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  • July 15th, 2019

PENCE DEFENCE

By Joel M. Vance

 

Last week, Donald Trump sent his Uber Christian vice president Mike Pence to the southern border, along with a Washington Post reporter, representing all the media. Pence is quoted as saying, “I couldn’t be more impressed” by what he described as “the compassionate work” by border patrol agents. “Every family that I spoke with told me they were being well cared for.”

 

The Post reporter had a somewhat different take on the scene. He said 400 men were housed in sweltering cages so crowded that all of them could not lie down. Some shouted they had not had a shower, had been held in the detention facility for more than 40 days (a border patrol spokesperson said defensively that it wasn’t 40 days it was only 32) and that they were hungry. The reporter said the stench was overwhelming.

 

Pence, in typical geewhiz fashion, summed up the situation by saying “this is tough stuff.” Well, Duh! the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security described dangerously overcrowded conditions, including a situation with migrants packed so tightly into confinement that some had to stand on toilets.  Our compassionate president, said the facilities were “beautifully run.”

 

Trump persists in employing the tools of the bigot, the tyrant—demonizing his opponents. Every migrant at the southern border is a murderer or rapist (you have to watch out for kindergarten age kids overrunning the Southwest, bent on rapine and massacre.   And that little drowned two-year-old obviously was bent on invading United States of America to commit murder).

 

Trump has told four freshman women Congress people who happen to represent minorities to “go back where they came from.” Three of the four were born in American cities, and the fourth, who has become a target of every right wing troll is a naturalized citizen from Somalia, an African country characterized by Trump as a “shithole country.” It would be instructive to hear what the notoriously foulmouthed president says about Ilhan Abdullani Omar when the only listeners are his faithful toadies.

 

Trump desperately wants to divert attention from his own perverted misdeeds as other evil types have done in the past. We heard it in the days of the Ku Klux Klan—Black men obviously posed a threat to white womanhood so let’s lynch them. Tailgunner Joe McCarthy ruined the lives of many with his false accusations about communism creeping through our society, abetted by the weasely shyster Roy Cohn who would go on to be Trump’s lawyer. Shitbirds of a feather flock together.  It’s instructive to note that Tennessee’s Republican governor  Bill Lee recently signed a proclamation honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, a psychopath who helped found and was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Echoes of segregation era outrages are becoming all too common in the Trump era and the administration’s concept of sweeping up asylum-seekers from infants to adults and refusing them not only asylum, but common decency,  officially reinforces the bigots infesting today’s political scene.

 

Our fine Christian vice president later after his brief tip toe through a detention facility was quoted as saying, “What we saw today is a facility that is providing care that every American would be proud of.” Is the man as nuts as his boss! Proud? How about ashamed? Pence and his all white inspection team studiously avoided eye contact with the confined asylum seeking, caged men and quickly fled without talking to any of them. They apparently could not hear the shouted complaints about the foul treatment they were witnessing.

 

Instead of feeding the hopeful immigrants, why not invite them to the White House for one of Trump’s infamous fast food banquets with which he attempts to honor the nation’s world championship sports teams? Stuff these underfed asylum-seekers with fat laden, cholesterol rich junk food and get rid of them by nutrition poisoning instead of spending billions of dollars building walls, cages, and equipping border patrol troopers with expensive equipment.

 

Just trying to be helpful.

 

If it were in my power to do so I would have Trump, Pence and all their right wing apologists, confined in chain-link cages down wind of a corporate hog farm on a hot summer day, temperature and humidity both in the 90s, for 40 days without benefit of toothbrushes, adequate food, or a place to lie down.

 

Words of more than four letters fail me.

 

Here is what I posted last week before the Pence trip. I would hope that readers would disseminate it as widely as possible. I encourage comments and so far there has been only one negative comment to the effect that my criticisms of Trump should apply instead to Barack Obama. I thought of replying to it by suggesting that the critic launder his white sheet but figured that would be no more constructive than trying to instruct a junkyard dog not to scratch fleas.

 

 

A Biblical fellow named John, possibly the first so named, quoted a friend of his, a fellow named Jesus, as saying “the truth shall set you free.” Another fellow, more recently, named Michael De Adder, found that the truth indeed did set him free—he got fired for it.

