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Sunday, 08 April 2018 20:11

The Death of Democracy

Written by  Bob Serody

More than 14 months have passed since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Whether you follow his daily tweets, worry about the numerous turnovers in his administration, or look at his impulsive decisions regarding domestic and foreign affairs, they seem to point toward a marked increase in his erratic behavior.

There are at least four things to be very concerned about, a frozen Congress, an unstable president, the exportation of American immigrants, and a cold war mentality that is gripping our country. Every one of these issues is contributing to the death of our Democracy.

These days, I hear criticisms about Trump from Republican lawmakers who, after deciding not to run for reelection, have nothing to lose. The others are either silent or tell us what a wonderful job he is doing. Many Democratic lawmakers, while expressing their distaste of Trump, are eagerly waiting for the hopeful promise of favorable results from the midterm elections now only months away. After Republicans obtained majorities in the House and Senate, efforts to compromise on important issues have reached a complete stalemate. Regarding checks and balances, this leaves only two functional branches of government, the executive and the judicial.

The Trump administration has taken us back to the dark ages. Progressive movements, which we depend on to reinvigorate and sustain our form of democracy, are being threatened. I refer specifically to the attack by this administration on immigration. The Trump administration intends to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) policy, thus effectively disrupting the futures of nearly 800,000 young people who have lived here a good part of their lives. Such cruelty is unspeakable.

Because he hasn’t been able to raise billions for a wall separating us from Mexico while our infrastructure is crumbling, he is sending troops to patrol the border, an action that will essentially discourage our military and lower their morale by degrading their real mission (which doesn’t involve protecting us from Mexico).

Our jails hold more prisoners than those of any other country; yet he wants to increase penalties for drug possession. He also continues to appease the NRA by backing off from meaningful reform to control the use of semiautomatic weapons that has continued to result in mass killings. While our school children no longer feel safe, parents and teachers also contend with the threat of school privatization, inadequate funding, and poor wages. When compared to other developed countries, our process of education cries out for reform.

If this isn’t enough to worry about, I have always been concerned about the constant strain on his White House staff. H. R. McMaster was until recently the National Security Advisor. John Kelly is still the White House chief of staff, although his current position appears to be threatened. They are loyal Americans, but the strain of dealing with Trump on a daily basis must be intolerable, especially when John Bolton has replaced McMaster. We have the strongest military in the world, yet many in key positions are witnessing the unraveling of the President. When generals are trained to make military decisions, it is difficult for them to manage important political matters inside the White House. My concern is that Trump may continue to act on impulse and ignore the advice if his staff, especially if a crisis comes up with Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea. If a red line is about to be crossed that could involve the threat of nuclear weapons, it is not impossible to imagine intervention against the president by members of his military staff, given his erratic behavior. With this state of affairs, a military coup could be a real possibility, simply because the legislative branch is not doing its job of restraining Trump. When was the last time that Congress exercised its authority to declare war, rather than the president? I haven’t even mentioned the Mueller investigation and its outcome regarding collusion with Russia in connection with the recent presidential election and possible obstruction of justice in the case of the firing of James Comey.

The crisis I’ve just described can be avoided, especially if there is enough time to hold the midterm elections and break the deadlock that has frozen Congress from exercising its constitutional responsibility. I’m referring to the election of a Democratic majority in both houses in order to restore the democratic process. It is time for Congress to restrain and impeach this President, whose actions are becoming more erratic and dangerous every passing day. We can’t afford to wait for the possibility of a military coup against the President, for that unfortunate decision would spell the death of our democracy.

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 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA

 

Last modified on Sunday, 08 April 2018 22:12
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