the end of America

The following italicized remarks (and the title of this post) were spoken by the 45th President, at South Dakota’s 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration in Keystone, South Dakota on July 3rd, to 7,000 unmasked fans, with a dais of dignitaries, including his third wife. These remarks are peppered throughout this post to highlight many efforts (or rather his team of writers’ ideas and the Republican party dictating his campaign) and tactics to win re-election next November, while not discussing unemployment which is at a record high, or COVID 19 when infection cases are running right off the graft in the US. This man is on a course to bring the end of America, not a prosperous, generous, healthy, and united America, nor the one that would make my ancestors proud, but a place of fear and hate and worry for all of us who understand fact and science and reason. But I’ll let him tell you that.

 

Seventeen seventy-six represented the culmination of thousands of years of western civilization and the triumph not only of spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason.

And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.

Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

Patrick Campbell's Flag

“Patrick Campbell’s painting New Age of Slavery presents a completely different perspective on the American flag and what it represents. Going viral the first week of December 2014, the painting depicts hanging bodies in the red stripes of the flag. In the field of blue, some of the stars are cracked, and some are figures of men engaged in violent acts like shooting and striking. Still others are victims of those acts.

Campbell was inspired by story after story of African Americans dying pointless deaths at the hands of authority figures, but Eric Garner’s death was a tipping point. “It seems that African-Americans have been targeted in our own state and in our own country. I cannot stress that enough. IT IS OUR OWN COUNTRY,” he told The Grio.

Many have criticized the painting as disrespectful, to which Campbell agrees, adding that “it’s grounded on hard truths.” The violence illustrated in his flag is typical in many American communities—even the children in these communities know as much. It’s their reality.

These two manifestations of the flag reveal two facets of the U.S. conversation surrounding race: aspiration and reality. It is true we have a black president—but it is also true that African-American students are more likely to be suspended than their white peers for the same violations and that African-American teens are 21 times more likely to be shot dead by police than their white peers. These types of lopsided statistics are not true only for African Americans but also for Latinos, American Indians, LGBT individuals and people with disabilities.

Think your students don’t know these facts? They do. Think they’re not talking about them? They are—and you should too. Talking about the systemic oppression that students of color experience isn’t racist. On the contrary, such conversation opens the door to a different future, a different country that shuns the hypocrisy Douglass spoke about 150 years ago.

If more people can accept and respect an African American proudly wrapped in the American flag, then maybe fewer of our students will identify with stripes that represent loss of life and oppression” (Teaching Tolerance).

 

In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.  If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished.  It’s not going to happen to us.  (Applause.)

Make no mistake: this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution.  In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.

To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

 

“Every morning, Donald Trump sets aside several hours for what aides have dubbed “executive time”. But he isn’t reading policy papers or intelligence briefings. He’s glued to the TV: specifically, to Fox News. And the president of the United States begins his day not only by watching the channel’s morning show, Fox & Friends, but by live-tweeting the stories covered on it and lavishing praise on the presenters. Is it any wonder, then, that the US news website Mediaite dubbed the Fox & Friends hosts, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, “three of the most influential media people not just in the United States, but in the entire world”?

Trump is “the Fox News president”, as another Fox News host, Greg Gutfeld, once bragged live on air. “Everything that he says, we’ve said.” This isn’t an exaggeration: Matthew Gertz, a senior fellow at the progressive media watchdog Media Matters for America, has documented how often and how brazenly the president repeats almost word for word what he has just seen or heard on the channel.

Fox & Friends, for example, does an interview with a Republican congressman who claims the Trump tax cut has led to an increase in company bonuses. Thirteen minutes later Trump tweets that it is “really great” that companies “are giving bonuses to their workers”. Fox & Friends does a segment on the National Football League (NFL) refusing to force players to stand for the national anthem; 38 minutes later Trump slams the NFL, tweeting: “Total disrespect for our great country!” Fox & Friends does a story on the former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s alleged mishandling of sensitive government emails; an hour later Trump tweets that she should be imprisoned. Day after day, this Fox-addicted president turns the far-right Fox agenda into the national agenda.

