The Last Chance to Save our Country?

The election of 2018 may be the last chance to save the United States from the forces that are acting to destroy our 230-year old democracy.

Donald Trump expressed his intentions many times when he was running for President. He likes to say: “Promises made, promises kept”. And indeed many of his promises are coming true:

  • He promised to overturn Roe v. Wade. This promise is about to come true.
  • He promised to stop the flow of immigrants – be they Mexican or Muslim. This promise is slowly coming true – including family separations, and continuing efforts to build the wall.
  • He promised to eliminate regulations which hamper business. This promise is leading to the elimination of regulations that protect our air, water, food, pharmaceuticals, and everything else we buy.
  • He said that “Climate Change is a hoax”, and promised to halt all US efforts to address climate change. He has succeeded in removing us from the Paris agreement and in pushing us ever further into the embrace of fossil fuels.
  • He promised to punish China. And his sledgehammer approach has punished millions of Americans as collateral damage.
  • He promised to “Repeal and Replace Obamacare”. While that didn’t work out his way, he has instead worked to slowly dismantle and cripple the Affordable Care Act.
  • Mr Trump repeatedly told his supporters that every single undocumented immigrant – of which there are 11.3 million – “have to go”. Although they are no where reaching 11 million, ICE is rounding up and deporting people by the hundreds.

These efforts are slowly turning the US into a Police state. A place where the rights of Women, Blacks, LGBT, non-Christians, and indeed all Americans who don’t agree with him are being threatened. And the Republican-led Congress has no interest in taking him on.

So what else does he want to do?

  • He promotes racial separation and violence. By refusing to condemn the KKK and Nazis, he has given such groups a license to attack others. Trump-loving hate groups such as the Proud Boys now attack others on the street with impunity.
  • He has stated that 3 million people voted illegally in 2016, and he set up an advisory Commission of Election Integrity – with the intent of reducing the voting rolls. While the commission has disbanded, Trump still wants to reduce voting rights.
  • Mr Trump said he would approve waterboarding “immediately” and “make it also much worse”, adding “torture works”. Only strong words from his Cabinet members (most of whom are now gone) forced him to back down.
  • Trump calls the Press “the enemy of the people” and said: “What you are seeing and reading in the media is not what’s happening”. He has repeatedly called for new laws to limit what the press can say.
  • When talking to Chinese President Xi, he said: “He’s now president for life. President for life. No, he’s great. . . And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.”

In short, Donald Trump has, in two years as President, damaged this country to the core. But he wants to do so much more. Think of the damage he could do if he has two more years of control of all three branches of government. He will have a great chance to accomplish his many other goals –  including his primary goal of cementing his hold on power so that he can eventually become “president for life” e.g. Dictator.

There is only one force that stands in the way of Trump gaining so much power that he will destroy our democracy. That force is the will of the people. But that force will likely be rendered meaningless unless it is used now – in the upcoming election.

It takes courage to vote. But it took more courage to face the British at Trenton or the Japanese on Guadalcanal. The courage of the men who fought those battles helped created the America we know today. We are now engaged in a different kind of battle, but it is no less vital to the future of the United States. All those who believe in America must find the will and the courage to vote for Democrats who will defend it from the greatest threat of this generation.

 

Michelle Obama is Wrong

Michelle Obama is wrong. On October 11, 2018, she said: “Fear is not a proper motivator.” As noble as that sentiment might be, it is wrong. Donald Trump has proven to the entire world that fear is an excellent motivator. He has motivated his base by stoking fear of immigrants, fear of Muslims, fear of the free press, and now – fear of all Democrats. And as a result, his party controls all elements of the United States government.

Now the vast majority of Americans have much to fear.

We fear that the norms of civil discourse and respect in our society are decaying – with the President modeling behaviors that nobody would want of their children.

We fear that society is becoming more unequal – with the 1% gaining more money and power and the remainder of us fighting for the dregs.

We fear that our healthcare options will be stripped away, leaving us unable to afford decent healthcare and financially vulnerable to a health crisis.

We fear that rights that are protected by the Constitution are being systematically stripped away by the Republican dominated Legislative and Judicial branches.

We fear that Women’s rights are being eroded, at first slowly, but now with increasing speed and severity.

