to Poland to the Philippines to France to Italy and other countries, the risk of fascist states would increase. The last time this occurred, the world was thrown into World War Two.
Such a tendency toward tyranny dovetails with the administration of Trump who is a failed owner of many properties who thinks that the USA and the world should kneel down and show homage to him, a narcissist, delusional, paranoid, compulsive liar who want to remake the US into a satellite of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Just look at the facts. He admires dictators, refuses to acknowledge any responsibility for any offense against the US or Great Britain, and refuses to enforce new sanctions against Russia or even try to protect the US from Russian interference in the 2018 elections.
So, if Trump remains in power, then the future for the US remains very bleak. Should he fall because of the Mueller investigation or because of a new Democratic Congress after the 2018 mid-term elections, then the US might experience a revival of democratic progressive values and activism. MIGHT!!! On the other hand, there is a chance that there will be a rebirth of real progressive spirit that will give America a new birth of dedication to our Democratic Republic. It is after, "A Republic if you can keep it!"