Trump’s obsession with Fox, though, pre-dates his presidency. In 2011, he was doing so many interviews over the phone with Fox & Friends that he was given his own segment on the show called “Mondays with Trump”. In 2015 and 2016, during the Republican primaries, the property tycoon was securing twice as much airtime on Fox as his closest rival, Ted Cruz. And since assuming office, this most controversial and corrupt of presidents has continued to be the recipient of fawning coverage and softball interviews from the country’s highest-rated cable news channel.

“Fox and Trump are in a mutually beneficial feedback loop – he has the power, but they have a lot of influence over what he does with it,” Gertz tells me. Over the past year, Trump has done 11 interviews with Fox News but none at all on any of the other mainstream networks or cable news channels. Since his inauguration, he has tagged @foxnews or @foxandfriends in tweets more than a hundred times, according to Media Matters for America. Recent appointments to his administration have included acting under secretary of state Heather Nauert, a former Fox News anchor with zero experience of diplomacy, and his latest national security adviser, John Bolton, a former Fox News contributor said to have impressed Trump with his on-air bluster.

To be clear: since it began in 1996, Fox has been an ultra-conservative, ultra-partisan channel, pushing right-wing talking points and promoting Republican politicians. Yet since January 2017, Fox seems to have morphed into state TV and become an American Pravda – and it isn’t only liberals sounding the alarm bell. Former long-time Fox News contributor Ralph Peters, a retired army colonel, quit in March saying he was “ashamed” to be associated with the channel in the Trump era. Fox was now “a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration”, he wrote in his resignation letter. “Fox News is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”

Take the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Gertz explains that “the conservative hosts on Fox News, the ones who are closest to the president, have spent the past month paving the way for Trump to fire Mueller, telling their audience day in day out that Mueller and the FBI cannot be trusted… and that [the investigation] is, as Trump says himself, a ‘witch hunt’.”

Gertz also reminds me that one of the reasons Fox News exists “is in part an effort to shield the Republican Party from having a repeat of Richard Nixon”. The late Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News, was a former adviser to Nixon, who tried to fire the Watergate special prosecutor – and was then forced to resign the presidency after senior congressional Republicans threatened to impeach him.

Today, the sheer power and influence that Fox News exerts makes a repeat of such behaviour by Republicans “very, very difficult”, argues Gertz. “Those Republican senators and members of Congress are much more afraid of Fox News than they are of anything else.”

For the profit-hungry Fox, Donald Trump is the president their paranoid and reactionary viewers crave, and as a result is a “ratings machine” (to borrow a line from the man himself). For the thin-skinned Trump, Fox provides him with a comfort zone and acts as a bulwark against liberal attempts to unseat him. Fox owes Trump and Trump owes Fox” (How the right-wing Fox News became Donald Trump’s state propaganda channel).

Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains.  The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.

 

“Textbooks have been a part of the culture wars for a long time, said King. In the late 1990s, scholar Leah Wasburn analyzed slavery representation’s in US history textbooks used in Indiana, and she noted how the religious right influenced textbooks in the 1980s and’90s. During this period, there were more conservative references to how Christianity got the enslaved through hard times, as well as traditional family rhetoric that said the wives of slave owners (which assumed women weren’t slaveowners themselves) took care of the enslaved in motherly ways.

 

No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart.  Can’t have it.  No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future.

The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice.  But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society.  It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance, and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of repression, domination, and exclusion.

They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced. 

 

“President Donald Trump says he is “studying” a housing regulation he claims has negatively impacted suburban areas.

On Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter TWTR, 6.73% to say he is considering ending the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration in 2015.

“At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” Trump wrote. He added, “Not fair to homeowners, I may END!”

The AFFH rule was meant to fulfill requirements of the Fair Housing Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. The Fair Housing Act brought an end to practices such as redlining and racial covenants in home deeds. But the law was also supposed to require local governments to work to desegregate neighborhoods across the country”(Market Watch).

 

We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life.

 

“At least 25 women have made sexual misconduct allegations against Trump since the 1970s.

A deluge of women made their accusations public following the October 2016 release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump was recorded boasting about grabbing women’s genitals in 2005. Some others made their stories public months before the tape’s release, and still others came forward in the months following.

