A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
The Trump administration poses an existential threat to the United States and must be removed from office.
We know that seventeen US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia hacked the election to hand it to Donald Trump. News reports from reputable media outlets quoting multiple American intelligence sources state that the Trump administration maintained continuous contact with Russian government officials, including intelligence agents, throughout the presidential campaign.
Trump publicly invited Russia to do exactly what they did, hack the DNC’s servers and make emails public. This request by Trump was strangely out of context, and in retrospect, strongly hints that Trump at least had knowledge of Russia’s plans.
Trump vigorously denies all ties to Russia, which is an unnecessary lie. In spite of Trump’s denials, for thirty years he has struggled continuously to cultivate and maintain ties to Russian oligarchs and Putin himself.
From day one, Trump’s bizarre praise of Putin, a murderous thug, has been non-stop. This is remarkable given that on nearly all other topics, many of them quite significant, Trump frequently contradicts himself, yet he has never waivered in his adoration of Putin. He has praised Putin for killing many of his opponents (up to thirty-five at last count), for invading his neighbors, and for challenging NATO. Putin by definition is a war criminal for the brutal Russian campaign of slaughter against civilians in Syria. Trump even praised Syrian president Assad, a leader guilty of wanton mass murder and of using chemical weapons, starvation, and torture against civilians. President Trump’s shocking praise of such murderous despots and their actions is simply without precedent in American history, and grossly violates centuries of stated American principles including respect for human rights. The world looks to the United States for leadership on human rights and Trump is blithely destroying that legacy. Trump’s obsessive embrace of every word and action of Putin’s is inexplicable, and strongly hints at a hidden relationship with the leader of a nation that has long been an enemy of the United States and the free world.
The Flynn debacle could not have happened without the knowledge of others in the administration. Former Attorney General Sally Yates warned Trump on January 26 that Flynn had repeatedly lied about his recent conversations with the Russians, yet Trump took no action to fire Flynn, and even neglected to inform Vice President Pence. Only weeks later, when the public learned of Flynn’s contacts, did Trump fire him, and then he fired Yates as well. If the news had not become public, would Trump have ever removed Flynn? Was Trump protecting a traitor? After the firing, Trump lashed out at the media and claimed Flynn had done nothing wrong, which is blatantly false. Flynn lied to the FBI, the vice president, and presumably the president. But in Trump’s mind, if Flynn was innocent, then why did he fire him?
For the first time in American history, the NSA is now apparently holding back sensitive and vital intelligence information from the president for fear that the Russians will quickly see it as well. Foreign intelligence agencies are worried about sharing secrets with the Trump administration, fearing Trump will compromise their human sources and put lives at risk. The glaring indications are that the White House has been breached.
On a daily basis, Donald Trump is unable to separate fact from fiction. He obsesses on his failures, small and large, and fabricates grand stories of victory, supremacy, virility, and genius. He contradicts himself regularly. Less than a month into his presidency, Trump gave a vitriolic, 55-minute press conference where he lashed out at the media, the intelligence agencies, and his own administration for leaking and reporting the facts instead of honoring the “incredible progress” he has achieved in only 27 days with his “fine-tuned machine”, his administration. The country was left stupefied. He claims stories that his administration was in frequent contact with the Russians are all fake news, yet is outraged that the intelligence community is leaking information to the media. A leak is the sharing of factual information, so what are these reports? Fake news, or factual? Trump could only be this livid about “leakers” if their reports are true. And let’s call these people what they are: whistleblowers.
How do we cope with a president who gushes an endless tsunami of lies and delusions that everyone knows are false? Trump won in a landslide. Trump won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally. Trump’s inauguration turnout was the greatest ever. Trump inherited a mess from Obama, but Trump’s first three weeks were a miracle. The media are all liars. ISIS is spreading like cancer. Russian interference in our election never happened. The Muslim travel ban had a smooth rollout. Thousands of people cheered in New Jersey as the Twin Towers fell. Mexico intentionally sends rapists across the border. Eighty-one percent of whites who are murdered are killed by blacks. The murder rate is the highest it has been in 47 years. Fourteen percent of noncitizens are registered to vote. Trump watched a videotape of money being delivered by plane to pay ransom to Iran for hostages. These and a mountain of other claims by Trump have been proven to be utterly false, even ridiculous. According to press secretary Spicer, Trump “believes what he believes”. God help us.
