I have just been reading about the pressure President Donald Trump put on NFL owners to penalize teams that allow their players to protest by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. This five deferment draft dodger exhibits no credibility in criticizing anyone with charges of lacking in patriotism. The symbolism of the flag of this nation has been brought into disrepute internationally by Trump’s antics and inflammatory rhetoric. Our “commander in chief” has insulted US veterans one notably: Sen. John McCain who, as a prisoner of war, underwent torture and yet behaved heroically put the welfare of his fellow captives before his own needs.

Trump’s posturing is just that, posturing; as far as he’s concerned, the USA is a source of obscene wealth and power for him and his family and his “yes” men, cronies and lackeys.

A short history lesson should remind us all that in the early 1930s, Hitler was democratically elected to lead Germany. One of his first acts was to give his armed forces more pay, then give the generals and admirals all the modern military equipment they could wish for. He then by dint of falsehoods and exaggerations focused the populations hatred on certain minorities blaming them for the nation’s ills. He also directed anti-press propaganda, enabling his government to successfully muzzle the news media, So far, Trump has been unsuccessful in suppressing the news media, but give him time. People in power who initially abhorred Hitler decided that because of his populist appeal they would control him by giving him the impression that they were with him (we all know how that worked out). Trump and Hitler share some scary characteristics: the inability to accept personal criticism and lack of human compassion just for starters. You can come to your own conclusions as to what label psychiatrists would place on these symptoms.

Trump’s intention is to become the USA’s first dictator and the only reason he does not own that title already is that up to now he has been prevented by the Constitution, but there is a way around it which I’m sure he has under consideration. On the pretext of another terrorist attack, real or contrived, martial law could be declared and the Constitution suspended. These actions would be justified on the grounds of national security which would also allow for suppression of the news media. With the armed forces (to whom he has been so generous) firmly behind him its a done deal.

Just for clarification, I have no problem with our armed forces being well paid. If a young man or woman is required to go through arduous training for the likelihood of putting their life on the line for us, as far as I’m concerned you can ‘t put a price on that. Trump’s motives had nothing to do with acknowledging their sacrifice.

Mike Sawyer

West Jefferson

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