Trump has broadly dismissed the allegations, which include ogling, harassment, groping, and rape, as “fabricated” and politically motivated accounts pushed by the media and his political opponents. He promised to sue all of his accusers during the 2016 election. In some cases, Trump and his lawyer have suggested that he didn’t engage in alleged behavior with certain women because they weren’t attractive enough for him to be interested in.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” the Republican nominee said during a 2016 rally. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

The president said these “false allegations” against him were made by “women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me.” And then alleged that the “mainstream media” refused to report on evidence that the accusations were made up.

Trump has not yet made good on his promise to sue any of the women — although two women have sued him – and the White House says that Trump’s election proves the American people don’t consider the allegations disqualifying” (Business Insider).

 

We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture.

We embrace tolerance, not prejudice.

 

“I should not have been there,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said of his appearance at the politically charged event on June 1.

“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” he said in a prerecorded video commencement address to the National Defense University.

Milley’s remarks followed a rare outpouring of condemnation from retired U.S. generals and even former defense secretary Jim Mattis for taking part in the event, given that the U.S. military is meant to be apolitical and is sworn to defend the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to peaceful protest.

Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had joined Trump to pay a surprise visit to the historic Saint John’s Church, during which the president held up a Bible for photographers.

Minutes before the visit, law enforcement used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse mostly peaceful protesters occupying the square between the White House and the church in a demonstration against the police killing of George Floyd, drawing condemnation from Democrats and some Republicans.

The National Guard supported law enforcement at the site.

“As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it,” Milley said. He stopped short of apologizing outright” (Reuters).

 

In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country, and that we feel for each other.  Their goal is not a better America, their goal is the end of America.

 

“President Trump quietly nominated a replacement inspector general (IG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But this was no ordinary nomination. If confirmed by the Senate, it will force out the acting IG after her office released a survey of hospitals that, to Trump’s vocal displeasure, underscored his administration’s botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ouster is also only the latest in a series of troubling actions by the president against the nation’s inspectors general, including firing Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, and demoting the Pentagon’s acting inspector general, which then made him ineligible to serve on the newly-created Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. The new HHS IG nomination itself came amid a top HHS official’s statement that the Trump administration demoted him for refusing to support the president’s promotion of scientifically unproven treatments for the novel coronavirus. The official has now filed a retaliation complaint seeking an investigation by the HHS IG… Over the longer term, Trump’s attacks against oversight threaten democratic accountability by weakening a systemic safeguard that is meant to expose injustices by those wielding government power. A president who declares both that he has “total authority” and that “I don’t take responsibility at all” for his decisions cannot be trusted when he claims “I’ll be the oversight” on anything” (American Civil Liberties Union).

 

We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King, when he said that the Founders had signed “a promissory note” to every future generation. 

 

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition” (I Have A Dream, 1963).

 

America’s future is in our hands.  And ladies and gentlemen: the best is yet to come. 

 

“Since the virus pandemic hit the US the government and the central bank have provided trillions of dollars of support for the world’s biggest economy.

Still, unemployment has soared to levels not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s as more than 40 million Americans have already been put out of work.

America’s unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April and on Friday the US Labor Department is expected to confirm that it reached 20% in May. In March that figure stood at just 4.4% having risen from a 50-year low from the month before” (“Coronavirus could ‘drag on US economy for a decade”).

The gulf between reality and President Donald Trump‘s delusional vision of a waning coronavirus threat was on full display this weekend, as cases soared in key hotspots while he delivered speeches at Mount Rushmore and at the White House, with little physical distancing and few masks, directly contradicting the advice from his public health experts.

Playing with fire at a time when experts say the spread of the virus appears to be spiraling out of control, Trump continued gaslighting Americans about the threat to their health during a Fourth of July speech from the South Lawn of the White House, where he minimized the dangers of Covid-19 with a baseless statement that 99% of coronavirus cases are “harmless,” a claim his Food and Drug Administration chief could not back up Sunday morning” (“As Trump gaslights America about coronavirus, Republicans face a critical choice“).

** Italicized remarks by the 45th president

3 thoughts on “the end of America

  1. I don’t even know what to say.
    I am looking forward Mary Trump’s book.
    And his personally stacked supreme court, ordering the release of his tax returns.
    I wish this all was just a seriously bad dream.

    Like

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