Given that Trump cannot grasp reality, how will he grasp the challenges and threats the nation will face during his term, and even begin to comprehend the solutions? Past presidents have faced crises that, if dealt with incorrectly, could have brought global disaster. How will Trump react? Rationally? Calmly? With reason and intellect? Have we seen any evidence of these traits? General Tony Thomas, who leads the US military’s Special Operations Command, expressed his concern over the chaos in the Trump White House. “Our government continues to be in unbelievable turmoil. I hope they sort it out soon, because we are a nation at war.”
No one can predict Trump’s behavior except to say that he is utterly unpredictable. This king has no clothes, and when anyone mentions this glaring fact, he screams that he has the most magnificent wardrobe in all the world, in all of history, and then threatens everyone in the room.
Donald Trump is shockingly ignorant of world affairs. This pattern of delusional statements, stunning ignorance, frequent contradictions, and ensuing outrage has been non-stop since the start of his campaign, and continues daily, unabated. Trump is severely unhinged. Every Trump utterance is cause for concern. That bigoted, delusional, and angry child candidate is now our bigoted, delusional, angry, and very dangerous child president, and the world waits with apprehension. We simply cannot afford to have a president who 1) has no grasp of the paramount responsibities of the office he holds, 2) blatantly lies to America on daily basis, 3) threatens news organizations and journalists for asking legitimate questions, 4) fabricates pretend realities to soothe his incredibly fragile ego, 5) tweets infantile tirades to the world at 3:00 am about the latest perceived insult, 6) after only three weeks in office is at war with our intelligence agencies, 7) insults and denigrates allied leaders, 8) has a bizarre, obsessive, and highly-suspicious reverence for Putin, a murderous thug and the leader of our worst enemy, Russia.
Add to Trump’s many severe problems the fact that his closest advisor, Steve Bannon, is a dedicated white supremacist and self-declared anarchist. Bannon has bizarre beliefs and goals that undeniably represent an existential threat to America as a nation. Bannon, who incredibly, Trump has given a full seat on the National Security Council, is a former founder and editor of the extreme-right-wing and white-supremacist propaganda site, Brietbart News. Bannon, who has absolutely zero experience in government at any level, is the principal author of Trump’s disastrous executive order banning Muslims from entering the US.
It sounds bad. It gets much worse. Bannon is a strong proponent of a crackpot theory, espoused in the book The Fourth Turning, that predicts apocalypse, war greater in magnitude than WWII, and ensuing upheaval in the United States in the near future. According to Bannon, the “Fourth Turning” will be US war against China and the Muslim religion. In 2011, Bannon said the following to an audience at the Liberty Restoration Foundation, a conservative nonprofit: “This is the fourth great crisis in American history. We had the Revolution. We had the Civil War. We had the Great Depression and World War II. This is the great Fourth Turning in American history, and we’re going to be the ones on the other side.”
Are you paying attention? Bannon believes that after the great apocalypse, the remains of American society will be led to victory by a “Grey Champion”, a man from the “older generation” who will rescue America from the ashes and bring a “new political order”. Go ahead, read that again. Bannon is sixty-three years old and gray haired. He is clearly delusional; holding to such bizarre ideas screams of mental illness. Bannon’s position in the White House, with his obviously strong influence over president and his presence on the National Security Council, make him an immediate and dangerous threat to the United States and the world.
We argue over politics, but we cannot argue over survival. Conservative or liberal, we must have sober, rational, and sane people in the White House. We cannot have people who are in love with murderous dictators. We cannot have self-declared anarchists who yearn for apocalypse. We cannot have fascists. We cannot have the delusional. Trump is mentally disabled and emotionally unstable in the extreme. The Trump administation represents an existential theat to the survival of the United States as nation and a democracy, and must be removed from office immediately. This Republican congress must put the nation first and invoke Amendment 25 of the US Constitution.
Copyright 2017 Daniel R. Cobb