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Est. April 5, 2002
Oct 29, 2020 - Issue 839
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James Warren (Jim) Jones, an American religious cult leader, who founded the primarily African American People’s Temple in Indiana in the 1950s, died on November 18, 1978 in a jungle commune in Jonestown, Guyana in a murder-suicide he had arranged with his followers.

Thus, it is ironic that our current President, Donald John Trump, is on the precipice of a political death that he is orchestrating for November 3, 2020, nearly 42 years after his predecessor perished in the abandoned, swampy South American village. It borders Venezuela and is now a thick forest where a few rusted buildings and vehicles remain.

While Jones used religion to solidify a largely low-income and sparsely educated base of Blacks, Trump has pulled together a similar group of mostly White Americans around a cult of politics and nationalism that gives them a sense of identity and addresses their personal insecurities.

Trump’s cult is augmented by evangelicals, better educated, and wealthy White supporters who have gravitated toward him for his support of their religious values, tax cuts, and preferred right-wing federal judicial appointees. He has the second most appointments during a four-year term: three U.S. Supreme Court justices (33 percent of the total), fifty-three Appeals Court judges (30 percent of the total), and 162 District Court judges (24 percent of the total).

He has completely reshaped the federal judiciary, giving it a decidedly conservative tilt. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has spearheaded this legal transformation.

These federal judicial selections will prove to be Trump’s most consequential accomplishments as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Roe v. Wade, and other liberal and progressive Supreme Court decisions are likely to be overturned. In that regard, Trump has delivered for his cult members.

It has become clear that he has no guiding political philosophy or principles other than to turn the presidency into an autocracy where he is free to rule as dictator-in-chief. He has surrounded himself with a group of yes men and women whose primary responsibility is to cater to his personal and political whims, no matter how peculiar or illegal.

As a result, Trump has transitioned through a number of high-profile positions: Secretaries of State, Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and several Chiefs of Staff. He has also removed National Security Advisors and an FBI Director, and has indicated that he will fire the CIA Director, Defense Secretary, and FBI Director if voters reelect him. The aforementioned individuals were all fired due to their refusal to bow to all of his wishes.

President Trump demands loyalty of the kind accorded to his autocratic heroes - Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan, North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, and the Philippine’s Rodrigo Duterte. These men do anything to their people to satisfy their narcissism and their thirst for power.

The President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is an example of his callous view of U.S. lives. He knowingly hid the severity of the health crisis from the public and took limited actions to control the coronavirus. Moreover, he infected his wife and son and turned the White House into a hotspot.

Since these actions have become known, Trump continues to insist that the nation is turning the corner on this health crisis even as the infection rates and deaths continue to spike in most states. He has held numerous super spreader events at the White House and campaign rallies against the advice of medical and public health experts.

Trump persists in discouraging the use of masks and social distancing, although they have been found to decrease the COVID-19 contagion and could have decreased the nearly 228,000 pandemic deaths thus far by more than half. As a result, the low-income, lesser educated members of the Trump cult have begun to dissipate as the fear for their lives has increased. The better educated and wealthy cohort is looking for another politician to ride, and those on Wall Street have moved toward Biden.

These missteps are imploding the Trump coalition, and he appears oblivious to this reality. Unlike Jim Jones, he is unlikely to commit suicide and will have to be dealt a political death to be removed from office. Meanwhile, he and his wingman, Attorney General Barr, are pulling out all stops to achieve a victory, even as his political acolytes are putting distance between themselves and Trump.

These two are on a rampage of cheating in the battleground states as they know this is the only way they can win. As noted repeatedly in previous columns, the Biden-Harris campaign must be alert to this chicanery. Stacy Abrams, who lost her 2018 Georgia gubernatorial bid due to political skullduggery, has Georgia on lockdown, but other competitive states need to be watched carefully.

Biden will defeat him on November 3rd in a landslide or by a narrow margin. If the latter occurs, Trump will file numerous lawsuits challenging the election results and will have to be physically removed from the White House. We had better get ready because the Proud Boys, Boogloo Boys, and other White extremist groups are still on standby at President Trump’s request! Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell and BC.

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

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