04 December 2022

Trump again shows he is a clear and present danger

I am as sick and tired of talking about Trump, on any level, as the next person. But he keeps doing and saying things that come right up to, or cross, the line of criminality and incitement to violent overthrow of the government of our country. And he, as quite plausibly the likely presidential nominee of one of the two lock-hold political parties in this country, has made it clear in word and deed that if he ever becomes president again, he will begin systematically replacing the democratic institutions of our country with outright fascism. This is no exaggeration at all. So, in other words, he remains a clear and present danger, and as such, he commands our attention. 

His blurts (he calls them "truths" on his ridiculous twitter knock off) have incriminated him in the Mar a Lago case. From his own words it's easy to prove he knowingly stole government documents including highly classified national security materials, and other statements make it clear that this was not only intentional, but that his intentions were and are to undermine the legal functioning of American elections and "install" himself as president, by which he clearly means, in effect, dictator. (He's actually used the  word "install" several times in this context, most recently in reference to Kari Lake, who lost her election for governor in Arizona by a large margin. Americans are not "installed" in office; they take office after actually winning elections.)

But more disturbing is a vein of blurts that have recently reached a fever pitch, in which he continues his deranged insistence that the 2020 election was fraudulent (despite zero actual evidence) and that his supporters should "take action" to "install" him as, again, in effect, dictator. The most recent pretext was some utter nonsense about the former management of Twitter taking down posts, at the request of the Democratic campaign before the election (although he seems to conflate that with the present government)... posts which were in violation of Twitter's terms of service (such as nude pics of Biden's son), and amounted to revenge porn. This would be completely unbelievable in a political novel, but it's actually true, so we have to deal with it. Anyway, Trump's most recent blurt sets a new low. And it really does have to be read in the context of the fact that he previously incited his mob to violently interfere with the peaceful transfer of power and mandated procedures for the election of the president who won both the popular vote and the Electoral College by a wide margin. Trump, again calling for the overturning of the 2020 election and his "installation" as dictator, wrote "A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution."  

I am certainly not an advocate of overzealous enforcement of the law for what amounts to only advocating a different form of government. That horrible excuse for a human being, Fuentes, in calling for an "end to elections" and overtly calling for dictatorship, is only engaging in his free speech rights, however odious, because he's careful not to encourage others to take up arms to enforce their anti-democratic vision. In 1918, Wilson had Eugene Debs tried for, essentially, denouncing the war, which was clearly unconstitutional and antidemocratic; Trump should not be prosecuted for advocating fascism, but this is more than that. Trump is skirting, if not crossing, the line, as a former president who has a following some of whose members have recently been convicted of seditious conspiracy for acting on his incitements to violence. He is signaling that his followers should "rise up"... implicitly violently... and "take back" the country, despite the fact that he clearly flat out lost the election and is delusional... or worse... in saying otherwise. This blurt, in the context of everything that has gone on, comes very, very close to calling for the violent overthrow of the US government. Which is sedition. A serious crime. 

I don't actually think Trump should be prosecuted for this. It's just words; it's ambiguous. But it is indicative of his intent. And he stands likely to be charged with incitement to violence to overthrow the election in 2021. And this kind of statement reflects on his intentions in stealing massive amounts of government records, including highly sensitive national security documents, and obstructing and lying about the investigation and enforcement actions to attempt to recover them. He remains a threat to our democracy, and the record is clear that he has criminally violated numerous provisions of Federal and State laws in his effort to retain, then regain, power. He must be vigorously prosecuted and condemned for his unAmerican, out and out fascist tactics and incitement. Not his opinions or beliefs, however delusional, but his crimes, including, where he actually crossed the line, his incitement of others to commit violence on his behalf. And frankly, anyone who cannot see this and condemn his words and deeds at this point, is complicit in his treachery. At least morally, if not legally. 

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