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Tuesday,, November 22, was a day of hope that Donald Trump might be retreating from some of his more extreme campaign positions that have raised questions about his commitment to democracy on a number of issues, such as torture, locking up his main political opponent and popular presidential vote winner, Hillary Clinton, and trying to suppress freedom of speech.
With regard to the last of these, Trump's meeting with the New York times, one of his most vocal critics during the campaign, was encouraging.
What does it matter if Trump complained about the paper's coverage of him? That is his right.
Didn't Harry Truman, as president, threaten to punch a journalist in the nose because he criticized Truman's daughter Margaret's singing performance?
(I forgot - I am probably the only person writing letters on this site who is old enough to remember that incident.)
At least Trump has never threatened violence against any journalists since the election was over.
It is also encouraging that Trump unequivocally repudiated the support of the bigoted, proto-fascist Alt-Right, as The Guardian now reports.
Reports that he may also be considering Mitt Romney for Secretary of State could also reassure those of us who are worried that a hard right Secretary of State with racist views, if appointed, could make visas all but unobtainable for applicants in any category from outside Europe.
Romney certainly would not be that kind of a Secretary.
Trump could, if he wishes, also take another action that would reassure many people who are concerned about whether he will preserve America's values of democracy and racial equality, especially in our immigration system.
That would be to rescind his appointment of Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon as senior White House adviser. As I have written elsewhere on ilw.com, Bannon, in a 2014 Vatican symposium, described himself as a nationalist, and a defender of the "traditional" "Judeo-Christian West".
That would be a perfect description of America's bigoted immigration policy (minus the "Judeo") prior to the 1965 immigration reform law which Trump indirectly criticized during his campaign in his August 31 Phoenix immigration address.
Huffington Post reports on November 22 that 15,000 lawyers have signed a letter urging that Bannon's appointment should be rescinded.
One hopes that this number will rapidly increase.
Attorney at Law
At least we, senior American citizens in Buenos Aires, Argentina, will be able to vote under the new Government if Mr. Trump gives a BIG kick -right there- to this driver-bodyguard Democrat:
Liberty and justice for all.
My previous letter focused on some developments in the new president's announced views which create a basis for hoping that the Trump administration will respect democratic norms rather than pushing America toward quasi-fascist strong man rule.
However, the appointment of anti-immigrant hard liner Senator Jeff Sessions as AG and the reported possibly very likely appointment of Kris Kobach as DHS Secretary are not good signs for the survival of the non-discriminatory, non-racially oriented legal immigration system that has been in effect since 1965.
No one in America has done more than Kobach to try to prevent non-white US citizens from exercising their voting rights, through his work in drafting various state voter suppression laws (which have been mainly rejected by the courts).
He is slso responsible for drafting Arizona's infamous SB 1070 persecution law and its counterparts in other states aimed at creating fear and panic in Latino and other non-white immigrant communities.
Appointing Kobach as DHS chief would be a clear sign by the new president that immigrants from outside Europe, legal, as well as those without status, are no longer welcome in the United States of Donald Trump.
Attorney at Law
Not only is the race/religion neutral, merit and qualifications based immigration system that we have had since 1965 that is open to immigration from every part of the world, not just white Europe, in grave danger from Trump's appointment or consideration of anti-immigrant hardliners with well deserved white supremacist reputations such as Jeff Sessions, and (possibly) Kris Kobach and Rudy Guliani, to be in charge of our immigration system, but Salon.com, in a November 27 article, argues convincingly that our entire democracy could be in danger. See:
Trump, on the same day, gave even more evidence of his contempt for, if not actual hatred of, democracy, when he made the incredible, delusional, claim, coming out of nowhere, without the slightest evidence to back it up, that he won the popular vote, not merely the electoral vote which of course, he did win (and which is not likely to be changed by any recount that is also permitted according to law) because 3 million (!) people allegedly voted illegally.
Suppose Trump runs for reelection and loses in 2020. Will he respect the results and hand over power peacefully? Will he even allow that election to go forward if he thinks he might lose?
Less than two months from now, the most dangerous president for our democracy in all of our history may be about to take office.
Attorney at Law