Democracy Aflame- Trump Almost Fires Robert Mueller.

Stick up for Robert Mueller

The New York Times reported Thursday evening that President Donald Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller last June. Mueller is the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate Russian interference in our 2016 election cycle. He is also the best hope we have of getting out of this mess in one piece.

In June, Chris Ruddy, a close Trump friend and Mar-a-Lago member, said after a visit to the White House that he’d overheard a discussion about the president considering firing Mueller.

Ultimately he decided not to go through with it, after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit instead of carrying out the order.

That seems like a pretty thin line of defence against something of the same type actually happening in the future.

This news is very big. It means that Trump drove us up to the brink of a constitutional crisis and took a good long think about driving us right over the edge.

The pretext he’d planned to use was that Mueller had once been a member of his golf club who quit over an argument over fees.

The kind of ridiculous insanity displayed by that line of reasoning has been the hallmark of Trump’s time in office. It’s that kind of thinking that’s got him going around poking at the North Koreans. He does not seem to grasp the idea of consequences. To Trump, regard for the law or the social contract is something for poor people and losers. But while he will not be around much longer to suffer for these decisions, the rest of us will.

In America, we have always had the time to stop and take a look at what we want our futures to look like, and how we want our lives to go. We choose a path, and we stick to it as well as we are able.

If things keep on as they have been, that is going to go away forever. To millennials, who must soon adapt to the post-Trump America, this is of the utmost concern.

This is the way that democracy dies. People stop caring about it. They cease to understand why it is valuable. And by the time they wake up to the fact, it is often too late.

Plato observed that political regimes follow a predictable evolutionary course, from oligarchy to democracy to tyranny.

Oligarchies give way to democracies when the would-be elite classes become decadent and develop interests apart from those they rule.

Democracies give way to tyrannies when mob passion overwhelms political wisdom and a populist autocrat seizes the masses.

The one constant is that the tyrant never starts out looking like a tyrant. On the contrary, in a democracy, the tyrant most commonly arises in the guise of the people’s champion. To this man, every trust is given. He’s the one man who can make everything whole again.

We all know who this reminds us of.

With Trump, we have a glimpse of what this sort of evolution looks like: A vulgar right-wing populism has emerged out of a maelstrom of anti-establishment hysteria from both sides of the political spectrum. Trump has been trying to play the part of a strongman fascist, right here in America. He views Mueller as a threat and wants him gone.

He began to argue for Mueller’s firing just days after his appointment to investigate the president’s 2016 campaign for collusion, the source said.

The revelation comes right as Mueller’s investigation appears to have intensified. Members of his staff in December finished an initial round of interviews with all of Trump’s senior White House staff.

In an impromptu press conference on Wednesday, Trump said that he himself may speak to Mueller’s team in the next “two to three weeks.”

Clearly, this is a terribly ominous sign.

Lawyers involved with Mueller’s investigation know that too.

“It’s one more brick in the wall,” said a Washington lawyer representing another senior Trump aide in the Russia probe.

Vast numbers of Americans have already made preparations to protest if Trump’s firing of Mueller becomes reality, a reaction similar to the public response after Richard Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. On that infamous evening, Nixon ordered the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox. It ultimately led to his impeachment, but not before doing much to complete the ideological cleaving of America.

A report by the National Constitution Center summed up how well the whole scheme worked out for Nixon.

“Within hours of executing this Saturday Night Massacre, a firestorm of public protest erupted that led to the appointment of a new special prosecutor, the subpoenaing of dozens of additional damning tapes, the drafting of impeachment resolutions … and the ultimate unravelling of the Nixon Presidency.”

After the Saturday Night Massacre, the percentage of Americans who believed that Nixon should resign jumped from 19% to 38%, and reached 57% within six months. These kinds of low numbers are also reminiscent of Trump; it would be interesting to see how many of us currently think Trump should resign.

There’s a very real chance that if Trump pulls this he will get away with it because people cannot possibly be more disgusted with him than they already are. His base would cheer him on.

We also can’t be lulled into believing that this Congress will have the same sort of stomach and decency as the one that prepared to oust Nixon. Democrats hold neither house. And these Republicans have acted without conscience at every vote. There is not a sound reason to trust them.

Going forward, we will need to keep the closest possible eye on this and sound the alarm every way we can. Trump will do this if he thinks it will save him.

And besides. Nothing screams out the necessity for a blood-feud like golfing fees.

Back then, Chris Ruddy said during an interview with Politico that “It(the firing of Mueller) could trigger something well beyond anything they ever imagined.” 

It is to be hoped that those words are never put to the test.

Advertisements

Typical Trump Voters- What We’re Up Against.

