As most of us know América is a constitutional democratic republic with three branches of government: executive, legislative, and, judicial. We also know this democracy is a conceptual ideal—often called an experiment—based purely on faith, fleeting trust, and the false notion that all men are created equal, considering that many of the founders, including the first president—Washington—owned slaves.
As we assess the success of this “experiment”, we need to consider the following: When the executive and legislative branches fail and the judicial branch becomes compromised, that is a de facto failure of democracy.
And that my fellow Americans, is what we are now experiencing in América at the present time. That unfortunate conclusion is demonstrated by the reality that the republican executive branch is currently in a total state of chaos and failure under President Donald J. Trump, as evidenced by a myriad of alleged presidential abuses of power that lead to his impeachment. The legislative branch for its part has failed to provide the necessary checks and balances on the executive branch, which allowed Trump to obstruct his own impeachment. And the Supreme Court has issued racist rulings that support the white supremacist ideology of the executive branch.
The Failure of the Executive Branch
When the executive and legislative branches fail and the judicial branch becomes compromised, that is a de facto failure of democracy.
And that my fellow Americans, is what we are now experiencing in América at the present time.
Among the numerous Trump presidential wrongdoings, some of the worst include conspiracy with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election; obstruction of justice and witness tampering; being an unindicted co-conspirator in the felony conviction of his former attorney, Michael Cohen; and of course his impeachment based on the aforementioned charges.
While Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to serve three years in prison on various felonies, the one that made Trump an unindicted felony co-conspirator involved significant violations of federal campaign finance laws. As we recall, that’s the one that included the porn star, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, the Playboy bunny; both of whom Trump used to cheat on his wife, while she was pregnant with his son. It has now been verified that Trump paid a combined $280,000 in hush money to the two women, which very likely would have destroyed his presidential nomination had the scandal been uncovered. In fact, I’m quite confident that had the general public been aware of Trump’s conspiracy with Russia to undermine the 2016 election and the hush money scandal, he would not be the president today.
It should also be noted that the Mueller investigation of Trump’s misdeeds resulted in 34 indictments and 7 convictions, many of which generally verified the basis of Trump’s impeachment. And had it not been for the total incompetence and corruption of the majority republican senate, Trump would have been convicted at his impeachment trial. The recent GOP controlled Senate Judiciary Committee report has now confirmed the findings of the Mueller Report.
Meanwhile, for those that may still be wondering why Trump is so endeared with Russia’s Putin; a whistleblower (Val Broeksmit), the son of a high-level executive with the German sourced Deutsche Bank, who committed suicide in 2014, gave the FBI a huge stash of his late father’s files which have shown alleged strong financial connections between Trump and Russia. The two major Russian banks with connections to Deutsche Bank under Putin’s control are VTB and Gazprombank; who through a complex web of Deutsche Bank intermediaries has allegedly loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars. Therefore, it appears that Putin is Trump’s “sugar daddy”—allegedly.
Relative to other Trump failures, according to some expert studies had Trump responded to the Covid-19 Virus in a competent manner even as late as the first week in March, it would have already saved tens of thousands of American lives. Instead, Trump continues to deny the seriousness of this deadly virus and wants to open up the country as if this vicious pandemic doesn’t exist. That’s, despite over 1,000 deaths per day; 5.5 million+ confirmed cases and 173,000+ dead. Medical projections now predict 300,000 deaths from COVID by 12-1-20. Even more distressing, Dr. Fauci with the CDC, stated that in reality, this lethal virus is most likely 10 times more widespread than reported figures. In the final analysis, Trump will be responsible for having killed hundreds of thousands of Americans due to the total dereliction of his presidential duties and corrupt behavior.
Also, due to Trump’s incompetent management of the virus, we now have about 33 million+ unemployed Americans and an economy in free fall that is equal to the Great Depression of the late nineteen twenties. Tens of thousands of Americans across the country are now standing in food lines, just as people did during the previous Great Depression. Even crueler, based on USDA projections, 18 million children in América are living in hunger today. Furthermore, relative to other children’s issues, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Trump has been responsible for separating nearly 6,000 Latino immigrant children from their parents with his racially biased-policies. Psychologists, in general, have stated that this form of psychological trauma can cause catastrophic irreparable harm to any child. Yet Trump is totally unconcerned and instead is trying to dismantle the US Postal Service to rig the election to his advantage.
Trump has also been roundly declared a white supremacist ideologue and a racist, based on numerous acts of racially biased behavior and speech, too numerous to recount here; except for his declarations that Latino immigrants are drug dealers, criminals, and rapists, which also incriminated all American Latinos. Trump further declared that the Charlottesville white supremacists were “very fine people.”
Even Trump’s own niece, Dr. Mary Trump, who is a clinical psychologist, has written a book whose subtitle states: “How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man”. She is also very clear in her book and public comments that she considers her uncle, Donald J. Trump, to be totally unfit as the sitting President. She has also stated that Trump is, “virulently racist”; and is a highly mentally disordered sociopath.
