Be Prepared …

I have long thought, and likely said it here once or twice, that Trump is a loose cannon, his behaviours seeming to become increasingly strange and uncontrolled when he senses he is threatened.  His tweets, never exactly intellectual, become erratic when a new indictment is handed down by Robert Mueller’s team, or when he is called out on one of his many daily lies, or when his boot-lickers don’t behave quite as he wants them to.  This is one of the reasons that, while I would love to see him thrown off his royal perch, evicted from the Oval Office, I cannot support a move toward impeachment at this time, for I suspect he would become even more deranged and call for his base to take to the streets with their AR-15s in hand.  Now, I am a nobody and have no basis for my opinion other than observation, but I’ve run across somebody who shares my opinion, somebody who is certainly qualified to make this statement.  That somebody is Robert Reich, whose words I have shared here before, and today I do so again.

From The Guardian, 16 March 2019 …

Trump is cornered, with violence on his mind. We must be on red alert

Robert Reich

What does a megalomaniacal president of the United States do when he’s cornered? We’ll soon find out.

House Democrats are beginning a series of investigations and hearings about Donald Trump. Senate Republicans have begun to desert him. Twelve defected on the wall. Seven refused to back Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

Almost all have gone on record that they want Robert Mueller’s report made public. That report, not incidentally, appears imminent.

Trump cannot abide losing. His ego can’t contain humiliation. He is incapable of shame.

So what does a cornered Trump do? For starters, he raises the specter of violence against his political opponents.

In an interview with Breitbart News published on Wednesday, Trump noted: “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

In case you missed it, “they” are Trump’s political opponents, including House Democrats and the mainstream media. And the “certain point” could be impeachment but is more likely to be reached if the House investigations reveal crimes Trump committed both before and after he became president.

“I actually think that the people on the right are tougher,” Trump warned in the same interview. “But the left plays it cuter and tougher. Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this investigations – that’s all they want to do is – you know, they do things that are nasty.”

Here we have it, in a nutshell. In Trump’s mind, congressional investigations that could cause him shame and humiliation, and quite possibly result in a prison sentence, will be countered by forces loyal to him: the police, the military, and vigilante groups like Bikers for Trump.

To put it another way, the work of a democratically elected Congress will be met by Trump loyalists who, he asserts, are “tougher” because they have brute force on their side.

It is impossible to know what bizarre scenario is playing out in Trump’s head. But another hint came on Friday, when, in the wake of the horrific shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, Trump told reporters he didn’t believe white nationalism was on the rise.

“I don’t really,” he said. “I think it’s a small group of people.”

As usual, the facts are otherwise. The number of hate groups in the US increased 7% last year, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Hate crime reports increased 17%, according to the FBI.

Recall that 11 people were murdered at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on 27 October, at the hands of a white supremacist. A few days earlier, a white supremacist murdered two black people at a grocery store in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.

It is hardly the first time Trump has played down white nationalism, or signaled his support for those who might use violence on his behalf.

At a Las Vegas rally during the 2016 campaign he said he’d like to punch a protester in the face; at another event encouraged his supporters to “knock the crap” out of any protester making trouble.

“I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees,” he said.

But as Trump becomes ever more entrapped in the web of his own misdeeds, his threats are becoming more ominous.

At a rally for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley in September, Trump said his opponents “were lucky that we’re peaceful”. He continued: “Law enforcement, military, construction workers, Bikers for Trump … They travel all over the country … They’ve been great.” But, he warned, “these are tough people … they’re peaceful people, and antifa and all, they’d better hope they stay that way.”

In February, the White House Correspondents’ Association called on Trump to make it “absolutely clear to his supporters that violence against reporters is unacceptable”. To date, he has not.

Meanwhile, Steve Bannon, another of Trump’s bottom feeders, predicted that “2019 is going to be the most vitriolic year in American politics since the civil war”.

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump has given cover to some of the most vile bigots in America. As he grows more desperate, he is giving them encouragement.

It is our job – and the job of all senators and representatives in Congress, regardless of party, and of military leaders – to condemn hatred and violence in all its forms, even when the president of the United States makes excuses for it.