We fear that the regulations that protect our food, water, the goods we buy, and the services we use are being rolled back in ways that jeopardize our safety and security.

We fear that pollution and greenhouse gasses are destroying the planet’s ability to support life for future generations.

We fear that people who are non-white, non-christian, or non-hetero will be discriminated against or worse with no legal recourse because the courts are not supportive.

We fear that those who have money and power can do as they please with disregard for the law and human decency with no repercussions.

We fear that those who speak up about the abuse they have suffered will be humiliated, dismissed, and hounded by the self-appointed right wing trolls.

We fear that the very fabric of our society has been torn, and it is only getting worse.

But we can’t let fear paralyze us. There is still time for hope and goodness to prevail. But the window of time is closing. The longer that Republicans control the levers of government, the more damage they can do.

Historians will look back on the past two years as a very dark time in American history. This election will decide whether that darkness will deepen and our democracy will fall further into the abyss, or whether the people will take back their country and begin the long climb back to the land of the free and home of the brave. All Patriots MUST VOTE. Nothing is more important.

 

Sometimes Conspiracy Theories are True

America is inundated with conspiracy theories:

  • Crowds of Muslims were cheering in New Jersey after the Twin Towers fell
  • Obama was born in Kenya
  • Hillary was running a child porn ring out of a pizza parlor
  • Millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election for Hillary
  • Obama wiretapped Trump Tower
  • Climate change is a Chinese hoax
  • Only a handful of people died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria
  • Trump is secretly working with Mueller to expose a child porn ring (QAnon)

These and many, many more conspiracy theories have been promoted by or linked to Donald Trump. No evidence has ever been provided that any of these are true – but they are still believed by a significant percentage of Americans because who support Donald Trump.

But sometimes conspiracy theories are true. How can we tell? Because there is EVIDENCE to back them up. So, let’s examine some evidence, all of which is known to be true, and see if it might support another conspiracy theory.

  • For many years, it has been well known that the Trump organization was dependent on Russian financing following its numerous bankruptcies. The pattern begins long before Trump became a presidential candidate. His partners in the Trump Soho project in New York, announced in 2006, included a former official of the Soviet Union and a Russian who confessed to felony fraud involving organized crime. Donald Trump Jr. said two years later that money was “pouring in from Russia” for “high-end product.“. The same year, a Russian oligarch paid Trump $95 million for a Florida mansion the elder Trump bought in 2004 for less than half that price – just one of many Trump-Russian real estate deals. Showcasing a family golf course in 2013, son Eric Trump told a journalist that Russian financiers provided what American banks would not. In addition to Donald Trump’s trip to Russia to host the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant, he was actively pursuing the development of a Hotel in Russia well into 2016. The links between Russian leadership and the Trump family span over 10 years.
  • On June 9, 2016, a meeting was held in Trump Tower in New York City between three senior members of the 2016 Trump campaign – Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort – and at least five other people, including Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The meeting was set up in response to this e-mail sent by Rob Goldstone on June 3, 2016 to Donald Trump Jr.:

Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

  • On June 7, 2016, Donald Trump announced: “I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week and we’re going to be discussing all of the things have taken place with the Clintons,” the presumptive Republican nominee said from his Westchester, New York, estate. “And I think you’re going to find it very, very interesting.” But after the meeting at Trump Tower turned out to provide no dirt on Hillary, the speech was never given.

Donald Trump says that he did not know about the Trump Tower meeting until a year later – so was the announcement of the speech and later cancellation just an amazing coincidence?

  • On July 27, 2016, Donald Trump said (talking about Hillary): “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
  • An indictment filed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, said “The Conspirators spearfished individuals affiliated with the Clinton Campaign throughout the summer of 2016. For example, on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearfish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third-party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.”

Was this just another amazing coincidence?

  • On October 7, 2016, The Washington Post published a video and accompanying article about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and television host Billy Bush having “an extremely lewd conversation about women” in 2005. The effect was immediate – Republicans started deserting him, and many began calling for his withdrawal from the ticket.
  • However, later in the day on October 7, Wikileaks released another trove of emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman email account, unleashing thousands of messages that revealed for the first time excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches — including those delivered before Wall Street — that were flagged as problematic or potentially damaging. This story competed with the Access Hollywood story just when Donald Trump desperately needed to change the subject.

