Bill Atwood has apparently been living on another planet since January 2017 and is blissfully unaware that President Donald Trump and his accomplices are marching resolutely toward fascism – the exact opposite of socialism. (column, Aug. 2) But that doesn’t stop him from lecturing us about “redistribution of wealth” as proof that the Socialists are about to take over. (Hint: When anybody presumes to tell you what something “really” means, he’s lying.)
Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that Trump’s party controls all three branches of government, and sift through recent socialist victories: Was it the GOP tax plan giving massive tax breaks to corporations and the mega-rich, while adding over a trillion dollars to the national debt? Was it Trump bypassing Congress and imposing tariffs that hurt American businesses, then proposing a billion-dollar bailout to solve the problem he created? Was it imprisoning families guilty only of misdemeanors and failing to reunite their children? Was it Trump siding with Putin against the unanimous conclusions of our intelligence agencies?
Help us out, here, Bill. Explain exactly what evidence proves the country is headed toward socialism. Bernie Sanders? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Get a grip, Bill. They aren’t making policy, for crying out loud. Donald Trump is. Not Congress. Trump alone.
We are witnessing the rebirth of fascism. Trump came to power by scapegoating minorities and hammering away at false narratives. He and his advisers show complete disregard for the Constitution they swore to defend. He considers Congress, the courts, and the free press to be annoying impediments. He denigrates his own Cabinet, alienates our allies and praises our enemies. He lies effortlessly and without shame. He demands constant, unquestioning adoration. Trump is by any definition a fascist.
The top one-tenth of one percent of Americans, guys like Trump, now control more wealth than the bottom 99.9 percent. The reason is simple: very wealthy people donate millions to elect members of congress who support their views. Those members obediently pass laws designed to benefit the very wealthy. Influence peddling, Bill, is how redistribution of wealth happens. Since the 1980s, middle class Americans have seen almost no real growth, while the richest Americans have prospered. Strangely, lots of middle-class conservatives – guys like you, Bill – are simply terrified that tax dollars might possibly be spent to help a single mom get health care, but are just fine with middle class taxpayers subsidizing another yacht for Betsy DeVos.
Charles Bednar of Oakhurst is secretary-treasurer of the Oakhurst Democratic Club.