A shift into the dark?

I am not American. However, I recognize the United States of America for providing a model for democracy around the world. No, its democracy is not perfect, but it is earnest. In principle, it seeks on numerous levels to work against tyranny, to empower its citizenry. The execution of these has been far from perfect, but the ideals have been sound.

There is a status post on Facebook that individuals are copying and pasting. It essentially outlines every step that the new president of the United States of America has taken since his inauguration. I do not know the sources personally, so I am taking other people’s word that these things actually happened.

The thing that is worrying about the list is that the majority of these cases consist of actions that are fundamentally anti-democratic, that explicitly reduce the ability of Americans to self-expression, that muzzle the right to free speech, that increase the possibility of a tyrant beginning a process of domination in a nation widely regarded as the birthplace of democracy. Further, is it my imagination, or does the turn to violence, or the condoning of state-accepted violence, have a definite fascist cast.

I want my friends and family who support Donald Trump to tell me why this is not the case, please.

The list is as follows: (I’ve changed the stars to numbers so that we can see the length of the list).

  1. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
  2. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
  3. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  4. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
  5. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
  6. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
  7. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
  8. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
  9. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
  10. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
  11. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
  12. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
  13. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  14. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
  15. On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
  16. On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
  17. On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
  18. On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
  19. On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
  20. On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
  21. On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
  22. On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
  23. On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
  24. On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
  25. On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
  26. On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
  27. On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
  28. On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
  29. On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
  30. On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
  31. On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
  32. On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
  33. On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.
    From News and Guts
    *credit for compilation: Karen Cornett-Dwyer
  34. On January 24th, 2017 DT threatened martial law by ‘sending in the feds’ to Chicago.

 

8 thoughts on “A shift into the dark?

  1. DT is a Republican president (ostensibly). Conservative republicans believe is less government, and less social welfare at the taxpayers’ dime. So far he is performing true blue in that regard.

    What I see that divides opinion is that DT is more brash and outspoken, and more thin-skinned, than more professional politicians who have been in the office. A celebrity in the WH? Now the Americans have one and it is a feeding frenzy in both main stream media as well as social media.

    I refuse to be labelled as pro or anti DT, but as you so rightly state, democracy is not perfect. Often the cream and the crud will rise to the top. And to truly appreciate what democracy should and can be, the test of time will tell.

    Like

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful response! The personal foibles of the current president aside, is it not possible to read the list as an increase in government rather than a decrease? Surely big government must be regarded as more than simply the result of fiscal policies. The muzzling of federal agencies, the threatening of cities with federal power, the crackdown on protesters — these are governmental–indeed, executive–actions and do not sit well with the traditional conservative belief in “less government” IMO. Or am I missing something?

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  2. As a follow on from my previous comment, for a little perspective the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) report, the research arm of the company that publishes the Economist magazine, this year states,

    “The decline in the US democracy score reflects an erosion of confidence in government and public institutions over many years,” the report states. “[Trump’s] candidacy was not the cause of the deterioration in trust but rather a consequence of it.”

    Like

  3. In the conservative sense, less government means less oversight by government agencies. Much of your list indicates the lessing of these agencies to regulate or enforce policies and laws. There are two sides to this pov. Less oversight means more freedom for people/companies to conduct business and go about their way of life. It also means less regulatory control or enforcement of policies in place which are supposed to protect people, the environment and the economy overall.

    Like

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