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Donald Trump’s America


#1

Donald Trump’s America

Nate Terani

Understand this: I’m an American veteran. I’m also a Muslim-American in a country in which, in these years, that hasn’t exactly been the happiest category to fall into. Now, let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had an ominous dream. It was noon on a grey, cold January 20th, 2020, and Donald Trump was being sworn in for his second term as president. Massive inaugural crowds cheered him exuberantly as a gentle snow fell upon a sea of MAGA red-hats and TRUMP banners waving in front of the Capitol.


#2

It already happened. US Citizens with regularity would attack the villages of the First nations peoples and burn them down. They would destroy their food supply. They even had States that had laws on the books that said things like “If a person riding a wagon sees an Indian on Horseback they can shoot that Indian”.

Vigilante groups would with regularity arm up and raid a nearby village. When they slaughtered the inhabitants they did things like cut of the womens breasts to keep as souvenirs. The slaughter was of such magnitude something like 94 percent of all of the First nations peoples that lived in the lower 48 were killed or exterminated by the year 1900 with Hollywood soon pumping movies about the Herosim of those Settlers and the US Cavalry.

The remainder were rounded up and locked up on reservations.

Then there was the Black experience.

None of this is new and it not “Trumps America”. It just another group being singled out for the hate . The road chosen was one chosen 241 years ago . It was the wagonwheel rut of racism and militarism something ex veterans should know about.


#3

Dear Author, Why on earth did you, along with every other volunteer veteran, sign up to serve this country in the wrong against innocent people in their own lands who did nothing to deserve a punishment? I wish people would stop volunteering while we are led into criminal wars. Please find another career.


#4

Precisely. Take the example of Sweden and Switzerland. These Countries have not been at war for over a Century. If a Citizen in those Countries volunteer to join the Military , they can be pretty certain if called to battle it will be in defense of their Countries.

Those that join the US Military have no such excuse. The US Military is always at war attacking and killing peoples in other lands. When a person signs up to join the US Military it has nothing to do with defending the Country.


#5

It is important for Muslims to realize they are in the same boat with Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, Jews, native Americans, and all other groups that are hated by Trump supporters. These groups need to work together. Hate is a strong emotion and Trump has made it more acceptable to express. The alt-right is claiming the right to freely express hate based on the guarantee of free speech in the First Amendment. Things those of us who are opposed to the white nationalist movement that Trump is currently leading can do is support groups like the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center that are standing up to fight Trump and his the hoards of haters who support him in the courts and politically. The best hope was that the Republican Party would stand up to Trump and oppose his excesses but that hasn’t happened. The next best hope is getting the Democratic Party in Congress back in power in November. So voting is critical in this battle. If Trump and the Republicans are made to realize that they have gone too far by a major defeat at the ballot box things will change because all Republicans now care about is winning elections. They no longer stand for anything but winning and holding political power. If opposing hate wins elections then things should turn around very quickly.


#6

The author’s nightmare is not exclusively his and his fellow minority’s nightmare - this middle-aged white American male has similar nightmares. Again and again we hear how “Trump isn’t Hitler,” and the rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth right-wing hatemongers that make up a full THIRD of the nation - or at the minimum, sympathize with and defend them - are “not Nazis.” I beg to differ. Of course this is not Nazi Germany in the 30’s. Of course things are different. But all of the basic ingredients are there. All of the same, reactionary, hateful elements are there. All of the same authoritarian tendencies, the racism and xenophobia, the fervent nationalism, the blind and seething hatred of “the other.” The deeply-held belief that the nation as been brought low somehow by “others,” and that we must take action to become great once more. The worship of a disgusting demagogue who appeals to the very worst elements in people. The naked cowardice or outright acquiescence of a weak-kneed and compliant Congress. ALL of it is there, just as before. All we need now is another Reichstag fire.

If that happens, those 1/3 rabid right-wing MAGA brownshirts-in-waiting will be more than enough to turn this country into something very close to the nightmare the author envisions. Too many - just like in 30’s Germany - will sit idly by, not acting. Too many others will “go along to get along.” Too many will find themselves, like in Niemoller’s poem, someday being arrested after the “others” have all gone before them. I don’t think most Americans have any clue just how close we are to the nightmare the author envisions.


#7

That wasn’t a dream at all. That was a nightmare of monstrous proportions.

Many of us here at Common Dreams believed Trump didn’t have a snowballs chance in Hell at winning the election, and, if it had been a “Hand Counted Paper Ballots” election, history may have been written differently.

2020 and 2018 will be subject to high levels of corruption if We the People do not demand our states to have Hand Counted Paper Ballots.

Let’s all work towards that goal.


