President Trump: A Scapegoat for the Sins of America

October 25, 2017

Those of you who read my column know that I have expressed extreme dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and everyone around him. I was profoundly disappointed when Hillary Clinton lost her opportunity to become the first woman President of the United States. Since that fateful evening last November, my mindset has mirrored that of millions of Americans. However, I have had an epiphany. Of course, all epiphanies are personal, and as I write my opinion here, I am not attempting to change your behavior or beliefs. I am only telling my story.

What is a scapegoat? With regard to American politics in the year 2017, a scapegoat is a person who serves as a vehicle of repentance, a sacrificial offering to the gods, a metaphoric goat who could be said to represent all the sins of America. The goat must be publicly slaughtered by the all-knowing high priests of the news media, the entertainment industry, and of the government. To save us from our painful recognition of America’s failure, deceit, and corruption, we needed a scapegoat to transfer our guilt. We needed a national sacrificial ritual to free us from our sins. Mockingly, we planted the thorny presidential crown on the head of this marginalized but well-known person and then subjected him to total public humiliation. His physical qualities and his character, history, family, thoughts, and deeds were assassinated for the entire world to see. Our scapegoat was Donald J. Trump.

The virtual blood-letting worked for a time. We attempted to demonize him by connecting him to our former Cold War enemy, the Russians. We accused him of working with the enemy to rig our most important election. This was treason. We listened to every word he uttered and condemned him for not conforming to our high level of ideas and compassion. We called him a buffoon, incompetent, and dangerous. He was the perfect scapegoat. All of our sins could be transferred to him and then washed clean.

He and his people were called “deplorables” by Hillary Clinton. We thought less of the citizens living between the coasts and the people in rural areas who appeared less-sophisticated, uninformed and simple. These sections of America were breeding grounds for the non-elite: the non-thinking, rude and crude people. President Trump represented the leader of these stereotypical racists, homophobes, misogynists, and low-brows who populated the land like mindless, diseased rats. The recognition that we participated and supported the obvious crimes of America was buried deep in our subconscious. Somehow other “deplorable” people were to blame—not us. The blame, shame, and guilt associated with America’s massive thievery and corruption, the perma-wars, the overthrow of governments, the drone attacks, the shootings, and the torture of other humans were suppressed into our collective unconscious. That was not us. We were righteous. We were good, politically-correct, logical-thinking Americans.

We attempted to use the sacrificial goat, Donald Trump, to cleanse our sins, but now that effort is failing. It’s obvious. The entire “Russian collusion” illusion has melted away. Now, we can only call him names. Legal procedures we created are now being used to attack our precious sanctimonious symbols. The Special Prosecutor we created has turned his attention away from Trump, and he is focusing on the alleged crimes of our heroes. The politicians and leaders we believed in are now under scrutiny. The corruption of previous administrations and government representatives that we supported is now being exposed.

I can no longer live in denial. The naiveté of my previous opinions is something I now recognize.  I may never approve of President Trump’s personal behavior, his demeanor, or his self-righteous attitude. But I will now admit he is the duly elected head of the Executive Branch of the United States government. I will view any attempt to remove him from office with caution. This country is navigating extremely treacherous waters. The captain of our ship may be unlikable, but the seas of politics and government bureaucracy are filled with dangerous sharks and pirates. Those who steer the ship of state should not be burdened by a misguided mutiny fomented by elitist subversives and supported by fearful, guilt-ridden and malleable citizens.  I, for one, will no longer support the personal, exaggerated, unfounded, organized self-serving attacks on our president. I intend to use this space to vigilantly report on any people in power who are corrupt, selfish, devious and evil. I will also strive to accurately report on those people who support America in an honest and constructive manner.

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Disappointing Trump Dons a New Suit of Armor

August 22, 2017

Yesterday, President Trump unveiled his new plan for the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan.  Even rabid Trump followers must be disappointed with his latest pronouncement. The United States has been fighting this undeclared war for sixteen years. In his speech yesterday he spoke of the frustration of the American people. He said his new policy was the result of being educated as to the facts by his top advisors. I’m happy to hear that the president is able to discard his campaign rhetoric in favor of informed analysis, but now instead of being the free-thinking populist he pretended to be during the election, the man on the white horse who would “drain the swamp”, he appears to have joined the “military-industrial complex” that President Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address.

President Trump would not explain his new war policy except to say the United States was moving away from a policy of Nation Building. Instead, he said that our new policy would focus on finding and killing bad guys. The details of this policy are secret. Implicitly, he signaled that additional troops would have to be sent to the front. He said he had changed his mind about fighting wars on foreign soil. The past has proved that politicians are on safe-ground when they fight wars “over there.” Trump has discovered the shield which he hopes will protect him from the on-going congressional investigations. He may assume that the American people will not want to “switch horses,” or deranged pretenders, in mid-stream.

