Duty to Warn

By Gary G. Kohls, MD

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And Can Trump’s Anti-Democracy Swamp-Dwellers be Tried and Convicted for Treason?

Treason could be logically defined as “the crime of betraying one’s country (or its values) and/or giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the state (or in the case of the United States, its democratic values), no matter if the enemies are foreign or domestic.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the galleys, heard in the very hall of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor — he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their garment, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation — he works secretly and unknown to undermine the pillars of a city — he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” — Cicero, 42 B.C.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America are the founding documents of liberal democracy in America. Altruistic Americans over the past 240 years since they were written and instituted have proudly defended their lofty principles against an assortment of enemies of democracy, whether they were foreign armies or domestic usurpers that objected to their progressive democratic principles. Many revolutionaries, reformers and dissenters against autocratic governments in other countries have been inspired by them and struggled heroically for their principles, even in losing causes.

And, like the heroes that they were, many of those progressive patriots were silenced, imprisoned, assassinated or otherwise violently opposed by the members of some of the following categories that opposed democratic principles.

The categories of anti-democracy groups include imperialists, monarchists, slavers, militarists, colonialists, aristocrats, Big Business corporatists, white supremacists, many authoritarian religious groups, fascists, racists, sexists, anti-Semites, wealthy elites, plutocrats (plutocracy is an anti-democratic government in which the wealthy rule), and other right-wing reactionary conservatives that have wanted to prevent the full development of one person/one vote democracy. These groups have taken an anti-democracy stance largely because giving the subordinates or the underclass a chance to vote is time-consuming and messy. Authoritarians demand obedience and no democratic debate is allowed.

In the case of the United States of America in the era of Trump, there has been a huge number of unelected anti-democracy types that were not on any ballot or even mentioned by Trump. They have been suddenly elevated to positions of power and, as the rookies that they are, have been frequently found to be following an agenda that had not even been hinted at in the campaign. These new swamp-dwellers have frequently been found to be both inept and disdainful of liberal democratic principles.

Many of Trump’s appointees have been covertly or overtly working for causes or organizations whose missions have been to retard, reverse or overthrow democratic principles. An example for today is Trump’s appointee to the US Supreme Court, Judge Neal Gorsuch, a member of the Federalist Society, which is hostile to civil rights, environmental protections, worker safety laws, the separation between church and state and more – all valued and constitutional democratic principles ). (For much more on the Gorsuch controversy, google “Neil Gorsuch sides with big business, big donors and big bosses”.)

In addition to the obvious anti-democracy white supremacists that have suddenly infested the White House (epitomized by the 24/7 presence of the “evil grey eminence”, white supremacist, anti-Semitic and “shadow president” Steven Bannon), there are now on the tax rolls anti-democratic proto-fascists like Stephen Miller, anti-intellectuals like Kellyanne Conway, racists like Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, wealthy elites like the handful of billionaire Wall Street financiers from Goldman Sachs, a handful of pro-war militarists like Secretary of Defense “Mad Dog” Mattis and Big Business types like everybody else in Trump’s democracy-destroying cabinet.

It has been noted that, in addition to the anti-democracy tyrants noted above, some of Trump’s cabinet and advisors meet at least a partial definition of sociopathic, narcissistic or paranoid personality disorders. (I invite the reader to read the diagnostic labelling information below and then make a judgment.) Some critics regard Trump and some in his cabinet as being dangerously unstable and/or inept and thus likely to make stupid or devastating mistakes under pressure.

What is new is that there has also been placed in positions of power (thanks to the born-again evangelical and “in charge guy”, vice President Pence), any number of Christian supremacists, Christian theocrats and assorted “biblical inerrancy-believing”, “young earth-believing” and “climate change-denying” Christian fundamentalists. Fundamentalism in any religious persuasion, whether Islamic or Christian, is, by definition, anti-democratic.

The desired theocratic state in America, as envisioned by many authoritarian Christian triumphalists, will be ruled by an un-elected, anti-democratic tribunal of elders that will institute – and then enforce – a dozen or more capital crimes that are mentioned in the 2,500 year-old “inerrant” book of Leviticus which is in the Hebrew scriptures). In that book, the punishment was death, which will be carried out as well in an American theocratic state,

One hopes that none of the Trump White House’s true believers in the Rapture theory are allowed anywhere near the nuclear codes or the red button.

One deep-thinking blogger on a Washington Post website recently commented on Trump’s appointment of pro-corporate, pro-Citizens United, far-right-wing conservative Neal Gorsuch (who has the financial backing of the Colorado-based billionaire, ultra-right-wing Coors Beer conglomerate). He wrote:

“The core of the Republican Party – those that pull the strings – are the Plutocrats. They understand that in order to win elections they must fall in bed with a pathetic demagogue like Trump and, to win the rural vote, the evangelicals.

