Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trump's Chaos Spreads to Charlottesville

Nazis and Klan members are marching in the streets of Charlottesville. They beat up counterprotesters and rammed a car into a crowd.  They are protesting the removal of the statue of a traitor to the United States:
The turmoil began with a march Friday night and escalated Saturday morning as hundreds of white nationalists gathered. Waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans, wearing helmets and carrying shields, they converged on a statue of Robert E. Lee in the city’s Emancipation Park and began chanting phrases like “You will not replace us,” and “Jew will not replace us.” 
We all remember who Adolf Hitler was: the murderer of millions of Europeans, Americans and Jews. We don't have statues of him in the United States: instead we have a Holocaust Museum and WWII memorials to remember his victims. And why do these supporters of Trump, who professes such love for Israel, have so much hatred for Jews?

Robert E. Lee and the other Confederate leaders were traitors to the United States. We do not "erase history" by tearing down monuments to those traitors. I'm actually related to General Lee: it's not a point of shame, but neither is it a heritage to celebrate: his actions do not reflect poorly on his descendants unless they endorse his treachery by honoring him. Statues of Lincoln, Union generals and abolitionists serve as reminders of the heroes of the Civil War: we should not commemorate the calumny of the villains.

The Nazi sympathizers in Charlotte venerate Confederate traitors, Hitler, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump all in the same breath. Make no mistake what their intentions are:
“We’re going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back,” Mr. Duke told reporters Saturday. Many of the white nationalist protesters carried campaign signs for Mr. Trump.
This is what Donald Trump has turned the Republican Party into. A bunch of Nazis and Klan members who advocate race warfare and anarchy. Republicans have been tiptoeing up to this line for decades, with Nixon's and Reagan's dog whistles to racist Southerners. But Trump has completely obliterated it, winking and grinning as his followers pledge fealty to him with Nazi salutes and Nazi slogans.

During the campaign Trump played dumb, pretending he didn't know who David Duke was, and what the Klan was. Now his followers are inciting race war at the same time he's threatening nuclear war with North Korea. He's apparently thinking of invading South America as well, saying that we have "many options for Venezuela."

Republicans in Congress, wise up: Trump is an incompetent, senile madman intent on destroying the United States out of sheer spite. He is filling his own pockets with money from the treasury, paid to his own businesses so the Secret Service and the Pentagon can provide "security" when he takes vacations at his own properties.

Trump has had more than a year to disavow these Nazi sympathizers, and he has never done so. These are "his voters." This is why they'll never turn their backs on him: they are died-in-the-wool racists and fascists, and they are convinced he is as well. Whether Trump himself is is irrelevant: he's happy to take their fealty and give them license to rain chaos down across the country while he rains chaos down in Washington, dismantling the rule of law.

At this point the Republican Party has to disavow Trump and impeach him. Unless Congress or the cabinet removes Trump from office, and soon, he will start to pull the same gimmicks that other dictators have in the past. If Congress doesn't act soon, it may well be too late.

Trump will continue to fuel strife between his supporters and everyone else, inciting more violence. He will attack his erstwhile allies in Congress, such as Mitch McConnell and John McCain, in an attempt to intimidate and silence them. He will purge government of officials who refuse to pledge personal loyalty to Donald Trump alone. He will sic the FBI and the Justice Department after his enemies, perhaps starting with Hillary Clinton. He will corrupt the military, firing any generals who will not follow illegal orders. He will use his voter fraud commission to take away the right to vote from Democrats and minorities. A majority of Republicans would even back Trump if he canceled the next presidential election. The next step would be to declare martial law.

Trump is using the standard dictator play book, drumming up fear and paranoia over foreigners (ISIS, immigrants), cozying up to the foreign country that vaulted him to power (Russia), alienating our democratic allies (Europe), then stoking a foreign war (North Korea, Venezuela) to terrorize Americans so they will acquiesce to his future despotic measures to shore up his power.

If Trump remains president the chaos in Charlottesville will spread across the entire country.

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