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Old 02-27-2017, 09:09 AM
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Default We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

I’ve spent years defending human rights around the world, but I’ve never been this worried about the future of the United States.....

Quote:
02/21/2017
By Kenneth Roth
Executive Director, Human Rights Watch


I have spent three decades defending human rights around the world. I have seen the many ways that human rights and democratic principles get trampled or undermined. In the United States, I have fought abusive policies by Democratic and Republican presidents alike. Having seen so much, I am not prone to hyperbole. But for the first time, I am worried for the future of America’s democratic system. U.S. President Donald Trump is still in the early days of his presidency, but a number of his actions have set off warning bells for me. It is not clear that he appreciates and accepts the checks and balances and day-to-day accountability that are essential parts of democracy.

In other parts of the world, I have seen a lack of such appreciation erode democracy, its form respected but its substance undermined. I have seen democratically elected leaders use their popularity to silence the media, rein in civil society, compromise the judiciary and curtail the public’s ability to limit executive overreach. To avoid this unraveling, I have come to understand the importance of not only democratic laws and institutions but also democratic culture. Trump has already shown contempt for this culture. Rather than mount a serious defense of his policies, he has contorted the truth ― even lied. Rather than answer critical media questions, he has called journalists enemies. Rather than simply disagree with a judicial ruling, he has disparaged a “so-called judge” for having the temerity to rule against him. Rather than respect internal dissent, he has tried to sidestep or silence it. Rather than open his finances to scrutiny, he has hidden his tax returns and refused to separate himself from his business interests. Without these checks, Trump seems susceptible to the classic populist claim that his insight into the will of “the people” justifies trampling on the rights of real people ― perhaps the most important limits on presidential power. That tendency was already on display during the campaign. Instead of respecting the individual differences of a diverse society, Trump belittled those who value that diversity.

Now that he is in the White House, the consequences are already being felt. Trump’s sweeping ban on travel to the United States, issued without any effort to tailor it to an actual terrorist threat, would impose enormous hardship on tens of thousands of people, mostly Muslims, whose visas would suddenly be worthless. His suspension and radical reduction of refugee admissions to the United States is felt by many of the world’s most helpless people. His threatened deportation of undocumented migrants ― anyone who entered the United States unlawfully would qualify ― could uproot millions of people with deep family and community ties. And he is substantially cutting back on the procedures that allow migrants to cite those ties in an effort to avoid deportation. He has nominated a Supreme Court justice who espouses a concept of “religious liberty” that has been used to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians. Women’s access to abortion and basic health services is in jeopardy. People in ill health fear loss of their newly won health insurance. And though he now appears to have backed away, the president has casually toyed with resuming torture.

Yes, Trump won the Electoral College and thus the presidency. Yes, millions of people who felt government was not serving them voted for a man who vowed to shake things up. But “draining the swamp” should not come at the expense of the rights and protections that represent America’s highest aspirations. Most people in the United States have no experience with autocratic government, but experience elsewhere teaches us that it can arrive with extraordinary speed, signaled not by tanks surrounding the presidential palace but by the erosion of democratic norms. We may take comfort in the strength and vigor of the U.S. democratic system, with its many checks and balances, but we should resist complacency, because each has its fragility. A professional, free and fair press, for example, has a vital role to play, but it is not immune to official intimidation or the diversion of “alternative facts.” A fiercely independent judiciary is essential, but judges are susceptible to pressure and intimidation. They will need courage to defend rights if the president persists in promoting abusive policies.

Many organizations and grassroots movements are showing signs of vitality in defense of rights but will need organization and solidarity across affected communities and party lines, the discipline to be guided by principle rather than mere opposition and endurance. Government officials throughout the executive branch have already begun to speak out, some at the risk of their jobs. That highest form of public service should continue even if surveillance and attacks on whistle-blowers make dissent difficult. And, of course, elected officials ― foremost, the members of the president’s own party ― have essential responsibilities. We have become inured to partisanship in an era of divided government, but when fundamental democratic values are at stake, petty politics should be set aside.