“They consider Trump and his ilk acceptable collateral damage and are willing to put up with the consequences as long as Trump agrees to put their people in key positions, which he has done.

“But the leaders of the GOP play a very tricky game, and very well might lose control of this cancer, and in the end, destroy our nation as well as their wealth.

“The Plutocrats, Wall Street, Corporate America, the Banksters, are a very conniving, evil group, diseased and blinded by greed. They are sowing our destruction and theirs to maintain the unprecedented wealth divide, crony capitalism.”

My study of militarism and European fascism leads me to agree with the blogger. Anybody else that agrees should be very concerned about the survival of the planet and its children when America is being led by those that believe in the Rapture Theory and white supremacy and a Christian theocratic state – like Mike Pence and the followers of Christian Dominionists like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-TX), Sam Brownback (R-KS), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve King (R-IA), and their ilk).

I am raising several questions in this column:

1) Are the members of political movements that are dedicated to the destruction of American democracy guilty of treason? (If so, the US Constitution allows the death penalty for traitors.)

2) If an anti-democracy political movement’s members are not only traitors to democracy but also afflicted with the dangerous sociopathic, narcissistic or paranoid personality disorders, shouldn’t they be locked up or at least kept away from civil society (since such disorders are considered incurable)?

3) If any anti-democracy movement leaders also match up with some of the characteristics of fascism, shouldn’t they be kept far away from the levers of power?

To allow readers to make their own judgments about Donald Trump’s new group of swamp-dwellers in Washington, DC, I submit the following documents which consist of “Useful Definitions of Fascism, Sociopathy, Narcissism, Paranoia, Liberal Democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”:

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The 14 Characteristics of Fascism

By Lawrence Britt, PhD

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism
    2. Disdain for the importance of human rights
    3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
    4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
    5. Rampant sexism
    6. A controlled mass media
    7. Obsession with national security
    8. Religion and ruling elite tied together
    9. Power of corporations protected

    10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated
    11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts

    12. Obsession with crime and punishment
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
    14. Fraudulent elections

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The 7 Characteristics of Sociopathic or Psychopathic Personality Disorder

(only 3 are needed to make a positive diagnosis)

1)  Callous disregard for the feelings of other people

2)  Incapacity to maintain human relationships

3)  Reckless disregard for the safety of others

4)  Aggressiveness

5) Deceitfulness (repeated lying and conning others for profit)

6) Incapacity to experience guilt, and

7) Failure to conform to social norms and respect for the law

Other common sociopathic traits include: 

8) No conscience

9) Lack of remorse for evils done to others

10) Indifferent to the suffering of its victims

11) Rationalizes (makes excuses for) having hurt, mistreated or stolen from others

12) Willingness to exploit, seduce or manipulate others

13) No sign of delusional or irrational thinking

14) Cunning, clever

15) Commonly above average intelligence

16) Always looking for ways to make money or achieve fame or notoriety

17) Willing to cause or contribute to the financial ruin of others

18) Untrustworthy

19) Cannot be trusted to adhere to conventional standards of morality

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The 9 Characteristics of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

(Narcissism = “pathological self-love”)

(only 5 are needed to make the diagnosis)

  1. A grandiose sense of self-importance, superiority and talent and expects to be recognized as superior
  2. A preoccupation with unlimited success, beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, or wealth
  3. A belief in being special and unique and can only be understood or should only be associated with people of high status
  4. Requires excessive admiration (especially applause)
  5. An unreasonable sense of entitlement and an expectation of being treated with favor or expecting an automatic compliance to his or her wishes
  6. Is interpersonally exploitive, taking advantage of others to achieve his or her goals
  7. Lacks empathy
  8. Believes that others are envious of him (or is envious of others)
  9. Exhibits arrogant or haughty attitudes or behaviors

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The 7 Characteristics of Paranoid Personality Disorder

Paranoia = “the pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of the motives of others”

(Only 4 of the following are necessary to make the diagnosis)

1) Suspects without reason that others are exploiting, harming, or trying to deceive him or her 

2) Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates

3) Believes without reason that if he or she confides in others, this information may be used against him or her

4) Finds hidden demeaning or threatening meanings in harmless remarks or events

5) Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights

6) Is quick to react with anger  or to counterattack when he or she perceives that people are out to attack his or her character or reputation

7) Is suspicious about the fidelity of his or her spouse or sexual partner

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12 Key Features of a Liberal Democracy

1) citizen freedom, rights to privacy and an impartial judiciary

2) a competitive multi-party political system,

3) a representative political system,

4) a constitution,

5) checks and balances between the component parts of the system (Executive, Legislative, Judicial Branches)

6) freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from unjust search and seizure by police or the military, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and freedom from coercive religious influences,

