The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
The mainstream, corporate news media in America is in a quandary over what to do about the new U.S. president, Donald J. Trump. He calls them all “horrible people” and “liars” and purveyors of “fake news.”
So what do they do?
The broadcast media, so far, has danced pirouettes to remain in the White House press room and on Trump’s Air Force One. This includes the Koch brothers’ channel PBS.
The big print news outlets have gone after Trump with a vengeance, especially the Jeff Bezos Washington Post, but it had no effect on the election — or anything since.
Fact checking? What a laugh. Trump has his “#alt-facts.”
And his voters lap it up, like kitties at the cream bowl.
That would make a nice meme, eh? It might even go viral on Facebook, where cat pictures are more popular than mainstream media stories about Russian email hacking and trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.
That story did get the MSM on the FB politics trending news feed for awhile, but it’s faded now, finally.
Maybe it takes someone from Trumpland, a.k.a. Alabamaland, to tell the New York and Washington establishment what’s really going on here. So far no one has proven Trump ties to Russian businesses. Many have tried, but all those attempts failed, as did every attempt Trump made to do business with the Russians.
Sure, he encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, and he praised Wikileaks for putting them out there. But even Trump knows those emails didn’t come from the Russians. It may be the only thing he’s gotten right yet.
Do I need to track down a psychiatrist source to convince you that Trump is an autocratic, authoritarian personality, full of narcissism and self-gloating balderdash? Certainly not at this point.
So think about it.
It’s Putin’s Power Trump Wants
What does Vladimir Putin have in Russia that Trump doesn’t (yet) have in the U.S.?
Total control of all three branches of government, the press and the unregulated power to jail and even kill all his critics.
Can there be any doubt this is the case? Is it even arguable at this point? I don’t think so.
A wide-ranging investigation by the International Federation of Journalists into the deaths of journalists in Russia published in June 2009 documented more than three hundred deaths and disappearances since 1993. Another report by the Committee to Protect Journalists concluded that Russia was one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists and among the worst at solving their murders. They died or were killed because of the work they were doing and in only one case has there been a partially successful prosecution.
See how Trump blew off a question from an international reporter Friday during a press conference with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Don’t you know he was ready to ban her from the building, and worse?
There are many other signs that Trump thinks he can run the United States of America like a Russian oligarchy dictatorship.
In demanding a media blackout this week at federal agencies, and ordering all White House and other federal websites deleted about climate change due to global warming from the human activity of burning fossil fuels, he declared war on science itself. He can’t handle the truth. He doesn’t want the American people to know it either.
The Environmental Protection Agency was especially hard hit, where rogue employees leaked this statement. It went viral on Facebook.
The entire agency is under lockdown, the website, facebook, twitter, you name it is static and can’t be updated. All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled.
Any Press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office which is also silenced and will give no response. All grants and contracts are frozen from the contractors working on Superfund sites to grad school students working on their thesis. We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon. But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now. We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration’s policy.
Shutting down government agencies, scientific research, and stifling the flow of information to the public are the hallmarks of an authoritarian regime. This is not politics as usual. If the Republicans in Congress don’t stand up to the new POTUS, this sort of crackdown will become the new normal. And it isn’t normal. It’s how democracies are lost.
The day before Putin was inaugurated for his third term as president in 2012, police in Moscow made more than 1,000 arrests and carried out no fewer than 100 beatings. They confiscated, destroyed or damaged private property being used by protesters, including a generator, several café tables, a cash box with money collected by street activists and copious amounts of food — including sandwiches taken out of people’s hands as they were eating.
In the two weeks leading up to the election, according to the LA Times, “Moscow turned into a city where every day one runs a real risk of being arrested for no apparent reason — and brutally arrested at that.”
At Putin’s behest, Parliament considered a bill that would effectively ban street protests altogether. During his first 12 years in power, Putin eliminated most elections, monopolized all major media and destroyed the political party system, leaving only the street for any opposition. That was taken away in 2012.
This is Trump’s dream world. No wonder he admires Russia under Putin.
Even Newt Gingrich, who is now kissing Trump’s rump ring, knows Putin is a dictator and a thug. He said so on CNN.
Americans shouldn’t let Vladimir Putin’s opinions get under their skin because the Russian president is a one-time KGB officer whose primary interest is nationalism, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday.
“While we have to deal with him as the president of Russia, we don’t have to respect his views. We don’t have to respect his opinions,” said Gingrich, co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire.”
“And frankly, we should laugh at him when he tries to lecture America about exceptionalism, because he ain’t exceptional. He’s just one more in a long tradition of dictators and thugs.”
Gingrich, the former House speaker, pointed to Putin’s history as a former intelligence officer for the KGB, where he worked from 1975-1992.
“This is a guy who, for public relations purposes, wrestles bears. He shoots tigers, stripped to the waist, to prove he’s a tough guy,” he said.
Watch for Trump to visit Russia and shoot a bear soon for fun.
I doubt he will take off his shirt.
