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Rosenblum writes: "A majority of senators and representatives will try to keep on enabling presidential madness. We have to make it blindingly clear in 2018 that, later if not sooner, they'll be out of our Congress and looking for real jobs."

Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally. (photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Independence Day in the Shadow of a Tyrant-Twit

By Mort Rosenblum, Mort Rosenblum Dispatches

04 July 17


fter an infantile tweet in which he feigned punching out CNN and by extension a "fake" press that exposes his conflicting interests and mobbed-up heartless past, Donald Trump told a rally: "I'm president, and they're not."

For once, he was right. Until we can fix that, he personifies a new America: mean and selfish and willfully ignorant, a great nation ready to leave an imperiled planet in the lurch with no sense of the damage that does to itself.

Our options are few. The 25th Amendment requires a sycophantic cabinet to act. Impeachment is long and complex. If either succeeded, would we really want a fundamentalist Mike Pence, fortified by savior status at election time?

But we can defend our credible news organizations and box in Trump at every turn. We can challenge his edicts, thwart his cabinet's depredations and in 2020 evict him from our White House with the most humiliating defeat in history.

A majority of senators and representatives will try to keep on enabling presidential madness. We have to make it blindingly clear in 2018 that, later if not sooner, they'll be out of our Congress and looking for real jobs.

Democrats are in disarray, hardly free of blame. For Republicans, that excuses nothing. We are adrift in the same boat; neither party benefits by blasting holes in it. Consider the shoals ahead.

Stephen Hawking, at 75, just told BBC: "We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees, and raining sulfuric acid."

Irrational policies abroad increase terrorism geometrically, threaten war and cede global dominance to China. At home, Republican health care reductions to fund tax cuts amount to manslaughter. Americans will die, victims of callous greed.

A Pew poll in 37 countries found confidence in the United States dropped from 64 percent to 22 percent since January. Only Russia and Israel favor Trump over Barack Obama. Europe is now adjusting to an apr├Ęs-America world.

Beyond parties or policies, our soul and spirit are at stake. If we do not act now, an entrenched oligarchy will further erode basic freedoms and widen the gap between the haves and the haven't-got-a-chance. It can happen here.

People who know better defend Trump, no matter what, because he fattens their fortunes now at the expense of everyone's future. That's not deplorable, it's monstrous. They con a disaffected suffering mainstream and exploit a cultist fringe that follows a demagogue with the zealotry of Jonestown Kool-Aid drinkers.

Today's technology allows a demagogue to speak directly to voters and to slime a non-existent collectivity - "the media." That undermines faith in the seasoned reporters any democratic society must rely upon as its eyes and ears.

Here is an example of how this plays out:

During the campaign, Trump's people invited photographer Chris Morris to a rally as part of his candidate profile for Time magazine. Chris is a cool hand, with experience in places like Chechnya where pissing off authorities can be fatal.

He took a half step out of the press pen because someone blocked his angle. Secret Service agents, our civil servants, slammed him to the ground. He expelled an understandable, and not illegal, "fuck you."

Today, Trump nuts still hound Chris by message and even voicemail at his Florida home. His kids have been hassled in school. I asked him for a sampling.

Two were brief. "Hey chris, did you learn your lesson yet? Don't get rude with our US forces or you're going to eat floor you little cunt." "I never laughed so hard in my life when you lifted your head off the concrete and made the perfect crybaby liberal bitch face."

A third, shorn of some foul insane rambling, portrays a segment of America that showed up at the polls when so many other eligible voters did not bother:

"Oh my, how dare a member of the secret service drop your pathetic loser ass on the floor after you get in his face. Um, yeah buddy welcome to the new America where we stop listening to stupid fucktards like you and your leftist coconspirators. I was...rooting for formal federal charges for your assault...That would give you a solid 11 to 20 years to think about why maybe you should understand more fully why you're a terrible human being...You are a pathetic nothing and watching you die like a dog on a dirty floor would give me nothing but the most joy. You are a fascist liberal crybaby cunt and you deserve to get the shit kicked out of you on a steady basis because you are what's wrong with this nation right now..."

Right. Welcome to the new America.

This is Trump's basest base, deranged cretins who can be whipped into lynch-mob frenzy. But stepping back to see less pathological examples of this mentality, the danger is beyond terrifying.

Trump cares only about what he sees in the mirror. He reacts to perceived slights like an invertebrate stuck with a pin. Adulation he craves demands tough-guy swagger. He thrives on hapless scapegoats and simplistic bellicose bluster.

He bulls ahead with policies that trash our wilderness, destroy our subsurface, poison our waterways and plunder Native-American heritage. In his fact-free isolation, he ignores widespread protest to tell us that no one objects.

Abroad, totally out of his depth, he faces a despot loonier than he is. Kim Jong-un threatened in January to test an ICBM. He tweeted dismissively, "It won't happen." Kim chest-bumped back. Today, on July 4, North Korea fired a missile that could reach Alaska. Trump paused from warring with a TV personality for another tweet: "Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" Be very worried.

I've reported on demagogues for decades. They let police get away with murder. They retool schools to produce a ruling class and barely literate indentured servants. They team up with tyrants and pillage national wealth at will.

In most places, citizens suffer in silence or risk prison if not the morgue. In a democracy, they only have to stop bemoaning their fate and change things. This is the day when we celebrate ridding ourselves of an overweening monarch. So?

Once we remember that we are supposed to run our country, we can start serious reform. Demand that Congress and state legislatures act now - or else. Read. Listen. Sound off. Proselytize. Show up at town halls, as many now do, and chant, "Do your job." When it is time to vote, drive hordes to the polls.

Our greatest danger is feeling overwhelmed. It seems as if an individual voter is powerless against a rigged system, gerrymandered and corrupted by big money. But who else besides individuals can do it? With democracy, you use it or lose it. your social media marketing partner
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