Was this a third amazing coincidence?

  • When Hillary Clinton finally conceded the election, early in the morning of November 9, 2016, it was already mid-day in Moscow. Russian State news agency RIA-Novosti and Russian website Interfax.com quoted Mr Nikonov, also chairman of the Education Committee, as saying: “Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton acknowledged her defeat in the US presidential elections and just seconds ago, Trump began his speech as president-elect. I congratulate all of you on this.
  • Tonight is a night of Trump for all Americans and the world,” said Boris Chernyshev, a member of an ultranationalist faction at the Duma whose leader invited journalists for a champagne toast. Citing President Obama’s 2008 slogan, he added, “Tonight we can use the slogan with Mr. Trump: Yes we did.

Adding this all up, our fact-based conspiracy theory is clear:

Donald Trump’s campaign actively and regularly colluded with the Russian government to undermine the American electoral process and subvert the will of the American people.

At last, a conspiracy theory we can believe in. Q.E.D.

What does this mean? Our 2016 election was stolen. Our freedom is at risk. Yes, Robert Mueller is working on this, and will someday issue a report that includes all this and much more, but it doesn’t appear to be coming soon. All Americans MUST vote in the 2018 election for America, and against Russia – which means we must vote those who will confront, expose, and neutralize this threat.

No matter what party you belong to you must vote for Democrats in 2018, before it is too late.

The Enemy of the People

Josef Stalin liked to use the phrase “Enemy of the People” to denote those that he had chosen for execution. Of course what he really meant by that phrase was “anyone who I perceive to be a threat to my power”. His use of the phrase was a death sentence.

Donald Trump uses the term “enemy of the people” to describe the mainstream media in the US. By using such strong language to assault those whose lives are dedicated to the defense of the First Amendment he shows his utter disregard for the fundamental rights of Americans. This has been going on for some time, and virtually none of the leaders of the Republican Party have shown that they are concerned about Trump’s attack on the rights of Americans.

But Trump’s Summit with Vladimir Putin and post-summit news conference show that  Trump isn’t just out to destroy our rights. His defense of Putin and opposition to the unanimous certainty of the intelligence community is nothing short of a betrayal of the US to our strongest and most sinister enemy.  By his actions he has shown that he intends to weaken America as a great power and help Russia. If he is allow to proceed further down this path he will do untold damage to this country.

If you wanted to destroy America, how would you do it? Our military is way too strong to be defeated on any battlefield, our economy is too diverse and global in its reach. The only way is to destroy us from within. To do so you would have to manipulate elections, work to reduce our belief in a free press, reduce our faith in the judicial system, the FBI, the CIA, etc. And you would weaken our alliances in such a way that no other country would see us as a dependable and reasonable ally.  If you look at Trump’s actions from this point of view, they all make perfect sense.

Make no mistake – Donald Trump is an enemy of the American people and a traitor to the US. And the Republicans who say virtually nothing, and more importantly do nothing are cowards of the highest order.

Robert Mueller will eventually expose much, if not all of this, but by then it may be too late. There is only one chance to save our country. We must vote for Democrats. America can only be protected with both houses in opposition to Trump. The number of democratic voters must be so large so as to overwhelm the ongoing Russian attempt to sabotage our election.

Either we defeat Trump, or the country we love will be no more.

Mike Pence is Machiavellian

Niccolo Machiavelli famously wrote: “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” This quote perfectly describes Mike Pence.

Mike appears to be a full-throated supporter of President Donald Trump. But if you look more deeply, you can see that he’s keeping as much distance as he can between himself and the bulk of Trump’s administration of cronies, while still espousing loyalty to Trump. He’s happy to talk about the economy, foreign relations, and other conventional Republican topics, but his expressions of support are carefully calculated to avoid the danger zones: Russia, Trump’s kleptocratic buddies, Stormy and company, etc.

