The Speech, Using Fear to Promote Unity

cartoonLast night Donald Trump read a teleprompter, avoided ad libs, resisted impulses and delivered a speech that fooled a whole lot of people. He didn’t fool me and he shouldn’t fool you either. Despots gain control by spreading fear. Trump wants us to succumb to his fear mongering. The more afraid we are the more likely it is we will turn to big brother for protection. You don’t have to take my word for it, history tells this story a thousand times.

Trump talked about a lot of things but gave few specifics. His major emphasis, though, was strengthening the U.S. military while he cuts nearly every other program in the national budget. It’s a massive rob Peter to pay Paul scheme and it isn’t even necessary.  He would add over $50 billion to our already bloated defense budget to modernize everything and strengthen our nuclear deterrent – but why? The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute tells us that in 2015, the United States accounted for 36% of all military spending in the whole world. That’s as much as the next 8 countries combined. Who are we preparing to fight and in what kind of war? Below are the countries that make up the 100 percent of military spending.

  1. China (13%)
  2. Saudi Arabia (5.2%)
  3. Russia (4%)
  4. U.K. (3.3%)navy-ships
  5. India (3.1%)
  6. France (3%)
  7. Japan (2.4%)
  8. Germany (2.4%).

The $54 billion increase in defense spending proposed by Trump is a 10% increase over the cap on defense spending imposed by a budget deal that the Republican Congress passed six years ago. In order to pay for that increase, Trump plans to cut everything else including a huge part of the State Department’s budget. Few think that’s a good idea including the military. On Monday, more than 120 retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Congress to fully fund U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, saying such programs “are critical to keeping America safe.”

I sure hope someone can show me how more nukes will deter ISIS, or how a bigger Army, isis-navyNavy and Air Force will do that. Are we going to go toe to toe with the ISIS Navy, Army or Airforce? Here we have a draft dodging know-nothing making military decisions for us. Funny how the bone spurs that kept Trump out of the military magically disappeared. He sees a Navy with fewer ships and calls that weakness, but if you look closely it is the opposite. More ships doesn’t mean a better Navy especially when you don’t need them. The ships in service now in the U.S. Navy are more versatile and deadly than the ships of old. We don’t need more ships because the ones we have do the work of several.

Trump and his advisors like to point out that our navy has the same number of ships that it had in 1916. What they conveniently leave out is the fact that we don’t have the same ships or the same needs. We don’t have battleships because they are obsolete. The Trump people don’t tell you that the Navy of old did not have cruise missiles, jet fighters, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines, guided missile ships and nuclear weapons.  They don’t tell you that the Defense department says that our Navy is already bigger than the next 10 Navies combined. And…they don’t tell you that each of a Trident Submarines 24 missiles carries eight nuclear warheads. Each warhead can be sent to a different target. Just one Trident sub carries the power of 5,000 bombs like the one that destroyed Hiroshima. Just how many of those do we really need to fight the non-existent ISIS Navy. They don’t have a country or a capital and they don’t have an Air Force either. They have a rag tag band of terrorists who materialize to fight a battle or terrorize a population and then disappear. You don’t fight ISIS with a massive military presence. We will never have a tank battle with them, or will our Air Force engage theirs in dog fights.

Trump’s military buildup is as phony as he is. There isn’t a nation on earth that can come close to even seriously threatening us unless they want to risk total annihilation. But when you are as paranoid as Trump is, you need a frightened population to back you up and you also need to cause them to trust you and only you for information so you also must set out to destroy the credibility of the nation’s free press. The more fear you create, the more you can justify restricted liberties, greater military expenditures and even the suspension of some constitutional rights.

Trump is following a pattern that dictators have followed throughout history. It remains to be seen if it is working, but all of the propaganda machinery of the White House is engaged in making you fearful ’of Muslims, Mexicans, North Koreans, Iranians, the news media, liberals, the courts and maybe even Australians (Russia is Ok I guess). They want you to distrust all of the news media because if you do they will control the flow of information and will have free reign to saturate your minds with their lies.
John McCain was right, this is the way dictatorships start and unless elected officials turn patriotstheir allegiance from party to country, we will be lost. This is not the time for partisan politics, it is a time for realism and patriotism. It is time to stand up to this poor imitation of a President and say, “Enough, we’ve had enough tweets and lies and distortions and attacks on innocent people.”

Donald Trump is a threat to world peace and to world safety. History records that many people were amazed that Hitler took power the way he did. No one should have been amazed. He told everyone exactly what he would do in the years preceding his becoming Chancellor. Trump has clearly signaled through his speeches and debates exactly what his intentions are as well. Americans can choose to ignore them and accept the results or stand up to the schoolyard bully.

You can stand by and watch liberty after liberty, and right after right disappear or you can wake up and fight. We can’t let him set the stage to become the first American Emperor.

trumpPresident Trump will not be happy until no one is allowed to question his word. That’s why every thinking American has to stand up and be counted as a supporter of the First Amendment. You can dislike the press, disagree with them and be critical of them but without them, Government will be the only source of information and we all know how accurate and dependable that will be.

President Trump fooled a lot of people last night because he changed his tone and used words like “unity” and “cooperation” while at the same time repeating the same old fear mongering tactic. If he can succeed in spreading his paranoia he will have control. We’re not going to let that happen. The expression may be trite, but the leopard can’t change its spots and Trump can’t suddenly become a compassionate, considerate and honest human being. His speech last night was stylistically effective and substantively frightening. Don’t let his style fool you, the substance is just as hateful and destructive as ever.  bob-2


2 thoughts on “The Speech, Using Fear to Promote Unity

  1. Thank you, Bob… I know from your post and some reactions to it that there are some people who disagree, and once again, I want to reiterate that Bernie Sanders had some very good points about this speech. I posted that piece on my page, and welcome anyone to hear it. However, that piece didn’t cover the points you made above – thank you for providing clarity to anyone who may have been fooled by empty words!


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