Now we are presented with the specter of Trump the Warrior. This is a frightening thought. Trump the Misogynist is ugly, but not a national nightmare. Trump the Talk Show Host-cum-President is intellectually indigestible, but not earth-shaking. The United States has had its share of actors, dancers, pop singers, and comedians wearing the mantle of high public office. We have survived other unqualified pretenders in the Oval Office.

As Trump begins to define his presidency as one of active warmongering, we must all be concerned, and I do mean everyone. The election is over. The voting results cannot be changed, but we cannot wait until the year 2020 to see how this whole fiasco plays out. Earlier this month, President Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury.” His intensity of vitriolic rhetoric makes him sound like a man who is very close to pushing the button.  Misguided patriotism and years of hopeful indifference have led America into this corner. We have tolerated a permanent state of war and a state of national emergency since the 9-11 attacks. Whether our response to those attacks has been appropriate or not should be a topic of national debate.

I sense Trump’s Afghanistan policy is part of a new scheme to stay in office. He is stirring the pot of patriotism and war: first with last April’s missile strikes in Syria, then with his North Korea tough-guy talk, and now with the expansion of the war in Afghanistan. Donald Trump has discovered the cure for his lack of fitness for office, for his tasteless unprofessional public behavior, and for his alleged collusion with Russia. He has seen the poll results. When he presents his Trump the Warrior image, patriotism prevails, and more people support him.

This is his only Trump Card—the War Card. President Trump is wrapping himself in the flag. Let us hope that Mr. Mueller, the Special Prosecutor, will move quickly to light a fire under Congress before we all experience the tragic result of our nation’s election day mistake. “Fire and fury” in the age of nuclear warfare, unleashed by an irrational, childish, narcissistic pretender, whether he is the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea or the United States of America, may lead to the end of intelligent life on this planet.

Is Trump’s Impeachment Imminent?

July 27, 2017

The Trump team seems to be scurrying about.  Last month it was revealed the Special Counsel heading the Russian/Trump investigation, Robert Mueller, has widened the scope of his inquiry to include “an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.“  It is known that the investigation will include a hard look at the finances and business dealings of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior White House adviser. Several days ago, he met with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators. He released a statement saying, “I did not collude, nor do I know anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.” But he admitted meeting with the Russian ambassador for 20 to 30 minutes at the Trump Tower last December. He also attended the meeting with Russian Attorney in June 2016. Of course, his brother-in-law and Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr. also attended that meeting. Trump, Jr. said the purpose of the meeting was to get ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton about alleged Russian funding of the Democratic National Committee. However, Trump, Jr. admits that while the meeting occurred in the Trump Tower, the information about the DNC was never revealed and the meeting was unproductive and short.

Two other things have come to light about the Trump/Russian collusion investigation. First, President Trump sounded the all clear with regard to Comey/Trump recordings. His tweet of June 22nd was pretty much a “never mind.” He stated in confusing language that “he did not make, and do not have any such recordings.” We are left with Mr. Comey’s somewhat damning sworn testimony before Congress.

Second, into the hopper goes Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager. It has been confirmed that early morning July 26, 2017, the Manafort home in Alexandria, Virginia was raided by the FBI, guns drawn.

It appears that at least two Congressmen have had enough. Congressman Al Green (D-TX) and Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) have introduced Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors alleging “Obstruction of Justice.” The press release of Congressman Green expresses the feelings of many.

“Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President. Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country. But the Constitution does not provide for the removal of a President for impulsive, ignorant incompetence. It does provide for the removal of a President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors”.

The Russian/Trump collusion story continues with allegations and investigations swelling like a nasty boil on President Trump’s backside.

Déjà Vu 1973

A few days ago, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. He waited until Comey was out of town, publicly fired him, and then locked down Comey’s office. Obviously, Trump is afraid of something. As reported earlier, there have been rumblings of Trump’s dissatisfaction with his chief crime-fighter’s attitude. Did Trump finally determine that he could not make James Comey absolve him of wrongdoing with regard to Russian/Trump collusion? Was he afraid Comey would turn on him? President Trump made a special effort to emphasize that Comey had told him three times that Trump was not under investigation.

In 1973 when President Nixon started to feel the heat of the Watergate investigation, he pulled the plug on the Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. That event, called the ‘Saturday Night Massacre,’ was also linked to the resignation of the Attorney General and his Deputy. Three men went down that night. Nixon did not want Cox getting his hands on the secret recordings which later provided spectacular revelations about Nixon and his criminal activities. On that fateful Saturday night in late October 1973, Nixon abolished the office of the special prosecutor and attempted to kill the entire investigation which ultimately led to his resignation. Before these men could react, he put guards on their offices to assure that no implicating documents were exposed.