The rest of the world can help, too. Given America’s power, there is a tendency to come to terms with its leader, whoever that is. But the United States has influence beyond that of any other nation. All rights-respecting governments have an interest in promoting a positive U.S. example. While Trump is heading in a dangerous direction, it is too soon to say where he will end up. The U.S. democratic system is still strong. But the time for heightened vigilance is now. The responsibility falls on us all.
Well said.
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

Where was the concern of this guardian of our republic when President Obama formalized his practice of ruling by pen and phone? Oh wait, repudiating Congress isn't ignoring checks and balances if it is done by the Historic Democrat President.

The OP author just demagogues mindlessly claiming Trump's temporary suspension of visas from 7 countries is not tailored to terrorist threats when it impacts 7 countries and excludes nearly 90% of Muslims. He follows up with the inane criticism of Trump's policy to enforce immigration laws as a violation of rights. Living here illegally is somehow a right.

It's another radical Leftist trying to wrap their hyper partisan rhetoric in the flag.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

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Originally Posted by AZRWinger View Post
Where was the concern of this guardian of our republic when President Obama formalized his practice of ruling by pen and phone? Oh wait, repudiating Congress isn't ignoring checks and balances if it is done by the Historic Democrat President.

The OP author just demagogues mindlessly claiming Trump's temporary suspension of visas from 7 countries is not tailored to terrorist threats when it impacts 7 countries and excludes nearly 90% of Muslims. He follows up with the inane criticism of Trump's policy to enforce immigration laws as a violation of rights. Living here illegally is somehow a right.

It's another radical Leftist trying to wrap their hyper partisan rhetoric in the flag.
President Total Orders Order Number Range

George H. W. Bush=166

William J. Clinton=364

George W. Bush= 291

Barack Obama= 235

BO signed 19 executive orders in the first 100 days, tRumps averaging 1.5 executive actions per day.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

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Originally Posted by treedancer View Post
President Total Orders Order Number Range

George H. W. Bush=166

William J. Clinton=364

George W. Bush= 291

Barack Obama= 235

BO signed 19 executive orders in the first 100 days, tRumps averaging 1.5 executive actions per day.
Perhaps you should consider the content of the EOs, by both parties you are comparing.
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

Hey Senior....

So your a political "independent".

And all you bring here is partisan left wing gibberish?

My bet is you got your butt handed to you some were else as the liberal Democrat you play the part of. So when you joined here you choose to lie a little bit about your actual affiliation..

Your just as partisan as I am and that Sir, is saying some thing.

I am in fact a reformed Democrat from back in my 20's. But I grew a pair, and grew into an informed adult who is quite sure the Democratic party is now nothing like it was 30years ago. It has been hijacked by people I don't recognize, nor do I agree with.

But I am not afraid to be what I am. Right wing Republican. I don't agree with them on all points, but the majority of them.

This post of yours is typical of the partisanship being shown by the butt hurt left liberals today. They know if Trump is successful the gig is up for them. The left wing Democrats will have nothing.. The party will fall apart. You know that to, I suspect. But your no independent.

Regards, Kirk
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: We Cannot Afford To Sit Back While Trump Threatens America’s Democracy

So far, President Trump has done nothing for which there is no precedent, or law, in place allowing the President to do so. As to all the so called lies, nothing he has said has effected a result except those events the left has desperately tried to tie together, no matter the illogic of the connection.

If our Republic has anything to fear it is the rhetoric of the extreme left taking unreasonable license with the truth; For example,,,;

Last night, at the ultra liberal gathering of Hollywood elites in Los Angeles known as The Oscars, Dr. Carson was once again wrongfully targeted and mocked.
The host dared to call the first doctor to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head, “Doctor Strange.”



This is how desperate the left has become. Turning upside down the values America use to hold most dear. A man escapes poverty to become successful in his own right, do good works, and is called some kind of evil butcher for it. Not because he is Black but because he dares to be "conservative."

They do the same with anyone who questions, much less opposes, their agenda. If Trump supports them it is even more malicious. Thus judging not on the basis of their character and qualifications, but on their political preferences.

And acceptance of that corrosive reasoning in the general public will destroy a nation built on the concept of self governance. It is why many men and women of good will and good conscience, do not wish to participate in a government position. Individual freedom will lose to the emotions of the mob.

The Founders warned us of this. That's why the left also persists in finding personal fault and subsequently demonizes even those great men who actually created the nation.
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