Maybe It is Time to Build The Wall. The Wall Of Shame.

07 Jun

In 2016 one of Candidate Trump’s big selling points was his promise to build a wall along the U.S. Southern border and that Mexico would pay for it. Of course, when Candidate Trump instrumentalized enough hate and division to become President Trump not only did Mexico not pay for anything, but according to recent data concerning the wall, only a measly 3 miles of (primary) wall have been erected in places where no previous barrier already existed! With a total price tag of 11 billion dollars already, and again none of which Mexico has paid for, Trump’s border wall project has turned into a financial fiasco.

Of course financial fiascos are nothing new for Donald Trump as Trump’s financial disasters run the gamut from operating a phony University, a string of failed Casinos, dubious stock which only robbed investors, a horrendous pro-football venture and three declarations of business bankruptcies. This as an impressive list of failures for someone claiming to be a brilliant businessman. However, as atrocious as these (and other) business blunders have been, they appear to be small potatoes compared to the shaky financial ground President Trump has left America in since he took office. Although I could highlight the millions of dollars he and his family have charged the American taxpayer with for security and rooms at his properties, or the billions of dollars he cost the American treasury with his corporate tax cuts that have (largely) only benefited him and other wealthy elites, the real sum to be concerned with are the trillions of dollars of debt he has racked up in his tenure as President. More specifically, not only was Trump’s promise to wipe out the debt in 8 years another gross lie, but Trump has racked up over 3 trillion dollars worth of debt in under three years in office and now the Federal debt at 23 trillion is the largest debt in American history. One wonders where the fiscal conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party have gone?

However, financial debacles aside President Trump and his supporters continue to tout President Trumps achievements on non-financial and social matters. It is simply impossible to debunk all of these claims in this piece one-by-one but this author would implore readers to ask themselves what does the eye test tell them? In the last four 4 months over  100,000 Americans are dead to the Coronavirus and America is literally on fire from coast-to-coast. While both occurrences are horrible and tragic, in each instance the magnitude of each tragedy was significantly intensified with the actions (and inactions) of President Trump.

First, Trump was warned for months of the deadly potential of the Coronavirus and for months he did nothing and even dismissed it as a Democratic Hoax. Trump’s abject failure on this front is especially jarring when considering the fact that experts have found that 90 percent of Coronavirus deaths could have been avoided only two weeks sooner, with the Washington Post reporting that 36,000 lives could have been saved if only government officials had acted a week before Trump finally realized there was problem. Again, Trump and his “advisors” denied for months that there was any threat posed by the Coronavirus even though experts in the US relying on international data (and yes data from China) had repeatedly highlighted the danger of the Coronavirus.

Second, on May 25, 2020 George Floyd, an African American, was arrested and subsequently murdered when a white cop, Derek Chauvin, pinned his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd was on the ground and kept it there for 9 minutes (2.5 of which while he was unconscious) while at three other officers did nothing to stop him. The video of this incident caused an uproar across the United States with protests spanning all fifty states (notably, the protests also spanned the Globe with millions of  protestors marching in countries like Germany, Syria, Brazil, Canada, England, Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand). However, as these protests got co-opted by outside forces and then turned violent, and as America started to burn, there was a notable silence emanating from the White House. For days people waited for President Trump to make some sort of meaningful and unifying message yet President Trump was even incapable of delivering this. Moreover, his tweets concerning Floyd’s murder while initially having a veneer of concern for Floyd and injustice began to descend into the promotion of violent retribution against protestors. Understandably as this did not work to quell the violence, Trump apparently became very rattled when the protestors reached his door and it was reported that he was even forced to hide in White House bunker with the lights turned off. After continued protesting across the country and being forced to flee to an underground bunker one would think that a normal person in Trump’s shoes, would finally wake up, change course in this tipping point moment in American history, and lead the fight for unity. But this is Trump, and of course the worst possible scenario is the result.

On June 1, 2020 at approximately 6:45pm peaceful protesters in Washington D.C. were suddenly attacked by federal and military police who fired tear gas, flash bombs and rubber bullets into the crowd who had assembled across the street from the White House. At the same time President Trump began to deliver a speech from the White House which began with a commitment to peaceful protestors and then devolved into full blown tyranny when the President of the United States pledged utilize the military against American citizens exercising and invade individual states with (occupying) military forces. If this was not bad enough the icing on this rancid authoritarian cake was after his speech, Trump now emboldened by the calculated removal protestors, decided to finally emerge from the White House and walk across to the street to a church for a photo op and incredibly used a bible to help promote his message of violence! This blasphemous act received near universal condemnation from religious persons across the US including the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Rev. Mariann Budde. One wonders where the constitutional conservatives, libertarians, and Tea Party have gone?

Enough is Enough.

If the George Floyd protests are the tipping point, Trumps anti-democratic, self-interested and blasphemous spectacle on June 1st must be the last straw to tip the scales. Not only should every American citizen register and prepare to exercise their vote to elect candidates with lifelong commitments to unity and social reform, but it is time for all who continue to support Trump from this point on to be remembered for their shame and cowardice during a time when America’s liberty is under siege. As such, instead of a meaningless and ineffectual border wall, a wall of remembrance and shame should be erected in the nation’s capital and filled with the names of all those who were complicit, supported, enabled, or even acquiesced to Donald Trump’s Presidency. As such, the ‘Wall of Shame’ should begin with the names of the 51 Republican Senators who voted to acquit Trump following his impeachment in the House (with an underline placed under the names of obsequious Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio), should be followed by the Republican House members who voted against impeachment, and rounded out with the members of the media, corporate donors, and MAGA deplorable who espouse hate that continue to support him. Anyone who continues to support Trump is absolutely free to add their name to the Wall so that future generations know exactly who stood with and for the destruction of American democracy. And this is not hyperbole. From attacking the free press, to trampling the Constitution, to his attacks on law enforcement agencies, to welcoming foreign assistance in undermining American elections (and then attempting to cover it up), to seeking retribution on political opponents, to instrumenalizing the military for his own political purposes, to now inciting violence on his own citizens, there is not a single democratic institution Donald Trump and his authoritarian posse have not compromised.

As such, it is not just America that is on fire, America’s very democracy is burning. At best America in now a Hybrid Regime and if Trump and co. are allowed to utilize tactics from their authoritarian tool kit for another four years the United States will be unrecognizable from any totalitarian regime America ever denounced.

It is time. Build the Wall, Remember the Enablers.

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