Editorial: If Trump were a Democrat!
If Donald Trump were a Democrat and president, can you imagine how outraged Republicans would be? Let’s count the ways:
• Trump took a knee in Helsinki, essentially kowtowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and trashing our own intelligence team and, by extension, our armed services. After years of counting Russia as their mortal enemy, Republicans before Trump would have been apoplectic. Even Veteran groups protested Trump’s weakness and defended the truthfulness of America’s press.
One political cartoon aptly showed Trump’s head with his trademark red baseball cap on, but with the words: “Make Russia Great Again.” Since Trump’s election that has seemed to be his goal, while also weakening America and the western alliance. Some Republicans with integrity, such as Sen. John McCain, are up in arms. But they are few and far between.
• Trump’s trade war is going just as the pundits and economists said it would: Poorly, with American farmers and many industries paying a high price for Trump’s ego. His recent move to give Midwestern farmers $12 billion in government handouts is Trump’s own admission that Americans are going to suffer. Late news Wednesday night suggests a truce with America’s European partners, which basically means no further escalation of the harm done by Trump. It’s no victory for Trump or America, but at least Trump is backing down from earlier threats to make things worse. Free-trading Republicans are not pleased; if Trump were a Democrat they would be livid.
• That $12 billion, by the way, adds to the $1-plus trillion in projected deficit spending thanks to Trump’s tax cuts and increases in government spending. As several Republicans congressmen have complained: Farmers don’t want government handouts, they want trade policies that deliver markets with free trade, which is what they had — and were benefiting from — until Trump started his trade war. Dairy farmers, by the way, aren’t in line for those handouts, but they’ll help pay for it, as will the rest of us.
In short, federal deficits are soaring and Trump’s plan is to add more tax cuts; free trade has been disrupted and Trump’s answer is to impose even more tariffs; Trump has kissed the ring of Putin, embarrassed America in the eyes of the world, and continues to double down on support for Putin; he’s paid off porn stars, suppressed news accounts of another affair by giving the woman hush money, then lied about it; he’s vulgar, lewd and unprincipled; he lies, cheats and suppresses information (like his tax returns) that every other modern president in U.S. history has complied with for the sake of transparency. It is also highly likely his allegiance to this country is compromised by information the Russians have on him, and legal scholars already suggest the president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors suitable for impeachment proceedings.
If Trump were a Democrat, who doubts those proceedings would be underway and the main headlines going into these mid-term elections?
How, then, can Republicans stand by this “sad, embarrassing wreck of a man,” as conservative columnist and long-time Republican George Wills recently wrote?
Fear and ignorance, are two reasons. Greed is another.
Republican Congressmen and women know better, but they are afraid Trump will turn his followers on them and they might lose their seat beside the throne. And while much is wrong with Trump, they’re winning the short-term game, even if the nation loses.
For avid Trump followers, the only explanation is that they believe the propaganda he has been feeding them for the past two years. But to those who don’t believe Trump employs a disinformation campaign similar to Putin’s Russia, perhaps they might reconsider: On Tuesday this week at a speech in Kansas City about the detrimental impacts of Trump’s trade war, he was ever the dictator when he said: “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading (on TV and in the newspapers) is not what’s happening.”
Those truths, he said, are what he considers the media’s “fake” news. The reality, according to Trump, is what he says and wants you to believe.
Shocking, but no surprise. It’s been a consistent pattern. From those very first days of his inauguration — when Trump claimed to have the largest crowd ever, despite footage showing the crowds were fall smaller than President Obama had drawn — he has lied in an effort to create an alternative reality. Recently, Trump and his economic advisers had to retract comments that the tax cuts were generating a surplus, and admit that “what they meant to say” was that they “hoped” they would create a surplus someday, admittedly that currently the deficit was tracking at a record $1.5 trillion.
While Trump’s alternative reality is dangerous only if others believe it, that’s what’s disconcerting. Too many do.
“Stick with us,” and believe the lies we tell you, the president told his supporters at Kansas City. “Don’t believe the crap you see from these people,” referring to many in Congress, most national economists, and news reports in the nation’s media.
The comment might have been Trump’s most Orwellian to date. Orwell is the author who wrote the dystopian novel “1984,”in which the author writes, as Washington Postonline columnist James Hohmann astutely recalled:“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. And if all others accepted the lie, which the party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became the truth.”
How gullible and passive does Trump think his followers are?
Enough to now believe Trump when he says he is being tougher on Putin than any other president ever, and that Putin and the Russians are going to meddle in the mid-term elections by helping Democrats!
When will Trump supporters realize they are being played as fools? More importantly, will they stand up to protect democracy when it’s needed, or will they willingly embrace the tyranny Trump espouses?
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