I’m sure all the Democrats had fun with those rumors a couple of weeks back about Trump liking golden showers, but guess what? Nobody ever came up with any proof, much less the video.
Hillary Clinton seems to think the Russians have some dirt on Trump — and some are still pushing for him to release his tax returns — but there’s no proof of that either. Why should Trump release his tax returns now? He won the election without paying any consequences for not releasing them during the campaign. He got away with it. His butt licking staff are right. The people didn’t care. Only Democrats care, and they lost the election. The Russians didn’t hack it. Hillary Clinton lost it.
That’s hard to face for the media that gave Trump so much free air time, the same media that assured us all that Hillary Clinton was an 80 percent lock to win the election in the battleground states. It’s also hard for the Democrats who lost to face. I get it. To fight it from here, they should face it. It is a fact. Trump won.
Some Republicans, former President Barack Obama and others are still holding out some hope that the awesome duties of the Oval Office will tame Trump and turn him into a normal, functioning human being. But I think it is safe to now rule that out after just one week. Trump is What he is, and God Help Us Now.
While Trump is proud of his “running war with the media,” and his people love it too, an even more fundamental threat to democracy is at work. He’s trying to silence and erase citizens who don’t support his message and policies by claiming he alone speaks for “real” Americans and can tell us who qualifies – mainly by how they look on TV.
Trump told the country what he thinks of dissenters in a snide tweet in response to last week’s massive protests, saying he “was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote?” Well, they did, as evidenced by the marchers chanting, “We are the popular vote!” past the White House. Regardless, the implication in Trump’s tweet is that once you’ve been outvoted, you should shut up.
Needless to say, that is not how democracy works.
Trump repeatedly claimed in his inauguration speech that he speaks for and will govern for “the people.” He referred to his oath of office as an “oath of allegiance to all Americans.” In fact, the oath he took isn’t one of allegiance to “the people” – he took an oath to uphold the Constitution.
“The people” disagree about lots of things; the document structures how the country navigates those disagreements, and restricts what those in the majority can do to those in the minority. But Trump has made it clear he plans to justify whatever he wants to do as the will of “the people” while portraying anyone who disagrees with him as too crooked and corrupt to be among them. This is a classic strategy of dictators with a long tradition in Russia and the third world.
Democracy requires competition of opposing ideas. There can’t be a debate if those in power refuse to acknowledge facts or dissenting viewpoints.
Elections have consequences, but it is still the president’s job to serve all the people – including those who didn’t vote for him, or who did vote for him but oppose particular policies (like Trump voters who don’t want him to take away their health care or defund Planned Parenthood). Trump is instead purporting to have a mandate for radical and unconstitutional acts – promoting an alternative political reality in which he isn’t deeply unpopular by fabricating crowd numbers, while dismissing those who’ve taken to the streets to express their fear and dissent in unprecedented numbers.
Trump doubled down on an even more frightening strategy to deny facts he doesn’t like and define anyone who doesn’t support him as un-American when he repeated the widely debunked conspiracy theory that he would have won the popular vote if not for widespread voter fraud. Trump went on to call for a “major investigation” into his claim of illegal voting, for which there is absolutely no evidence.
Trump is claiming millions of people who voted against him are either literally not American or un-American fraudsters who voted in two states or under fake names. This fits a pattern of Trump attempting to discredit or silence those he considers enemies.
Trump targets individuals who question him. When a union leader corrected the record about the jobs at an Indiana factory Trump claimed to have saved, Trump used his megaphone to try to discredit and silence him. When women spoke out to allege that Trump did commit the kinds of sexual assaults he was caught on tape bragging about, he characterized them as lying political enemies and threatened to sue.
The outlandishness of Trump’s crowd size and vote count claims are enough to make one wonder if he’s totally delusional. But the experience of other countries suggests his campaign of disinformation and delegitimization is more nefarious. Norms protecting freedom of information, speech and the press are essential for a functioning democracy. To Trump, they are a threat. Populist dictators get away with extralegal and unconstitutional acts by claiming authorization from “the people.” The first step in that anti-democratic effort is to make sure people with inconvenient facts and contrary ideas are silenced, discredited or erased.
Is Resistance Futile?
This is Putin’s world, one greatly admired by Trump. That’s what he wants. Total control. No critics.
Will the Republicans, the Democrats, “the people” or the press give him what he wants?
So far all attempts at resistance have been futile. How far does he have to go before the Secret Service and the CIA have to take him out and make it look like a heart attack?
If all the media would get onboard, we may be able to make him go completely mad, give up and resign, if the whole world was making fun of him on every channel. The entire Washington press corps should walk out on strike.
Mexican satirists made a great start when Trump canceled the meeting with their president for refusing to pay for Trump’s Wall, by offering to remove the giant orange cockroach or “La Cucaracha Naranja Gigante” from the White House.
Keep it coming folks. And keep on sharing.
He’s already mad as a hatter. Let’s make him go completely out of his mind where he will have to be hauled out of the White House in a strait jacket. That may be the best way to get rid of him. The sooner the better.
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.