Freepressed: Raison D’etre

Words matter now more than ever. Words set the tone for action. Words distinguish between fact and propaganda.

A free press should fearlessly and accurately report the truth and call a thing by its true name. The editors at Freepressed Magazine feel that Trump poses a unique, existential threat to our Democracy and needs to be called out for his statements and deeds and opposed at every turn.

Based on Trump’s own words, we can accurately call him a liar, a sex offender, a traitor, a racist, and a dictator.

If you think those words are too harsh, then you haven’t been paying attention.

He lies constantly.

At this point, can anyone reasonably argue that Trump is not a serial, pathological, instinctual liar? He has lied repeatedly about everything, large and small. It all started, at least as far as our national nightmare is concerned, with Trump leading the birther charge. Not only did he assure us that Obama was not the legitimate president, not born here, he claimed to have sent investigators to Hawaii who had uncovered explosive information on the matter.

“They can’t believe what they’re finding,” he lied on “The View”. It was all a lie, and he was forced to silently drop the subject after President Obama presented his long-form birth certificate to the press.

Of course this original sin that combined racism, conspiracy theories, media manipulation, and outright lies was just the beginning. Since then he has lied about the Russian hacks and his contacts with the Russian government, the state of the economy, violent crime rates, allegations about his rival, Hillary Clinton, the size of his inauguration crowd, and the nature of reality itself with Kellyann Conway’s use of “alternative facts”. The intent is clear. They are lying to blur the line between truth and propaganda. Trying to confuse the populace with an alternative reality. His incendiary remarks about our free press are part of a concerted attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the press and truth itself.

He is a liar who is scared of the truth.

He is an admitted sex offender.

Every story about him should mention this. Here’s a refresher:

“‘I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,’ Trump said. ‘You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful ― I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it,’ Trump said. ‘You can do anything.’

‘Grab them by the pussy,’ Trump added. ‘You can do anything.’”

After the recording of these comments surfaced, 12 women came forward to recount the sexual assaults they endured at the hands of our current president over the course of decades. And I can just about guarantee that for every one of those 12 women who stood up to publicly accuse him, there were dozens more who were too scared or ashamed to come forward.

Trump is a sex offender, and that fact should never be forgotten.

Our commander-in-chief is a traitor.

Candidate Trump loudly and repeatedly expressed his support for Vladimir Putin, a leader who is openly hostile to democracy, not just in his own country, but everywhere. Not only that, even after reports surfaced that it was likely Russia orchestrated the hacks of the DNC, Trump used the hacked emails in every campaign speech he gave, and then went a step further and instructed Putin on national television to continue hacking and releasing information stolen from American institutions. And considering the extensive business ties between Trump and his cabinet and the fact that Putin seems to be the only person Trump will not criticize, it’s no wonder that there is an ongoing, bipartisan Senate investigation of Russia’s propaganda campaign and possible collusion between Putin’s government and Trump’s campaign and transition team. Michael Flynn’s backtracking and sudden amnesia about whether he broke the law is only confirming what was already obvious: Trump and Putin were working together to rig the election.

But the fact of Russia’s propaganda campaign and Trump’s very public statements in support of it should be proof enough.

Trump is a traitor, and everyone who claims to love American democracy, regardless of party affiliation, should be mad as hell!

Our President is a racist.

I’ll let Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan take this one:

“Saying a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of the textbook definition of racist comments.”

Ryan was responding to Trump’s statement about Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who oversaw a class action lawsuit against Trump University. The comments were meant to question the impartiality of the judge and undermine the legitimacy of the court itself (We now know that Trump’s plan is to undermine any branch of government that will uphold its duty under the U.S. Constitution to check the power of the presidency. But in this case, it was much more personal.)

“He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico. The answer is, he is giving us very unfair rulings – rulings that people can’t even believe,” Judge Curiel is a U.S. citizen who was born in Indiana.

But let’s not forget that the whole birther movement that Trump used to jumpstart his presidential campaign was itself a racist dog whistle. He was betting on Americans’ fears of the non-white foreign “others”, which we have seen him double-down on with his Muslim ban. In fact, as part of the birther campaign, Trump questioned whether Obama was a secret Muslim, in addition to being born in Kenya:

“Now somebody told me — and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be — that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ And if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion, by the way.” Trump said this of Obama during a March 2011 appearance on The Laura Ingram show.

Indeed, he kicked off his presidential campaign with racist stereotyping of Mexicans:

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.”

And this goes all the way back to racist business practices barring black tennants from his properties in the 80s to his nomination of Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General, and the slew of racist comments he has made over the years.

Trump is a racist, even if he claims to love “the blacks” and “the Hispanics”.

Trump is a dictator.

There, I said it.

Of course, we are nowhere close to Nazi Germany(although the ICE round-ups had a distinct Kristallnacht quality about them), I think it is reasonable to point out that we have undoubtedly started down the path of dictatorship. There are many degrees of dictatorship short of the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Putin’s Russia is undoubtedly a dictatorship, even if they have not yet committed genocide (Aleppo withstanding). If you look at the dictionary definition of a dictator, at least two out of the four entries sound an awful lot like Trump and the constitutional crisis he has created.

  1. a ruler who is not effectively restricted by a constitution, laws, recognized opposition, etc.
  2. a person who behaves in an authoritarian or tyrannical manner

It remains to be seen whether he will be “effectively restricted” by the constitution and laws. At the moment, the courts are doing their constitutional duty as a check on the authority of the executive branch, but what will happen when Trump finally gets his Supreme Court pick on the bench? If the Republican-controlled House and Senate are any indication, it doesn’t look good. It has become increasingly obvious that Republicans in Congress will turn a blind eye to virtually anything Trump says or does as long as he rubber stamps their legislative agenda.

As for the recognized opposition, the resistance by large numbers of liberals is the best hope so far, with Democrats in Congress lagging behind a distant second.

A huge test will be the findings of the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, charged with investigating the Russian propaganda campaign to elect Donald Trump and the contacts between the Russian government and Trump’s campaign and transition team. Now that it is becoming pretty clear that Michael Flynn discussed easing the sanctions, put in place by the Obama administration to punish Russia for its interference in the US presidential election, the work and findings of that committee hold special significance.

As for the second entry for “dictator”, anyone who is even marginally paying attention recognizes Trump’s authoritarian behavior. Ruling by executive proclamation, delegitimizing the press (“despicable” and “dishonest”) and judiciary (“so-called judge”), intense nationalism (America First), rampant corruption (doing commercials for the first daughter’s clothing line), close ties to other dictatorial regimes (I’m looking at you, Russia), are just a few of the hallmarks of a dictatorship that fit the Trump regime like a velvet glove.

Words matter. Words set the tone for action. In addition to calling this thing by its true name, understands the precarious moment that our nation finds itself in and supports the growing resistance by turning critical words into concrete actions to oppose the Trump agenda.