Why Donald Trump Is Responsible For the Tennessee Travesty

By Arlen Grossman/ OpEdNews/ April 13, 2023 * *Moved Up to Top HeadlineApril 14

Tennessee GOP legislators showed the world their depravity by expelling two Black Democratic state representatives merely for using bullhorns and joining forces with young protestors nonviolently demanding gun control laws after a recent mass shooting at a Nashville school.

This terrible fiasco could not have happened but for the bitter political climate of recent years that was the result of the influence of our 45th president, Donald J. Trump. His bullying, aggression, empty promises, and overconfidence fooled tens of millions of dissatisfied voters into thinking he was a leader capable of “Making America Great Again.” Our country has not recovered. 

The Republican state House action in Tennessee was an unprecedented reaction to a nonviolent act of protest. Stripping the power of two two young Black legislators, (and letting the White representative off, even though she joined the same demonstration) sent a clear message about the intention of the House Republicans. They wanted even more power to make the rules, no matter how egregious their decisions were. They wanted to see their political adversaries weakened, or better yet, completely out of the picture. 

How did Donald Trump’s corrosive influence contribute to this ugly debacle? Let’s start with his racist history which was evident long before he won the presidency in 2016. In 1973 Nixon’s Department of Justice sued the Trump family business for refusing to rent to Black tenants. Then came the infamous “Central Park 5” incident in 1989 when four Black and one Latino teenager were accused of attacking and raping a jogger in New York City. Trump ran spectacular ads demanding “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY! BRING BACK OUR POLICE!” But after years in jail, the young men were exonerated by DNA evidence. Unsurprisingly, Trump never apologized and continued to maintain their guilt. 

Most of us remember how Trump spent years trying to prove that Barack Obama was not a real American. After all, Barack’s father was a black man from Kenya, therefore Barack must have been born in Kenya, not in the U.S., and for that reason not eligible to be president. And clearly, Obama certainly didn’t look like any other U.S. president Trump had seen. 

All that racist rambling escalated when he campaigned in the 2016 presidential election and while he served in office, starting with calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” who were bringing crime and drugs into our country. Soon he advocated banning immigration of Muslims. His incidents of racist rhetoric are too long to list. But we can highlight one particularly egregious incident. 

White supremacist protests were planned in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. White Nationalists and neo-Nazis held a “Unite the Right” rally also attended by counter-protesters. The torch-carrying White Power crowd shouted chants like the Nazi slogan “blood and soil” as well as “Jews will not replace us!” One counter-protester, 32-year-old Heather Heyer was deliberately run down by a car and killed. The reaction to the Charlottesville events from President Trump was a condemnation of the violence. But then he shocked many when he added, “there’s blame on both sides,” and there were “very fine people, on both sides.” 

Feeling freer, forces of bigotry, intolerance, and hate grew in numbers and influence. Hate crimes and violence increased against Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews and the LGBT community. 

Republicans won elections, and worked to make sure their “woke” opponents would not have the same opportunity. Thus we have seen unprecedented voter suppression, gerrymandering, violence and discrimination rise in GOP-controlled states. Right-wing, conspiracy-oriented sources of media repeatedly encouraged their followers to fight against liberals, Democrats and what they considered “socialist” activity. 

What we saw in Tennessee recently was a logical next step in this Republican rush to repression and unlimited control. Republican-dominated states have been taking advantage of every rule to dominate their opposition. Sadly, Democrats and liberals usually appear weak and overmatched by these right-wing forces of division, bizarre conspiracy theories, and hate. Less extreme Republicans watched quietly as their party transformed into an unprecedented ugly, hateful, fascist-like cult. 

It all comes down to this: The overreach by the Tennessee state House occurred because of the political atmosphere in America today. Egged on by former President Trump, our country is more polarized, divided, angry, bitter and raring for a fight than ever before. The last few years have seen extreme pro-Trump Republican fanatics take over their party, willing to do anything to take power. The Tennessee GOP felt they could take this extreme action and not worry about blowback. They were wrong. Their action was so blatant, racist, and unprecedented that the rest of the country noticed and reacted with shock and anger. 

The future of our democracy depends on reining in the MAGA-type extremists and making sincere efforts to work together. Major change is badly needed, and if we don’t make that effort, fairness, hope, decency, justice, equality and democracy will only be words found in American history books. Assuming such books are still available.

Also posted in DailyKos.com 04/15/2023)

EDITOR”S NOTE: I’m not sure why, but the OpEdNews website has this as its top headline for almost a week now (April 13-April 20), with over 1,000 views. I’m surprised because when I sent it to DailyKos.com they pretty much buried it. Go figure.😒

This entry was posted in America, Congress, democracy, Democratic Party, Donald Trump, elections, government, gun control, Justice, politics, protest, Republican Party and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Donald Trump Is Responsible For the Tennessee Travesty

  1. Kris says:

    This is junk. You wasted your time writing an op-ed that is literally just rehashing fabricated and exaggerated stories from the legacy media. No real substance, or originality in this piece.

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