Fear Itself

So, it’s been less than a week since the US federal election, and already fear of presidential reprisal, and increased domestic terrorism, has begun. And political experts are worried about his protectionist international policies. And the man hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.

In California, a secondary school history teacher, with 40 years of unimpeachable academic experience, has been suspended for comparing Donald Trump to Nazi leader Adolph Hitler. Frank Navarro is a Holocaust scholar who knows his subject, and who in his class has compared the similar tactics and policies of the two leaders, to show how fascist ideals can foster and grow even in the political climate of a modern democracy.

And watch any late night or online political commentary show like The Daily Show, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Saturday Night Live, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, or Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal, and witness how – even as they continue to launch humorous barbs at the president-elect – they’re all now voicing heartfelt concerns for how long freedom of comic political satire will be allowed to continue in the US… if at all. It’s pretty obvious that they’re taking Trump’s threats – aimed at a media that he accuses of treating him badly – seriously. Because they poked fun at him during the electoral campaign, Trump said SNL is stale and no longer funny, and should be taken off the air. He’s accused the left-leaning media of rigging the election by trying to sway voters against him. And he’s vowed that, once he’s president, he’ll change the libel laws to allow charges to be brought against the presenters and writers of what he feels is one-sided news and editorial content. Will Trump really take revenge on leftist comedy and news services when he becomes president? Will he really dare to clamp down on freedom of the press, and freedom of expression? And, if so, will anyone attempt to stop him? Unfortunately, history says no. Fear breeds fear.

Meanwhile, all across the nation, there are peaceful protests in the streets declaring that the election was a sham, and that Trump does not represent them. These “Not My President” protests (or rallies, as they like to call themselves) are growing in number and strength. So far they’ve not been challenged by law authorities, and no violence has occurred. But how long before the president-elect calls out the National Guard to forcefully dissipate and eradicate any opposition to his leadership? Anyone remember the Kent State shootings? I’m just sayin’… it can happen.

And, as if such internal national squabbling and fascist federal control of domestic political dissent aren’t enough, ISIS – the very threat to national security that Trump vowed to squash – has gleefully declared him the best recruiting tool since the Iraq war. In fact, ironically they’re calling him a maniac. They point to his pre-election rhetoric as inflaming the already tense relations between the Muslim world and the USA. And they predict an upswing in violent incidents like the Orlando massacre and the San Bernardino shootings in the coming months, carried out by freshly radicalized American ISIS sympathizers and anti-Trump extremists.

Internationally, Trump’s espoused policies could see America’s reputation for military support and trade equality dashed after decades of success. This could make worse the strong arm tactics that have bolstered the argument that America’s close links to Israel make it the enemy of all independent Arab states. The same could happen in Asia, where the support of North Korea (it should come as no surprise that Trump has the support of this crazy rogue nation) could unbalance the trade and diplomatic gains made over the last 40 years with China, South Korea, and Japan. In short, Trump’s policies could destabilize decades of delicate international negotiations and agreements if he tries to get tough and bring his hardball boardroom tactics to the negotiation table with our international partners.

During the election, Trump supporters demonstrated time and time again their ignorance and disdain for international politics, seeing foreigners only as invaders to shun from their borders and trade deals. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It’s an international world, whether they want to accept it or not. That said, according to Trump’s campaign promises, he’s vowed to shore up America’s borders, isolate the nation from outside influence, and protect its internal interests at all costs. That’s the dictatorial CEO in him talking. But experts fear that such protectionist tactics could actually be destructive to America’s domestic interests, and could lead to a decline in its respected international power and influence. And that’s something all Americans should fear.

I get the impression, from Trump’s own pre-election bombast, that there’s nothing he won’t do to get his way and bring things under control… his idea of control, anyway. And, if the violence and urban protests ramp-up, he’ll have the unopposed backing of 3 Republican-dominated federal bodies to carry out his every whim and impulse with impunity and swift retribution. He already has the support of the FBI, based on the unethical actions of FBI Director James Comey. It sure sounds like the makings of a fascist dictatorship to me. Maybe Frank Navarro was right.

None of the protest mentioned above, I might point out, are aimed at anyone but Donald Trump himself. He’s reacting angrily and vengefully to what he perceives correctly as personal attacks. But, as President, all he’ll need to do is sell these attacks as threats to the nation, and he’ll be granted almost unlimited powers to clamp down on civil liberties, and to use force to reign in and detain the trouble makers. All in the name of national security, of course.

Which brings me to Trump’s campaign slogan… I find myself wondering how all this revenge, curtailing of freedoms, and destructive protectionism are going to “Make America Great Again”?

I’m just sayin’

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About wordswithbrad

Let's see. I guess first and foremost I am a life wanderer on a journey of discovery and experience. Can you tell I am a child of the sixties? Along the way I have become many things ... a College Professor (now retired after 28 wonderful years), a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, a singer/songwriter, a musician, an artist, a world traveler, a fan of science fiction and history, and a student of human nature. But my greatest accomplishments are being father to two of the most amazing and accomplished young men I have ever known, and husband to the incredible and delightful woman who made that possible.
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