Does this sound familiar? Do we have our own Richard Nixon in the White House?  Will Trump attack Robert Mueller who has been retained as Special Counsel regarding the allegations of Russian/Trump collusion? Mueller is a former federal prosecutor with an unblemished record, and he has agreed to resign from his position in his law firm to permit him to execute an unconflicted and uncompromised full-time search for the truth.

President Trump said Comey was fired based on internal recommendations related to Comey’s performance. Apparently, he was unhappy because the FBI Director Comey decided after extensive investigations that Hillary Clinton had not committed any crimes related to her handling of classified emails during her service to the country as Secretary of State. Is all of this a smokescreen to hide his own illegal and possibly treasonous activity?

It has been reported by high officials that the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn is under investigation for his financial ties to Russia and that grand jury subpoenas have issued. Is the noose tightening around this nexus of intrigue?

Early next month, James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He will then have an opportunity tell the people of the United States whether President Trump attempted to silence him or interfere in any way with the FBI’s ongoing investigation of the Russian/Trump collusion.

The Russians are Coming!

March 27, 2017

President Trump cannot shake the scandal surrounding his nascent administration. Michael Flynn was his pick for national security advisor—obviously a bad choice.  Last month Flynn resigned amidst a brewing scandal. It appears that before his appointment, he privately discussed the issue of sanctions with Russian ambassador Kislyak, but he misled Vice-President Pence regarding these conversations. After initially backing Flynn, the V.P. ended up back-tracking.  Flynn lasted 24 days in office. He is now under investigation by U.S. counterintelligence agencies.

Then we have Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who now says that he met with the Russian ambassador, but he failed to disclose those meetings when interviewed by the Senate. He has recused himself from any existing or future government investigations of any matters related to the campaigns for president.

Meanwhile, James Comey, the head of the FBI, whose continuing public appearances have made him a minor celebrity, has now confirmed before the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Washington is abuzz with rumors that President Trump has been attempting to muzzle Comey about the Russian interference story. President Trump has muddied these dangerous waters with his recent Tweet alleging that President Obama wire-tapped his phones in the Trump Tower last October just before the election calling Obama a “bad (or sick) guy!” The beat goes on. It’s one Russian doll inside another.

No one has been able to prove collusion with the Russians—yet. James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence in Obama’s reign, stated publicly about the NSA, that “there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, president-elect or campaign.” Score one for Obama. But, he also has said he saw no evidence of collusion during his watch. Score one for Trump.

Most recently Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said while there was some “incidental collection” of information related to the Trump team after the election, this didn’t mean that Obama wiretapped the Trump Tower. Maybe this is the source of the president’s erroneous Tweet.

‘Collusion’ is a conspiracy intended to cheat or deceive.

Was there collusion between the Russians and the Trump operatives? New reports in today’s New York Times indicates that the Senate Intelligence Committee intends to question Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a top adviser regarding meetings that he arranged with the Russian ambassador.

Almost every day, we receive new reports related to Russia and President Trump. Can it all be ‘fake news’? Remember, Hillary Clinton and several intelligence agencies agree that Russia has interfered with the election process. She claims that the Russians hacked the DNC email server and delivered them to Wikileaks damaging her campaign. Government officials are attempting to connect the dots between Russia and the Trump campaign. If the link is made to the Trump team, will Hillary ask Congress to void the election by impeaching Trump?

Was Donald Trump the Kremlin’s Choice?

January 6, 2017

Thankfully someone is doing something about Donald Trump’s questionable rise to power.

A few days ago, President Barack Obama retaliated against the interference of the Russian government in our 2016 Presidential Election. The White House issued a statement “Russia’s cyber activities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in the US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our national process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

President Obama took action. He sanctioned Russian diplomats and gave them and their families 72 hours to leave the United States.

This action also was supported by prominent Republicans. House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement agreeing with the President’s demands while two US senators, McCain and Graham called for stronger sanctions against Russia.

Are these sanctions a response to the alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last summer? WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 private emails from the DNC, an action which was certainly designed to interfere with the election.

Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (NSA) released a recently declassified report on Russian hacking operations in the United States. This report provides all the detail to back up the charges made by Hillary Clinton’s in the presidential debates.  As she noted then, “the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans…, as seventeen of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.” Trump’s response to these facts raised by Clinton in the debate was to dance around the issue. He denied knowing Putin, but he said he wanted to become friends with Russia. It is a fact that Russia did support Donald Trump as the Kremlin’s choice for President of the United States.  Some have quibbled with the actual number of intelligence agencies involved, but there can be no arguing with the NSA report issued today. It’s all there for everyone to read: the attempt to discredit Secretary Clinton, the Russian efforts to undermine her future presidency, and cyber attacks which released DNC emails.

It’s all in this report in vivid color and stark black and white. Russian interference in the election process is clear. The next question to be answered is whether Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to plot the downfall of Secretary Clinton.