Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Emil Guillermo: Rejecting a Trumpulent America

I wrote this post for the AALDEF blog on Monday as I waited for Trump to reverse his Saturday comments that failed to denounce sternly the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville.

Since then, he got a mulligan on Monday by reading straight from the prompter.

But by Tuesday, he couldn’t help himself.

Trump ad-libbed before reporters at Trump Tower and undid Monday, and reverted to his Saturday sentiments. Good people on all sides? Many fine people among the alt-right? He was legitimizing the KKK, neo-Nazis and the white supremacists. Trump can defend their right to free speech. That’s the First Amendment. But as president, he cannot defend the immoral philosophy of hate and bigotry those groups espouse.

Trump has shown he just doesn’t get it.

But he’s proving that “Make America Great Again,” really does mean “Make America White Again.”

It’s a sad day in this country when the president, to whom we look to for moral leadership, is a victim of his own poisoned rhetoric.

It’s crippling his ability to govern. And it’s showing Americans and the world an ugligness that forever tarnishes the presidency.

WWLD? What Would Lincoln do? Probably pull down the brim of his stovepipe hat and shake his head, if not weep.

Trump represents the de-evolution of the presidency.

Here’s the column I wrote over the weekend:

The Trump hotel brand oozes opulent luxuriousness. But now that Trump is in public office for the first time (and right at the top), I’ve coined a word to capture the new Trump style of government and political rhetoric.

Take one part truculent (“the quality of being disposed or eager to fight or engage in hostile opposition”); Add a dash of petulance (“insolent and rude behavior”); Insert one Donald (orange hair special); Mix with reckless abandon, et voila!

The president’s signature style? Forget opulence. We’ve got Trumpulence.

And, of course, it’s the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Unless you see it in your neighbor, or in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A president is capable of setting the moral tone of the country. And so far, this one’s setting a bad example.

After last Friday, we worried about the tweeting, adlibbing Trump, sabre rattling and goading a madman in North Korea to commit a suicidal act.

Such an aggressive stance didn’t make sense after new U.N. sanctions were passed against North Korea. But international bluster is often a good cover after a domestic embarrassment, like the failed repeal of Obamacare.

To Trump’s credit, all the nuke talk made people more aware of the PIs among the AAPIs, particularly those in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. In the crosshairs as just specks on the map, residents there are even considered American citizens to the amazement of most Americans.

And wasn’t it eerie to see news reports in Guam warning residents to avoid staring into the bright flash of a detonating bomb?

But now we know: Trump’s taunt of “mutually assured destruction” is not our number one problem after all.

After the violence and casualties of the Charlottesville weekend, in what’s being called the largest gathering of white supremacists in more than a decade, we find ourselves asking more fundamental questions.

Does Trump really care about equal rights for all as a cornerstone of our American democracy?

And if he does, why wasn’t a passionate Trump, who had no problem going off script and talking “fire and fury” about Kim Jong-un, going after those white supremacists in Charlottesville with the same “in-your-face” zeal?

This was Trump’s chance to let all Americans know how he really felt about the violent American Nazis in Virginia.

Among them was the ex-Klansman David Duke, who didn’t hesitate to fully embrace Trump and the symbolic importance of the rally.

“This represents the turning point for the people of this country,” Duke said to the media. “We are going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump. That’s what we believed in. That’s why we voted for Donald Trump, because he said he was going to take our country back and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Others at the rally were no different from Duke. They were empowered by Trump.

It all required a strong rebuke from Trump in full throated trumpulence.

Shouldn’t be too hard. Trump has disavowed Duke in the past.

Instead, Trump held back. Pulled punch? He went through the motions.

On Saturday, Trump uncharacteristically read from his script, not bothering to stray, except when he repeated a phrase at the end for emphasis. But it wasn’t the tough talk we’ve been used to.

It was almost subdued and passionless, the opposite of his words.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides ― on many sides,” Trump said Saturday.

See the whole statement here.

More troubling was his use of the phrase “many sides.”

Why was Trump so careful not to single out the real culprits? How could he imply the extreme violence came from extreme right-wing nationalists AND counter-protestors? The suspect who drove a car into the crowd, killing one woman and injuring multiple people, was a 20-year-old white supremacist.

This is where Trump could have unleashed the Kim treatment.

But he didn’t.

At times like these, we count on a president to use his position to show moral leadership. To stand tall and lead us together.

After Charlottesville, Trump had his chance.

And he failed.