7) majority rule (with free and fair elections to choose the persons and parties to represent the electorate), but the laws are to be applied fairly,

8) one person/one vote and the right to full and meaningful citizen participation in governance,

9) racial and religious minorities, and their human and civil rights, are respected and enforced,

10) wealthy elites, business elites, military elites and authoritarian elites have no more rights or privileges than non-elites,

11) right to own property,

12) adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (see www.youthforhumanrights.org)

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The 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(A Simplified Version or the original 30 articles that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948)

As posted at: www.youthforhumanrights.org

  1. Everyone is Born Free & Equal. We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas. We should all be treated in the same way.
  2. No Discrimination. These rights belong to everybody, whatever our differences.
  3. The Right to Life. We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.
  4. No Slavery. Nobody has any right to make us a slave. We cannot make anyone our slave.
  5. No Torture. Nobody has any right to hurt us or to torture us.
  6. Everyone Has Rights No Matter Where They Go. I am a person just like you!
  7. Everyone is Equal Before the Law. The law is the same for everyone. It must treat us all fairly.
  8. Human Rights Are Protected by Law. We can all ask for the law to help us when we are not treated fairly.
  9. Unfair Detention is Unlawful. Nobody has the right to put us in prison without good reason and keep us there, or to send us away from our country.
  10. Everyone has a Right to a Trial. If we are put on trial this should be in public. The people who try us should not let anyone tell them what to do.
  11. Everyone is Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Nobody should be blamed for doing something until it is proven. When people say we did a bad thing we have the right to show it is not true.
  12. The Right to Privacy. Nobody should try to harm our good name. Nobody has the right to come into our home, open our letters, or bother us or our family without a good reason.
  13. The Freedom to Move. We all have the right to go where we want in our own country and to travel as we wish.
  14. The Right to Seek a Safe Place to Live. If we are frightened of being badly treated in our own country, we all have the right to run away to another country to be safe.
  15. The Right to a Nationality. We all have the right to belong to a country.
  16. Marriage and Family.Every grown-up has the right to marry and have a family if they want to. Men and women have the same rights when they are married, and when they are separated.
  17. The Right to Your Own Things.Everyone has the right to own things or share them. Nobody should take our things from us without a good reason.
  18. Freedom of Thought.We all have the right to believe in what we want to believe, to have a religion, or to change it if we want.
  19. Freedom of Expression.We all have the right to make up our own minds, to think what we like, to say what we think, and to share our ideas with other people.
  20. The Right to Public Assembly.We all have the right to meet our friends and to work together in peace to defend our rights. Nobody can make us join a group if we don’t want to.
  21. The Right to Democracy.We all have the right to take part in the government of our country. Every grown-up should be allowed to choose their own leaders.
  22. Social Security.We all have the right to affordable housing, medicine, education, and childcare, enough money to live on and medical help if we are ill or old.
  23. Workers’ Rights.Every grown-up has the right to do a job, to a fair wage for their work, and to join a trade union.
  24. The Right to Play.We all have the right to rest from work and to relax.
  25. Food and Shelter for All.We all have the right to a good life. Mothers and children, people who are old, unemployed or disabled, and all people have the right to be cared for.
  26. The Right to Education.Education is a right. Primary school should be free. We should learn about the United Nations and how to get on with others. Our parents can choose what we learn.
  27. Copyright.Copyright is a special law that protects one’s own artistic creations and writings; others cannot make copies without permission. We all have the right to our own way of life and to enjoy the good things that art, science and learning bring.
  28. A Fair and Free World.There must be proper order so we can all enjoy rights and freedoms in our own country and all over the world.
  29. Responsibility.We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.
  30. No One Can Take Away Your Human Rights.

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“The plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.” — Dick Cheney (VP under GW Bush) – at a West Point lecture, June 2002

“The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” — Henry Kissinger, as reported in the October 28, 1973 New York Times

“So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” – Gary North, Christian Reconstructionist author

“What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians…and Christian values.”…“I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.”  — Ralph Reed – Christian Coalition executive director 1987-1989

“The fascist state must not forget that all means must serve the ends; it must not let itself be confused by the drivel about so-called ‘freedom of the press’…it must make sure that (the media) is placed in the service of the state.” — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

“It is not necessary to bury the truth. It is sufficient merely to delay it until nobody cares.” —  Napoleon Bonaparte

Q: Are you a communist? A: “No I am an anti-fascist.”

Q: For a long time? A: “Ever Since I have understood fascism.” 
— Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. He writes a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, the area’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s psychiatric drugging and over-vaccination regimens, and other movements that threaten the environment, prosperity, democracy, civility and the health and longevity of the populace. Many of his columns are archived at:

http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2;

Google Gary Kohls

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