January 31, 2017

Building an Autocracy in the U.S.

A damning examination of the nascent Trump administration by David Frum culminates in this advice (The Atlantic):

Get into the habit of telephoning your senators and House member at their local offices, especially if you live in a red state. Press your senators to ensure that prosecutors and judges are chosen for their independence—and that their independence is protected. Support laws to require the Treasury to release presidential tax returns if the president fails to do so voluntarily. Urge new laws to clarify that the Emoluments Clause applies to the president’s immediate family, and that it refers not merely to direct gifts from governments but to payments from government-affiliated enterprises as well. Demand an independent investigation by qualified professionals of the role of foreign intelligence services in the 2016 election—and the contacts, if any, between those services and American citizens. Express your support and sympathy for journalists attacked by social-media trolls, especially women in journalism, so often the preferred targets. Honor civil servants who are fired or forced to resign because they defied improper orders. Keep close watch for signs of the rise of a culture of official impunity, in which friends and supporters of power-holders are allowed to flout rules that bind everyone else.

We are living through the most dangerous challenge to the free government of the United States that anyone alive has encountered. What happens next is up to you and me. Don’t be afraid. This moment of danger can also be your finest hour as a citizen and an American.

(Emphasis mine.)

Yesterday brought the sacking of the most public civil servant to date, Sally Yates, the acting attorney general of the United States. She was fired for directing the Department of Justice to not defend the president’s “unlawful” order banning a narrowly-defined refugee group from immigration to the United States. Yates (The New York Times):

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful”

It is not an overstatement to say the republic is under siege from within. A demagogue callously indifferent to the proper functioning of our government has been elected chief executive, his hand guided by racist muckraker Steve Bannon. They have the full-throated support of those who want to tear apart 228 years of constitutional democracy, and rebuild it in some buffoonish image of “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

If you are not taking action against this administration by such means as mentioned by Frum, you are acquiescing to it. You will be complicit in its results.

#Trump #GOP #fraud #Yates #DoJ #immigration #muslims #Bannon

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