Wednesday, January 18, 2017
"Democracy Is At Risk"- John Dean's Take On Trump Is Terrifying - Except for the Trumpists
"Remember, Donald, we have the photos of you with our beautiful Russian whores!"
Former Nixon legal advisor John Dean definitely got Chris Hayes' attention on 'All In' last night in terms of the threat Trump poses to democratic institutions in the country. Dean's appearance was instructive, given his testimony helped bring down one of the worst state presidential criminals in history: Richard Milhous Nixon.
For those not aware at the time, it is incumbent to get hold of the Nixon Whitehouse tapes, which ultimately did the bastard in. It was those tapes, replayed in parts during the Watergate hearings in 1973 that incriminated Tricky Dick. Hostile to those arrayed against him, Nixon created his own "enemies list" and then weaponized branches of the government -including the FBI, IRS - to go after those enemies (such as Daniel Ellsberg). The Watergate break-in itself was Tricky Dick's final undoing.
But at least at that time, enough of Nixon's own party had the integrity to "read him the Riot Act". Thus, four GOP members of congress went to tell Nixon he had no choice other than to resign, and resign he did. In addition, the robust press at the time - namely The Washington Post with its Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward- did true investigative reporting to get at the bottom of this conspiracy.
Dean pointedly noted the same checking forces are now much weaker, and not likely to put a halt to Trump's overreach - where he will basically wield more power than any other previous holder of the office. For example, today the members of a party (GOP) prepared to condemn the actions of Trump can be reduced to one finger of one hand. (Rand Paul refused to vote for repeal of the ACA)
In addition, the media today is only a weak sister of what it was in the Watergate era. As papers have been sold off or merged, and support of true investigative journalism pulled back, PR has now come to dominate. The alert reader need only scan through the pages of his local newspaper to behold all the sources that are either PR outfits, or think tanks - with the mandate to bend the news and readers' perceptions.
The absence of these cornerstones for scrutiny is important given the Trump program is orders of magnitude worse than anything Nixon conceived. For starters, Trump's enemies list will probably contain most of the nation's Left bloggers, as well as those organizations (like the SPLC) that inveigh against racism - especially calling fellow humans "apes" as a replacement euphemism for the N-word.
Also, while the damage inflicted by Nixon was mainly from his inner circle, the devastation wrought by Trump's derelicts will be vast given it will include rabid enclaves laden with Alt-Right Nazis, KKK, Aryans and the like. Some, under the "Bikers for Trump" helm, have vowed to crack open heads and harass anti-Trump protesters present on Inauguration Day. I suggest that any protesters encountering them have their own cans of Mace and solid helmets on for protection.
In similar fashion, Dean pointed out the only way a fascist Trump agenda might be stopped is from the bottom up - in other word, enraged citizens venting their furor, especially to state Senators, congress critters. As Dean observed, once their own re-elections are threatened they will see no point in blindly backing Trump.
But at the same time, Dean emphasized that nearly 63 million of our fellow citizens will never lift a finger or say anything because they actually applaud what Trump is doing, i.e. to tear down the establishment. Or so they've been told. What I want to see is what they do when Trump and his acolytes take a sledge hammer to their health care, veterans' benefits and even Social Security.
Against this background, it was heart warming to learn that in the coming days more than 1 million people in 32 nations and 51 states plan to protest against the illegitimate Trump ascension. The problem is that these protests cannot be a one off. No they instead must be used as a basis for a massive networking of a Trump resistance. That resistance will be in charge of national strikes, boycotts, as well as new, energized voter registration efforts.
The message of a new resistance -protest movement will be "Take Down Trump By 2018!" Of course, that most likely will be via the 25th Amendment route which will be invoked as Trump shows clearly he's unfit to lead, likely because of a serious mental disorder (intermittent explosive disorder and schizoid behavior)
That will be important, as any Trump reign lasting overly long will likely mean the end of this country as we know it. Ever seen the film 'Idiocracy'? You should!