Voters need to remove Trump from office

Voters need to remove Trump from office

By Carlton Joseph

Carlton Joseph

Americans will go to the polls in the next two weeks in a deeply divided country. Four years of Trump’s Presidency and Republicans control of the Senate have resulted in a polarized political system, a broken judicial system, and a reckless Executive System.  What is interesting about this chaotic state of affairs is that the President and the Republicans in Congress are the protagonists in this real life drama.

The President is determined to undermine the elections, claiming that the only way he can lose is if the Democrats steal the election.  Also, his messaging efforts are designed to delegitimize the elections, and he refuses to say that he will abide by the results if he loses. Trump even shared a message from far-right news network One America News., branding ongoing anti-racism protests a “coup” aimed at unseating him.

The Legislative branch is dysfunctional and Republicans are enabling the president in whatever laws or customs he breaks.  The Congress is like a whorehouse where the lobbyists are the pimps and the clients at the same time.  Both parties serve corporate interests and tell the people they have to fight for what they want.  Tax cuts for the rich, and the COVID-19 stimulus of $4.5 trillion in lending and asset-purchase programs to corporations, and a meager $784 billion in relief to individuals.  Currently, the Democrats have proposed an additional $2.4 trillion relief package but the Republicans are reluctant to spend anything higher than 1.3 trillion.  Gridlock continues.

The fractured judicial system will be totally broken when the Senate approves the ultra conservative Amy Coney Barrett as justice to the bench.  For starters, Barrett has stated that “life begins at conception,” and that justices should not be strictly bound by Supreme Court precedents, leaving open the possibility that she could vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and any other precedent she holds in contempt.

Employees may find the court less sympathetic to discrimination and retaliation claims since in past discrimination cases, Judge Barrett has generally ruled against workers claiming discrimination.

A recent study found that one-third of Americans work in the $1.2 trillion freelance economy. More than 5.7 million small-business employees or self-employed workers are enrolled in the  Affordable  Care  Act (ACA)   marketplaces; more than half of all ACA marketplace enrollees are small-business owners, self-employed individuals, or small-business employees.  In 2017 Barrett wrote that she disagreed with Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to uphold the ACA.  Her vote against the ACA will cause millions to lose their health insurance.

On the Seventh Court of Appeals, Barrett in her opinions, sided with big business 83 per cent of the time.  Her track record indicates that she will be a pro-business justice that will favor big business at the expense of small businesses and entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a business owner, a salaried employee or a contract worker, you can expect Justice Barrett and a lopsided conservative court to side with employers over employees.   This will result in greater income inequality and increase in extremists on the right and left.

America is so divided that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported that he is particularly concerned about white supremacist violent extremists who have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years.  However, he claimed that he was proud of the department’s work to prevent terrorizing tactics by domestic terrorists and violent extremists who seek to force ideological change in the United States through violence, death, and destruction.  The fact that he is proud of the department’s work indicates that he does not intend to do much about it.

News reports also indicate that Canada is experiencing a rise in domestic terrorism, and like the far-right extremists in the US,  groups in Canada desire to safeguard the high-status position of the ‘white race,’ which is perceived as being threatened by the effects of immigration policies and/or multiculturalism.

White supremacists in both countries also believe that secret financial, industrial and political organizations, led by Jewish people, are responsible for undermining their movement. And that the laws and institutions of society, that are designed to protect the rights of all citizens, are contradictory to the goals of the white supremacist movement.  Democracy itself is seen as a barrier to establishing white supremacy and they believe that  government institutions must be destroyed.  According to this movement, wherever people of different races and cultures must co-exist, there must be a “natural social hierarchy” of white rule.

Political scientists emphasize that the drift toward violence is not inevitable and that political leaders influence public opinion by their choices.  If they support violence, their supporters will support violence, the opposite is also true.  Trump seems to be supporting violence. He  boasted about federal agents killing an anti-fascist activist suspected of murdering one of his supporters, calling the suspect’s death without trial an example of his leadership.  He said,  “We sent in the U.S. Marshals, took 15 minutes, it was over.  We got him.”

Many people are warning of civil war. The  nation’s anxiety is palpable and understandable.  Older people understand that the country has been here before – mass protests that could sometimes involve violence, counter protests, and confrontations with police; vandalism and arson; armed intimidation; aggravated assaults; death threats against public officials; threats at polling stations; and a number of shootings, including ambushes of police.

Today, the major difference is that the country elected its first Black President. And white supremacist cannot accept or comprehend this reality.  They were led to believe that they were superior and after 500 years they have to accept that they are not superior.  Especially when the Black president was effective and “presidential” and was so popular that he was elected to serve two terms.  The Myth that peoples of European descent are racially superior to people of color, Jews, gays and lesbians, and other minority populations has been totally eradicated.   I understand their situation, but do not empathize with them. 

More and more citizens are expressing openness to violence as partisan leaders engage in the kinds of dehumanizing and vitriolic rhetoric that paves the way for taking violent action.  Since May, more than 50 people have driven vehicles into peaceful protesters, and recently, Federal authorities charged six men for allegedly plotting to kidnap the Michigan Governor from her vacation home.  Over the past few years, the number of attacks carried out in the United States attributable to domestic-based extremists has significantly outpaced attacks attributable to individuals inspired by the so-called Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

I migrated to the US in the  1960s  and have seen this play before. So I am optimistic that America will do the right thing even if is done in small increments.  For Trump supporters, the economy, and violent crime, immigration, gun policy, and foreign  policy are very important to their vote.  By contrast, Biden supporters view the economy, health care and the coronavirus outbreak, racial and ethnic equality as important to their vote.  

My hope is that the voters remove this narcissist from office because the future of the country depends more on the good sense of its people than on political leadership.  Regardless of political differences, most Americans are tired of the political machinations and want to get on with their lives.  COVID-19 has impacted their employment, their social interactions, the school systems and health care systems.  

Trump, in talking about the killing in Portland, said: “the U.S. Marshals killed him, and I’ll tell you something: That’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution.”  The people deserve retribution for his purposeful destruction of the social fabric of the country.  They need to Vote him out.

(Trinidad-born Carlton Joseph  who lives in Washington DC, is a close observer of political developments in the United States.)