Civil rights leaders convened on Sunday to call on Trump to unequivocally and directly disavow white supremacists and the violence in Charlottesville, as well as fire key White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, White House Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka, and White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller for stoking hate and division.

Leaders representing The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Anti-Defamation League, the Human Rights Campaign, Muslim Advocates, National Council of Churches, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, called Trump’s response to date “weak, insufficient, and unacceptable.”

They’re not looking for mere lip service from Trump. They want to see real action and a recognition of how we have fallen off track.

“The opportunity that we have at this moment is for this terrible tragic event to show us all how far we’ve gone in just a very few months we’ve allowed ourselves to go,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP-LDF. “We’re asking that we really confront what the threat is to the integrity of this country. And to confront that requires not just that the president take action, but that we really have a reckoning, and that means Congress also must recognize ways that they have been complicit in allowing this environment to proliferate that resulted in [Charlottesville]. They have to be prepared to use their platform to stand against this and stand against this unequivocally. They have to show the nation that being against white supremacy and being against white nationalism, and being against racism and homophobia, should not be the province of a political party. It is supposed to be part of what it means to be an American and what it means to believe in democracy.”

Yes, this was not the way things were. But funny how things change when the style and decorum are set by the current occupant of the White House.

Keep in mind, Trump waited days before commenting on the hate crime shooting death of Indian American Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas City. More recently, we still await a comment from Trump on the act of terrorism against Muslims at a mosque in Minnesota. A more specific and direct comment from Trump on the white supremacists in Charlottesville? Don’t hold your breath.

Imagine his narcissistic agony. How do you criticize those who are responsible for keeping you from sinking below 30 percent approval in the polls? They act in your name and are so inspired by your tell-it-like-it-is attitude that they are moved toward violent bigotry and racism.

Such is life in the era of American Trumpulence.

The likes of which we’ve never seen before? No, we have.

From the Chinese exclusion to the Filipinos in California in te 1930s, Asian Americans have faced the ire of white nationalists. When the first big wave of Filipinos arrived in the U.S., they were hounded by angry whites, who claimed Filipinos stole their jobs and their women. It often led to violence by whites against Filipinos that included lynchings in the Central Valley. It was fanned by a hateful political rhetoric that resulted in significant anti-Filipino legislation in Congress.

Trumpulence is just a revival of all that.

We must stand together, not merely to resist, but to reject it.

Listen to the podcast, Emil Amok’s Takeout, here:

Emil Guillermo: How to listen to Emil Amok’s Takeout, the PODCAST

As Donald Trump likes to point out, Emil Amok’s Takeout is up to Episode 5!

That’s 5 fingers of goodness so far.

How do you make sure you don’t miss Emil?

Of course, it’s all on the AALDEF blog.

And right here at www.amok.com

But if you can, please go to iTunes where you can rate, review and SUBSCRIBE.

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You can also listen to us on Stitcher,  YouTube, SoundCloud, PodBean, GooglePlay,  FaceBook even.

You can find the podcast in all those places.

Finally, if you can see the player like the one below,  you have access to all the episodes . (Just click on “More Episodes.”)

 

Thanks for listening…

Emil Guillermo: FBI Director Comey casts a “cloud” over Trump government, and all Trump can do is tweet.

FBI Director James Comey said for the first time that there is an investigation on Trump aides colluding with Russia, but won’t talk about evidence. Comey also debunked Trump claim that Obama was behind any wiretap of Trump Tower, and said his  department has nothing to indicate Trump’s tweet  claim of “McCarthyism.”

Trump can do nothing but to tweet that  all this make work he caused as “Fake,” and tries to re-direct focus on whoever leaked the information against Trump aides.

 But this remains Trump’s worst day. Republican committee head Devin Nunes admitted he has no evidence to back Trump’s claim, and seemed frustrated that Comey wasn’t allowed to share any either.

Nunes, the Republican Committee chair from California’s Central Valley, ended today’s session that lasted longer than “Gone With the Wind,” by making an ominous point.

Nunes said the inability of Comey to share more evidence at the hearing puts a real “cloud over the administration.”

Slowly, we are seeing Trump’s flagging credibility sinking before our eyes.  I doubt if even an apology to Obama would help at this point.

Emil Guillermo: Check out Emil Amok’s Takeout…our new podcast

The Donald at the Merkel presser didn’t like being questioned by the Germans.  Just wait till next week when his Obama lie about wiretapping is formally exposed. There is no there there. Just the Donald’s own fake news to distract us from the real issues of Jeff Sessions pre-election actions, and his assault on the poor and middle class through budget cuts and health care decimation.

