ashland.news
July 14, 2024

Chris Honoré: A promise of ‘retribution,’ Part 2

Donald Trump
Donald Trump delivers a campaign talk in Ankeny, Iowa, on Dec. 2. Screen capture from C-SPAN video
December 11, 2023

Trump has shown us who he is and what he intends to do; believe him

By Chris Honoré

Before beginning the second installment of Retribution, I would like to lend my voice to that of Bert Etling (executive editor) and Herb Rothschild (board secretary) who, along with many others, created the Ashland.news.

Chris Honoré

I believe that the very existence of this small-town newspaper (a term now used generically) is extraordinary, and it now takes its place in that long line referred to as the Fourth Estate, also known as The Press.

The latter moniker is connected to a time when those who reported the news, and all that entailed, purchased ink by the barrel and newsprint in massive rolls, while using enormous industrial presses created daily editions known simply as “the paper.”

Since those nascent days of our nation, news has been gathered and printed, initially on crude single sheets of paper, and was soon recognized as being essential to a robust democracy. Now The Press stands firmly, in all its iterations, under the umbrella of our Constitution’s First Amendment.

Ashland.news is committed to the idea that the denizens of our small community should be informed, given a forum where opinions can be shared and debated, and self-governance nurtured. 

To support the Ashland.news is an affirmation of one’s belief in its mission, and its essential place in the life of our community.       

Regarding former President Donald Trump and his intention to transform our democratic institutions into self-serving instruments of retribution, let me begin by quoting the author Maya Angelou, who said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

Trump has now shown us who he is and I believe him. He has unambiguously defined in recent speeches, rallies, and interviews the meaning of the acronym MAGA (“Make America Great Again”), while sharing unabashedly that he will “weaponize” the Department of Justice and, absent any due process, prosecute those who he believes have been disloyal.

Regarding immigration, for example, his chilling vision is of sprawling detention camps of the undocumented, of sweeping raids, of mass deportations, all predicated on the nativist belief that these desperate migrants are “poisoning the blood of our country and bringing in disease.”  

What continues to perplex me, however, is that in spite of what he says, what he promises to do if elected in 2024, his unflinching supporters, to include Republican members of Congress, remain undeterred in their endorsement of this man who would be king.

I recall watching a reporter interview MAGA supporters, those waiting in a long line to attend a Trump rally. When a woman was asked what she thought about Trump, she held up the flat of her hand above her forehead and said, “God here.” Then dropped that same horizontal hand just an inch and said, “Trump here.”

She had found her bliss, and seemed fully prepared to discard the will of the people, while replacing that bedrock principle with the will of the one, and all that entails. She is not alone. Recall that that some 74 million Americans voted for Trump in 2020.

He walks across the dais, clapping at his own entrance, smiling down at an embracing crowd, asking them to vote against their own best interests (Trump recently promised to repeal Obamacare while offering no replacement). How can they not know that he cares not a whit about them? How can they not know that what he craves is dictatorial power and narcissistic attention?  

Believe him. Trump longs to rule in the image of dictators such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, and China’s Xi Jinping, praising them as being “capable, competent, smart.”

In closing, I’ll rely on the words of Robert Kagan, opinion writer and contributing editor to the Washington Post: “Let’s stop the wishful thinking and face reality. There is a clear path to dictatorship in the United States, and it is getting shorter.… In 13 weeks, Donald Trump will have locked up the Republican nomination.… The idea that he is unelectable is nonsense he is tied or ahead of President Biden in the latest polls.”

Sagan goes on to insist that the “myriad indictments will not doom him,” and so our “magical-thinking phase is ending .…”

Will our democracy follow? We’ll see.

Email Ashland resident Chris Honoré at honore307@gmail.com.

Related: Chris Honoré: A promise of ‘retribution’(Part 1)

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Jim


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