 

You may have seen it, but if not Google Trump golf cartoon and see what depicting the truth cost De Adder. He is a Canadian cartoonist who drew a political caricature of Donald Trump standing over the drowned bodies of a father and his 23-month-old daughter lying dead in the shallows of the Rio Grande River. Trump is standing beside his golf cart, club in hand, saying “Do you mind if I play through?”

 

De Adder’s contract with Brunswick News, Inc., was canceled. The company claims it was not because of the golf cartoon, but De Adder says “I had every reason to suspect it was over that cartoon. I was given no reason. I inquired and inquired.” He added every time he submitted a Trump cartoon, “it got heated every time there was a Trump in the lineup.”

 

The afore-mentioned Jesus Christ also said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Today, Donald Trump, who seems to suffer from a Messiah complex, would say, “Let the little children come unto to me…. And suffer.”

 

As I write, the president of the United States, fresh off having served his perverted ego with a parade on the Fourth of July, the nation’s birthday, during which he made a self-serving speech which included the curious fact that the revolutionary army, fighting to separate the American colonies from England in 1775, bravely conquered the English airports, and inspired the national anthem which wasn’t written until nearly 40 years later– and airport victories were sparse in colonial America.

 

Donald Trump is as much a stranger to historical fact as he is to the truth. The truth here is that the small child who died with her father trying to swim their way to freedom is a direct victim of the cruel policies of the man who daily desecrates the nation’s highest office. Another president, Harry Truman, said “the buck stops here.” George W. Bush, a more recent president, said “I am the decider.”

 

The point of both presidential quotes is that the person ultimately responsible for presidential policies is the guy in the Oval Office. And that, unfortunately, happens to be Donald J Trump at least until the nation’s electorate comes to its senses and kicks his ass out of office.

 

If we believe that to be true—if indeed the president is responsible for the consequences of his decisions— then there is no other conclusion to draw except that Donald J Trump is a child killer. That is a terrible accusation make against the person who represents the face and voice of our democracy, but there it is.

 

You have only to look at photos from the concentration camps at the southern border, read stories about children and adults being denied basic sanitary needs, being fed inferior food (if at all), having to sleep on concrete with insufficient bed clothing (if at all), and enduring a litany of indignities not seen since Nazi Germany was in full flower.

 

Certainly not seen in this country since the indefensible treatment of Native Americans herded into reservation slums because the ancestral mentors of Donald Trump coveted what the Indians had owned forever and were able to take it by force. How long will it be until Trump (who has implied he might indeed resort to it) authorizes the use of lethal force to kill off the asylum seeking migrants at the border? He already has a ready to shoot militia just itching to torch off a few rounds, and apparently a subset of the immigration and customs authority with a similar “kill them all and let God sort them out” philosophy.

 

It’s a truism that history repeats itself and it seems to be happening. Chances are there is no possibility there ever will be reparations to African-Americans for slavery, to Native Americans for the indignities suffered by them, nor for similar indignities suffered by Japanese-Americans during World War II. As a nation, we probably can’t afford to make up for past sins, but that’s no justification for committing yet another sin against humanity.  Trump, as I write, is not at work dealing with the crisis at the southern border— he is on a golfing vacation at taxpayer expense.

 

I am wearing a T-shirt with a circled caricature of Trump circled by the familiar diagonal backslash indicating something that is forbidden. Above and below the circle are the words “resist hate.” I admit it is hypocritical of me to endorse the idea of resisting hate because I fiercely hate Donald J Trump and all he stands for. Almost equally I loath the chinless wonder, Mitch McConnell, and his senatorial sidekick, the little dictator Lindsey Graham.

 

That unholy trio and their equally reprehensible Republican co-conspirators in Congress do nothing to alleviate the misery at the border, loudly and falsely blaming everything on the Democrats, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and any other Democrat within the memory of modern man.

 

I am forced, reluctantly, to admit they are faintly justified in blaming the Democrats because that timid party seems unable to get off its puny butt and fight for the right things. Instead, the Democrats seem to be paralyzed by infighting, especially among the nearly 2 dozen people who would be president, each of whom has an agenda largely varying from all the others.

