I■ Richard Flores / Contributed
t has become abundantly clear this past week that President Trump and his staff have been colluding with the Russian autocratic regime with the intent to undermine the integrity of our U.S. presidential election and our Democratic form of government. Investigations have revealed countless meetings between the Trump campaign and Russian representatives that were not reported. First denied, but now exposed are the countless efforts to establish a pro-bono relationship between the Trump administration and the Putin regime.
We are aware of Hillary’s stolen emails and that Trump asked Russia to steal and to make them available to the U.S. voting public for the purpose of undermining her presidential campaign. The public is now aware that the Putin/Russia sabotage machine paid $80,000 for political ads for Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, Reddit and Yahoo, with the potential of reaching and influencing 230 million Americans. Ads that are designed to stoke hate, fear and division among the American citizens. Ads and videos that promoted conflict, false information, and conspiracy theories.
America is not the only country that has been targeted by the Russian political meddling strategy. The presidential campaigns of France, Germany, Poland and Britain have been targeted for political infiltration, spread of misinformation and lending support to extremist internal movements. It seems that Russia has a grand scheme to convert the world democracies in their own image and Trump’s America is on the list.
Taking into account this information and considering that Trump won Michigan by 13,080 votes, Wisconsin by 27,257 votes, Nevada by 26,434 votes, New Hampshire by 2,701 votes and Maine by 19,995 votes, I would have to say that the Russian political meddling strategy to influence the 2016 election did quite well. And considering the fact that Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes and only won the Electoral College with 304, the question of Trump being a legitimate president becomes quite real.
The public now knows that Trump wanted to impede or stop the Russian interference investigation by firing FBI Director James Comey, by interfering with the duties of the House Intelligence Committee investigation and by calling Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and pressuring him and his committee members to stop the Russian election meddling investigation and by threatening to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
He has tried to diminish the First Amendment (Freedom of the Press) and has attacked the Constitution’s separation of powers and has disregarded the checks and balances principle of the Constitution. Trump and the Republican Party are already acting as if they are the oligarchy, only concerned about their own self-interests and ignoring the majority needs and opinions of the public, knowing that 60 percent of the public was against the tax cut and 66 percent supported the ACA; yet they still voted against the will of the people.
At what point did Americans feel that it is all right for a foreign country, which happens to be a staunch enemy of the United States, to meddle and denigrate our presidential elections, just so that an individual can win the presidency? What does it say about the allegiance to our country and character of a person that agrees with that hypothesis? With all the evidence available to the public and more to come, can the actions of Trump be considered a secret collaboration with an authoritarian regime in order to undermine our democracy and to convert our form of government to some sort of oligarchy-controlled republic?
It is clear to me, and I hope to the public, that an unfettered Trump would head in such a direction with the explicit support of a degenerated and corrupted Republican party, whose sole allegiance seems to be to an American oligarchy that funds their campaigns. It appears that the Republican leadership in Congress is willing to support the actions of an authoritarian president just to get their harmful agendas adopted—an agenda that stands to serve the best interest of Main Street, by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, an agenda that wanted to destroy the Affordable Care Act that covers 20 million poor and middle class American citizens, the desire to eliminate environmental protection regulations that keeps our air, rivers and environment safe to live in, the deregulation of consumer protection laws and the willingness to open up our public lands to corporate economic development.
Trump and the Republican Party are already acting as if they are the oligarchy, only concerned about their own self-interests and ignoring the majority needs and opinions of the public, knowing that 60 percent of the public was against the tax cut and 66 percent supported the ACA; yet they still voted against the will of the people.”
It is abundantly clear that Trump strongly disapproves of the multiracial makeup of modern day America with his many attacks on blacks, Latinos, Muslims and Native Americans. It is also clear that he opposed minority immigration and gives preference to white European immigration. That he desires, through executive orders, policies, and legislation, to return America back to a post-1929 era. He tacitly endorses white supremacist ideology, such as those expressed by the Nazis and Ku Klux Klan groups. Mr. Trump, in reality, is trying to supplant the twisted and abhorrent worldview of the pre-1862 social/cultural environment of the old Southern Confederate states with a modern twist on present day America.
It is widely recognized by the psychological community that Trump is mentally unstable and fits the characteristics of a pathological liar on a daily basis. Mr. Trump is widely considered “unfit” for the office of the presidency. He tweets conspiracy theories and false information, has delusions of personal grandeur and lives in a distorted alternate universe.
His actions have degraded the prestige of America around the world, and under his leadership, America has become a laughingstock in the eyes of other nations, mingled with a deep concern for the survival of the world’s democracies. Mr. Trump is of the opinion that he can do no wrong and uses the art of deflection to distract the public from the real issues, makes false statements on a daily basis and his first emotional reaction is to attack when his view and actions are called into question.
He fires people in his administration that deviate from his authoritarian views and has installed personnel in government agencies that cater to his personal self-interest and not the best interest of the American public. He has degraded the purpose of agencies and has publicly stated that he aims to stifle their purpose or eliminate the department altogether.
He has cut the funding to National Parks and has opened them up to private corporate development and regularly attacks the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Just to remind the American citizen, without a free press, there is no democracy. Just look at Russia.
The tax cut that is currently being rammed through Congress, without time for proper discussion, transparency or partisanship is being reported by experts to have the effect of benefitting the upper crust, with 50-60 percent of tax cut revenues going to big corporations and the ultra rich. Is that the best way to bring fairness and equity to our tax system, to balance the government budget and to build a sustainable future, or is it a recipe to kick a substantial deficit of $14.7 trillion plus the new tax cut deficit of $1 trillion to $2 trillion, down the road for the next generation of Americans to deal with? The deficit that will be created by the Republican Congress will be used by them as an excuse to make cuts or modifications to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The last time we had a surplus in the federal budget was during the Clinton presidency during 1998-2001, which was $236.2 billion. Republican President Bush turned that amount into a deficit with his own version of tax cuts.
We must return the power of governance back to the American citizens. Three things need to be done:
1. Eliminate the “Citizens United” law that allowed corporations and rich citizens to donate as much money as they can to influence political campaigns that will in return do their bidding;
2. To exercise the will and responsibility to vote out corrupt politicians and institution Congressional term limits; and
3. Return to an unpolluted, organic “one man, one vote, concept.”
I hope people will remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “We will give you a Democratic Republic…if you can keep it.”
It would be wise to remember the history of the foundation of our country. In particular, The Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It also states that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the Consent of the Governed.”
The simple truth is that Mr. Trump is professionally unqualified, lacks personal integrity and is mentally unfit to be the president of the United States. He has corrupted and distorted our U.S. Constitution and through his actions he has become a clear and present danger to our democracy and to the sustainable future of our country. The power to protect and safeguard our Democratic Republic rests with the individual American citizen.
As American citizens, it is our duty to get involved in our electoral system, from the local City Council to state and federal Congressional elections. I can only hope that in these turbulent and divisive times we can step up, participate and do the right thing to protect the principles and values of our governing Constitution. Otherwise, it is possible that our nation will devolve into social chaos, conflicts and eventually cease to exist as the United States of America.
Richard S. Flores, Latino Political Organizing Committee, Hemet