Telling it like it is

Posted 3/27/17

The last I read, Donald Trump polled out at an overall 37% approval rating (but 86% among Republicans). The following quote is from local writer David Thielk in recent remarks here on ptleader.com. …

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Telling it like it is

Posted

The last I read, Donald Trump polled out at an overall 37% approval rating (but 86% among Republicans). The following quote is from local writer David Thielk in recent remarks here on ptleader.com. Rather than heavily endorsing his remarks at the time, I chose to wait until I could repeat them with a photo for greater impact (Steve Bannon at right, above). Thanks, David; you condensed the situation nicely in writing:

[Many are saying] “that Trump is really concerned about our safety, and wants to make America great again. But his chief adviser is a white nationalist/supremacist with a long history of reality creation via Breitbart News. I personally don't know how any moral human being, regardless of their political background, could agree that a person who has shown so much white nationalist leanings is a good person to have in the White House of the United States, considering our Constitution. I am speaking of Bannon, of course. Unless, the elephant in the room is quietly being accepted among the Republicans, and they truly believe that America needs to be taken away from some, and given over to others. . .”

MEANWHILE, Turning to Trump’s usual diversionary double-talk, search for scapegoats, transference of guilt, etc.

While the country’s attention was focused on investigations into Russian connections to his election campaign, on the health care plan he was touting, on his phony allegation that his phone had been tapped by Barack Obama, on congressional hearings on his Supreme Court appointee, what presidential stance was being assumed by Donald Trump?

As one syndicsted columnist observed recently: “The president is ever on the prowl for events and people he can exploit to reassure his America that he’s looking out for them.” 

The evening of March 20, he was gleefully taking credit for allegedly helping keep former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick out of work. He brought it up at one of the pep rallies his ego seems to demand, this one in Louisville, Kentucky. Kapernick made news much of the NFL season for sitting, later kneeling during the national anthem to protest U. S. police brutality and systemic racism. Some other athletes emulated him in silent protest (and my own letter of support appeared on the Seattle Times op-ed page). 

Said Donald excitedly in his traditional third-grade-playground style: “It was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that. I said if I remember that one I’m going to report it to the people of Kentucky. They like it when people actually stand for the American flag.” 

So really, Donald—Colin Kaepernick is a symbol of what’s wrong with America? Because he seeks justice for black people and turned action into a form of Free Speech? Like—oh, I don’t know—marchers throughout the county as you were inaugurated or on women’s day . . . or most any old time lately.

Kaepernick, having made his point last fall, said he will stand for the national anthem in the season ahead. The Bleacher Report (a sports blog) wrote that Kaepernick was in “NFL limbo” because some teams do fear political backlash over his past protests. But those who follow the game would say his lack of a job reflects more on his poor on-field performance as he played with a sub-par team around him. The team’s coach was fired. 

In any case, Donald, patriotically speaking, you’d have made more points if you’d risen and shaken the hand of German Chancellor Angela Merkel the other day (as requested by news photographers). You instead acted more like she’d failed to kneel and kiss your ring or something and didn’t even turn to look at her. 

While Donald Trump’s agenda offers squat for the ill and infirm, the hungry and poverty-ridden, for all manner of minorities, it takes some nerve on his part to expect them all to eagerly leap to their feet when the anthem is played, or the American flag to which he has laid claim passes in parade. Kaepernick and I, and many millions of others, voice our protest as best we can with the means at our disposal. And anti-Trump protests in the street are becoming ever more the main means of many—both at home and abroad. 

We find ourselves these days with a president who is not concerned with all the people, only with those who agree with him, who share his values, who stroke his ego, whose adulation gives him a feeling of divine greatness.

Kaepernick, by the way, has devoted heavily to charity. Even though unemployed, he recently donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels, a program that would be defunded under Trump’s currently proposed budget. Sarah Palin (remember her and how she’s milked the system?) promptly declared the donation to be a “political stunt.” 

In the midst of his silent protest of kneeling during the national anthem before games last season, the 29-year-old Kaepernick announced a $1 million donation in support of groups combating racism and police brutality. He followed that up by donating all of the proceeds from his then-top-selling jersey to in-need communities. Last November, he also launched his Black Panther Party-inspired "I Know My Rights Camp" in Oakland for hundreds of young Black and Latino kids from the Bay Area. Just last week, Kaepernick spread awareness via his Instagram account about the historic famine taking place in Somalia and joined forces with the "Turkish Airlines Help Somalia" initiative, which has delivered water, food and aid to help the six-million-plus people affected.

Compare this March 17 tweet by Kaepernick to the mean-minded missives composed by Trump during his nocturnal sleepless petulance: Amazing news, Turkish Airlines granted us an airplane to fly to Somalia, a 60-ton cargo plane so we can fly there with food, with water for these people.” In a Twitter video he added, “Now we’ve started a GoFundMe page to allow anyone to help us donate food, donate water. We’ll make sure every cent goes to help these people.” 

What have you been doing, specifically, on the plus side for our society via your “America First” initiative, Donald? Other than seeking out tax cuts and regulatory relief for your wealthy cronies. (And how much damage have you been doing to the rest of the world?)

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If desiring to make a donation, no matter how relatively small (it all adds up), to Somalian relief, try checking out this site: https://www.gofundme.com/LOVEARMYFORSOMALIA also here’s a brief news hit on the crisis: http://time.com/4710453/united-nations-somalia-drought-appeal 

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