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In this past week's Duluth News-Tribune’seditorial page, the DNT’s regular ultra-conservative Sunday editorialist and reliable Trump administration defender Marc Thiessen made an interesting comment about his hero’s impeachment threat.
Before discussing the comment, I think that it is important to point out a few things about Thiessen that the Duluth News-Tribune’shasn’t mentioned.
Thiessen grew up on New York City’s East Side, the over-privileged son of two physicians. He went to an elite private high school, attended the equally elite Vassar College and then attended the Naval War College. Interestingly, he then worked for 5 years for Paul Manafort’s lobbying firm. After serving as a staffer for the notorious racist Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, he worked in George W. Bush’s administration and then became a speechwriter for both Donald Rumsfeld and Bush.Thiessen is now a regular FOX News commentator anda “resident fellow” at both the conservative Hoover Institution and theAmerican Enterprise Institute.
In his 2010 book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack, Thiessen argued that the CIA's systematic use of torture (euphemistically referred to as “enhanced interrogation techniques”) was effective, lawful, and moral. The book was endorsed by both Cheney and Rumsfeld.
For the last year or two, the Duluth News-Tribune’shas featured Thiessen’s pro-Trump, FOXNews-type commentaries every Sunday. His editorial is always positioned just above Kathleen Parker’s “moderate viewpoints” and Eugene Robinson’s “liberal” editorials.
Anyway, the Thiessen comment in question concerned the recent Trump impeachment saga:
He wrote, “yes, firing the Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and besmirching her reputation was horrible, but being a jerk isn’t an impeachable offense”.
I suspect that many open-minded readers of that comment joined me in thinking: “Yes, being a jerk isn’t an impeachable offense, but being a jerk is just one of a multitude of other presumably less-than-impeachable offenses that the President of the United States is guilty of - in spades, and that the president should still be at least sanctioned for, voted out of office for or, even putting them all together, used as collective grounds for impeachment.
Here are just a few of the unimpeachable offenses that I came up with that I think need to be considered by the US House of Representatives, at least as “crimes and misdemeanors” in their totality:
1. Being the world-wide laughing-stock as President of the United States (POTUS).
2. Being an historically illiterate POTUS.
3. Being a serial lying POTUS.
4. Being scientifically illiterate and a dangerous, planet-threatening, climate change-denying POTUS.
5. Being a racist POTUS who is also the darling of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Fascist/Neo-Nazi movements.
6. Being “Best Buddies” with most of the Fascist Dictators on the planet.
7. Being a dupe for the Christian Dominionists that want to destroy America’s liberal democracy and replace it with a theocratic state that would eliminate the three branches of our constitutional government in favor of a “more efficient” tribunal of unelected religious leaders.
8. Qualifying for the diagnoses of a) sociopathic personality disordered, b) narcissisticpersonality disordered and c) paranoid personality disordered POTUS (see diagnostic criteria below). Before proceeding further, here are a few definitions to consider relating to democracy and treason:
Liberal Democracy: a form of government in which representative democracy (one person/one vote) operates under the principles of liberalism (i.e. protecting the rights of the individual, which are generally enshrined in law). It is characterized by fair, free, and competitive elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all persons and the separation of church and state.
Theocracy: a system of government in which religious leaders, such as priests or mullahs rule in the name of God or a god.
An Oligarchis a very rich business leader with a great deal of political influence.
Oligarchy: a small group of powerful, wealthy, conservative, anti-democracy, military-supported, fascist-leaning, ruling elites that have gained economic and political power over the people through clever propaganda techniques.
Plutocrat: a person whose power derives from his wealth.
Plutocracy: a country or society governed by the wealthy.
Cult: a misplaced or excessive admiration of a particular person or thing.
Personality Cult: a situation in which a public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented (by propaganda campaigns) to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved.
Christian Dominionism: the theocratic idea that God has called radical right-wing Christians to exercise dominion over society by taking control of political and cultural institutions. Christian dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity. Christian Dominionists believe that the Ten Commandments (“biblical law”) should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing biblical principles.
