Thursday, August 1, 2019

Dear Donald: Events are accumulating

Bill Connolly, author, Climate Machines, Fascist Drives, and Truth (2019)

Dear Donald: 
I trust you watched the festivities in Puerto Rico. I am sure Fox covered them. For years citizens, in varying situations, bore the tyranny, corruption, racism and incompetence of President Ricardo A. Rossello. They allowed him to ignore their suffering during that horrendous hurricane, as you, too, blamed the victims for the disaster. Events accumulated, with some people pretending they were tolerable and others absorbing them almost silently. Then a small bevy of secret conversations was released in which Rossello and his buddies joked about feeding dead carcasses to the crows, casually discussed killing the mayor of Santiago, and ridiculed numerous other suffering citizens. The pent-up anger finally exploded. People of diverse ages, classes and ethnicities suddenly took to the streets. Citizens blocked roads and highways. They danced to the rhythmic beat of pots and pans in the streets. Groups gathered on kayaks and water scooters to demonstrate in front of the President’s mansion. Famous performers joined the festival and demands. Acrobats and dancers dangled from city signs, as they performed with the Puerto Rican flag.

To study Rossello, Donald, is to gaze at your own future through a looking glass. You, too, are tyrannical. You, too, are corrupt. You are a racist and a white nationalist. You demean everyone who does not fit your tiny image of what belongs in America. Events are accumulating, Donald, taking a toll on people who may not appear to you to be profoundly troubled by them. Perhaps congress, the courts, and the Justice Department now either participate in your tyranny or flinch before their own responsibilities. But events themselves continue to accumulate. Something will happen in the future; it may be rather minor in itself. It will ignite street uprisings across the country, Donald, in blue and red states. In the face of that uprising the courts and congress may suddenly discover their nerve. That’s what happened in Tunisia, when Mohammed Bouazzizi burned himself alive in public to protest tyranny. And again in Puerto Rico after the release of secret conversations contemptuous of the people.

Let’s review a few events in the States, Donald. People now often try to forget many of them, as they struggle to earn a living, get through the day, send their kids to school, and pay their rent or mortgages. But when the new event ignites street revolts, these instances will come flooding back too:

1. You colluded with Russia to produce a massive invasion of the American election. Some continue to deny or diminish this astounding fact. But the repressed will return with a vengeance once the new triggering event is fired. Because free citizen elections and the essence of democracy are at stake here.

2. You plan to collude with Russia again, knowing that you cannot win the election unless you do so. That is why you called the Russian invasion a hoax the first time, not because you could not allow yourself to believe it but because you plan to collude with Putin twice. He has the goods on you, Donald, and it shows all over your face every time you and he commune in public.

3. You constantly demean nonwhite, non-Christian Americans, eager to find any flimsy pretext to do so. Government by pretext and accusation.

4.You treat the fetish of a territorial wall as a pretext to stop immigration into America, as you wrest small children from their parents and treat nonwhite refugees with utmost cruelty. This conduct teaches us about the virulence of your racism and, further, about how far you are willing to go with any opponent when you think you can get away with it.

5. You cancelled the Iran antinuclear agreement, intensifying tensions in the Mideast and increasing the danger of nuclear holocaust.

6. You continue to use all the prerogatives of governing to create profitable opportunities for yourself and your corrupt family.

7. You covered up your recent amorous affairs by breaking campaign finance laws, and now you use a corrupt Attorney General to stifle investigation of that lawbreaking.

8. You cancelled the Paris Climate Agreement upon taking office and continue to construe the fact of rapid climate change to be a hoax, condemning billions of people now and in the future to much more precarious lives.

9. You supported a huge tax cut for the rich, while increasing the deficit by the largest amount any President has done in modern times. You will, of course, now encourage Mitch McConnell, one of your henchmen, to use that ballooning deficit as a reason to cut back or refuse to augment a variety of essential social services.

10. You refuse to release current and former members of your administration to testify before Congress as Congress exercises the oversight functions that are a crucial part of democracy. You believe the delays you incur by forcing Congressional subpoenas to the courts allows you to get to the next election, when you plan to use all your powers to suppress minority voting and reap the next round of rewards of Russian collusion. You think that once that election is over you will face even less citizen control than heretofore.

11. You tell Big Lies every day, acting as if the populace is stupid enough to believe them--or at least angry enough to accept them as pegs upon which to hook their prejudices. Every time you face an embarrassing fact, you call it fake news, doing so to undermine popular credibility of the media. You don’t care that your lies undermine the public accountability essential to democracy. Because you don’t admire democracy. But most people, Donald, are not stupid. They absorb the assaults, hear their consciences fester, and bide their time until the spark is ignited….

12. You hire corrupt people to serve as heads of key bureaucracies, and you defend them when the corruption is exposed until it becomes a bit risky to do so. Then you dump them fast, as you dump everyone who is not useful to you at the moment.

One day, soon, a new lie will surface. Or the contempt in which you hold most of the American populace will be revealed by another action. Or you will call upon Americans to sacrifice for a new reckless policy. Or old allies in other countries you now treat with contempt will refuse your urgent call for help. Or Putin will release hidden facts about you—Kompromat--because you are not quite as much a toady as he demands you to be or because he now wants to throw an election into chaos rather than supporting one candidate. The trigger may well be small, Donald. But the accumulation of previous events will turn it into an avalanche.

I will join that avalanche, Donald, using street tactics and refusing to participate in bloodshed. We know, of course, that you will immediately accuse us of violence, as aspiring fascists always do. Projecting onto the opposition everything they are all so willing to do themselves. We know, too, that you will hire thugs to work us over—as aspirational fascists always do when their regime starts to crumble. When the streets fill, Donald, when the peaceful street actions become overwhelming, when the world stops, you will eventually collapse. As you see erstwhile supporters melt away. Why should they stick with you when it is abundantly clear that you would sacrifice them immediately to a new hotel, or a money laundering project, or the need to protect yourself from charges of illegality, or a few votes in Florida? Why, indeed, because you now only attract loyalty from people who are a lot like you.

Until the flood next time,
Citizen Connolly



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