As perhaps a majority of Republicans continue to gush about Donald Trump's Soviet-style parade and military display on July 4th and his regime's human rights abuses continue on the nation's southern border, those who know accurate history of America are revolted by what they have witnessed - many of us refused to tune in - and are struck by just disgusted the Founding Fathers would be. Significant portions of Republicans now support government censorship of the free press while a majority believe that Christianity should be made the nation's established religion. Anyone versed in accurate history of the nation understands that these views were anathema to the Founding Fathers. A column in the New York Times looks at the increasingly anti-American positions of today's Republicans, not mention Der Trumpenführer. Here are column highlights:
Kids in cages and tanks for the tyrant. After that dictator-friendly Fourth of July, it’s time for all true patriots to conduct a political gut check.Like many people, I’m worried about the Democrats. A majority of Americans are desperate for someone to dislodge the despot from the White House. And yet some Democrats are pushing policy positions — such as taking away private health insurance from more than 150 million people — that are deeply unpopular. The smarter candidates will rethink this, and soon, or otherwise ensure that an awful American aberration is more than a one-off.
But as troubled as I am by the Democrats, I’m terrified of the Republicans. In numerous surveys of a party that has adopted the worst pathologies of
PresidentTrump, Republicans have shown themselves to be explicitly anti-American. The Founders would gag. So would Abraham Lincoln.
Consider the Republicans’ view of the First Amendment, the most sacred of the freedoms embedded in this country’s governing blueprint. Just under half of Republicans now believe government should be able to shut down “biased or inaccurate media.” And close to half of Republicans have adopted Trump’s authoritarian view that the news media is “the enemy of the people.”
I don’t expect Republicans to know Thomas Jefferson’s words by heart — that if he were forced to choose between “a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” This from a man who was subject to a lifetime of biased and inaccurate press.
But what part of “Congress shall make no law” abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, do these citizens not understand?
Regarding the other foundational liberty in the First Amendment, restricting an “establishment of religion” by the state, the cult of Trump would throw that under a steamroller of bigotry as well.
A majority of Republicans think Christianity should be the established national religion. And half of all Southerners — the deepest, most anti-American part of Trump’s base, with the DNA of Civil War traitors still coursing through the region — believe the United States was founded as an “explicitly Christian” nation.
George Washington made clear it was otherwise in a letter to a Jewish congregation in 1790 celebrating religious tolerance and diversity. “The citizens of the United States have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy,” he wrote.
Jefferson expressed a similar feeling, touting a homeland for “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”
So, quick summary: Republicans of today would not approve of the First Amendment as written. They would give Big Government free rein to quash dissenting voices in the press, and would prefer a merging of church and state.
[A]s they have picked up Trump’s hatreds as their own, Republicans have turned a cold shoulder to the wretched masses yearning to breathe free. Less than 40 percent of Republicans, in three recent polls, now believe immigrants are a benefit to the country. This could be because of ignorance: Even though the vast majority, 77 percent, of immigrants in this country are legal, a plurality of Republicans believe they are not.
Trump has compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, which is like comparing a noxious weed to a redwood tree.
The modern-day Know-Nothings are the pink-faced mobs calling for a wall at Trump rallies. They are the architects of a government policy that puts children in filthy cages and forces them to drink fetid water, that sees helpless and newly orphaned babies as subhuman — all while laughing at the cruelty.
You can see why Republicans with a sense of history and fealty to the great sweep of their party’s finer principles describe themselves as politically homeless in 2019.
And when Trump rolls out weapons of war to celebrate the birth of a nation that never even had much of a standing army until the 20th century, you can see why passionate pride in this country is at its lowest point since Gallup started measuring this sentiment in the modern era.
A piece in The Atlantic continues this theme by looking at Trump's so-called speech at his Red Square like event. Here are excerpts:Democracy is not mentioned in the Constitution nor in the Declaration of Independence, as the historian Virginia Anderson recently noted. It’s a human construct, more fragile than any of us believed until now. But when it’s gone, no one should be surprised.
Were these wars right or just? Why were they fought? What were their outcomes? Except for the mentions of “freedoms” sprinkled randomly through the text, those questions went unconsidered. Instead, Trump would periodically ad-lib “What a great country!” after this or that mention of power and violence. America is great because it crushes all before it. Altering for circumstances, it was a speech that could have been given by Kaiser Wilhelm or Napoleon or Julius Caesar or the Assyrian Emperor Sennacherib. A great country is one that is feared by its enemies, that can inflict more devastating destruction than any other.Devotion. Unity. History. Fighting. But not: Democracy. Justice. Individuality. Peace.
From time to time, one of Trump’s more devout speechwriters will try to insert references to God into the president’s mouth. Those references never sound natural from the least spiritual president in the nation’s history. They were, fascinatingly, all but absent from this speech commemorating the independence of a nation, in the apt phrase of G. K. Chesterton, with the soul of a church. Instead, there was only vainglorious boasting: See our wealth, see our power, see our glorious triumphs over the mounded corpses of our enemies. We will always win, because we always fight.
No non-American could watch that spectacle at the Lincoln Memorial and feel that America stood for anything good or right or universal. Power worshipped power, for its own sake.
“We will always be the people who defeated a tyrant, crossed a continent, harnessed science, took to the skies, and soared into the heavens because we will never forget that we are Americans and the future belongs to us.” That sentence of self-congratulation toward the end of Trump’s speech was probably lodged in the clipboard memory of some 1980s vintage word processor hauled from the Executive Office Building.
Be very, very afraid.It’s bumpf, a thousand times typed, a thousand times said. And yet this July 4, after all the rodomontade that preceded it, I found myself paying attention to those hackneyed words in a way I never had before. Will Americans always be that people? Are Americans that people now?