ashland.news
July 24, 2024

Chris Honoré: A promise of ‘retribution’

Former president and presidential candidate Donald Trump shortly before delivering remarks Nov. 11 in Claremont, New Hampshire. Screen capture from C-SPAN video
November 25, 2023

This is the moment we the people need to really pay attention

Part one of two.

By Chris Honoré

And so the mystery of Donald Trump’s unyielding, frontrunner status continues. But more about that later. First, some recent backstory.

Chris Honoré

On Veterans Day last, Trump traveled to Claremont, New Hampshire, to deliver what would prove to be, well, a memorable speech. Its focus was not on those who served the nation; instead, his words proved to be both revelatory, and profoundly disturbing. The speech was later posted on his social media site, Truth Social, from which the following excerpt was taken:

“To honor our great veterans on Veterans Day, we pledge to you that we will root out the Communists, Marxists, Fascists, and radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country, lie, steal, and cheat on elections, and will do anything possible, whether legally, or illegally, to destroy America and the American Dream.”

Clearly this speech was not going to be about issues facing veterans (consider that some 17 veterans commit suicide per day, a rate 1.5 times higher than the general population). Nor was it about policy. It was about grievances — his — and a promise of retribution. In other words, it was about him, and quickly morphed into a Trumpian political rally. And so he shared with the cheering MAGA crowd standing before him his fevered dream of regaining once again the power of the presidency, using language reminiscent of past demagogues such as Hitler and Mussolini.

But what is remarkable is that Trump has, with a chilling confidence, gone full authoritarian. What follows below are his undisguised despotic statements, made in recent speeches and interviews, reminding us, unambiguously, that the 2024 election will not be about issues, such as they are, but ultimately about whether our democracy, this extraordinary form of self-governance, will survive should he be elected.

I know I’ve said it before while hoping it doesn’t sound condescending, but this is our moment, we the people, to really pay attention. Consider Trump’s rhetoric, hear his intent made manifest, his payback vitriol consumed by paranoia and victimization. He believes he not only will win, but is entitled to win, regardless of the outcome, and I’m convinced he and his supporters will do whatever it takes to claim victory. The “Stop the Steal” rant was simply prologue.

So let’s begin with this: According to reports in the Washington Post and other media, in anticipation of Trump winning the presidency in 2024, the planning has already begun and is referred to as the “2025 Project.” Its organizers, reported to be funded by the Heritage Foundation, represent far-right Trump loyalists who are committed to not repeating what they regard as mistakes made at the outset of Trump’s first administration.

During the initial 100 days of Trump’s 2025 term he will issue an executive order revising “Schedule F,” (something he tried to do in October 2020 while still President; however it was immediately rescinded by newly elected President Biden). As currently written, Schedule F pertains to those job protections guaranteed to federal employees. Trump’s order would grant him the right to fire, at his discretion, those he deems disloyal or covertly partisan. As he said at a rally in South Carolina, before leaving office, “The ‘Deep State’ must be brought to heel.”

At will, he could target the employees of the EPA, the IRS, the DOJ (to include the FBI), the State Department and the Pentagon. The ensuing chaos would be incomparable. The challenge to the 14th Amendment and its constitutional provision would be unprecedented.

Should there be protests or civil disturbances as a result, Trump’s cohort suggest turning to the 1871 Insurrection Act which would allow him the right to deploy the military domestically in order to quell any resistance, something he is reported to have considered during the George Floyd street protests, and to date regrets not doing.

Part two to follow.

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

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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