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August 10, 2017


There is rapidly accumulating evidence today that Trump’s unrehearsed and off the cuff comments on such matters as threats to North Korea that their designs will be met with fire and fury are doing nothing more than an attempt to scare the American people into submission to his own design to be the authoritarian in charge. If you scare them, as Hitler did with his one-man show about subversion of Germany by communists, Jews et al., they will look to you as the messiah to put down such treachery, and if someone who is likewise running a one-man show such as the dictator of North Korea will not be outdone by a fellow narcissist, you will have created an unnecessary situation that, considering that we are talking about a possible atomic war and our last one, is fraught with real danger to humanity.

It is not the presence of atomic capability that is the problem since many countries have such capability; it is rather the presence of bigmouth narcissists who refuse to be silenced in their psychotic race for the top. It seems that Trump has forgotten (if he ever knew) that he has a diplomatic corps that can (through such as Swiss and Swedish non-aligned diplomats) quietly and perhaps effectively negotiate sticky problems with the worst actors on the globe. (Secretary of State, take note.)

We negotiated our way out of the Cuban missile crisis with the then Soviet Union, a country with far greater atomic capability than that possessed by North Korea today. We negotiated a Chinese withdrawal from the battlefront during the Korean War and kept McArthur from his wish to invade then communist (and now state capitalistic) China. We have negotiated our way out of more crises than not, thus avoiding one war after another with all the agony and ecstasy entailed whether winner or loser.

There is no good reason to fall for the threats of narcissists, whether in North Korea or at home, as the stakes are too high for such an adventure, and even narcissists might look to a blank future for humanity (including their own) and instead decide, however reluctantly, to pursue a diplomatic rather than a military solution to the issue. This is, in isolated context, a battle between narcissists for bragging rights and has little if anything to do with, for instance, conflicting trade or territorial expansion issues. North Korea is not threatening to invade China, Japan or (more than via casual propaganda) even South Korea itself, and trade is a non-issue.

What we have is a fruitcake dictator in North Korea who is flexing his military muscle for no discernible purpose other than in gathering attention to himself, a situation Trump has apparently decided via his policy by tweet to emulate without discussion with his Secretary of State and intelligence agencies and who is a wannabe dictator inspired by Bannon to draw “tough guy” attention to himself. Trump’s threat of fire and fury sounds very much like Hitler’s condemnation of Jews and communists he successfully sold to Germans as a cover for his acquisition of dictatorial control – and we all know the dreadful result.

I for one am more concerned with Trump’s mouth than I am that of the North Korean dictator. We need not throw gasoline on the fire and pretend the enthat that will put the fire out when the real intention of Trump’s depraved mind may well be to use such an exercise in stoking fear as a front to seize authoritarian control of this country which will flesh out Bannon’s self-professed as a Leninist to “destroy the administrative state” much as Hitler and his Nazi party did in Germany in the 1930s.

I would never think of comparing the Republican Party with the Nazi party that gave rise to a madman in that day and age, but their continuing refusal to do anything today about this cancer on democracy they have unleashed on the rest of us for their own selfish legislative purposes may give me pause since those who do nothing in the face of mounting disaster they have caused have a responsibility to do something about reversing our lemming-like rush to the cliff engineered by Trump and Bannon, a self-professed Leninist.  Republican approval of Trump’s government by tweet (whether real or pretended) does nothing to suppress irresponsible and narcissistic chatter from a plainly out of touch chief executive and is tantamount to going along with whatever future he has decided as an authoritarian in his otherworld is best for the rest of us, one that signals the end of democracy.

I say that is too big a price to pay because, as I often write, democracy is our most valuable asset held in common and is not for sale to Democrats, Republicans, Koch libertarians, Trump, Bannon or anyone or anything else since it is a hard-earned system of the right to self-govern paid for by the blood of millions of patriots. Without such a system, America as we know it is over, Democrats and Republicans will cease to exist, and it will not take an atomic attack by North Korea or any other country or countries to do us in; we will have done ourselves in via internal rot and decay, much like Rome.

So, Republican leadership, you have a choice. You can do your duty as Americans or you can blindly follow the leader in his otherworld fantasies fed by libertarian “campaign contributions,” but you cannot do both simultaneously because, as Supreme Court Justice Lewis J. Brandeis (a confidant of President Woodrow Wilson) pointed out the year I was born: “You can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, or you can have democracy, but you cannot have both.” So whose side are you on, Republican leadership, that of accelerated accumulation of great wealth in the hands of the few, the necessarily resultant impoverishment of the rest of us and the loss of our democracy, or an America with a self-governing future with wealth fairly distributed among all of us and an active diplomatic corps to maintain international equilibrium?

I have made my choice. Trump and Bannon are wrong and Brandeis was right to a fault.      GERALD       E






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