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The Case to Expel Trump

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By Dr. William Alexander Yankes

We live in a scalding time of crisis, but it can be a good thing. Krisis is a Greek term meaning “threshold of transition for choice,” essentially an opportunity for a decision to be made. President Donald Trump’s dismal governance has brought us to a frightening juncture of annihilation or survival.

It is up to us which path we take.

Our nation’s 45th president made no attempt to dissimulate his authoritarian and baldly fascist bent when he sent federal forces to stalk the streets of Portland, Oregon and other cities in which news of racially unjust policing had triggered mass protest and civil unrest. By giving plain-clothed federal officers and contracted security agents in unmarked vehicles carte-blanche to assault, kidnap or otherwise detain unarmed civilians and thus stifle political dissent, he expressly attempted to disrupt our democracy.

For sometime, he has openly encouraged highly armed militia to attack the very people he was sworn to protect when he assumed office. He is militarizing the police and giving police authority to the military—extending them a tacit Mafioso nod of approval to levy terror on citizens, turning our American streets into war zones. This act constitutes the beginning of explicit dictatorship in 21st century United States and breaches our hard-won civil rights.

By his egregious handling of the deadly Corona virus pandemic, the U.S. now registers the world’s largest death toll, ironically making America “First Again.” More than ever, the near criminal denial of universal health care is glaring at us. A dearth of affordable housing has become a disturbing fact in the world’s richest country. The homelessness dilemma has worsened under Trump, and it goes without saying that legions of the newly dispossessed as a result of the economic disaster wrought by COVID-19 will dwarf the number of those who, pre-pandemic, were already living hand-to-mouth out of tents and cardboard boxes under freeways and overpasses.

As a people we must act. We must also protect the elderly facing prohibitive home rents and costly health insurance with diminished retirement incomes. Student debt saddles graduates, often for life. By privatizing education, Trump is reducing it to a luxury item, rather than the essential crucible for social and economic advancement it is meant to be.

Trump’s wrecking spree doesn’t end there. Under his regime, asylum-seeking families fleeing countries still suffering the throes of U.S.-fomented war and strife are treated like criminals. He is separating them from their children. He is deporting parents while their children are kept in U.S. detention centers. Traumatized young children are being deported without their parents—as if they had been left orphaned, denying these splintered families due process of law. This goes right against the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Trump is urging oil and gas exploitation on First Nation tribal lands, reneging on historic US-Indian agreements, as he “trumples” on national parks and reserves for the profit of politicians and corporate executives. It shows a crass contempt for the ecological impact on affected communities, and for the destruction of irreplaceable natural treasures.

We must get rid of this man—urgently!

People in the United States and around the globe stood up in outrage over the murder of George Floyd, killed by a racist police officer who coldly and calmly pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck until he could breath no more, this in response to an unsubstantiated accusation alleging the intentional use of counterfeit currency. And Floyd was only the latest on a list of countless known and unknown others across the years who have suffered a similar fate. Trump is metaphorically digging the knee of his narcissistic hubris into our collective necks. Our entire nation is being denied a breath.

We mustn’t tolerate the destruction of our sacrosanct Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our liberties. That the current legal system’s structure forces us to tolerate Trump’s abuses of power is unconscionable.

It is rumored that he plans to have the Senate back a pardoning of himself just before his presidential term expires in order to avoid prison for his many crimes. Trump has already hinted that he might not relinquish his office, even if he fails to win the election. Before Trump postpones the Constitutionally-guaranteed presidential election, before he declares martial law, establishes curfews, and orders more military repression, triggering a civil war, we must not only insist on voting this year, but as the ballot box may be tampered with, we must also take to the streets to save our democracy. People are justifiably rising up in protest against such an obscene, reckless, and shameful farce passing itself off as leadership.

We are obligated to honor the standard of decency which moral leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights warrior John Lewis set for us with their example by upholding their struggle for social justice. Trump reminds us daily what a poisonous catalyst he is, bent on destroying our country.

In foreign affairs, Trump is courting powerful autocratic rulers in Russia and North Korea. He is spawning toxic replicas of himself across the developing world. He is taunting China militarily to force commercial trade advantage; toying with world war in the Middle East; acquiescing to former Eastern Bloc strongmen turned mobsters, his financial protectors and guarantors of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As his house of cards begins to collapse, he slowly begins to resemble Hitler, Chile’s Pinochet, or Vladimir Putin, and Philippine dictator Duterte, all men who cloaked their vicious brutality behind a veil of patriotism, seizing power by stealth.

TV-adoring Trump has cast himself into a role as a domestic and international terrorist thug. By supporting bombing in Syria and Yemen, allying himself with a Saudi Arabian prince guilty of torture and murder, Trump helped create a diaspora of desperate refugees. It is macabre that Trump turned a blind eye on the cruel dismembering of Jamal Kashoggi, a Washington Post journalist critical of Saudi Global warming is destroying the planet and threatening our survival. It’s a time bomb. We must each help reverse the process. All life forms matter. This pandemic slowdown, with fewer cars flooding streets, enabled us to observe how quickly nature heals; how bird song reappears. It has given us an opportunity to drastically alter how we live. Rather than imposing our utilitarian capitalist model of unrelenting growth on an exhausted Mother Nature, we would do better to respect and honor her. We must also revoke Trump’s access to the nuclear button before one of his unpredictable temper tantrums unleashes our demise.

It is because of this moral crisis, a doorway which affords us the opportunity to make a historic choice, that I call upon all American citizens to rise in protest by rallying peacefully—armed only with the determination of our democratically guaranteed civil right to dissent, and the multitude’s will to force Trump’s expulsion from office.

Only if we all act in concert, so as to easily outnumber whatever-sized militia is beset upon us, can we ensure that our voices will be heard—and with them guarantee ourselves the opportunity to enact lasting change. We must seize our individual and collective citizen sovereignty—the government is elected to serve the people, not the other way around.

Impeachment proved a useless exercise in futility at taxpayer expense. We have no other recourse but to apply massive popular pressure. Together as a nation, through unrelenting peaceful marches and assemblies and a truly egalitarian vote that tosses the electoral college system into the dustbin of history where it belongs, we can radically transform our current crisis into a renewed, democratic United States—and reinvent a future with hope.

William Alexander Yankes, PhD, wrote his doctoral dissertation on Chilean dictatorship literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is also editing his first feature-length documentary film on human and civil rights with global relevance. He resides in Hollywood, California and has been a full-time contributing writer and Associate Editor at Brooklyn & Boyle since 2012.

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Brooklyn & Boyle is a print and online magazine dedicated to Art & Life in Boyle Heights and Beyond. The publication features Brooklyn & Boyle stories from the Greater Eastside LA arts scene, including but not limited to the neighborhoods of Boyle Heights, City Terrace, East LA, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno, South Pasadena, Cypress Park, Arroyo Seco, Highland Park, and Eagle Rock, places every bit as creative and cultured as one another while aware and active in support of authentic arts and creative projects which support community integrity and respect for the history and heritage of the many Eastside neighborhoods.

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