We now have a President, Donald J. Trump, whose furious tweets lash out at imagined enemies both foreign — the European Union, Mexico, NATO, Australia — and domestic — the entire body of the press and media, the American judicial system, and members of the judiciary themselves. These tweets resemble the un-American vitriol of U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) who, in the late 1940s and early ’50s, propagated phony anti-Communist witch hunts that severely damaged the lives of many Americans.
McCarthy’s assistant and hatchet man was the ruthless Roy Cohn who later gave legal counsel to Donald Trump and to various Mafia figures. Cohn was disbarred after years of outrage in 1986. Similarly, the disgraced Republican President Richard Nixon also kept an enemies list and had as his hatchet man Vice President Spiro Agnew who was eventually indicted for taking kickback money from Maryland building contractors, delivered in cash to his White House office.
History repeats: Trump has a savage, terminally arrogant, lizard-eyed, 31-year-old assistant named Stephen Miller, the avatar of Roy Cohn.
Miller, who, like his mentor, seems to have descended from the political equivalent of Another World, authored Trump’s acceptance speech give to the Republican National Convention. Its words paint America as a doomed, apocalyptic wasteland which can only be saved by a Messianic Donald J. Trump. What’s worse, Miller recently authored an extraordinary statement purporting that this President’s authority cannot be questioned.
Trump and Miller echo Nixon himself who said, after he’d resigned in shame for his high crimes and misdemeanors, “You don’t understand, if the President does something, it’s not illegal.”
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Oh, yes, “Tricky Dick,” we do understand.
An early science fiction thriller “The Thing from Another World” (1951) ends with the death of a murderous carrot-like alien played by James Arness, and with this admonition: “Watch the skies. Continue watching the skies!”
And sure enough a new Thing has descended, the reincarnation of Nixon, Agnew, and Cohn, and he is armed with ultimate political power. “Watch this Man. Continue Watching this Man!”
Joseph B. Hudson, Jr., Esq. (ret.)