* Erik’s Editorial: The Guilty Parties Who Put American Democracy At Risk In The Name Of Donald Trump

US White House upside down (public domain).

I do not fault stupid people for making the stupid decision to elect Donald Trump in 2016.

I do fault smart people for making stupid decisions. These include:

1. Senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump in his no-witnesses-allowed impeachment trial, including primarily Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell:

* Impeachment of Donald Trump (2020-02-05)

* Mitch McConnell (2020-02-05)

2. Members of the GOP who voted to disenfranchise voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – before, during, and AFTER the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol – including Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jody Hice (R–GA-10), Mo Brooks (R–AL-05), Scott Perry (R–PA-10), Josh Hawley (R–MO), and Louie Gohmert (R–TX-01).

* 2021 Storming Of The United States Capitol (2021-01-06)

* 2020 United States Presidential Election Electoral College Count (2021-01-06 – 2021-01-07)

3. Donald Trump’s cabinet, who could have invoked the 25th Amendment to remove POTUS at any time:

* Cabinet Of Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

4. Social media, including especially Facebook and Twitter, for allowing their social networks to be used as platforms for hate speech.

* Donald Trump On Social Media (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

5. Mainstream media, including especially CNN (on the left) and Fox News (on the right) for not doing their jobs – asking questions until they get answers – and allowing POTUS to lie unchecked.

* Veracity Of Statements By Donald Trump (2017-01-21 – PRESENT)

6. Lawmakers at all levels, for failing to fix bad laws and for failing to enact good laws. Changes that must be made going forward include:

Limiting POTUS power:

  • Executive order power must be limited.
  • All cabinet members (acting/interim/actual) must be confirmed by Senate.
  • Treaties and tariffs must be the role of Congress so that POTUS cannot engage in trade wars.
  • War Powers Act must be updated to limit POTUS power to deploy the military.
  • Special Counsel Act must be updated to make clear that POTUS cannot fire special counsel.

Writing better and new laws:

  • Impeachment Act of 2021, to define how impeachment is conducted, including the requirement to have witnesses.
  • Follow the lead of The Restatements Of The Law project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restatements_of_the_Law) and codify major SCOTUS cases, including especially Roe v. Wade.
  • Fix the Census.
  • Fix immigration.
  • Fix SCOTUS processes, such as limiting appointments to 2 per POTUS with the number of SCOTUS justices fixed at the number of Federal Circuits (currently 13).
  • Election reform, including who is qualified to run for POTUS and that tax forms must be disclosed to do so.

Just to name a few.

Stupid people, bad laws, and lies got us into this mess.

Smart people, good laws, and the truth can get us out of this mess.



Editorial: Trump’s M.O.: “I Can’t Help It If You Didn’t See Me”

When a reporter followed up with Donald Trump about his reason for not wearing a face mask during his visit to a Phoenix, Arizona, facility that is producing face masks, Trump said this in response:

“I can’t help it if you didn’t see me.”

Though it was a response to the reporter’s observation that at no time did anyone see Trump wearing a face mask at Honeywell, the Arizona plant, “I can’t help it if you didn’t see me,” sums up so much about Donald Trump’s sleight-of-hand mode of operation.

“I can’t help it if you didn’t see me” is a petulant adolescent’s response. It’s an easy cover for a lie that implies that the failure in the situation is the other person’s for not seeing him do what he was supposed to do (but almost certainly didn’t).

Regarding the face mask observation, Trump claimed that while visiting the plant, he “had a mask on for a period of time.” He also said (despite signage that said, “Please wear your mask at all times,” and “Face mask required in this area”) that facility leaders told him he wasn’t required to wear a mask.

“I had it on backstage,” he said. “I can’t help it if you didn’t see me.”

That response demonstrates how easy it is for Donald Trump to tell any lie, stretch any fact, deny any allegation, and then discredit those who challenge him. It adeptly characterizes the gaslighting that has been the hallmark of Donald Trump’s presidency, nay, Donald Trump’s entire career:

“(My inaugural crowd) looked like a million-and-a-half people” and “went all the way back to the Washington Monument.” (I can’t help it if you didn’t see that.)

There was nothing wrong with that call to the Ukraine. “It was a perfect call.” I had a perfect call with President Zelenskiy. (I can’t help it if you didn’t see me.)

“The (COVID-19) tests are perfect!” “There are plenty of ventilators.” (I can’t help it if you don’t see any.)

“I always knew the coronavirus would be a pandemic.” (I can’t help it if you didn’t hear me say that.)

“But Your Highness, you have no clothes!” (I can’t help it if you don’t see them.)

In July of 2018, Trump told supporters at a convention in Missouri, “Just remember—what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”

Some found this declaration to be frighteningly similar to a line from George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

Our president’s adolescent gaslighting tactics are obvious and unsophisticated to most of those outside his base. To the members of his base, however, they are somehow nothing more than reassurances that their leader is the only one they can trust.

People who can be so easily and readily manipulated with adolescent tactics will have no defense against more sophisticated Orwellian tactics. In the novel, 1984, “Big Brother” kept an eye on citizens’ every move, banning individuality, personal freedoms, and independent thought. Trump’s base purports to hold all of those ideals as sacred. They are the ones who cry, “my liberty!” and “stop the tyranny!” perhaps the loudest.

Ironically, as they willingly overlook Donald Trump’s gaslighting and continue to look to him as their source of truth, they are the ones who are empowering the would-be authoritarian who wants to squelch their free and open society.

If one day, Trump’s base were to discover the depth to which they have been duped while being stripped by this administration of important freedoms and protections, they will have to accept Trump’s defense: “I can’t help it if you didn’t see me.”

President Trump claims he wore mask at Arizona factory, as he backtracks on coronavirus task force | The Telegraph {2020-05-07]

Rep. Says Trump Is Gaslighting The Nation Over Coronavirus | NowThis