When the President of the United States Attacks His Own Citizens
It is one thing for us to object to what someone else is saying or doing. It is a very different thing when we push and promote an agenda of hate toward that person, for then we have chosen a darkness of intent. Choosing such a path harms our heart and soul, and this earth we are on, and all that is spiritually noble and worthy in each human being.
When the President of the United States makes a choice to yield to this same darkness of intent, however, it is much worse for us all, for that intention is received by the whole earth and everyone on it all at once. It is transmitted as an energy of hate around the globe. And because of the perceived power of his role as the voice of this country, his willingness to attack his own citizens is witnessed by billions.
Make no mistake, every single day of his presidency, Trump has attacked at least one citizen in America, and usually more than one. It is unprecedented. He uses Twitter as a means to carry out personal vendettas. He also speaks to crowds by attacking other Americans.
His political promises are hollow, given his track record, his lack of knowledge in many directions, his faulty or selective memory, and his willingness to throw rivals under the bus. These personality aspects have been part of his life long before his election to office. He still behaves as if he is running The Apprentice, and the number of people he has fired or pressed to resign since taking office, including Cabinet members, is now at 43. This figure is twice that of all previous presidents combined since 1981. (Thirty-four percent of Trump’s most senior staffers had quit, switched roles, or were forced out in his first year alone.)
It makes for an administration without a rudder beyond the mercurial, uninformed, and impulsive decision-making of Trump. He has more than once said proudly he is almost the only one left to do anything. He is pretty much right.
The Republican Congress has not objected to this massive rate of turnover. That seems very strange. It may be that they don’t really know how to fulfill their own agendas and are content to have Trump’s chaos cover up their lack of progress.
One thing has remained constant — Trump’s vitriol toward anyone who challenges him, for any reason. You either say he is great, or you reap the whirlwind of his hate, be it manifested as putdowns, derogatory aspersions, false data appearing real, or sheer bombastic posturing, not to mention the consistent lying. He has no worries whether he expresses this vitriol here or abroad, but one thing is certain: if you are a citizen of the United States and do not call him great, he will try to take you down.
The current president plays to our worst instincts, to our fears, and to our prejudices. Getting a rise out of someone makes his day. Being challenged by someone even in his own party gives him gladness for he can wage another assault on his Twitter feed. Getting a crowd riled up — not engaged, mind you, but riled up, mob-like — gives him a thrill of deep satisfaction. In this respect his “work” is flourishing.
Even attending a WH meeting on an important subject, he spends his time not listening and contributing ideas for solutions, but writing furiously the various responses he can shout out (tweet) to his enemies, who are almost everyone not named Trump, Kim, or Putin.
It is evident that one thing, and one thing only, propels Trump into action, and it is not a plan for world peace. It is a plan to make sure his perceived rivals and enemies are shot down and if possible, ruined. Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson described a meeting he had with Trump in the 90s:
“He invited me to lunch or dinner at his house, and he had just been bankrupt,” Branson claimed, later clarifying he meant one of Trump’s companies had filed for bankruptcy. “I thought we would have an interesting conversation about a whole range of issues, and he just spent the whole lunch talking about five people he rung up to try to get help from … and how these people had refused to help him and how his life’s mission was to going to be to destroy these people.”
Trump’s most recent vicious attacks on new members of Congress are, interestingly, both directed to young women — US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and US Rep. Ilhan Omar —by calling them terrorists. His vicious attacks, along with serious and typical misinformation that is actually slander, hold shades of the McCarthy period, one of America’s darkest travesties, a period of Cold War hunting eventually brought down by broadcast journalist and war correspondent Edward R. Murrow, who won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
What we need now is another Edward R. Murrow. I see none on the horizon, though Anderson Cooper is a possibility. But I have no doubt there is someone capable of turning the tide and changing the America of hate into the America of hope. I believe this, against all current evidence.
Each of us is involved in change for our country. We choose everyday whether to stay silent or to speak or to act.
It is when we choose to behave with integrity that the truth will out. We cannot abide and allow the President of the United States to wage war on his own citizens for no reason but because they defy him. That is not a democracy. That is something else — something very, very dangerous.
“We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.” — Edward R. Murrow