Trump’s ongoing racial attacks against Latino immigrants and Latinos in general, almost certainly provoked the horrific El Paso, TX massacre on 8-3-19, in which 46 innocent men, women and children were shot and 23 were killed. 99% of the victims were Latinos.
The El Paso, TX Massacre occurred at a mall within view of Trump’s revered border wall, which was originally built due to racial and economically biased beliefs that América had to be protected from Latinos South of the border wall. Yet, an American white supremacist who was greatly influenced by Trump’s racial hatred toward Latinos—based on the racist’s online rants which essentially quoted Trump—ironically created the opposite effect. The white supremacist declared he came to El Paso, TX, to “kill as many Mexicans as possible.”
Two young Latino parents holding their new baby were brutally gunned downed by this vicious racist. Miraculously, the parent’s bodies shielded the baby from harm. Both his mother and father did not survive…
Approximately 10 months after the El Paso, TX massacre, Trump visited and praised the border wall which continues to represent América’s monument of racism against all Latinos. Those same issues of racial hatred against Latinos caused the greatest massacre of American Latinos in the modern history of America.
The Failure of the Legislative Branch
Even after the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives, they have been greatly handicapped in fulfilling their functions due to the overriding power of the senate which is controlled by an incompetent, corrupt majority of republicans; and they are largely controlled by an even more incompetent and corrupt Donald J. Trump.
As we know, that major legislative failure is the reason Trump avoided being convicted on the articles of impeachment brought against him by the House of Representatives. As we are also aware, the corrupt republican majority senate didn’t even allow any witness testimony or evidence to be presented at the “kangaroo-style” trial before summarily dismissing all articles of impeachment against Trump. The proceedings were such a travesty that it made the Nixon affairs look like choir practice by comparison.
That fact alone has effectively prevented the legislative branch from serving its true constitutional role as a check and balance over the executive branch. That reality has also rendered the legislative branch totally impotent in the discharge of its most important role: preventing the president from becoming an authoritarian dictator. As such, the fact that Trump was given a free pass by the corrupt republican senate on the most egregious offenses that any president could possibly face, has effectively created the essence of a de facto dictator for the first time in American history.
As people around the country continue to protest the brutal death of Mr. George Floyd and others at the hands of violent police actions, Trump sent federal forces to Portland, Oregon. Moreover, due to the aforementioned legislative collapse, Trump is now essentially behaving like a dictator as evidenced by his order to permit secret paramilitary federal forces in combat fatigues to forcefully drag innocent protesters into unmarked vans in Portland, without any due process. This is disturbingly reminiscent of what known authoritarian regimes around the world are also doing to quell citizen protests.
It was very disturbing to watch those menacing paramilitary forces attacking innocent protesters in the midst of the explosive devices and the clouds of tear gas. One independent journalist who was shot in the face by an explosive device was permanently blinded in one eye. A peaceful protester, who was a navy veteran, was shown being brutally beaten with a baton and getting hit in the face by a torrent of tear gas. That veteran’s lower left arm and hand were severely fractured in numerous places, sending him to the hospital for surgery. Another innocent protester was smashed in the face by an explosive device fired by those paramilitary combat forces which violently hurled him to the concrete sidewalk with blood spewing from his face and head area. That young man has been in the hospital for weeks undergoing major reconstructive surgery and will probably never be the same for the rest of his life.
Welcome to the realities of a developing authoritarian state that was basically created by the racist ideology and stupidity of the American public—with the exception of the majority popular voters (62,984,828 for Trump and 65,853,514 for Hillary Clinton).
Because of Trump and his follower’s América has now become a laughing stock around the world; and the US is now roundly considered a racist and incompetent nation according to recent polls. Based on Trump’s completely inept handling of the Covid-19 Virus outbreak, America is now banned from Europe. Even the Mexican state of Sonora on 7-3-20 banned the United States from entering; perhaps making some wonder if México is now willing to pay for the border wall…?
But, América now has a president that is essentially above the law considering that if you or I did a fraction of what Trump has done we would all be in prison. The most glaring example of that is what happened to Trump’s own personal attorney, Michael Cohen when he was sent to prison for felony offenses that Trump directed him to commit. Cohen later provided copies of the checks Trump signed to reimburse him for committing those felonies. Yet, even though Trump was designated an unindicted co-conspirator, he has not been held responsible. That is clearly how authoritarian leaders and governments operate.
Accordingly, as América veers toward the abyss of a totalitarian state the country would do well to consider why a nascent América fought the British during the American Revolution; and why our American soldiers fought and died in World War I and II. All those sacrifices, of course, were to prevent those very authoritarian regimes from overtaking América.
The Failure of the Judicial Branch
One of the worst aspects of the current US Supreme Court is Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who now represents one of the greatest stains on this highly eroded institution. This character allegedly perjured himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee both prior to and during his confirmation hearings; he was also described as a fall-down-drunk by his college roommates; attended parties where women were “gang-raped”; allegedly forced a woman to push his penis away from her face, which constitutes sexual assault; and is still an actively accused rapist by a highly credible witness/victim—Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
At his confirmation hearings, Kavanaugh seethed, blustered and threatened his victims and the democratic senators in such a partisan and intemperate manner that the National Council of Churches and its 45 million members; more than 2400 national law professors; 51% of Americans; and even a retired Republican Supreme Court Justice—John Paul Stevens—all came forward to denounce Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the highest court in the land. Still, the corrupt republican controlled senate approved him to serve on the current US Supreme Court.