But Mike Pence knows what everyone who is not is not duped by the Fox News propaganda machine already understands: Donald Trump’s days as President are numbered. Trump acts like he’s guilty in the Russia probe because he is – we don’t yet know exactly what of, but we know that its bad. Mike knows that only two things can prevent him from becoming President Pence: 1) Donald Trump believes he is no longer loyal and (somehow) manages to dump him, or 2) he becomes embroiled in one of the Trump scandals and goes down with the ship as part of a negotiated exit.

The first scenario is highly unlikely, but Pence is taking no chances. Pence is LOVED by Republicans in both houses, and they are almost universally anxious for the day when their standard bearer is an adult. So, even if Trump tried to move against him, the party would put a quick stop to any such plan. But Pence is looking to the 2020 Presidential election, and knows that he will need Trump voters to win. So, he’s playing the role of a faithful soldier. He will never be at the head of the dump Trump train, but he may secretly be its biggest booster.

The second scenario is where some danger lies for Pence. He may indeed be connected to the Russia thing – but we have yet to know the whole story. Assuming that he was minimally involved and preserves a degree of plausible deniability, his exposure should be limited. Republicans will do everything they can to give him the benefit of the doubt, so as long as they are in power, he’s likely safe.

Now we come to the central question: When do the Republicans make this happen? It is NOT a legal issue – its strictly a political calculation. Are they better off with President Trump or with President Pence? As the noose begins to tighten on Trump and his behavior becomes even more erratic and indefensible, the movement will gather steam.

So will Republicans dump Trump before the 2018 election? If so, they may retain one or both majorities. Or will they (as the Democrats hope) stick with Trump until they lose one or both Congressional majorities and numerous state majorities? If that happens, Trump will come under intense pressure and – like any bully who loses a fight – will quit during the lame duck session (and he will expect a pardon). Trump doesn’t really like being President, and he really won’t like it if he has to endure even one day of what will be endless Democratic-led congressional inquiries.

Either way, Trump will be gone by January 1, 2019. The only question is, what will be left of the mighty Republican Party once Mike Pence becomes its leader?

 

The Russians are Destroying the Republican Party

The primary goal of the Russian government in interfering with our election process is to sow discord and strife within the United States. But a secondary goal is to destroy the Republican Party and eliminate its history of belligerence towards Russia. The plan is working to perfection.

With the President as a willing co-conspirator, the Russians have completely changed the conversation about Russia within Republican circles. No longer is Russia the “Evil Empire” of Ronald Reagan, now Donald Trump will do anything he can to “get along with Russia” and refuses to fight back for America against Russian aggression. We know that Russia has been manipulating social media and thereby public opinion so as to promote Trump and his views since he began running for President. Its important to remember that they specifically picked him.

So how does this impact the rest of the Republican Party? For some time now, there has been a huge dilemma for elected GOP officials. For the most part, they see the oncoming train wreck of the Trump Presidency. They know that Mueller will soon demonstrate that the Trump campaign engaged in multiple crimes and that they should be doing everything they can to distance themselves from Trump. But they have been afraid to antagonize the legion of vociferous Trump supporters. So they have hidden their heads in the sand – neither defending or (other than a few who have eschewed re-election) criticizing the President and hoped for the best.

Elected Republicans have already shown that they have no moral compass, so we are wasting our time expecting them to behave in the best interests of the country. But we do expect that they will behave in ways that will maximize their re-election chances – which they normally do.

But now the Republicans have learned from Mueller’s February 16 indictments that some (most?) of the pro-Trump social media posts were actually from Russian nationals and were amplified by Russian-sponsored bots. So what are Republicans to do? Why should they follow the pro-Trump echo chamber if it isn’t real? Can they believe anything from Social media that is Pro-Trump?

The Republican Party has been, and continues to be manipulated by Russia into a collective suicide pact by supporting Trump. Its clear that Mueller is in the homestretch, and equally clear that his report will show that Trump is guilty of treasonous behavior. When the voters find out the truth, they will crucify all those who were in any way complicit. The party will be crushed and will split into multiple warring factions.

Every day that goes by with GOP following the Trump-Russia playbook is a day closer to the death of the Republican Party. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

 

Mueller’s Probe Will Soon End – and Libs Will be Bummed

The Mueller probe is in the home stretch. Given that he has been at it for 10 months, and seems to have completed all of his interviews (Trump will never be interviewed), its time for him to pull together all the pieces into a final report.

