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Stoking the fires of division

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Conservatives call it "Trump Derangement Syndrome." Trump calls it "fake news." Progressives call it their patriotic duty to protect the nation from "a lawless president, a tyrant, a dictator," the "reincarnation of Hitler."

President Trump bears a good deal of responsibility for the chasm of political division within our nation. His mercurial temperament, his coarse language, and use of personal insults toward political enemies via social media is un-presidential as Americans have come to understand how a president conducts himself in office. His most ardent supporters love it. They've chafed for years as Trump's predecessors remained stoic as the media, academia, and the entertainment industry mocked them, their policies, and supporters as stupid hayseeds, objects of derision like "those Walmart people" for years. Trump fights back, he hits hard, and never apologizes. The left hates him for this as much as they despise his supporters.

Trump as president has accomplished much, although you would never know it, according to what pretends to be news organizations. They've been fixated upon every scintilla of potential scandal, hoping that he will be impeached or resign in disgrace. It's a bit odd, since for decades Trump was the darling of the media and Hollywood. It wasn't until he ran for president and upset the plans of the political class that he became public enemy No. 1.

This turmoil is mostly class-based. It has less to do with ideology than with social status. The political upstart and his uncultured family suddenly moved next door in Beverly Hills! The best and the brightest from Harvard, the New York financial districts, and the Hollywood celebrity class, et al., are all stunned that suddenly the commoners are running the country. Worst of all, half the country thinks this is really great!

The political progressives are incensed and determined to destroy the president and anyone who supports him. Their agenda, which really gained momentum under the Obama presidency, is in a ditch. Their long-term goals are being not simply delayed but set back for years.

Trump has been very successful in appointing federal judges, including two Supreme Court justices, and potentially could derail the progressive agenda for decades. That agenda includes massively expanding the control of government over the lives of Americans and reducing the Constitution and Bill of Rights to a mere suggestion rather than a governing document. Their leftist vision eviscerates the First Amendment protections for freedom of speech, the press, and religion and now openly declares their intent to disarm the American people by repealing the Second Amendment.

They demonize anyone with deeply held religious beliefs and persecute them legally and physically, practices for which the original Pilgrims fled old Europe for America. Emboldened, leftists openly declare their intent to impose a socialist dictatorship upon the nation, destroy our free-market economy, and impose draconian reductions on the middle-class standard of living, a class they despise as much as the working-class Trump supporters.

The left uses every opportunity to brand their opponents as racist, ignorant bigots stuck in the past, dangerous to civic order. During the 2016 election campaign, leftist violence against Trump supporters occurred regularly at political rallies, yet the media made it appear that it was only Trump supporters who engaged in violence. The left has utilized anarchist terrorists such as Antifa to bully and physically attack anyone who dares oppose leftist ideology.

Democratic Party officials have yet to agree to brand Antifa as a domestic terrorist group, even though abundant evidence exists that they pose a serious threat to the peaceful political process. The Dayton mass-murderer had Antifa affiliations along with his other twisted thoughts. He and the Gilroy shooter both supported leftist ideologies, although progressive politicians bear no responsibility for his murderous actions any more than Trump is responsible for the sick ideology of the El Paso mass-murderer.

The effort of the national media to tie Trump to these events is intentionally divisive. For instance, ever since the Charlottesville riot between neo-Nazis and Antifa, the press has branded Trump as supportive of the Nazis. Trump was defending the third group of citizens who wanted to preserve historical monuments; Trump specifically condemned the Nazis and other violent groups.

The media continuously reports only the first half of Trump's statement about there being "good people on both sides," without his condemnation of the Nazis and violent groups. Former Vice President Biden repeated this mischaracterization again recently, even though a reporter attempted to correct him. The media has repeated this slander so often that most of the public now believes it to be true, and the Democratic Party has picked it up as a major theme, extending it to anyone who supports Trump. They've called him anti-Semitic, even though his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish; they call him a racist although he has wide support among prominent black Americans, such as the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King who defends him regularly.

If the press continues their slanderous mischaracterization of Trump and his supporters, they will get their headlines. Any blood in the streets of America will be on their hands. Δ

Al Fonzi is an Army lieutenant colonel of military intelligence who had a 35-year military career, serving in both the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Send comments through the editor at clanham@newtimesslo.com.

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