#8

Over my years as a high school teacher who has seen many young men and women volunteer for the service (usually the Marines or Army because they are easier to get into), none of them were thinking in terms of combat. They were generally poor, and thinking in terms of “enlistment bonuses” and “career paths.” The thought of combat was pretty much the furthest thing from their minds…


#9

This thought process is like the Drug Dealer who is only dealing drugs so they can get a nice house and car and “the chicks”. They never think of the ramifications of what those drugs do to a community nor do they think they going to be shot dead by a rival before they hit their 24th birthday. Yes a bit more in the way of other opportunities would help , but the choice still made by that Drug dealer and by that volunteer to the Military.

That all said the majority of volunteers to the US Military are still from the Middle Class and there still something wrong with the thought process of “I am willing to join the US Military because it a good career choice that will serve me well in my future years” just as there is with the career choice of the guy that designs things like DIME Munitions which cause horrendous wounds that are all but non treatable and DESIGNED to be that way.


#10

I completely agree. Trump and his supporters come from families that lived in Europe. This hate is passed down from generation to generation. The alt-right is repeating the exact same total nonsense stereotypes of Jews in the US that were used in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. This may be the New World but it is the same old European hate. In many countries today in Europe the hate is probably even stronger than here. We thought we solved the problem of hate here in the US but we were wrong. I think there some important differences with Germany however. The US has over 100 million non-whites and Jews. That is about a third of the country and the vast majority of these people live in metropolitan areas. Another difference is the US has states which have a great deal of authority. Hitler set up a dictatorship within a year of taking office. The US still has a functioning Congress and court system as well as free press. But the danger of something like Nazi Germany occurring here is still very real.


#11

Your post sounds like you could be talking about Archie Bunker! Who is next on their xenophobic agenda? Progressives as terrorists?


#12

Exactly !


#13

You may as well ask, why did Bradley//Chelsea Manning sign up for the Military? Such a sweet, almost childlike, innocent person. Sometimes, for many people in this world, we have to do something we never planned or perhaps even wanted to, because desirable jobs are not easy to find.

Now, imagine when your skin is, ever so slightly, the ‘wrong’ colour, and you don’t have many qualifications. Maybe you never even got to university. You need a job. You might be only nineteen. Maybe you have a young family to feed? So you sign up, like thousands of others, people just like you. Ever wonder why there are so many blacks in the military? The ‘wrong’ colour again?

Are they really all so bloodthirsty or foolish, and if not, then why blame them?


#14

I suggest you listen to Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte Marie. She answered that question decades ago when another war was ongoing.

In another article Mr Koehler speaks of “The Normalization of Violence”. When people make their living off Militarism and war, be it the manufacture of arms, the need for a job and an income as a “soldier” , the theft of anothers resources , while killing our fellow human beings then violence HAS been Normalized. When it justified because it produces jobs and livelihoods and allows people to earn an income , then that normalization of violence becomes a cancer on the entire Society.

We know that the one percent has no conscience and will never act so as to prevent war and so it is left to the peoples WITH a Conscience to do so.

Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body as the weapon of the war
And without him all this killing can’t go on

He’s the universal soldier and he really is to blame
But his orders come from far away no more
They come from him and you and me and brothers can’t you see
This is not the way we put an end to war?


#15

I know all that and of course I agree with you.

I also know that many, many people are forced to make compromises. Not every one gets to choose all the time, even Noam Chomsky, an intelligent man who, regardless of his success and his privilege, admitted that he was compromised. It doesn’t necessarily mean you give up, or abandon your resistance to the evils imposed upon you.

At the same time, you keep fighting, if you can.


#16

Maybe we are just lucky because we felt we had a choice, and never felt forced to consider signing up?

Some people’s lives are really s**t, and really shouldn’t be. Collectively, we know it doesn’t need to be that way.


#17

Suspira, I don’t believe you will find anyone more anti-war than me :slightly_smiling_face: Please do not assume I am an apologist for the warmongers. I am so very far away from that. All my life I have despised war.


#18

I am aware of this , but that said we can not turn this around unless there NO support of Militarism even if it seen as “just a job”.

As another example, I am fully aware of the fact that those poachers in Kenya that helped to hunt the White Rhino to extinction may have been doing it “just to earn an income” but they still have a responsibility for what happened to that species, just as the Corporations that destroy its habitat do and just as the people that were buying its Horns do.

The person that wrote this article spoke of his Military Service. Why did he bring that up? Did he think that this gave him some sort of credibility and that it made him a true “American”?

Finally I am not suggesting you a warmonger. I am saying the end to Militarism has to start from the bottom up just as we have to end things like Racism and Misogyny . When a persons Racism and Misogyny pointed out to him or her it because we want that person to understand what they are doing.


#19

You and I know that there are many people out there who might just come across his story and recognise his ‘patriotism’ as a redeeming factor. Who knows, they might also learn something new. Perhaps something about how to put yourself in another persons shoes? I don’t blame him for saying that.

Of course, you might be more uncompromising. Unequivocal, even. I think that is also great, and a very good thing :slight_smile:


#20

As for me, I always try to see the best in others.

I have also had a lot of disappointments :wink: