By Mano Ratwatte –
In an unprecedented first, the legendary American Newspaper the New York Times (NYT), published an anonymous editorial page opinion purporting to be from a senior official in the highly dysfunctional unethical Trump White House. It is shocking. Of course predictably, His Excellency President Trump and his supporters including police officers etc. cheer when he attacks the “yankee” NYT. And he continues to spew divisive hateful speech and attacks the media.
Has anyone seen/heard a Sri Lankan PM or President ever attacking the media like this? relentlessly even encouraging violence towards them? Is that the new global norm to emulate? Any media view different from his are “fake news” now; seems like someone in Sri Lanka is using the same line now. In fairness most mainstream media including CNN which is attacked by name along with MSNBC by His Excellency Trump, devote almost all their time to negative news. FoxNews on the other hand, is better than Pravda and Communist media from the cold war era in being one-side propaganda bile ducts for his Excellency’s agenda.
Below is a section of that shocking op-ed that came out on Sept 5th. All Sri Lankan leaders should read and ponder.
In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.
Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back
-End Excerpt (NYTIMES)
In addition, in a divisive issue pertaining to the biggest sport of them all: American NFL football, he denigrates and attacks the black players who kneel during the national anthem; he accuses them of being unpatriotic and against the US military; that is farthest from the truth, but his supporters lap it up. Far from being a unifier he wins by dividing the nation.
At rallies he says things like this.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now,” “Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!” No elected or appointed President nor PM of Sri Lanka has ever spoken like that.
In a recent controversial marketing move, the global Giant Nike, features the young black man Colin Kaepernick who started the kneeling during the national anthem movement to highlight police brutalities, and alarming number of suspicious deaths by shooting at the hands of the police; even when black people are unarmed and running away from the police. But that issue does not matter to Trump and his ardent base of white voters. Time to step back into history of injustice.
Speaking of lynching, there is a powerful new museum in Montgomery, Alabama that highlights the over 4,000 documented cases of lynching of black men for which no justice was ever meted. One institute records the lynching of 3,436 blacks between 1882 and 1950. Yes 1950.
A seminal book, called “Without Sanctuary, lynching photography in America”(2000) features photos of these horrific lynchings to highlight the crimes that for the most part involved local police, Sheriffs and even local state politicians those days.
Lest people make a mistake, please note, it was mostly old racist southern Democrats who were in almost absolute control of the southern states back then. Apparently, these lynchings were viewed by many, as picnic outings. Postcards were made to commemorate the lynching and mailed. Can you believe the depravity just a few decades ago? The US Senate never passed federal anti-lynching legislation; instead in 1908 it made it a violation of U.S. postal regulations to mail postcards depicting lynched corpses, saying that the cards might “incite violence”. And from those who called themselves Christians and more than likely Southern Baptists who went to church every Sunday dressed up to the nines? How can this be? And Trump abuses an athlete who does the Christian thing of kneeling to highlight current issues.
Back to the present:
In the case of corporate giant Nike, unlike the way HE Trump attacks NYT or Amazon (The Trillion dollar company) and its owner Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post (which exposed the Pentagon papers and whose reporters help expose the Watergate scandal), he has been subdued in his complains about Nike making a bold business move to feature Colin Kaepernick. It may or may not have to do with the highly coincidental fact that Nike is one of the biggest Tenants of Trump properties in New York City. Trump said “Nike is a tenant of mine. They pay a lot of rent.” He went on to say that the hiring was “a terrible message and a message that shouldn’t be sent.” But it’s hard not to fixate on the immediate qualification Trump offered for his thoughts: Nike gives him money; money triumphs values (WaPo).
Millions of patriotic Americans adore him and defend every bizarre 3:00am tweet, and insults and total fabrications. No President has ever attacked independent special counsel investigations like he does; every time something new comes up with a plea bargain or a guilty verdict in ancillary cases related to the main investigation, he will raise the issue of the National Anthem or some other bogey man or of course illegal immigrants is the favorite piñata to divert attention.
The economic recovery that started under Obama continues. The stock market has had the longest Bull run(most of it under Obama but he is black, so no white Trump supporter will give him any credit), Unemployment which was almost at 10% when Obama won(and he handed it to Trump at 4.7%) is at an all-time low. Consumer confidence is on the rise. Corporate confidence is at an all-time high. These will be the facts that stand in his favor despite his Peronista tendencies.
So far, Democrats have no cohesive message except to shout that they will impeach Trump. That is highly partisan. Even silent decent Republicans will never vote against their party. The Republican base is now different and consists of an entirely different kind of voter; however no matter what the traditional Republican may say in anonymous editorials or in private, they will vote for Republicans. The world’s most powerful man is under so much stress it is scary. Add to it the revelations in Bob Woodward’s (one of the journalists who exposed the Watergate scandal) new book on His Excellency, Trump, we are likely to see more exciting roller coaster rides along the way.
- Will the US system of democracy, fall apart due to subversion by foreign forces and due to inaction or collusion of its elected leaders?
- Who gains by manipulating elections in the US as happened in 2016?
- Who wishes to see the US and its powerful democratic institutions and delineation of powers that prevent a Dictatorship fail?
- Why is Trump afraid of Putin?
- Can the hallowed institutions of democratic good governance, non-political professional services and the Department of Justice withstand this relentless assault from a new brand of Presidency?
- Has any President of Sri Lanka President insulted, threatened and abused his own Attorney General for not being a rubber stamp?(Chief Justice Bandaranayake ?)
- Is this man’s behavior is more like a Peron-Mugabe than of a Lincoln or Reagan?
In conclusion, here is another excerpt from the same editorial. With another election in 2 months with possible hacking and voter rigging and voter suppression, we are in for some roller coaster rides.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.
But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.
That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.
The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. –End Excerpt
Barring a criminal indictment, this populist nationalist white supremacist President is likely to win re-election in 2020 as long as the economy keeps heading in the positive direction it was steered into by Obama; but Obama is black, so he never gets credit from Trump. It is hard for US Diplomats to preach to Sri Lankan Leaders democratic values, environmental mitigation, and diversity and inclusiveness etc., that are not practiced by its own fearless leader. They must get a lot of egg on their faces these days.