Fascism: a system of government that is a type of one-party dictatorship. Fascists are against liberal democratic principles (one person/one vote) and place nation and race above the rights of individuals. Fascists stands for a centralized, militaristic, racist government headed by a dictator or other cult leader.
Christofascism: A theocratic movement of evangelical Christians who believe in the concept of “biblical inerrancy”, stand against abortion, sexual education, homosexuality, science, anti-Zionism and the separation of church and state.
Islamofascism: the notion that Islam is not so much a religion as it is a political ideology that in many ways resembles "fascism" (i.e. the modern common definition of fascism which equates it with totalitarianism, as opposed to the original capital-F, Italian-style Fascism).
Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemies of America’s Democracy. Isn’t That Treason?
But what about the members of the current Trump/Pence White House, the conservative Congresspersons and the right-wingers in the Justice Department that are subtly - or not-so-subtly - giving “aid and comfort” (and a platform) to the foreign and domestic enemies of America’s time-honored liberal democratic principles? Isn’t giving such aid and comfort treasonous, and therefore an impeachable offense?
The framers of the Constitution felt so strongly about treason that they made it a capital crime (punishable by death).
Here is the original definition:
“Whomever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years…” --Article III, Section 3 of the US Constitution Isn’t it logical to apply that definition to the enemies of the Constitution’s liberal democratic values of one person/one vote and therefore as condemnatory of plutocracy, oligarchy, dictatorship or fascism in all their forms?Just one example of the Trump White House’s harboring domestic traitors to the Constitution might lie within Pence’s cronies – both foreign and domestic - that want to implement a future Christian theocratic government in the US. That top-secret group of Christian Fundamentalists once managed to silently swing the 2016 Electoral College vote to elect Trump and therefore also might believe that God is working to install a theocratic state as well.
Explaining Why Evangelical Christians Supported the Immoral Trump Candidacy
“Trump, as has been discussed, was a longtime supporter of abortion and LGBTQ rights, a thrice-married philanderer, a failed gambling casino magnate with ties to organized crime, and someone whose Christian credentials were dubious at best. Nevertheless, Christian Fundamentalists believe that God could use Trump to achieve their purposes even though he was a flawed vessel.”–http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/08/18/dominionism-rising-a-theocratic-movement-hiding-in-plain-sight/#sthash.TsnQh0bG.dpuf In fascist countries of all types, even the religious ones, aggression, war, killing and male supremacy are praised as the essence of manhood. Heroism is exaggerated, and military conflicts and violence are preferred over reason in resolving conflicts.
Below are some quotes from various proto-fascists, Christian theocrats and assorted plutocratic political allies of dictators and wannabe dictators like Trump:
“Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy, and Pence is one of its most prized warriors. With Republican control of the House and Senate and the prospect of dramatically and decisively tilting the balance of the Supreme Court to the far right, the incoming administration will have a real shot at bringing the fire and brimstone of the second coming to Washington.”-- https://theintercept.com/2016/11/15/mike-pence-will-be-the-most-powerful-christian-supremacist-in-us-history/
"Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise Godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."– Dr James Kennedy
"So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God." – Gary North, Christian Reconstructionist author
"What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians and Christian values. I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night." -- Ralph Reed,Executive Director, Christian Coalition (1987-1989)
“Evangelical GOP Pastors Call on God to Kill Trump and Make Mike Pence President” –-Headline from https://www.politicususa.com/tag/evangelical-republican-pastors-hope-trump-dies “God told me to smite Osama bin Ladin, so I invaded Afghanistan. Then He told me to smite Saddam Hussein, so I invaded Iraq. Now he wants me to work on the Middle East problem.” -- George W. Bush
"Why is this man (George W. Bush) in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. Why is he there? And I tell you this morning that he's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this." -- Lt. General William G. Boykin,Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, The New York Times, 10-17-03
“The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.”-- Dick Cheney– West Point lecture, June 2002
"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God's Law and the disenfranchisement of White men." -- State Rep. Don Davis(R-NC), e-mailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by The Fayetteville Observer, 8-22-01
"I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period." -- Pat Robertson,The 700 Club, 01-08-92
"The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer." -- Henry Kissinger,as reported in the October 28, 1973 New York Times
“The fascist state must not forget that all means must serve the ends; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel about so-called ‘freedom of the press’…it must make sure that (the media) is placed in the service of the state.” -- Adolf Hitler,Mein Kampf
“It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares.” -- Napoleon Bonaparte And here is a 2000-year-old comment about treason from Cicero:
“A nation can survive its fools…but it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gates freely…The traitor appears not a traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garments…he works secretly and unknown to undermine the pillars of a city…A murderer is less to be feared.” --Cicero, 42 B.C.
