Trump’s affinity for tyrannical leaders

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I couldn’t disagree more with the points Mickale Carter was attempting to make in his letter (July 25). In particular, Mr. Carter’s view that Trump’s rhetoric regarding the so-called “Squad” is a mere “political disagreement” cannot be reasonably supported.

First, Trump’s comment that the “Squad” “hates” the USA goes far beyond anything that could be construed as a “political disagreement.” Furthermore, anyone’s attempt to characterize Trump’s “send them back to where they came from” comment as a “political disagreement” is belied by judicial decisions interpreting our civil rights laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has long considered that precise language to be a racial/ethnic epithet. Anyone doubting that can merely fact-check it on the EEOC website.

What that means is that any supervisor within the Executive Branch making such a comment to a subordinate could be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal. Yet, their ultimate superior, the president of the United States, can make such comments with impunity, thereby making it seemingly acceptable. While the average citizen cannot be expected to know and understand the EEOC’s position on the subject, anyone elected to the presidency certainly should. Yet, we have a president who has neither read the Constitution, nor our civil rights laws, and clearly doesn’t care about what they stand for.

However reprehensible Trump’s racism is, there have certainly been other racist presidents in our distant, and maybe not-so-distant, past. Yet, our country managed to survive. Much more dangerous to our national security, indeed, our very democracy, is Trump’s affinity and support for tyrannical, despotic world leaders. In particular, Trump’s failure to censure Russian election interference, and North Korean, Saudi (and Russian) “disposal” of their political opponents, e.g., Jamal Khashoggi, sadly reflects Trump’s vision of what life under his “regime” (Trump’s own word) should be. For those readers who believe that position to be extreme, consider Trump’s attacks on free speech, freedom of the press, and his ad hominem attacks on his political adversaries, Democrats and Republicans alike. Even more compelling, revisit Trump’s Helsinki meeting where he disavowed our intelligence agencies’ findings in favor of Putin’s incredulous word. Also consider Trump’s more recent press conference with Putin at the G20 summit, when Trump, confronted with a question from the press, mockingly told a smirking Putin, “Don’t meddle in the election.”

Mr. Carter, and others, are calling criticism of Trump’s apparent fealty to such leaders “McCarthy-era tactics.” And, of course, giving Mitch McConnell the moniker “Moscow Mitch” does smack of “McCarthyism.” However, the right-wing’s problem with its argument is that Trump, and now McConnell, truly are doing Putin’s bidding. McConnell, as all readers must now be aware, has kept legislation intended to protect our election process from coming to a vote in the Senate. When it is a proven fact, according to U.S. intelligence agencies, that Russia interfered in at least our last two elections, why would McConnell refuse to take action that would be in the best interests of our national security?

Simply put, if McConnell were to allow the bipartisan-proposed election security measures to be voted upon, then Trump, who emphatically denies Russia’s election meddling, would be put in the awkward position of either protecting our democracy or protecting Russian interference with our election by his veto power. Should not all America be entitled to know which alternative Trump would choose? Given “Moscow Mitch’s” loyalty to Trump, over loyalty to country, we will never know the answer to that question.

—Al Weed, Kalispell

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