“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

It has been less than two years since Donald Trump ascended the porcelain throne of America’s most storied public mansion. In that brief time, Trump has intentionally and without pause offended, restricted, attacked, insulted, and denied basic human and democratic rights and freedoms.

He has terrorized the immigrant populations of the United States — both legal and otherwise. He has treated Muslims like hostile enemies of the state. He has denied the elderly, the poor, and the misfortunate their basic needs and rights. He has failed to protect children. He has alienated the LGBTQ community and set women’s rights back by decades.

Trump has stolen a country from 325 million Americans.

Yesterday, however, Donald Trump launched a blatant and unnerving attack aimed at every American — without regard to race, gender, religion, or any other qualifying demographic attribute. It is a warning sign that should be heeded by one and all as our nation teeters on the brink of a fascist autocracy that will strip every citizen of his and her inherent rights to pursue, freely and publicly, Life, Liberty, and Happiness.

Reacting to this week’s act of cowardice and servitude demonstrated by National Football League owners — a term not used in the context of legitimate business owners, but in the antebellum and plantation-leaning concept of owning individuals who play at sport — Trump declared that persons who refuse to stand for the national anthem “shouldn’t be in the country.”

This rare and forbidding departure from the First Amendment has solidified Trump as a true fascist and more than a common xenophobe. That he would suggest that any person who dares protest the government should be removed from the country strikes at the heart of our nation’s founding principles. Trump’s intimation sets the stage for showdown of people versus government — the likes of which North America has not witnessed since 1775. From this day forward, no American can live by the Declaration of Independence or Constitution, in peace, and knowing that he or she will forever have a nation to call home. A line has been drawn by an illegitimate and corrupt usurper of government, lands, and individual civil and human rights. It is difficult to enjoy Life and Liberty when the government is a mere footstep away from the possibility of forcibly expatriating its own citizens for dissent.

Trump has successfully taken America, a place of comfort, of safety, and of progress and futures, and in one short year, turned it into a nightmare. With his announcement yesterday, no person can wake up without the anxiety and uncertainty of government intrusion and overreach into personal opinions, criticisms, and speech. In one swift and ignorant statement while parading for cameras and his dwindling base of NRA-armed Apprentice fans, Trump has erased the most cherished and fundamental tenet of America’s Bill of Rights: the First Amendment.

In decimating the First Amendment, Trump has stolen a country from 325 million Americans. When Trump initially attacked immigrants and the LGBTQ communities early in his regime’s rule, a majority of people mistakenly believed his discrimination and dislike stemmed from deep-seeded bigotry. It is now more obvious than ever that Trump is beyond racist; he is dysfunctional to a degree that overshadows bigotry with sociopathic tendencies.

As America approaches the Fourth of July 2018, independence is a value that we cannot celebrate as readily as in the past. The gains of 250 years ago are quickly being eroded, and before another holiday is lit by fireworks and barbeque embers, our nation may again be forced to face a tyrant, who like King George III may suffer from deranged bouts of violent mental insanity.

The battle against Trumpism is no longer a fight for DACA and immigration reform; or one of whether trans-persons should serve in the military; or one of gun control to prevent another innocent student’s murder. Donald Trump has taken the fight to Americans of every walk of life and threatened their very citizenship…he has launched an ideological war on the United States and with one simple statement confirmed himself as the enemy of the state — a label he has hollowly denied.

And while Americans contemplate this Memorial Day weekend where their loyalties, ideals, and pursuits stand, it is worth noting that in addition to Life, Liberty, and Happiness, our founders already considered the very same question. In 1776, they made it abundantly clear how to handle a threat like Donald Trump:

“…–That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

 

Featured Image: The Sporting News/Getty Images

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