BRINGING DOWN DICTATORS-In the eyes of the law there are differences in lies. While it is wrong to deceive, deception with the intent to cause injury or damage is especially bad.
This is the current, and persistent, practice by President Donald Trump and it is worthy of a deeper look. (Photo above: AP/Evan Vucci )
Much has and continues to be written to chronicle the rampant dishonesty coming from Trump and his administration. The most current lies are about his trade debacle with China, where he tried to commit fraud against the American public to artificially inflate the stock market (highly illegal by federal law), and Hurricane Dorian, where he has tried to maintain that Alabama would be impacted are categorically different from other lies like those he tells about crowd sizes. Fraud and fake weather reports are taken as serious crimes because of the harm they cause. Trump lies about life and death matters and at least some of those lies are clear violations of federal law.
Trying to navigate his network of lies is nearly impossible. Currently his gargoyles Moscow Mitch McConnell and Kevin Kremlin McCarthy are doing everything in their power to jam up the checks and balances, which the Founders included in order to rein in a reckless presidency. Democrats have been impotent in removing Trump from his position of causing chaos and damaging citizens of the U.S. and the world alike. But, here we are.
Trump could, and I think should, have been impeached for violating federal anti-discrimination laws throughout his tenure. It would be a protection of the most sacred of American values—equality. But, his defense of hate crimes and white supremacists emboldens him as much as it fuels the terrorists who target 17-month-old babies and young children. Trumped up claims of “invasions” and other dog whistles for race-wars have inspired cowards to bring violence to a wide range of places from mosques and synagogues to back-to-school shopping. His lies are intentionally hurting America, because he sees the suffering as his profit.
Failed systems, however, do not equal a failed future. Thousands of years of history present the roadmap for success: nonviolent action. It is time for the American public to show the moral courage in confronting the human-caused disaster that is a Trump presidency. It is not just enough for Trump to get the message: “We are tired of being lied to.” A stand must be made against the damage that is done by his corrupt leadership and prejudicial government.
The gratuitous cruelty of the policies being pushed forward can be stopped. The people can stop it by taking action. The people in Hong Kong have shown—again—that when people stand united that governments must listen to them. The nonviolent protest pressured China into caving on demands that Hongkongers not be extradited to mainland China. The movement has evolved into demands for Hong Kong’s continued independence. The method is tried and true. Protest is part of the American DNA—from women’s rights to labor rights to civil rights to disabled rights to Native rights to environmental protection–all those struggles had significant victories over the decades won entirely by nonviolent resistance.
Bringing down a dictator can be done. Removing Slobodan Milosevic from office did not require bloodshed, and the same tactics can work against Donald Trump. The so-called Gentle Revolution (also known as the Velvet Revolution) ended the communist party of Czechoslovakia and ushered in change to a parliamentary republic. This is my dream, I long for the public to tell Trump he’s fired. The people of Puerto Rico just did that to a duly elected governor (“Ricky, te botamos!”–“Ricky, we threw you out!”). That Trump’s neglect of his oath of office has gone on for too long. He abdicates his duty to the truth that all people are created equal. Millions of us in the streets—jingling keys in the air—to symbolize for America the same as it did in Czechoslovakia: the unlocking of doors and telling illegitimate government, “Goodbye, it’s time to go home.”
The crimes of the White House are numerous and ongoing. Trump is willfully damaging the country with his fraud and malfeasant negligence; he hurts us for personal gain. There is no hope, however, that check and balances, well intentioned as they are on paper, will bring us to safety. There is a grifter in the Whitehouse and he is not even trying to hide his cons. “China called last night our top trade people and said, ‘Let’s get back to the table.’
So we will be getting back to the table and I think they want to do something,” the president told reporters. “They have been hurt very badly but they understand this is the right thing to do and I have great respect for it. This is a very positive development for the world. I think we are going to have a deal.” But it was gross fraud and it is time for Trump to get his pink slip. I would love to see a million Americans outside the White House telling him in a deafening proclamation, “Trump! You’re fired!”
(Wim Laven, Ph.D., syndicated by PeaceVoice, teaches courses in political science and conflict resolution.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.