Have Trump Supporters Turned To Terrorism?

Peaceful anti-trump protest

Traditionally, Thanksgiving weekend is a time of peace, but Donald Trump’s political ascent has overturned all manner of American traditions. Now, it appears that Trump supporters in the Philadelphia area may have decided that the Thanksgiving should become a time for violent punishment of political dissent.

When Jim Alden, a 62 year-old gay Philadelphia man, picked up and opened a package left on his front stoop, the package exploded, causing injuries to his face, chest, and arm.

Although there had been speculation that the explosion may have been caused accidentally by a faulty inhaler, this possibility has bow been ruled out, as police are now referring to a device designed to explode.

In other words, the package was a bomb.

Why would anyone want to hurt Mr. Alden? By all accounts, he was a friendly and polite man with many friends and no known enemies. However, he also did not make any efforts to conceal his strong opposition to the election of Donald Trump.

The only thing that appears to have made Jim Alden a target for attack was a rainbow-colored sign he placed in his window, featuring the anti-Trump slogan “Love Trumps Hate”.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump spent months and months whipping his supporters up into a violent rage. Trump encouraged his fans to physically attack anti-Trump protesters, to the point where the victims would have to be carried away on medical stretchers. Trump even promised to pay the legal fees of any one of his supporters who was arrested for attacking one of his political opponents.

If indeed the bomb attack against Jim Alden was motivated by his display of an anti-Trump sign, then it’s an act of terrorism. That would mark a dangerous new step in the radicalization of Trump supporters.

No More Low Bar For Donald Trump

Donald Trump cement shoes

Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump had the benefit of low expectations. If he could make a public appearance without growling, drooling, or saying some despicable untruth, he was praised by journalists as appearing surprisingly reasonable.

All that Donald Trump had to do to beat expectations was to not fail miserably. Of course, Trump did fail miserably many times. Yet, some days, he was able to manage to fail in a manner that was not very dramatic. These were regarded as evidence that maybe, someday, Trump might become “presidential”.

It wouldn’t be fair for us to expect more from Donald Trump, many journalists said, because Trump isn’t a professional politician.

Donald Trump cement shoesOf course, Trump was a politician. He was running for the highest political office in the country, without ever having served in any public position before. Yet, no one asked Trump difficult questions, because he just didn’t seem ready.

Now, Donald Trump is President Elect. One might think that, finally, journalists would assess Donald Trump as if he were about to become President. It’s still not happening.

A particularly pathetic case in point is an article written by Anna Palmer at Politico. “Trump’s popularity soars after election” is the article’s headline.

Historically, a President is regarded as having high popularity if he (sorry, no women yet) achieves a 60 percent favorability rating. Sometimes, presidents have gotten over 70 or 80 percent. One President, George H.W. Bush, even got a favorability rating of over 90 percent.

For Donald Trump, however, Politico is giving a Gentleman’s A when it grades his popularity. The supposedly soaring popularity of Donald Trump that Anna Palmer refers to is not even the approval of 50 percent of the population. Donald Trump, the article explains, is rated favorably by just 46 percent of Americans answering Politico’s statistically representative poll*.

It is a sign of remarkable political weakness that Donald Trump cannot command the favorable opinion of even half of the American public just a week and a half after his election. Anna Palmer, and her editors at Politico, should have made note of that fact, rather than fawning over a politician who is widely despised by his own fellow citizens and couldn’t win the popular vote.

Given the reluctance of established political media to judge Donald Trump as they would any other politician, it’s up to the grassroots media rising up in response to Trump’s election to do the job.

*An asterisk should be placed after every single reference to a political opinion poll for the next four years, given the astoundingly inaccurate representation of the presidential campaign provided by pollsters in the last few weeks of the 2016 campaign.

Stand Against Trump Religious Bigotry At The Spartacus Mosque

Spartacus MosqueMartin Niemoller, a German who was killed by the Nazis during World War II, was at first reluctant to defy Adolf Hitler. The Nazis were targeting left wing political groups and Jews, and Niemoller presumed he was safe, because he was a centrist Christian.

Years later, Niemoller wrote the following famous words of regret. He was seized and killed by the Nazis himself. There was no one left to speak out for him.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, we see his top advisors planning to create a compulsory registry for all American Muslims – just as Hitler planned a forced registry for German Jews. Trump plans to force Muslims to carry special identification cards, just as Jews in Germany were forced to wear yellow stars pinned to their clothing. Trump has also declared that he will send out spies to track the private activities of all Muslim Americans, ban all Muslims from international travel, and open “internment camps” in which to to imprison Muslims without trial, and without any suspicion of criminal activity.

The Spartacus Mosque is inspired by Martin Niemoller’s regret, and by the inspiring final scene of the movie Spartacus, in which members of the rebel slave army refuse to surrender their leader Spartacus to the Roman centurions. When asked where Spartacus is, every member of the slave army stands up and says, “I am Spartacus.” Thus, each slave takes on the punishment of Spartacus, ending their rebellion with defiance instead of acceptance.

The time has come for non-Muslims in America to take a stand to defend the rights of their Muslim neighbors, and to protect them from the extraordinary abuses planned by Donald Trump and his nationalist followers. In an act of pre-emotive defiance of Donald Trump’s planned Muslim registry, people who sign the Spartacus Mosque petition agree with the following statement:

I, the undersigned, commit to protect the constitutional rights of Muslims in America. When Donald Trump targets Muslims in America, I will stand up and declare, “Take me first. I am a member of the Spartacus Mosque. I am a Muslim.”

We speak out for Muslim Americans, so that when the Trump fascists come for us, there will be somebody to speak out on our behalf. Join us. Register your solidarity with the Spartacus Mosque.