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Est. April 5, 2002
February 02, 2017 - Issue 684

Ten Days On Fire

"Over the past few days, I’ve been left
to wonder how I can respect the office
of the president with a man who has
proven to be thoughtless and resistant
to study the very thing he must show
excellence in - namely governing the
lives of over 360 million human beings."

I’ve been pretty despondent lately. In a week and a half, not a day has passed without some poli-drama. The politics of the day is mean-spirited and divisive. The new president of the United States is making some people’s lives absolutely impossible. He has held a prime-time announcement of his Supreme Court choice. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NC) makes the most implausible defense, stating Judge Neil Gorsuch’s support of Trump’s Muslim ban.

This administration has me terribly concerned with their animosity toward dissent. I’m hearing undertones of making legal, Executive Branch means of punishment of protesters and dissenters of The Administration’s policies. Is anyone else concerned? It’s hard for me to accept a legitimacy of this Trump train on fire. Progressive writers Michael and Margaret Kunstler expressed my concerns like this, “the right to free speech, the right of assembly, and the explicit right to express grievances to the government add up to an expansive right to ‘dissent’ enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Beyond written or spoken words, the right to dissent is the right of citizens to organize, to associate, to ensure they are heard in order to achieve political and social change and oppose government policies without fear of impediment or reprisal.”

With us knowing this, how can we accept White House press secretary Sean Spicer attacking US government employees, by telling them “If you don’t want to get with the program, you can leave.” Really? This is some real dictatorial governing. It just doesn’t comport with the quaint writings of Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned In Kindergarten.” It appears that the Trump team has no intention of governing in a civilized manner. If that’s the case, then should “we the people” respond in kind?

It also appears to me that Donald Trump thinks that the presidency is bullet-proof. I forecast that impeachment proceedings will begin against Trump within two year. His many conflicts of interest and propensity to act without consultation gives me cause to think so. He acts as if he thinks he’s too important to follow the rules. I learned in kindergarten that I and my peers must follow the damned rules! Robert Fulghum wrote, “You may never have proof of your importance, but you are more important than you think. There are always those who couldn’t do without you. The rub is that you don’t always know who.” Trump seems to not know that I can do without him.

Over the past few days, I’ve been left to wonder how I can respect the office of the president with a man who has proven to be thoughtless and resistant to study the very thing he must show excellence in - namely governing the lives of over 360 million human beings. I’m pressed to reflect on where his knowledge came from and how that knowledge (if that is an apt term) could possibly gain my support. Robert Fulghum said, “It wasn’t in books. It wasn’t in a church. What I needed to know was out there in the world.” Maybe that’s wisdom, but again, I have to ask myself, which world did Donald Trump came from? It damned sure wasn’t mine.

It often appears that the new president’s world is a world of smoke & mirrors—a world of fiction. He’s made up bogus statistics, non-existent policies and even told the American people that things existed that didn’t (like the “massive” crowd that attended his inauguration, or the people he saw on New Jersey rooftops immediately following the 9/11 attacks).

And worse, there are many who are subscribing to the “give him a chance” camp. I say, he already had a chance—many! Lie after outrageous lie, garnered him another opportunity for redemption…of which he was not in the least, interested in. Even with proof of these many instances of fiction, millions of Americans are acting like these instances are inconsequential. I just can’t do it.

I think the real question is and should be, will we be subscribers of his fiction? Whether you like Trump or not, it's demonstrably true that he says things that are easily proved false, over and over again. The question the media has regularly confronted is not whether Trump's facts are correct but whether to say he's deliberately lying or not.

In these ten days in the fire of Trump’s administration, people have been incinerated. The deputy Attorney General, Sally Yates did what she was sworn to do—uphold the Constitution—and the new president not only fired her, but berated her on her way out. President Trump fired Yates over her refusal to comply with his controversial executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries and suspending the entire U.S. refugee program. Trump called her “weak on immigration” and even portrayed her position as “betrayal.” The guy is all about scorching earth wherever he treads.

I think it’s important to remind you that during Yates’ 2015 Senate confirmation hearing, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions — who is now Trump’s yet-to-be-confirmed nominee for attorney general — grilled Yates on her responsibility to defend the Constitution and U.S. laws against then-President Barack Obama’s “unlawful” views. Which side will Jeff Sessions come down on? Will Trump hate on him too? He’s the president and his words reveal that if people don’t do what he wants, their worthless. Robert Fulghum said, “Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts”

The first ten days of Trump’s administration have been painful; not because of any resistance to change, but because his change has us re-living terrible times. He’s been executing his executive orders at lightning speed, but what we know about rushing your tasks at hand is that some of them will prove to surely be unconstitutional (laugh, will ya?). A better way to say what I’m trying to say could be from Robert Fulghum: “Speed and efficiency do not always increase the quality of life.” Our lives will indeed need to be quality tested after the next ten days, or at least, by the next mid-term elections. Columnist, Perry Redd, longtime activist & organizer, is the Executive Director of the workers rights advocacy, Sincere
that currently owns the FCC license for WOOK-LP 103.1FM/ His latest book,
Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1, chronicles his ‘behind bars’ activism that extricated him from a 42-year sentence and is now case law. He is also the author of As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression, Mr. Redd also hosts a radio show, Socially Speaking, from his Washington, DC studio. Tweet him @socialspeaks. Contact Mr. Redd and BC.





is published every Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

Perry NoName: A Journal From A Federal Prison-book 1
As A Condition of Your Freedom: A Guide to Self-Redemption From Societal Oppression
Ferguson is America: Roots of Rebellion by Jamala Rogers