The Farewell Party

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By Marjaan Sirdar, Freelance Writer & Columnist

Today, we can make a case that Donald Trump and the Republicans are inciting revolution.

After armed right-wing demonstrators took to the capitol grounds in states across the country to protest stay at home orders, Trump tweeted on April 17, “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!!” With Trump at the helm, I would argue that the Republican Party today is a much bigger risk to our national security than the Communist Party of the past, who was outlawed for years after Congress passed the Communist Control Act of 1954, declaring the party revolutionary. Since President Ronald Reagan’s Revolution, the Republican Party has been less of a political organization in the traditional sense that builds popular support via democratic processes to advance their agenda, and more of a criminal enterprise with paramilitary cells across the country that cheat, swindle and use violence to hold onto power and privilege. Now it’s Trump’s party, they no longer hide their criminal intent or their ties to far-right terrorist groups. The GOP and their base would rather burn this nation to the ground than embrace a multicultural future: an America that benefits everyone equally. It is time to declare the Republican Party a terrorist organization and stop them from further harming our communities and setting back the progress we have made in terms of building a truly democratic society, and delivering the promise of liberty and justice to all our children. 

Hypocrisy is not a crime.

Trump and the Republicans’ unapologetic hypocrisy should come as no surprise to anyone. The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett on Monday to the Supreme Court is troubling not just because the Republicans rejected Obama’s Supreme Court pick because it was eight months before an election. More importantly, because just days before this election, Barrett refused to answer whether she would recuse herself from election-related cases at her senate confirmation hearing. With Attorney General Barr seeking to charge protestors with sedition, the power grab that is underway couldn’t be more obvious. At this point, it is no longer cognitive dissonance, it is willful ignorance if you’re still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

Rigging elections is a crime. 

We’ve all been warned of Trump and his party’s propensity for criminality. Trump and the GOP have repeatedly attacked the legitimacy of this election with baseless claims of voter irregularities, creating the pretext for their up-coming power grab. Although voter suppression has always been a reality for many Americans, especially Black Americans, the 15th Amendment of the Constitution is clear: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” Voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement is a crime in this country. In California, the Republican Party was recently caught placing fake ballot drop boxes that were labeled “official ballot drop box”, in Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange County, as reported by Slate news. The Republican governor of Texas was recently overruled by a federal court when he issued an order limiting one ballot drop box per county, statewide. This decision is now being reviewed.

Money laundering is a crime. 

According to Forbes, the Trump Campaign has been accused of ““laundering” $170 million through numerous companies, some with connections to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.” The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed the complaint with the Federal Elections Commission last month. “By failing to report payments to the campaign’s true vendors and employees, the Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee have violated, and continue to violate, federal law’s transparency requirements,” the complaint asserts, adding that such activities “undermine the vital public information role that reporting is intended to serve.””

Murder is a crime.

Add murder charges to a government already accused of rigging elections and massive money laundering operations, and you might think we are referring our neighbors to the south, in Mexico. Here in the United States, federal Marshals from Trump’s Justice Department shot and killed Antifa activist, Michael Reinoehl, who was on the run since Aug. 29 for killing a Patriot Prayer member — also a Trump supporter — at a protest in Portland. As reported in the New York Times on Oct. 13, the president said on Fox News: ““This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him,”… “And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this.”” Reinoehl maintained that he acted out of self-defense. Reports across mainstream news outlets are calling Reinoehl’s death an extrajudicial killing by the Trump administration against their political enemies. According to an eyewitness, as reported by the New York Times the officers never announced themselves: “Garrett Louis, who watched the shooting begin while trying to get his 8-year-old son out of the line of fire, said the officers arrived with such speed and violence that he initially assumed they were drug dealers gunning down a foe — until he saw their law enforcement vests.” Terrorists such as ISIS practice extrajudicial killings. Extrajudicial killings are not uncommon in corrupt countries run by strongmen such as Russia and Brazil. But under U.S. law, this is murder. 

Terrorism is a crime.

Right-wing militias dominated the news when the FBI foiled plots earlier this month to kidnap the governors of Michigan and Virginia, by militant Trump supporters. Jenny Gross of the New York Times cited a report by the the Center for Strategic and International Studies who “found that white supremacist groups were responsible for 41 of 61 “terrorist plots and attacks” in the first eight months of this year, or 67 percent…The report highlighted several cases, including fatal shootings related to protests and the F.B.I.’s arrest of 13 men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan, a Democrat. Those cases, along with President Trump’s denunciations of left-wing activists and his refusal at a presidential debate to condemn an extremist right-wing group, have repeatedly raised fears this year of politically motivated violence.” 

The suspects in the kidnapping plots were reacting to the stay at home orders signed by those states’ governors. Trump has publicly mocked stay at home orders. Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, believes the men from Michigan Liberty Militia and the Wolverine Watchmen who plotted to kidnap her were inspired by Trump’s tweets to “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”. On Oct. 8, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, of Detroit, tweeted in response to the bias in reporting: “Why do we use language that protects white people who do evil things? If they were Black, we’d call them a “gang.” If they were Arab, we’d call them “terrorists.” But they were white, so we call them a “militia?” They are a GANG of TERRORISTS. Call them that. #MichiganPlot”.

So much information has emerged exposing law enforcement with ties to white nationalists and other far right groups, since 17 year old junior militiaman, Kyle Rittenhouse, murdered two Black Lives Matter protestors in Kenosha this summer. Yahoo News reported on October 12, “Michigan residents have called for Barry County sheriff Dar Leaf to resign, after it emerged that he had shared a stage with one of the men arrested in the alleged foiled plot to kidnap governor Gretchen Whitmer.” The vast collaboration between Republican law enforcement, white supremacist militias and the Trump administration make the party akin to a criminal enterprise with paramilitary cells across the country that use violence to dominate in tradition of the mafia or a terrorist network. Imagine if the U.S. Chapters of Hamas or Al Qaeda existed and they were engaging in this same behavior. How would the federal government respond? These militias are nothing but domestic terrorist cells who see Donald Trump, president of the United States, as their high priest. 

Lock Them Up!

With everything that’s at stake, the White House, the Senate, the SCOTUS, and the president’s freedom, the Republicans will go to any length to maintain power and are no longer hiding it, just like their ties with white nationalists such as the Proud Boys, Wolverine Watchmen and more. If the Trump administration can criminalize Antifascism, then they can normalize fascism and their own criminality. If they are successful in this then our future is in peril. Despite what Trump says, the facts are that the GOP is a bigger threat to national security than Antifa today, and the Communist Party of the past. Just this year, the Trump administration, the Republican Party and its base have been caught engaging in voter suppression, money laundering, murder, and now domestic terrorism. The Democratic Party must have the will to fight for what’s right. But if history is an indicator, it shows much bipartisan cooperation when it comes to criminalizing the resistance movement rather than those who have robbed our people. Republicans and Democrats alike supported the passage of the Communist Control Act of 1954. If Biden and the Democrats win power in all three branches, they ought to push for the Republican Dissolution Act of 2021, declaring them terrorists and dissolving the organization for good. Let’s make this election their last. 

About the author: Marjaan is a freelance writer and community organizer in the Bryant neighborhood in South Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed. He is the host of People Power Podcast.

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