On Friday evening, Mr. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) a democratic member of the house of representatives* posted a message on Twitter. He was responding, as much of the nation did, to the firing of F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — but likely more so to Donald Trump’s taunting tweets congratulating himself on McCabe’s removal.
While Swalwell’s tweet exhibits some determination to stand up to the Trump regime, it has become obvious that no amount of idle criticisms or condemnations is sufficient to combat America’s fair-haired dictator. In the past year, a leadership obsession with protocol and the media’s fear-laden love-hate relationship with Trump have enabled an autocrat in training. Harsh words lost their effectiveness a year ago, when Trump demonstrated that he would thumb his nose at constitutional rigors and any attempt towards accountability.
A man with a history of being accountable to no one cannot be expected to turn on a dime simply because he purchases a title. The office of president is the highest form of accountability in our system of government, and the installation of Donald Trump has made mockery of the idea that he might represent the unified good of the nation — and the 325 million who call this land home.
Trump’s repeated intimations and admiration of leaders with unlimited power and authority – Vladimir Putin and recently Xi Jinping – should be the clearest warning to every America that we have entered dangerous territory. Mr. Swalwell, it will take more than a tweet suggesting that we must fight back. A large portion of Americans has been speaking against the regime since day one, but what have the elected officials in Washington, D.C. done to fight back against Trump?
Donald Trump is even more dangerous because his core of steadfast followers is likely the same 5 million members that the N.R.A. claims on its webpage. They are the armed and angry contingent who froth at the mouth and swoon when their dear leader cracks an orange smile and lies about anything. They are thugs, who like the minority who propelled Hitler to power in a frenzy of blind admiration in August of 1934. Trump himself is as absurd as his hero’s speech to the German people five years later in 1939:
“I overcame chaos in Germany, restored order, enormously raised production in all fields of our national economy…I succeeded in completely resettling in useful production those 7 million unemployed who so touched our hearts…I have not only politically united the German nation but also rearmed it militarily, and I have further tried to liquidate that Treaty sheet by sheet whose 448 Articles contain the vilest rape that nations and human beings have ever been expected to submit to…I have accomplished all this…by my own efforts…”
One could almost envision Trump plagiarizing the excerpt above (and taking credit for it as original) sometime in 2021. That his power-grab so closely mimics much of Hitler’s rise to power is a disturbing reminder of what can happen to a nation when a minority of disgruntled people elevates a radical lunatic to power unchecked. As Trump continues to consolidate power in Washington — through firings and unfilled positions that allow him unilateral decision-making — America is teetering ever closer to Berlin, circa. 1934.
And yet, legislators like Eric Swalwell, who obviously sees something amiss, continue business as usual in the capital. This is our dispute with the leadership: We have arrived at a point in American history that the minority government must stop legislating for puppies’ rights on airplanes — and every other bill under discussion — and turn their collective focus to removing Donald Trump. We are beyond business as usual, America.
Tersely worded tweets generate great sentiment among constituents and garner short-term attention, but they do nothing to curb the immediate threat. Already GOP-led efforts to file suit in the recent Pennsylvania special election demonstrate that our nation is in a tug-of-war power struggle where the people are ultimately going to lose. Neither the GOP, nor Donald Trump are going to cede power and walk away when 2018 and 2020 elections turn against them. We believe at this point, any other candidate who wins the White House in 2020 will face an uphill battle removing the Trump family from what they call “The Dump.”
The time has arrived to begin systematically stripping Donald Trump of title and power. We say to hell with tradition, pomp, circumstance, and protocol. Call a spade a spade. If a person wants to be president and called by such a title, they he or she must act with the dignity of the office.
We have said this before: the media and leadership can begin by calling Donald, “Mr. Trump” and nothing more. While the focus remains on impeachment and the Mueller probe, fighting back, Mr. Swalwell must include skirmishes beyond Twitter responses. It must be action that places a financial stranglehold on the government — and specifically the White House. It must be a policy of non-cooperation, heightened scrutiny, and resistance.
Deny Trump Air Force One for a single weekend golf excursion and he will begin to tire of his position. A man as sick and spoiled as Trump will not continue to function without his luxury and life of ease and distractions. Washington grumbles, but continues to make life easy for Donald Trump as he makes it more difficult for 99% of the nation. So, tweet away members of congress, but do not forget to look up from your smartphones as Blonde Hitler is sneaking in the backdoor to steal a nation.
*Our reliance on typical AP Style has taken a back seat to principle. These are not typos, but merely a demonstration of how a body of leadership that sells our democracy cannot be referenced by normal titles of respect.