Like a blind man trying to understand the shape of an elephant, we know much of what Mueller has collected, but we don’t know what he knows. However, given the reams of documents, the testimony of multiple Trump campaign and administration associates that are cooperating, and the already documented facts (Don Jr.’s e-mails, etc.), we can make some certain deductions about what Mueller will unveil:

  1. The evidence will clearly show that the Trump family, along with multiple other campaign members has long been involved in money laundering with various Russian oligarchs and mobsters. This explains Trump’s refusal to release his Tax Returns, his Russian banking connection, and how the Russians initially exerted control over him.
  2. The evidence offered by Papadopoulos, Flynn, and now Gates, along with the Don Jr. e-mails and many other corroborating documents will show that the Trump organization did, in no uncertain terms, collaborate with the Russians to alter the course of the 2016 election. The efforts were probably initiated by the Russians, just as any blackmailer would draw a victim deeper into criminal behavior. But criminal behavior it is, and Mueller will prove it.
  3. The attempt to hide the criminal behavior will be shown by Mueller to be Obstruction of Justice. Unlike so many other political crimes, obstruction won’t be the biggest part of this case – but it will be fully documented via a solid set of facts.

This may not be a perfect representation of Mueller’s report, but its a minimum of what he has on Trump. Mueller will connect the dots to give us a photographic blueprint of the entire case. And Mueller has shown at every step that he has had more than anyone has expected, so the report will likely include additional items that are not yet known. But even if its just these three items, they will be damning.

So why would liberals be bummed over this turn of events? Because Mueller will be too cautious to issue the fourth, and most damning accusation – that of Treason.

Why does Trump refuse to impose congressionally mandated sanctions? Why does he believe Putin over his own Cabinet members? Why does he refuse to call out Russia for its meddling? The answer is obvious – because Putin controls Trump through blackmail. Trump is betraying the United States to an enemy power, because that enemy power has the power to destroy him. The only way to save our country is for us to destroy him before he can do any more harm.

The Mueller report is urgently needed. Then Congress MUST act immediately to remove Trump from power. Then we can deal with the rest of the mess.

 

 

FBI Bias and the Secret Memo

There has been much speculation about the FBI being biased against the President and the dangers this poses to the country. The House just voted to release a secret memo which purports to shed new light on the bias at the FBI. But we already know quite a bit about the bias that actually exists at the FBI.

Lets go back to a few weeks before the 2016 election. At the time (late October 2016), Hillary Clinton was beating Donald Trump by an average of six points in the composite polls. But by election day, that lead had evaporated, and most polls showed the race very close – although many of them still showed that Clinton would win. In the end Clinton won the popular vote, thanks to California, but Trump won the electoral vote and the presidency. But it was very close. Trump won four states by less than 1%, and Florida by 1.2%. Those few states propelled him to victory.

So what caused Hillary’s lead to evaporate over a two week period? On October 28, 2016, 12 days before the election, James Comey released a letter announcing that he was re-opening the investigation into Hillary’s e-mails. The reason given was to examine a batch of e-mails found on Anthony Weiner’s PC. It soon became obvious that this new investigation made no sense, given that all the e-mails on Weiner’s PC had already been among those that had been reviewed. Trump immediately pounced with accusations that Comey’s announcement showed that Hillary engaged in a treasonous act. Trump’s accusations, which were given widespread airplay on all networks, were not at all consistent with Comey’s letter. But Comey said nothing to refute what Trump was saying, so many people took Trump’s version as reality. For many voters, this reinforced the impression that Hillary was perpetually involved in shady/corrupt activities, an impression that the Republicans had spent years creating. Although Comey came back with an exoneration of Hillary on November 6, by that time Hillary’s lead was gone and on November 8, Trump was elected.

What Comey and the FBI knew, but the public did not, was that the FBI was also investigating the Trump campaign for the Russia activities. We don’t yet know that those investigations will prove that Trump engaged in collusion, but we do know that many members of his campaign were in continuous contact with Russians and that Don Jr. attempted collusion.

If Comey had either told the public that Trump’s campaign was also under investigation, OR would have not re-opened the investigation into Clinton under bogus circumstances, then Hillary would now be President.

