Saturday, June 24, 2017
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Trump escalates his war on the media; viciously attacks Americans’ social safety...

    Trump escalates his war on the media; viciously attacks Americans’ social safety net

    Trump is well on his way to becoming today’s version of President Richard Nixon.

    | Op-Ed
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    SOURCENationofChange

    Trump continues to call the mainstream media ‘the enemy of the people.’ That is, of course, an outrageous, ridiculous statement. While it’s no secret that Americans have lost a great deal of respect for the media, they should keep in mind that it is still the main barrier standing in the way of those who would create an American fascist state.

    While many  Americans don’t like some of the things that various entities in this media do and stand for, just think of what it would be like living in an America where they were silenced and muzzled and became nothing more than a mouthpiece for the U.S. government. If Trump and those around him could have their way we would be racing down that road right now, Many Americans are convinced that we are well down that road already. 

    There is this cherry tree myth whereby President George Washington, when he was a young boy, said, “I cannot tell a lie…I did cut it down with my hatchet.”  In the case of Donald Trump he is someone that is a master of the art of lying and that’s no myth.  

    Trump declared war on the media, a monumental mistake to be sure. He has a great need to constantly confront and try to discredit the media; his intense hatred of it is s part of his psyche. He sees the media as a huge obstacle standing in his way and he wants to knock it down and move it out of his way. 

    Someone should have reminded him of the old saying, “Don’t ever start a fight that you can’t finish.” And especially one in which your enemy has a lot more firepower than you. The media has the capability of taking Trump down if they keep gathering evidence of either his or his advisers’ possible illegal connections with Russia and his possible obstruction of justice in this matter. 

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    CNN, MSNBC and other important news outlets are working 24/7 to monitor everything Trump or one of his White House cohorts says or does. Is Fox News doing the same thing? Forget about that “unfair and unbalanced” TV version of Breitbart News that goes from one sex scandal to another; there are no journalists there, only cub reporters. 

    How many times, as we watch TV news channels, do we see the words BREAKING NEWS suddenly flash onto our screens? It’s almost non-stop and almost all about Trump, Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn and others.

    The vast majority of guests who appear on the panels, I’d say 90% or more of them, are making the case against Trump and few if any are defending his bizarre behavior and reckless actions. 

    Trump will find out that his tweets are no match for the power that this media has at its disposal. His tweets are like a flea sitting on the back of an elephant when they are measured against the power of the media.

    This media keeps reminding us of how Nixon was brought down by investigative reporters, primarily Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, who were relentless in their reporting about Watergate. These two giants in journalism history are still around and involved in the media. 

    When I say massive power of the media I’m not just talking about how large it is and how many investigative reporters it has across America but also about all the resources it has outside of its own organizations. Among those resources are “leakers”, individuals who are willing to provide highly important, sometimes classified, information to news organizations and investigators. There are leakers in various parts of this government who are ready to feed information about Trump and his advisers to news outlets. 

    If Trump had nothing to hide he would not be coming unhinged when new allegations point to possible connections between his administrations and the Russians. He would just lay back and let the media tie itself into knots in trying to involve him. He wouldn’t be creating a war room by which to fight back.

    Now let’s discuss the second part of his war. The budget he is proposing is nothing more than a vicious attack aimed at Americans and their social safety nets. If he and the Republicans are able to get this cruel budget legislation passed, the people of this country are not going to take such an attack lying down and will put up a hell of a fight against these sociopathic destructionists. 

    Trump’s proposed budget is a disgrace to our democracy. Bernie Sanders has called it immoral and it is that and a whole lot more. And as this attack on Americans’ social safety nets is underway we hear these lyrics emanating from the Trump White House. 

    “Kick em when they’re up, kick em when they’re down, kick em when they’re up, kick em all around.” One of Trump’s minions apparently took those lyrics from the great song by Don Henley of the musical group, The Eagles. And if Henley and his fellow Eagles hear about it, then no doubt, it will be silenced.

    So when so many millions of Americans are struggling to survive, Trump is determined to kick them when they’re down, and right in the teeth. Here are some of the many destructive measures he intends to take: 

    He intends to pour another $54 billion into the massive military empire and, at the same time, drain funding from the Meals on Wheels program that benefits some 2.4 million seniors, many of whom are disabled and need those deliveries,; also some 500,000 veterans, many homeless.

    He wants to repeal the estate tax so the richest Americans will get even richer. How much money do they need? 

    It could not be more clear that Trump and his cronies intend to plunder these critically important programs that help the neediest Americans in so many ways, and then transfer hundreds of billions of dollars, mainly into two areas; first into the military budget and then into the pockets of those at the top, both of whose thirst for more taxpayer dollars is insatiable. 

    What he and his gang are doing is immoral, unconscionable, and just plain despicable; it’s the work of individuals who don’t have the least bit of understanding of the principles of right versus wrong. If one looks closely into their eyes all they will see is $$$.

    But as awful as this is, the worst news of all is that he’s only getting started and there is no limit to what this mean-spirited person will do. Any American who accepts and condones this kind of cruelty is not worthy of being called an American. And, sad to say, there are millions of people in this country who will strongly support his actions including these latest ones. And that’s because they are cut out of the same cloth as Trump. Did I hear someone in the last election call them deplorable? 

    Trump intends to slash the food stamp program, removing $193 billion over 10 years. Does he know that some $115 million of it goes to military personnel and their families annually? Will they be exempted? Huge numbers of Wal-Mart and other retail workers also obtain food stamps because they are paid so little. Will they also be given a free pass and exempted while children, seniors, veterans, and the disabled get “kicked all around?’ 

    Social Security Disability Insurance, a core program to help people who are physically unable to work, and the Temporary Assistance program that aids needy families; both are prime targets. 

    Here are more proposed cuts:

    • Medicaid – over $600 billion in cuts over the next decade
    • Aid to student loans – $143 billon gone over 10 years
    • Federal worker retirement programs – $63 billion over the next 10 years

    So with all these slashes, let’s hear that refrain from Trump’s theme song once again: “Kick em when they’re up, kick em when they’re down, kick em when they’re up, kick em all around.”

    If Trump continues to try to tear down these safety nets and refuses to heed the many warnings to back off, then I think we will see the media and a large portion of the American people finally come together in a common cause; they need to go after him hammer and tong, to such an extent that he will wish he were back in the real estate sector bankrupting businesses once again.

    Trump is well on his way to becoming today’s version of President Richard Nixon. It’s time to get the helicopter ready to take off from the White House heading straight into political oblivion.




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    Michael Payne
    Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense industry, and the massive control that Corporate America holds over this government and our election process; all which are leading this nation down the road to eventual financial ruin if the conditions are not reversed. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran.

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