By Jason Taylor
I never thought I would see the day that America; a beacon to the rest of the world for justice and enlightenment would become another banana republic with a tin horn dictator.
Nothing surprises me anymore about this president. That in itself is scary. There are three possibilities here: either he is well aware of Duterte’s murderous tendencies (and recall that he has claimed to have participated in more than one extra-judicial killing) and approves; or he is aware but does not care, or he is simply unaware because he reads and views only those news articles about himself. Or else, as many have already suggested, his business interests in The Philippines are front and center. Criminal, stupid or corrupt — his choice: and ‘all of the above’ is an option.
Trump has a commercial connection to the Philippines: His name is stamped on a $150 million, 57-floor tower in Manila, a licensing deal that netted his company millions of dollars. Mr. Duterte appointed the chairman of the company developing the tower, Jose E. B. Antonio, as an envoy to Washington for trade, investment and economic affairs.
I have no faith that Trump can even grasp the concept that simply killing a class of people to achieve an objective is wrong. For better or worse, our laws and courts are all we have to protect us from Trump acting in the United States like Duterte acts in the Philippines. Trump is so determined to drag this country into the slime. It also appears that he is so incompetent and utterly stupid that doesn’t even realize that he is doing it half of the time.
It doesn’t matter if Duterte is popular with his people. Hitler was too. The fact is our President just invited a murderer, a man who advocates the extra-judicial killing of his own people to the White House. Duterte finds it easier to kill people than to provide services for drug addicts, a huge “societal” problem. The man is evil and Trump’s association with him makes him no better. We are the company we keep. I am deeply ashamed of his action, and I don’t know where to hide. I keep trying to go about my business, but how can I when our nation’s democracy is being destroyed. We no longer seem to care about freedom and individual rights which were at the core of our nation’s political system.
Trump admires authoritarians, dictators, and leaders with absolute power. He has never criticized Putin, in fact, he made it clear that being a partner with Russia would be just great. He congratulated Erdogan for his victory in changing a democracy to a dictatorship.
He has shown compassion for Kim Jong Un for having to take over a brutal regime from his father at an early age. And, he just loves China’s Premier boasting at how well they have bonded. Now he is reaching out to Duterte of the Philippines who kills drug dealers in the street for sport. Doesn’t this scare anyone, or at least make most of us wonder who we elected, especially when he declares a free Press the enemy and purveyor of fake news, and threatens trade wars with long term friends?
If only Idi Amin and Pol Pot were still alive, Trump could praise them and have them over for a nice chat also. After all, they were just the type of strong authoritative dictators that Trump seems to love. Since Jeff Sessions wants to crack down again on drug users, including those who indulge in marijuana, will he also be at the White House meeting with Duterte to learn how best to just to deal with them the Duterte way?
Millions of American citizens not only tolerated this 45th President in his obscenity of a campaign, they rewarded him by voting for him and they have gone further in their adulation by accepting his leadership uncritically and voicing their intensified support. They are accountable for Duterte receiving this nation’s official seal of approval. They made it possible by aiding and abetting their man in Washington, every step of his sorry way.
This administration is not business as usual. It is the end of our civil society, one more horrible assault on democracy at a time.
Perhaps a state dinner for Bashar al-Assad should come next?