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Comments: “I don’t think that many Americans, particularly Trump supporters, understand how close we are to losing our precious freedoms.”



“As for the president’s descent into the sewer where hatred and pogroms are fashioned, the United States is not a nation of animals. Immigrants, including Trump’s own German-born grandparents, made this nation distinct.”

Alas, Donald Trump turns his back on his background and acts as if he’s a self-made man, forgetting his ‘starter kit” of a million dollars.

The moral rot is everywhere: the nonstop attacks on what made this nation great–generosity, reciprocity, trust, integrity, and a magic land where refugees could build lives, as well as new companies.

I almost didn’t respond to this article, because it’s draining to write about Trump’s America which grows increasingly depressing to tolerate. Nothing great is being done, only tear-downs and attacks on our better impulses.

Plus, I know Roger Cohen is a brilliant writer with true international perspective. And to hear so many countries and former allies express despair on where America is headed is frightening.

I don’t think that many Americans, particularly Trump supporters, understand how close we are to losing our precious freedoms.

I wish they would all read some history and the documents that form our “imperfect union.” Because our growing tribalism and isolation only helps those who are abusing power do so more freely.

Mr. Cohen is right–are we up to preserving our Republic despite the occupant of the Oval Office?

Salt Lake City

Republicans, at least the good majority of Republicans, blame poor people for their poverty. Many Repubs truly believe that the less fortunate in our society are poor because they don’t work hard enough; they are too lazy; they have made poor choices and they must grab themselves by the bootstraps and pull themselves out of poverty. I have always believed that our country will be judged on how we treat the poor, the elderly, and our children. We will not be looked upon kindly. (I find it ironic how those who want to cut or eliminate all our safety nets are the same people who claim to be good Christian folks, and so many states that rely heavily on the Federal Government to subsidize their people are the same states that, in most cases, vote Republican.)

Anne-Marie Hislop

Trump is a liar, no doubt, but he did not invent the mess we are in. He is simply the poster child for it. Part of the problem is the way that the internet has become an echo-chamber in which rumor, innuendo, and conspiracy theories are circulated and verified.

After 2010, I read the Tea Party blogs for a number of years. In that world, “facts” were pieces of information which were “proven” by being repeated back and forth by an assortment of right-wing web sites. When a blogger wished to verify what he/she said, the more web sites which had said it, the more true it became. Never mind that those sites simply cited each other in a never ending chain.

Add to that the many, many folks who are all too willing to let so very much pass in their single minded focus on a certain issue (e.g., “pro-life” voters who care only about getting a SCOTUS which will overturn Roe or drive GLBT folks back into the closet or keep those ‘others’ out of the country), and you get a pretty much Teflon Trump who can destroy and lie with impunity as long as he delivers on their pet issue.

Yes, democracy is in deep trouble. Trump’s calling some immigrants “animals” would make Hitler proud. Unfortunately, such things matter not at all to many who voted for him. Out best hope is the ballot box. Let’s hope the Democrats can find and mount a strong, stable candidate who can draw not only Dem purists, but also the millions of moderates needed to actually win.

John Archer
Irvine, CA

I call it the Echoplex. Impervious to facts, right wing media spins half truths and outright lies to an increasingly isolated slice of the population. Created by talk radio and Fox News, the system rapidly expanded through social media in the early years of the millennium. Later on Donald Trump, in a schadenfreude moment, Donald Trump displayed the GOP’s less incentive messaging and the Russians weighed in, recognizing a disinformation system similar to their own.

Who’s to blame? In addition to the companies who profit from the slavish support of fevered consumers and the GOP which quickly recognized the value of reducing critical assessment of its policies (something they now may regret), add one other group, the press, particularly broadcast and cable media. Their business model discourages focus on long term encroaching threats, ones which take analysis and investigation. We did it to ourselves.


Yes, we suffer from and others succumb so easily to the things made true by constant repetition…repeated till it’s true because for those who see it thus, its made easy and serves as confirmation of whats already in their minds and of what they are thinking, wanting and wishing if others this , these and that is also what they think.

They see it is and see again and more who think the same, now what was just perhaps a thought or wish cements to ingrained Truth…become frozen now as Fact.