As with every law enforcement agency in the country, the members of the FBI are primarily conservative by nature, and primarily Republicans in their politics. Any suggestion that the FBI is filled with liberals that must be purged is ridiculous. The pro-Trump bias of the FBI already exists, and was the reason for his election.

But there are still a large number of people who believe in Country over party in the FBI and Justice Department. The goal of the Trump people is not to purge the FBI of Democrats, but rather to purge those who believe in public service rather than service to the cult of Trump. The secret memo that is about to be released by the House shows Congress’s complicity in this process. We continue to move inexorably down the road to an authoritarian government in which the Justice Department becomes the President’s secret police.

Trump and the Republicans in Congress must be stopped. We, the people must vote for those who will uphold the laws of the United States. We must elect Democrats to majorities in both the House and Senate in 2018. If we fail, we may not get another chance.

 

 

America’s Future at Risk

We live in a world in which only the fittest will survive and prosper. This is a basic law of nature, and it applies to nations just the same as it applies to the creatures of the jungle.

America has, for the past 100+ years, been the strongest nation in the world, and all of us have prospered because of our position of strength. It didn’t happen all at once. A series of smart decisions, many of them made more than 50 years ago, all led to today’s position as the world’s one true superpower. But we live in dangerous times, and our long term position is at risk. While these risks may not impact anyone over 75, they will impact our children, and their children and so on down the generations. As adults, we must do our part to protect and preserve the viability of this country so that our children and grandchildren may thrive.

Lets talk for a bit about Risk Management. Risk Management is the science of identifying risks, prioritizing the most severe, and developing strategies to either avoid them or mitigate their impacts. This strategy is employed every day in business and by our military. But we never seem to apply it to the most important topic – the long term success of the United States.

So what are the biggest risks to the future of American greatness over the next 25-50 years? If you were to watch Fox News or read Breitbart, you’d think the biggest risks are radical Islam, immigration, and North Korea. Let’s examine the risks posed to the existence of the US by each of them.

Radical Islam (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, etc.) clearly poses a threat to the lives of ordinary Americans. They have killed thousands of American civilians (mostly on September 11, 2001) over the past 20 or so years. But do they pose a threat to the American nation? Hardly. Taken collectively, they could never defeat even a small fraction of the mightiest military that the world has ever known. Nor do they have nuclear weaponry that can take out American cities and devastate  our economy. They have to be classified as a low-priority risk to the US.

Immigration is seen by some to pose a threat to our very way of life. But, as a nation of immigrants, those who are here have always been suspicious of the next group who are different. Just as there were fears of the papist Irish, the ignorant Slavs from Eastern Europe, and the orientals, now there are fears of Hispanics, Africans, and especially Moslems. Unchecked and completely unimpeded immigration would be a risk to the US. But we haven’t had that since 1924, and nobody is advocating such a thing. What we have had over the past 90 years is a slow but steady influx of new, dynamic, risk taking people who come to America because they believe this is the land of opportunity and freedom. And this level of immigration has been a good thing, revitalizing, renewing and continuing to diversify America in ways that are true to our core principles. This doesn’t mean that there are no casualties from immigration – of course there are. We need to address those issues and fix them. But controlled immigration is not a threat to the existence of the US – in fact it adds much more to the success of this country than it costs. As long as we keep doing basically what we’ve been doing since 1924, immigration is a low-priority (or maybe non-existent) risk to the US.

North Korea clearly does propose a real risk to the US. Given that is has nuclear weapons, ICBMs, and a stridently belligerent leader, a level of risk cannot be denied. But what is the level of risk? Can they destroy enough of America to bring about the collapse of our government or destruction of our economy? This answer is probably no for now, but possibly changes to yes in a few short years. So this is a risk. And although the past six Presidents have seen it as such, it has continued to grow from a small risk to a much greater risk. The Trump administration clearly recognizes the risk, but as of yet they do not seem to have developed a strategy to mitigate or avoid it. North Korea is a risk and should be a top concern.

But there are other risks to the future of America that the Trump Administration is ignoring. The biggest long term risks to the US are elimination of our free institutions, and climate change.

