by Brent Budowsky
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
These words tell timeless truths about the nation we love, a nation that is stronger when we are united and endangered when we are divided, and a nation where liberty and justice are the equal birthright of all.
By contrast President Trump, from the moment he took office, has acted like the president of 35 percent of our people, demonizing and ostracizing huge numbers of Americans, deliberately dividing Americans against each other, fomenting hatred and fear of American against American, seeking to tear apart the fabric of our diverse society and violate the patriotic vision of Americanism upon which our Pledge of Allegiance is based.
We now learn from criminal and counterintelligence investigations, and reporting in the free press of America, that a chosen tactic of the Russian dictator attacking democracy is to foment hatred of American against American, race against race, and religion against religion.
This Russian tactic of stirring up racial and religious hatred in America, designed in part to elect an American president who has been praised by Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, who have reciprocated with chants of “Russia is our friend” at white supremacist rallies, has found a powerful ally in the Oval Office who even slanders his predecessors in the presidency.
Serious journalists, historians and psychiatrists should publicly consider the unnatural and destructive hatred that obsesses President Trump about former President Obama, and how this hatred has contributed to Trump’s dangerous and irresponsible actions from launching a wrecking ball attack against health care in America to ripping apart international agreements and increasing the dangers of environmental destruction and war.
Trump hurts America, and helps our enemies, when he tells the lie that previous presidents of both parties did not care enough for troops who gave their lives in service and the families who love them.
While Russian intelligence continues its attack against our democracy, Trump hurts America when he compares intelligence officers who defend our democracy to Nazi Germany, describes those investigating the Russian crime as pursuing a hoax, treats Gold Star families as political tools, accuses those who report the news of being enemies of the people, and wages aggressive war against the American and democratic notion of an informed citizenry making democratic decisions after an informed and respectful debate based on facts, truth and science.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s project is to destroy the underpinnings of democratic values and the credibility of democratic institutions. Almost every day, whether he understands this or not, Trump is both a beneficiary and ally of Putin’s attack against America.
Trump hurts America when he falsely attacks the patriotism of black players in the NFL, a seamy tactic that has been reportedly embraced by the Russian cyberwar attack against America that has turned its bigoted aggression against the NFL.
Trump divided America, hurt America and alienated America from friendly nations when he described Hispanic immigrants as rapists and criminals. Trump hurts America, endangers our democratic allies and increases the risk of war when he attacks a long and growing list of international agreements.
Trump hurts America, including many Americans who voted for him, when he systematically attacks our health-care system without any cogent alternative through reckless actions that most experts believe is destructive in the extreme to the health of the nation.
Trump hurts our national security when he praises foreign dictators, repels democratic allies, personally attacks and threatens the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, and undermines our secretary of State during delicate and critical negotiations.
Trump hurts America when he violates a cardinal tenet of our Pledge of Allegiance by dividing race against race, religion against religion, neighbor against neighbor, American against American and undermines the great patriotic notion that America is one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.