 

Instead of uniting in common purpose, which the horrible border crisis demands, they unite only in trumpeting “Not Trump!” and then deviate into insulting each other. Meanwhile, hundreds of hopeful migrants, fleeing from oppression, danger, and virtually every miserable affliction human beings can imagine, are compressed into cages in sweltering desert heat, amid conditions that, if they were inflicted on farm animals would bring down outraged local law enforcement authorities en masse.  These are human beings, not stockyard cattle, not feedlot animals destined for the slaughterhouse.

 

If I were president, which thank God I’m not, I would gather unto myself the power of the presidency and, starting with an immediate visit to the border, start kicking asses and taking names. Instead of signing inane, idiotic, and largely inconsequential executive orders, I would put my name to ordering those responsible for fixing things to fix them. I would, as former Pres. Lyndon Johnson was wont to do, call in the ranking members of Congress, of both parties, get in their faces and demand both answers and actions.

 

Further, I would take the case against  the inaction of Congress to the American people, explaining that we are not a nation that treats people the way these migrants have been treated and reprise the famous outburst by the fictional television anchorman Howard Beale in the movie “Network”who told his viewers to “Get up out of your chairs, go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell ‘I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!’”

 

Further, I would challenge Congress to find the money to establish a viable economic Peace Corps, in cooperation with those who one time were our allies (most of whom Trump is managed to alienate) to revive the lives and hope for Ecuador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

 

Instead of cozying up to Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Chinese president XI Jinping and others of the world’s more odiferous dictators, why couldn’t Donald Trump call for a summit of the leaders of Central and South America, plus Mexico and why not throw in Canada, to brainstorm for ways to bring the devastated countries of Central America back from the brink of anarchy to civilized society?

 

I’ll tell you why— because such a summit would not be about solutions.  It also would not be all about Trump and he couldn’t stand that. Even if he were to convene the leaders among the Americas, I suspect he would insist on making it a celebration of him, probably with another freaking parade, and somehow would manage to piss off everyone but his bloodthirsty base.

 

Donald Trump’s solution to a humanitarian crisis is to build a wall. Robert Frost, perhaps America’s most beloved poet said this about walls:

 

 “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

   What I was walling in or walling out,

   And to whom I was like to give offence.

   Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,

  That wants it down….”

 

Trump says he wants the press admitted to the concentration camps to see what the conditions are, despite having made every effort to deny press admittance. According to him, conditions are kind of like a summer camp and are better than the ones from which the asylum-seekers fled (which makes one wonder why, if things were so great at home, did women and children walk hundreds of miles under horrific conditions to endure more horrific conditions at our border?)

 

Tucker Carlson, Fox News mouthpiece accompanied Trump recently to North Korea for his schmooze session with dictator Kim Jong Un. Carlson, perhaps unwittingly (or half wittedly), had this to say about Un, “you got to be honest about what it means to lead a country, it means killing people.” If you can assume that Carlson, one of Trump’s pet talking heads, echoes the sentiments of his favorite president, what does it say about the man in charge?

 

The renowned Mayo Clinic lists the symptoms of a narcissist personality, a mental disorder similar to or associated with someone who is a sociopath. Mayo says those with this mental disorder exhibit these symptoms:

 

“Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance, Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration, Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it. Exaggerate achievements and talents.  Are preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.   Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people.  Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior.  Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations.  Take advantage of others to get what they want.  Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.  Be envious of others and believe others envy them.  Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious.  Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office. 

 

                “At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:  Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment.  Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted,  React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior,  Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior.”

 

If you can read through this depressing list of character flaws and not think of Donald Trump, you’re not paying attention. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to become convinced that we are being led by a person with a serious mental illness. We will all suffer the consequences of this, but probably not nearly as severely as those poor souls incarcerated at the border of our country.

 

Meanwhile, the right wing hate team is ramping up ahead of Trump’s reelection campaign, claiming that Kamala Harris has accused doctors of being racist because they wear white coats, and accusing Megan Rapinoe and the US World Cup champion women’s soccer team of stomping on the American flag after their victory. The Harris accusation is totally false—a damn lie— and the flag accusation is mostly false (a team member accidentally fumbled the flag for about three seconds, quickly scooped it up, and no one “stomped” on it).

Another meanwhile: a Public Policy poll (admittedly, a Democrat organization) showed a day or two ago that if the election were held now, and if Rapinoe were running for president against Trump she’d beat him.

 

Would that it were so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Diane

    July 15th, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Reply

    Grest column Joel.



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