Deplorables up to their gig

 

It’s election time again in 200 days. This is the year that #TheBlueWave washes across this country once and for all. And that means engagement with the public.

We have to reach out to the people all we can. We have to fight our hearts out for every last vote.

We’ve got to beat back hundreds of primary challenges nationwide from the so-called Justice Democrats. Without doing that we won’t make it to the real fight with a party that’s still blue. We’ve got to avoid pukey pea soup Libertarian green. And there’s only one way to do that.

We have to overwhelm the opposition with the strength and the logic of our argument.

The means by which we win this battle will be those which allow us to influence the information process the populace uses to make up their minds.

No one gets hurt or killed, and nothing is destroyed. The goal is to maintain our democracy without civil war.

We have to remain nonviolent, but prepared. The other side is crazy.

For example, one particularly pleasant fellow came onto the Millennial Democrats Facebook Page (Check us out! Join the debate) and threatened us with mass murder.

“Understand this Democrats”, he said, without using a comma, “If Trump gives the order I will kill as many of you as I can.”

When you looked at the guy, you saw a deeply unattractive and angry little guy. To say such a thing, to be focused on your own rage and desire for mayhem to that sick of an extent, you’ve got to be a very unhappy person.

One at a time, such people are pretty pitiful. But when they collect into large groups, with a wicked leader to guide them, they fill up death camps. That sort of viciousness cannot and will not be given a platform here in America.

At Millennial Democrats, we welcome dissent, and we welcome the chance to engage in a dialogue with people with every worldview, as long as they’re willing to be respectful and have an open mind.

Murdering savages will be excluded.

The foreign radicalism of the type that produced those events never took deep root here, and it’s our job to make sure it never does. Our eyes are open now.

We were defeated in the last election because nobody knew we’d be up against a foreign power.

Our message was sound, hopeful, and practical. We have only to alter a few techniques. We will adapt and strengthen ourselves so that we can do precisely that kind of thing to our enemy in the next war. If we understand them better than they understand us, we will always have the advantage.

For this reason, we’ve put some hours in, taking a look at the thinking process of the typical Trump voter.

There’s a number of serious personality dysfunctions keeping these poor people from living happy lives. 

One common trait is called authoritarian personality syndrome, a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition among radical extremists. It refers to a worldview characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to the hierarchy of social order and one’s personal authority. It is rampant like a plague throughout Trump’s base.

Fearmongering demagogues create and exploit fear in those with the syndrome. In this way, they are able to depersonalize minority groups in the eyes of their constituents.

This is how Nazis are created. This is how the bedlam at Charlottesville got started off last summer. This is why Heather Heyer is dead.

A distinct but related dysfunction is called social dominance orientation, or SDO. This refers to people who have a preference for the social hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones.

Here’s an observation- People who spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not others are inferior to them are pathetic.

Don’t worry about your place in the social hierarchy, it isn’t important. Treat others well and do your best at every task you find in front of you. That is what matters.

At any rate, a new study has shown that support for Trump is correlated with a standard scale of modern racism.

A higher level of contact with diverse groups of people has been shown to reduce prejudice.

2016 study found that “the racial and ethnic isolation of white people at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” As such, it’s important to note that Trump’s white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. 

This makes it much easier to fear and hate the people they consider outsiders.

Another reason to resent members outside the majority group is called relative deprivation. This refers to the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

The old-fashioned word for it was jealousy. These days, we call it being a hater.

 

 

 

 

It’s become clear to everyone on both sides of the fence that the lines have been drawn. The age-old struggle between dictatorship and democracy is going to be fought yet again in this generation, and we have gotten good at it.

There are entire playbooks written on how to resist a tyrannical government like Trump’s is becoming. How to tell the difference between when to fight and get mad, and when to smile and hand a rose to the soldiers or police.

 

A new type of World War seems to be looming on the horizon, a sort of mass, worldwide Civil War, with populists from the right and left squaring off in numerous countries and across borders around the world.

This could be a conflict in which trenches are dug through backyards and in between houses. Nationalism has been and will be an excuse, but the struggle will transcend all ideological boundaries and sides will have to be taken.

Our nation will turn 242 on the Fourth of July. 

Reasonable people sat in Philadelphia and declared their unwillingness to remain contentedly subject to an authoritarian command. Like us, they were driven to extremity by the hideous conduct of a mentally fragile and bipolar monarch.

America is not just a country. It is an idea. The first Americans fought a war, over what Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, called inalienable rights. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Of them all, the most important is freedom from tyranny. Not just from tyranny abroad, but also from any homegrown autocrat who might be lacking loyalty to all those who have fought and died to preserve this noble experiment. Going forward, we will have to redouble our efforts.