It does not come waving a flag while carrying a cross. It was, in fact, our mistake to assume that this would be the case. We have long believed that it would be a blasphemous blend of religious fervor and patriotism that would lead to the rise of America's first despot. However, a mere two weeks into the circus/reality show that is the Trump Transition, we have, thanks to our incoming "Tweeter in Chief," been granted a first row seat as we watch fascism enter into our republic waving a clinched fist while draped in a veil of ignorance.
We now know this to be true. And, truth be told, we should have seen it coming. Donald Trump rode a wave of anger and, let's be honest, naive ignorance to a shocking and stomach-churning Electoral College victory. Now that he has been elected, the President-elect has turned back on several campaign promises while surrounding himself with angry, petty, and inexperienced cronies who embody the very essence that so many believe to be wrong about our government.
As Donald J. Trump continues to consolidate power he is demonstrating to the American people that he fully intends to run the country like he ran (or continues to run) his business. In short, he will be in charge, he will not take direction, and he will not tolerate dissent. The moves of the President-elect have raised eyebrows and quickened the heart-rates of those who pay attention and understand the implications of the words and actions of the soon-to-be leader of the free world.
1. He appointed an inexperienced and overtly xenophobic man as his chief strategist. While he claims to disavow the "alt-right," Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon has given fuel to those who believe that America can only be "great again" when it is "white again." Since the election, we have witnessed a rise of homophobic, racist, and anti-semitic rhetoric across the country. The appointment of Bannon will do nothing to quell the vitriol that has migrated from the internet message boards to airplanes, college campuses, and even shopping malls. Aspiring despots know that if the people have an "other" on which to focus their attention and suspicion, they will be able to manipulate and control the majority of the population.
2. Without proof, he publicly accused "millions" of voting illegally. Why? Who knows. Remember, he won the election. While we have no idea why he would tweet out something that he had apparently gleaned from InfoWars, it can only be assumed that such an accusation only serves to stir up more resentment toward minority groups who already had a hell of a time voting in this election. While this incredibly ignorant move has given fuel to those calling for a recount, there is a deeper issue at play here. Trump is falling back on a move he made during the campaign by casting doubt on the steadfast faith in the election process. By claiming that the system is "rigged" he laying the foundation to be able to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
3. He has appointed what is quite possibly the least qualified Secretary of Education in modern history. Besty Devos has absolutely zero business heading the Department of Education. She does not have an education degree, has never taught, and has no first-hand experience with the public school system. It is well-documented that Devos favors funneling money away from public education and towards private, religious, and charter schools. If Devos' agenda passes through Congress, it will drive a wedge between those who have access to higher-quality private education and those who will be compelled to endure increasingly underfunded and under appreciated public schools. The education of the next generation will suffer and, consequently, Trump's base of under-educated voters will undoubtedly grow.
4. Donald Trump has called into question the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. This morning, the President-elect suggested that those who choose to burn the United Stats flag as a form of protest should be punished by either jail time or (appallingly) loss of citizenship. It should be noted that hardly anyone thinks burning the U.S flag is an appropriate or useful form of protest. Desecrating the flag is abhorrent, disrespectful, and really, quite petty. HOWEVER, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is a form of speech that is protected under the First Amendment. Furthermore, the Fourteenth Amendment grants full citizenship to all those born in this country. There is absolutely no mechanism to revoke the citizenship of one born within the United States. It should frighten both conservatives and liberals alike that the future president is flippantly floating the notion of restricting the right to free expression and using the threat of revoking citizenship as a way to keep people in line.
The actions of the future leader of the republic are not normal, acceptable, and cannot be rationalized. The American people have elected a fraud, con-man, and wanna be despot to the office of President of the United States. Barring a unprecedented move by the Electoral College, Trump will be sworn in to office on January 20. If the events of the last 21 days are any indication, we're going to be in for a wild four years.
God help us.
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