The government of a democratic nation by definition represents the will of the people. But what if outside forces can bend the will of the people without their knowledge, or worse yet, subvert the will of the people by manipulating elections. If that is the case, then the “democratic” nation is merely a puppet state of another nation. There is no question that, in 2016, Russia attempted to bend the will of the people through propaganda and subvert the will of the people by altering votes. And they succeeded. So now we have an administration, and numerous members of Congress who have been elected on the basis of Russian manipulation. And not surprisingly, they have no interest in investigating this issue or dosing anything from preventing it from happening again. This is a true threat to the independence of the United States. As Russia gets better and smarter at hacking and manipulating the electorate, Republicans do nothing, hoping that once again the Russians will back them. And when the President and his allies cast doubts upon the independent reporting of a free press, they are further playing into the hands of the Russians. These actions pose the greatest short-term threat to the independence of America.

Luckily, the foundational institutions of our democracy, the FBI, CIA, Justice system, and elections system, have great internal integrity due to the patriotism of their apolitical employees. But they are all under attack by Trump and his allies (knowingly or unknowingly) on behalf of the Russians. All Americans who believe in the independence of this nation must do their part to take back our democracy. At a minimum, they must vote – against those who want to destroy our independent free press, our independent judicial system, and our independent elections. They must vote against all Russian-backed candidates – which today means they must vote against Republicans. And all who can must do more to spread the word.

If we can overcome the short-term risk of Russian manipulation, then we must confront the long term risk to America, and to the planet from climate change. Climate change is real and we are feeling its initial impacts already. But much more is to come. Changes in weather patterns will lead to widespread droughts which will lead to widespread famine. Sea level rise will lead to coastal inundation which will cause massive displacement of people worldwide. These impacts will be exacerbated by overpopulation and destruction of the natural environment. While these impacts will be fall the hardest on those nations that have the least resources, there will be no escaping them in the US. It is imperative that our government focus all possible energy on developing long term strategies to both minimize the severity of climate change and to mitigate its impacts. This is the biggest threat to the future of America. We need to act as if we care.

Why Would We Let Sh**hole People In?

Lets move past the word that the President used, and get to the real topic – why do we want to let people from Africa, Haiti, or other such countries in to the United States? After all, they don’t share our likeness, our values, or our culture, and they might not share our Christian religion. They bring crime, drugs, and worse. This is a huge danger to the American way that we all hold so dear. The very essence of what America means is being threatened by the sh**hole people.

But what does it mean to be an American? Are we a nation of the best people from western Europe – the kinds of people that Trump and his supporters want?

The Colonial founders of the United States were of course largely British. But even they were a mix – of aristocrats and commoners, many of whom came over as indentured servants. And shortly after the founding of the country, immigration of lesser people began. Who were these lesser people? They were the dregs of Britain – the Welsh, Scots, Cornish, or others who were escaping from the crushing poverty of economically depressed (e.g. sh**hole) areas of Britain.

But worse were to come. The 1840’s saw mass migrations of two “subhuman” classes to America – the Irish and the Germans. Both groups were fleeing intolerable sh**hole conditions of poverty, starvation and oppression. Later in the 1800s, other undesirables of racially inferior quality immigrated from sh**hole areas such as Italy and Eastern Europe. Throughout these immigration cycles, each group of newcomers was derided which every bit as much vehemence as the most anti-immigrant Republican politician offers today. But, as there were no laws restricting immigration, (except from China), our ancestors came anyway.

What kind of people were they? Were they the most educated? The richest? the ones who passed the merit tests? Of course not – they were just the opposite. But what they lacked in power and wealth was more than made up for by the qualities they did possess: the energy, bravery, and fortitude to break away from their miserable sh**hole existence  and risk everything for a chance for a better life. It was only the people with those unmatched qualities that could have created the America of today.

So let’s be honest. Most of us are from countries that at the time, were sh**hole places. And America is a Great Nation because of that, not despite it. And if we are to continue in our greatness, we need to continue to encourage those who bring new vitality, new ideas, and new innovation to our land.

We can be ruled by our own fear, and decay into an isolationist, reactionary wasteland, unwilling to change and with our best years behind us. Is this what we want for our children? And for their children?

If we want to continue as the greatest nation on Earth, we need people from sh**hole countries – more than they need us. They are the key to our future. Our past tells us so.