If someone describes the following for you, tell me which country’s parliament you think that would have occurred in. The President is addressing a joint session of both Houses, and in the middle of his speech, a legislator shouts twice; “you lie!” This happened not in Albania, Iraq, Bulgaria, Belarus or Uganda, but of all places, the country that in fact helps to shape the affairs of the world, the USA.
The congressman who did that is Republican, Joe Wilson of South Carolina. But that is not all. After that unbecoming behaviour, Wilson won reelection by a huge margin including 96 percent of the vote in 2012 and donations to his campaign surged after he shouted out the lie remark in 2009 to President Obama. Wilson is no ordinary rookie congressman; he sits on a number of congressional committees and sub-committees that make policies that affect the world because of the global role of the US.
I mentioned Wilson’s conduct, because Republicans like Wilson brought Trump into power. Dozens and dozens of Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate were advocating atrocious and hateful policies long before Donald Trump decided to enter politics. Trump is a product of people like Wilson and other bigots and right-wing zealots in the Republican Party; people who are unfit to lead a democratic superpower like the USA.
Donald Trump assembled years of over-zealous, Republican right-wing rhetoric, bigoted emanations, hate speeches, distasteful demagoguery, ideological belief systems, and merged them into a package and presented that book to the electorate as his manifesto of change. Trump is the president, not the Republican congressmen and senators who birthed him. So we are picking on him as journalistic icon, Carl Bernstein, did two weeks ago. But we are overlooking that there are dangerous Republicans in power in the US law-making chambers that are endangering the greatness of American democracy and democracy of the world at large.
Bernstein warned Americans that they should be asking questions about the mental fitness of Trump. Many Democratic legislators and influential Americans have touched on the fear of Trump not being mentally stable. He is the President of the leading nation in the world, so that is cause for concern, but there are congressmen and senators who put him there that may be mentally unfit to be in a position to influence world affairs.
It is not Trump the man that should be the preoccupation of the rational mind around the world; it is the dangerous, threatening transformation of the Republican Party the past thirty-five years, beginning with the ascending of Ronald Reagan and climaxing with Donald Trump, that we should be alarmed about.
If you examine many of the rhetorical outlays of Trump, they were fertilizing in the soil of the Republican Party the past thirty years and bore fruits when Obama came to power.
Denouncing of free trade areas, fear of decline of the white population, fear of expanding presence of non–white immigrants, resentment of rising powers around the world, continuing disdain for African Americans, anti-abortion sentiments, sentiments against gender equality, willingness to send the US to war etc.
These were standard vocabularies of the Republican Party long before Trump came on the presidential campaign. It wasn’t Trump who started the question over Obama’s country of birth. It came from some congressmen and senators. Trump made it his obsession.
I don’t normally get time to look at television, but it just happened that one Sunday morning during the presidential campaign in the US last year, I saw Bill Clinton being interviewed by Fareed Zakaria. What Clinton had to say about the intentions of the Republican Party was frightening. There are powerful legislators in the Republican Party that are behaving like people from the days of the rise of Hitler at the beginning of the 1930s.
Make no mistake about it, Germans clung tenaciously to Hitler’s message that Germany was once one of the great nations of the world, it got weak, and it was time the German people made it great again. And the German people embraced those sentiments. Hitler preached that the enemies of Germany were the Jews and other powerful countries.
The resemblance to the US in 2017 is uncanny. Trump has identified foreign powers that are making the US weak. Immigrants and non-white are being viewed the way Jews were treated at the beginning of the thirties in Germany. Are sections of the US population, the Republican Party legislators, the super-wealthy bigoted backers of Trump and Trump himself, the coming of the anti-Christ?
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