We cannot allow Trump kleptocracy to continue

timestamp icon
category icon Columns, Opinion

By Tom H. Hastings, Guest Columnist

The Trump budget — pure profit for Pentagon corporate contractors. The Trump tax “reform” — massive tax cuts for the rich. Really? We are going to stand for this?

Compared to last year, if his corporations truly paid the going corporate tax rate, Trump would “richly benefit,” in multiple ways when his proposed cuts kick in. His corporate tax burden would be cut by at least 4.9 percent — millions of dollars — and his personal taxes would likely be cut even more massively, although since he alone amongst modern presidents has refused to let the American people see his returns, we cannot pin a number on his projected undeserved gains.

This is the textbook definition of corruption.

Fortunately for him, the senators are wealthy too and love these ideas, as are most of the members of the House of Representatives. Corrupt Congress, corrupt president — and somehow the white male voters generally suppose this will all work out for them, since a reported 96 percent of his voters say they would vote for him again (and white males voted for him in overwhelming numbers, with white males without a college education voting for him by a 72-percent rate).

This is not working out for those uneducated white men, but they love him. Could it be that blowing off a Mother of All Bombs on Afghans, deporting Mexicans, ending Department of Justice investigations of police killings of people of color, and banning many Muslims from entering the U.S. is more important than getting totally hosed by a kleptocratic “kommander-in-chief” and “kongress”? Interesting priorities.

Just to further pound-in the financial punishment to the very voters who put him and the other Republican lawmakers into office, they are gutting health care to millions of the least well-off Americans, as the Tea Partiers are now lining up to repeal Obamacare — unless enough moderate Republicans save the day, which will only happen by ongoing constituent pressure.

Meanwhile, in a regime just as Orwellian as his BFF Putin’s, Trump keeps tweeting and repeating that CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other evidence-based mainstream media are “fake news.” If Donald Trump tripped and fell, he would blame it on CNN and call gravity fake science.

When will we all be embarrassed enough or properly terrified enough to halt this charade? Will we get this charlatan impeached before he launches a “Wag the Dog” nuclear war? Before Miami and Manhattan are inundated from rising seas due to his sheaf of anti-environment executive orders? When does that 25th Amendment kick in?

Since our “leaders” seem incapable, we will need to lead ourselves, it appears. This is our democracy and we want it back. These are our children and grandchildren and we want them protected. We cannot allow this to continue for 1,300 more days.

Tom H. Hastings, Ed.D., is the founding director of PeaceVoice, a program of the Oregon Peace Institute that is devoted to changing the national conversation about the possibilities of peace and justice and the inadvisability of war and injustice. Tom is co-coordinator of the undergraduate program in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He is a former member of the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association, former co-chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Association, is on the boards of both the IPRA Foundation and the Oregon Peace Institute, as well as the Academic Advisory Council of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, and has written several books and many articles about nonviolence and other peace and conflict topics.