Now primed and joined with same thinking others and the groups in together become the ties that bind in mutual affirmation that now morphs into what becomes confirmed as Fact and is as real as the reality that these people now live and breath in can only be and now becomes the offset against those others not agreed, hostile to the “Truth” as no friend , only Foe must then be.

More than anything else this deep, nurtured and promoted SCHISM is what will bring us to a reckoning where almost everything will be on the line from which it all will happen.

What concerns me most is I don’t think anyone knows what it is when it does finally happen…

…as it must.


And, a Republican Congress acting like a spectator, completely irresponsible in their checks and balance, letting this incompetent, child president tear down the republic, one brick at a time so nobody will notice till it’s too late. We overcame the Germans, Japanese, and the Soviet Union. Will we overcome the Republicans? We’ll know in November.


Howard the Democratic Party is even less active than the Republicans.

Democrats just spent eight years telling us that Republicans wouldn’t let them get anything done, and now we have a president who might be a traitor, but is definitely a pathological liar, attacking all of the checks on presidential power and all of the institutions of our Republic, but Democrats, instead of trying to shut him down, are still begging for compromise.

What is it about a party whose base is filled with Neo-Confederate, Neo-Nazi, mysogonist, anti-LGBT, white supremacists that you feel you need to compromise with? What part of the Republican program deserves consideration?

Democrats made Trump possible by treating the Republican party as if they are not against most of the Constitution (against freedom of religion, against the separation of powers, against the assumption of innocence except for Trump. against Miranda warnings, for no knock warrants except for Cohen, for a religious test for public office, for using the Ten Commandments as the basis for law, against taxing and regulating trade, against promoting the general welfare, for the second clause of the second amendment but also for having a standing army which goes against the first clause, etc., etc., ) or even against everything Jesus said (helping the poor, helping the sick, basing your life in love, against greed against violence, etc.).

They keep saying that compromise is evil and a sign of weakness so you keep begging?


What everyone seems to miss is that mass media influences political discourse, and that the controlling shares in mass media are controlled by global billionaires.
Yes markets determine a lot of what we see. They are perfectly happy to give us reality TV, like The Apprentice, where firing people is the way to greatness. and show children Disney Princess movies where the only people that count are royalty.
But the editors determine what we don’t see. If they want the TPP to pass, but don’t think people will support it, then they just pretend that Obama and global corporations are not negotiating a trade deal for 1/3 of the world’s economy in secret. (You only heard about because activists made it an issue, Bernie picked up on it, and Trump stole it.)
They covered Trump far more than Hillary and they covered Hillary far more than Bernie, and the other candidates we barely covered at all, except to blame them for Hillary’s loss.

We used to have shows like the Twighlight Zone, or Kung Fu, that were morality tales designed to get people to question their assumptions and their selfishness. Now greed is good, and the news is mostly a bunch of experts in nothing (pundits) telling us what to think.

They have created a political “center,” that most people don’t actually believe in. That is why the country is polarized. The real middle is invisible, and the people they want to vote for are described as “not viable,” or “crazy.”

News was already mostly fake, and alt news is worse.

Bruce Rozenblit
Kansas City, MO

And who’s moral rot is it? It’s the rot of American society. It’s the rot of tens of millions of our people. Trump didn’t create them. He legitimized them. He opened the door they were standing behind and let them out into public view.

Trump’s dishonesty is their dishonesty. Trumps hatred is their hatred. Trump’s isolationism is their isolationism.

How else can we explain the war on science, the war on higher education, the war on women, the surging popularity of reality TV, the decline of artistry and originality of popular music, the decline of classical everything, the war on the humanities, and worst of all, the war on the truth.

Truth speaks to character. Truth speaks to integrity. Truth speaks to honor. Trump has trashed all three. Trump just tells people what they want to hear. He feeds their hate and fear. He feeds their desire for power, primarily white power. Serving those needs supplants the truth. Satisfying their deep seated urges becomes their truth, their reality.

That’s the source of Trump’s power. He has help. With Facebook providing an input of lies and group think, and Fox News pushing the Trump alternate reality 24/7, a massive amount of brainwashing propaganda seals the deal.

Society is a fragile thing. It hinges upon social cooperation and respect for others. Trump has destroyed that. His world is, I want, I take. How I take doesn’t matter. That’s Trump’s America.




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