Have you checked out our new podcast?

It’s right here. And also on the AALDEF blog….

On the travel ban 2.0’s rejection by a federal judge in Hawaii.

The  Justice Dept. is appealing the rejection by a Maryland judge to get it before a different appeals court in Virginia. The whole thing will likely go to the Supreme Court.

Also. an interview with Jenn Fang of reappropriate.co, on Kuchibhotla and whether the South Asian’s killing is a Vincent Chin moment for all Asian Americans.

It’s Emil Amok’s Takeout.

Subscribe on iTunes!

Thanks for listening.

Emil Guillermo: Trump’s Revised #TravelBan is still a Muslim Ban.

The White House occupant I call Trump 45 is all thumbs up about the new executive order he just signed.

But those who found the previous travel ban held up by the courts offensive will still be all thumbs down.

Travel Ban 2.0 may be written better with cosmetic changes to take away particularly embarrassing situations. But a Muslim ban is still a Muslim ban and no less odious.

Some changes: Iraq, our ally in fighting ISIS, is now off the list, reducing the number of countries from seven to six.

Existing green card and visa holders are also now exempt, as are a list of situations like the foreign national who “seeks to visit or reside with a close family member who is a U.S. citizen.”

Or an infant or child needing urgent medical care.

But, at it’s core, the travel ban is still essentially a “Muslim Ban” worthy of a challenge on constitutional grounds.

Asian Americans, as targets of immigration bans in the past, know how harmful these bans have been.

History tells us these kind of bans have no place in our democracy.

Read the White House’s Travel Ban 2.0

Emil Guillermo: Has Trump’s Outrageous Finger-pointing backfired?

Donald Trump continues to set a new low in America.

After hurling a damning allegation with zero evidence against Barack Obama– that the former president wiretapped Trump Towers—Trump now says he wants a Congressional investigation.
This is serious stuff. Evidence on no evidence.
But it may backfire.
A call for an investigation may actually expose Trump to far worse.
Rep. Ted Lieu of California released this statement on Sunday: “I fully support the White House’s request for Congressional investigations into President Trump’s explosive claim that Trump Tower was wiretapped. If the claim is true, such a wiretap would mean that an independent FISA Court Judge—appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts—reviewed evidence and found probable cause there were agents of a foreign power at Trump Tower.”

And that of course, would circle back to the reason Trump was trying to distract us all in the first place, that the Trump campaign had contact with the Russian government during the campaign.

Lieu continued: “The American people need to know if Donald Trump or his associates colluded with the Russian government during the election last year. A special prosecutor is clearly needed to immediately review what was learned from any possible wiretaps and any other potential evidence of collusion between Team Trump, Vladimir Putin and his agents. If the wiretapping claim is true, then Congress also needs to investigate if President Trump violated laws related to the leaking of classified information when he disclosed the existence of a secret wiretap via his Twitter account.”
“President Trump’s wiretapping claim points to a serious counterintelligence investigation of him and/or his associates. The multiple lies by Trump and his associates denying contacts with the Russians; the making of a false statement by Attorney General Sessions under oath to Congress about his Russian contacts; and now the explosive revelation of a potential wiretap at Trump Tower suggests that we could be looking at a situation far worse than Watergate.”

Only Trump knows what was behind his Obama wiretap allegations.

Was it a talkshow host’s claim that Trump simply believed and repeated, though again without evidence?

Was it based on a FISA court decision?

None of it is good for Trump, nor our democracy.

Listen to my podcast below, “Emil Amok’s Takeout.” The latest on a DACA recipients reaction after witnessing Trump’s speech before Congress in person!

Emil Guillermo: Trump rhetoric on Russia? More “nanny-nanny-neener-neener” kid stuff. Disgraceful.

Donald Trump is showing his class here with this attempt to discredit Dem leader Sen. Charles Schumer with an old photograph from 2003. Trump could come clean on Russia, admit that his surrogates and aides all met with Russia prior to the election. And he should share his vision of making Russia a grand partner with the U.S. That should shake the Reaganites who are barely on the Trump Train.

But that would take real political leadership, not to mention a sense of honesty.

Instead, Trump prefers playing the school yard bully. Disgraceful from a commander-in-chief who doesn’t know the high road. With Trump, despite the towers, it’s all low and lower, with a corporate FU touch.

Kellyanne Conway’s feet on the Oval Office couch is nothing. All of Trump in the White House is an affront. Everyday in office, Trump continues to devalue the presidency.