Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Man Who Wants To Be King

There’s been a distinct benefit since Donald Trump took office less than two weeks ago the mounting resistance to callous, controversial policies that have incited a wave of peaceful protests and sparked mass demonstrations not seen in this country for decades.
Protesters at JFK airport last Saturday.
(Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
In other words, democracy in action. Following nationwide marches in several cities after Trump’s inauguration, protests resurfaced at airports last Saturday not long after the ink dried on a controversial directive aimed at a specific group based solely on their religion and country of origin. The executive order suspending resettlement of refugees and banning the entry of nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries is nothing more than national security rationale wrapped in racism.
Guaranteed that as this apprentice-in-charge issues other overreaching decrees, controlled demonstrations will likely persist to dispute other insensitive policies.
The fundamental hitch with the misguided executive order is that it provisionally targets immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria, who, in all likelihood, are homeless refugees trying to escape their war-torn nation. The order noticeably excludes countries from where the hijackers who plotted and carried out the September 11, 2001 terror attacks came. More significantly, not a single Muslim from the seven countries specified has ever committed an act of terrorism on American soil.
Trump conspicuously omitted immigrants from four Mideast nations Egypt, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that have been refuges for Muslim jihadists and where Donald Trump has lucrative business interests, including hotels and golf courses.
And, let’s not forget that prior to Trump’s edict, immigrants went through a thorough vetting process to determine whether or not they were on any worldwide terrorist watch lists or posed a threat to America.
A number of Democratic lawmakers quickly denounced Trump’s order, but, except for a handful of Republicans, there’s been mostly the sound of silence from president’s party.
GOP Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized the president’s order, noting, “We fear (it) will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism,” adding, “It may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security.”
On Sunday, McCain, who supported Trump’s election, also said, “We are particularly concerned that this order went into effect with little to no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security.”
Less than a month before the election, several Republicans were reluctant to support Donald Trump’s candidacy, but eventually caved, in order to reclaim control of the White House and subsequently supported his strategy to reshape and nullify portions of the Obama legacy.
Republicans constantly flaunt family and pro-life and should be leading the dissent of a decree that ignores such values as it requires the detention of innocent families seeking refuge. The Washington Post reported on this week that 24 Republican lawmakers have expressed opposition to Trump’s order. With the GOP in control of Congress, it must insure that their president abides by the checks and balances outlined in the Constitution. The longer they keep silent, especially on this unsettling issue, the more they validate Trump’s decision and deepen the national rift.
Michael Morell, a former CIA deputy director, said in an interview on Monday that contrary to making America safer, the Trump executive order “is going to make the threat worse. It is going to make us less safe.” He also pointed out, “The biggest problem we face is homegrown terrorism. Of those indicted by the FBI for ISIS-related crimes over the last three years, 85 percent were American citizens. This (ban) doesn’t get at that at all.”
Morell also reinforced McCain’s warning that the Trump immigration order will make Americans less safe, at home and abroad, by serving as a recruitment tool and an enhancement to ISIS propaganda. 
In addition to domestic opposition, President Trump has incurred resistance abroad from Great Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who offered temporary residence to stranded immigrants.
If he’s bold enough to ban potential international terror threats, President Trump should also impose limitations and restrict weapons sales to extreme fascist white power skinheads, radical groups and right-wing hooligans who pose a domestic threat to national tranquility. For starters there’s the Ku Klux Klan, Army of God, Aryan Nations and their ilk.
Perhaps Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley should repeat a comment he once directed at President Barack Obama from the Senate floor: “The president looks more and more like a king that the Constitution was designed to replace.”
Across the board, many Americans reject the first executive actions taken by Donald Trump. But few are shocked. After all, he’s fulfilling the disgraceful promises he vowed throughout his presidential campaign.
In the wake of an inauspicious start, there’s been swift rebuke and enthusiastic response opposing Donald Trump’s contentious initial policies, demonstrating that though he may be the 45th U.S. president, he lacks a substantial mandate from the people. Now, their resistance will only intensify as he continues to act like a king, instead of a president.