While the Roberts court has rendered some good decisions; but the most reprehensible part of the John Roberts Supreme Court is the lingering racist ideology that still dominates the current court system on a 5 to 4 ratio. That racist proclivity was first evidenced in 2013 when Roberts wrote the sanctioned ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is well known that the original Act was passed to prevent racist Jim Crow-like laws from hampering the ability of people of color to vote. As was expected, certain southern states have now reinstated similar voting laws that once again are restricting people’s rights to vote and as usual, it is harming mainly people of color. This is especially cruel in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Legislation is currently pending the reversal of the Supreme Court’s prior racially despicable ruling. It should be named the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, in honor of the now-deceased titan of civil rights. Trump turned his back on this pending civil rights legislation as he also turned his back on John Lewis by refusing to attend his final funeral services.
The racially tainted Roberts Court again revealed itself in recent years when the Chief Justice and his ultra-conservative colleagues approved the racially tinged, Trump v. Hawaii case and overturned the Korematsu v. United States case. As some may recall, the Trump v. Hawaii case, written by Roberts, involves a travel ban on people of color from certain poor Muslim nations that Trump had declared “shit hole” countries. In the Korematsu court matter, that notorious case allowed innocent people of Japanese descent to be summarily imprisoned during World War II.
The racially abhorrent Korematsu case had languished in a legal time warp since 1944 because most members of all the prior Supreme Courts did not dare to confront their own and society’s racial biases. In fact, the US Supreme Court has a long notorious history of racism dating back before the American Civil War in which the court mostly ruled in favor of slavery. Nonetheless, while the court’s ruling finally overturned the Korematsu court, the ruling was so narrow that legal analysts have determined that any people of color, including US citizens, could still be imprisoned today much like in the second World War. Thus, it appears likely that the Roberts court would have ruled to imprison those innocent Japanese people during WWII.
Regrettably, the racist ideology of the Roberts court was evident when it simultaneously ruled in favor of the Trump v. Hawaii case, which also allows similar racism to once again exist by banning people of color from particular countries from entering the US. That ban allowed Trump to prevent people from Latin American countries from entering the US while seeking asylum. But, the most heinous aspect of those supreme court rulings is the influence of racial bias at the highest levels that allowed thousands of Latino children to be imprisoned in cages and separated from their parents; in most cases for the rest of those children’s lives.
The Korematsu decision by the majority justices, including Roberts, was so disturbing that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissented by stating that the ruling “redeploys the same dangerous logic underlying Korematsu and merely replaces one gravely wrong decision with another.” Justice Ruth B. Ginsburg joined that dissent.
But the latest example of the racial animosity toward Latinos within the majority Roberts Court occurred on 7-31-20 when it ordered that Trump could continue building his racist, hate laden border wall, pending further litigation.
Some of the major weaknesses that are causing this democracy to fail are reflected in the increasingly authoritarian direction that America has taken under Trump. If the American “experiment” survives at all, that alone must be the impetus for new constitutional amendments which embed added safeguards to prevent any president from ever being able to pervert congress and the constitution is such a vile manner.
And if this experiment called the United States of América is to survive it must decide NOW whether it wants to continue being a diverse, multicultural nation—which is what makes América totally unique in the world—or whether it wants to be just another failed Brexit style white-only racist country. It is already very clear that América is no longer the United States in its true spirit. It is now more divided as a country politically, economically, and racially, etc. than ever. And I have no doubt that if Trump were to be re-elected this country will be destroyed!
Historically, América has been a racist nation; and that has now become América’s greatest democratic failure. As such, those sins of the past have now caught up with América in the form of two deadly plagues: the centuries-old plague of racism and the more novel Covid-19 Virus plague. But proportionately, most of the people contracting and dying from the viral plague are Black and Brown minorities. And that has occurred mostly because of the long-standing systemic racism that has denied those groups from obtaining proper education and employment; adequate housing; proper nutrition and medical care; and equal treatment in the criminal justice system.
Roughly 30 states are now beginning to realize those historical wrongs only because of the coronavirus and are in various stages of declaring that systemic racism has become a public health crisis, based on studies from the PEW Charitable Trusts.
So apparently, some 400 years later, América is finally beginning to realize that to cure the coronavirus plague, América must also cure the racism plague primarily to save their own asses. Because if the Black and Brown communities aren’t safe, then no one else can ever be safe. But, the major corollary here is that for América to actually survive as a country it has to eradicate (politically) the most dangerous plague of all: Donald J. Trump.
Angel Gonzales is a former teacher with the domestic Peace Corps and is also a retired senior official with the Colorado State Justice Department. He is now a documentary filmmaker living in New México.
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