And it is up to all of us to reaffirm our commitment to democracy, even when the president of the United States threatens to unleash the military and vigilantes against it.

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century.

29 thoughts on “Be Prepared …

  1. Sounds like a lot of hype to me, but I don’t see Trump getting that far. The house is set to impeach in spite of Mueller’s report, they have more than enough to work with.
    The wild card is Nancy Pelosi, she might “recommend” stopping the impeachment process if Trump makes a deal with her, they’re all political animals after all.

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  2. Yes, Democrats in Congress must be politically expedient. It’s the smart move (up to a point). Yes, law enforcement must be careful about its investigations and prosecutions. If they are seen as politically motivated by the general public, all hell could break loose. However…

    If one doesn’t stand up to the bully, they will continually get bullied. Remember the historical lesson of Chamberlain in Munich. Megalomaniacs cannot be appeased.

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    • I fully agree that we … those of us who still retain possession of logical though processes … must stand up to the bully. Never would I suggest turning our backs on him, or allowing him to bully without fighting back. I just think we must use our heads and find a way that doesn’t start WWIII, for he is capable of going into a rage and I put nothing past him. No, he cannot be appeased, but he CAN be outwitted. I hope, anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • All the signs are there … a while back, some group of psychiatrists penned an open letter enumerating the signs of a narcissistic megalomaniac, or some such, and said that just based on his public persona, he fills the bill. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve said it before … and I’ll say it again. IF he were innocent of all the charges (and/or even the innuendos), why make such a fuss? Silence has more than once been the most powerful response to accusations.

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    • You are quite right. I am reminded of a quote “Methinks thou dost protest too much”. I know that’s not the exact quote, but that version works here. If he has nothing to hide, then let it all hang out! His tax returns, just for starters. No more excuses! Sigh. I’m tired of him … let’s get rid of him and start over. 😉

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  4. Jill, we have said for some time it will get even uglier. His less-than-veiled threat is not surprising. He is in a death spiral and the more it hastens, the worse he will get. While the GOP Congressional leadership has been largely spineless, more than a few are beginning to discover theirs, with the votes on Yemen and against his emergency declaration.

    As for impeachment, the Mueller report and further investigation will likely yield the path forward. I expect evidence of obstruction of justice, conflicts of interest and violation of the emoluments. I believe evidence of collusion with the campaign and candidate will be forthcoming. And, I will not be surprised if Jared and Junior are indicted as a separate action.

    So, if it is bad as I think, the GOP may be the group that moves to impeach. It may be their only way to retake their party. One thing is for certain, Trump is acting like a cornered animal. Keith

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    • All of which makes a great deal of sense. I was thinking recently that once Trump is gone, the GOP really will be left in tatters. But, if they grow a pair and take action themselves against this madman, hopefully before he finishes the job of creating a culture of violence and fear, perhaps they stand a chance at redeeming themselves.

      No matter what the evidence in the Mueller report, I think there will be a great effort to conceal the report from both Congress and the public. Once it is released, as it surely must be, whether through legal channels or a back-door venue, I am 100% certain that Kushner, Junior, and possibly Ivanka will be implicated of treasonous crimes, as well as the ‘man’ himself. I’m just not sure I trust that either chamber of Congress, but especially the McConnell Senate, will find their consciences and vote to not only impeach, but convict. Whatever happens, I think it’s going to get ugly. But what am I saying??? It’s already about the ugliest thing I’ve seen in my lifetime!

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  5. But do we think it would be any less violent if, by some miracle of non tinkering on the partof his entire regime, he loses the next election?seems to me we are always trying to sidestep the dung heap that only grows larger. Soon enough we will be buried in it. ☹️

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    • Oh no! My bleak humour has rubbed off on you! You’re starting to sound like me, now!

      I think that there will be problems facing us no matter who is president. Do I think it would be any less violent? Yes, I truly do. What we have now is THE MOST divisive president in the history of this nation, and his tactics are working. The next president will have to make it a priority to find common ground, to unify rather than divide, and if she (or he) does this, I think the level of heat in this nation can be turned down several notches within the first year. It must be, else we are going to start seeing the homicide rate rise at an alarming rate, I think. Let’s hold off on the ‘gloom & doom’ for just a little while. Now, with that said, if Trump should happen to be re-elected next year, all bets are off and I will join you in saying the U.S. is no more and we are doomed and might just as well throw ourselves into the sea now!

      Hugs, my friend.

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  6. I can see his bikers, other members of his loyal little band, etc rioting and getting nasty but I don’t see the military and most police supporting the violence. He hasn’t been that great to the military and the police department may have some bullies but there are also many decent people who are supporting families and wouldn’t want to get mixed up with that mess. All dictators think the military and police will come to their aid. In some countries that has happened but America is not a dictatorship regardless of the President’s imagination. —- Suzanne

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    • I agree with you, and just said as much in response to one of Gronda’s posts. I may be wrong, but I cannot imagine the generals ordering their troops to enact violence against unarmed and innocent citizens whose only crime is not supporting a madman. We are not a dictatorship yet, but if Trump is allowed another 6 years in office, I am confident that we will be.

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    • I fully agree. Fear leads to inaction and paralysis, and we can afford neither. But, it would pay us to proceed with caution. Frankly, it isn’t he himself that concerns me as much as the loons who still blindly and slavishly support him, for they are the same ones who don’t have any real conscience, but they do have arsenals in their basements. I would hope we can extract ourselves from this situation without blood being shed in the streets. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I said the other day el dumpo has the military behind him, and I was pooh poohed. I hope that person was right, that the military have more sense. But that would take military intelligence. We already know there is no such thing.
    Trump is supreme commander of the military. To defy his orders would be committing treason. Remember Kent State. No one was ever prosecuted for murder. The Guardsmen were just following orders.
    What will happen in 2019, or 2020? If Trump deserves to be impeached, he needs to be impeached. America can not afford to let the threat of violence hold it back. That would be giving in to the terrorist at the helm. But at what price? Violence would prove how crazy Trump really is. Catch-22. America loses either way.
    The world loses either way.

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    • Now, I did not ‘pooh-pooh’ you, but merely said I thought it would take more than Trump’s whim to invoke martial law, and I still believe that, but I seriously hope we never have to find out. He is the Commander-in-Chief, but there are checks and balances, and my thoughts are that the generals might just refuse to order the troops to act. Again, though, I don’t want it to come to that point. Yes, I well remember Kent State. But, I think the scale here would make it impossible … he would be trying to control the entire country, not just one campus. He does need to be impeached, and we can see that he is evil through and through. In the beginning, I thought he was only incompetent, stupid and a narcissist, but we can see there is something even worse at play now. But frankly, I think the best and quickest solution would be his death, by whatever means is necessary. Sigh. I hate wishing death upon anybody, but in my book, Trump is not even human.

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      • I actually refrained from that wish on purpose, although I have voiced it in the past. The pooh-pooh part was just a joke, pointed at no one. But you took the bait. That was up to you, lol.
        As for the military, as long as they can prove the order came from higher up, they are liable to follow it. But somehow it never traces back to the top, only to battlefield ranks. Funny how that happens…

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        • Oopsie! I fell right into that one, didn’t I? Y’know … there are days I wish I were 20-something again and had it all to do over again, so sure I would do it differently next time ’round. But there are more mornings these days that I awaken and am thankful that I’m old and won’t likely live to see what becomes of the world in 10-20-50 years.

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          • Choices! If they were yours to make. But they aren’t, at least not yet. If someone invented a way to stop aging, right where you are right now, would you do it? Or would you say, I’ll do it the natural way, come what may.
            I’d be tempted to see what happens, but I would also be afraid of getting stuck here. If I knew that death was for sure final, I’d probably chance the treatment, against my better judgment. But if there was a chance my prior experiences are correct, I would have to let things happen naturally.
            But that is medical fiction. I hope I never get to have to choose.

            Liked by 1 person

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