The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
By Lawrence Britt, PhD
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
5. Rampant sexism
6. A controlled mass media
7. Obsession with national security
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
9. Power of corporations protected
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts
12. Obsession with crime and punishment
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption14. Fraudulent elections
The 7 Characteristics of Sociopathic or Psychopathic Personality Disorder
(only 3 are needed to make a positive diagnosis)
1) Callous disregard for the feelings of other people
2) Incapacity to maintain human relationships
3) Reckless disregard for the safety of others
5) Deceitfulness (repeated lying and conning others for profit)
6) Incapacity to experience guilt, and
7) Failure to conform to social norms and respect for the law Other common sociopathic traits include:
8) No conscience
9) Lack of remorse for evils done to others
10) Indifferent to the suffering of its victims
11) Rationalizes (makes excuses for) having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others
12) Willingness to exploit, seduce or manipulate others
13) No sign of delusional or irrational thinking
14) Cunning, clever
15) Commonly above average intelligence
16) Always looking for ways to make money or achieve fame or notoriety
17) Willing to cause or contribute to the financial ruin of others
19) Cannot be trusted to adhere to conventional standards of morality
The 9 Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
(Narcissism = “pathological self-love”)(only 5 are needed to make the diagnosis)
1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, superiority and talent and expects to be recognized as superior
2. A preoccupation with unlimited success, beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, or wealth
3. A belief in being special and unique and can only be understood or should only be associated with people of high status
4. Requires excessive admiration (especially applause)
5. An unreasonable sense of entitlement and an expectation of being treated with favor or expecting an automatic compliance to his or her wishes
6. Is interpersonally exploitive, taking advantage of others to achieve his or her goals
7. Lacks empathy
8. Believes that others are envious of him (or is envious of others)
9. Exhibits arrogant or haughty attitudes or behaviors
The 7 Characteristics of Paranoid Personality Disorder Paranoia = “the pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of the motives of others”(Only 4 of the following are necessary to make the diagnosis)
1) Suspects without reason that others are exploiting, harming, or trying to deceive him or her
2) Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
3) Believes without reason that if he or she confides in others, this information may be used against him or her
4) Finds hidden demeaning or threatening meanings in harmless remarks or events
5) Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights
6) Is quick to react with anger or to counterattack when he or she perceives that people are out to attack his or her character or reputation
7) Is suspicious about the fidelity of his or her spouse or sexual partner
Dr Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health solo practice, he has been writing weekly columns for northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine, the Duluth Reader. His columns, which are widely re-published around the world, deal with a large variety of justice issues, including the dangers of American fascism (including religious fascism), conscienceless corporatism, militarism, racism, xenophobia, industrial pollution, climate geo-engineering/solar radiation management, the dangers of electromagnetic radiation, Big Copper Mining’s attempts at exploitation of northeast Minnesota’s water-rich environment, Big Medicine’s and Big Pharma’s over-charging, over-screening, over-diagnosing, over-drugging, and over-vaccination agendas, as well as other corporate global movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of life on earth.
Many of his columns have been archived at a number of websites, including these four: http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2;http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; http://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national; https://www.lewrockwell.com/author/gary-g-kohls/;and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles