The Corrosive Wedge of “Us” and “Them”

11 months ago Citizen#7 0

The Corrosive Wedge of “Us” and “Them”

Politicians and pundits intentionally insert the wedge of “Us” and “Them” between us splitting one side against another to get heard in the 24/7 information noise of the day.

The issue of “Us” and “Them” blinds us to the overriding fact we are all Americans. Political parties jockey for power by inserting “Us” and “Them” into debates that are more important than Democrat or Republican. The divisiveness of “Us” and “Them” wedge that is inserted deeply into every issue in politics at the expense of the American people is plain for all to see today.

In 1996, Then Mr. Trump hired the law firm Sojuzpatent to file at least eight trademarks in Russia between 1996 and 2008, including “Trump,” “Trump Home” and “Trump Tower.”

In 2007, Donald Trump proposed a “Trump Tower” in Moscow. To read the complete history of Donald Trump’s connections to Russia click here. Suffice it to say that President Trump has in the past had relationships with Russians going back over a decade. Some of those former business partners have very questionable backgrounds including being cited in the now famous “Panama Papers” as money launderers, and worse.

In 2008, Mr. Trump sold a Florida mansion he owned to a Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million.

In 2013, Mr. Trump went to Russia to hold the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. He also went to Moscow to meet more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen, including Herman Gref, the chief executive officer of state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank.

In 2015, General Flynn was paid by Russia for a trip to Moscow and pictures have been widely seen of Flynn and Putin sitting together. The US Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from a foreign government without consent from Congress. Defense officials said there was no record that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, filed the required paperwork for the trip or received permission to accept money from Russia in any form (plane ticket, lodging, etc.) for a speech Flynn gave. No reports have been made about what discussions may or may not have occurred on that trip with Putin or other Russian officials.

In 2016, during the presidential campaign Mr. Trump Trump encouraged Russian hacking of the DNC asking them to find the alleged missing 30,000 Clinton emails(he has since claimed he was joking). Wikileaks disclosed internal communications within the Democratic party and candidate Clinton and her staff. There were no Wikileaks reports regarding then candidate Trump.

When asked why no Wikileaks reports on then candidate Trump, Julian Asange Wikileaks founder stated Wikileaks had no information on Trump to report. He also has alleged that Russia was not the source of the thousands of stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Clinton, and campaign manager,  John Podesta.  US intelligence officials have since identified Russian actors as being responsible for the stolen emails and those same actors as providing Wikileaks with those emails which Wikileaks then released to the public.

In 2016, candidate Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager. Manafort reportedly has deep Russian ties including Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s former president who fled the country and then called upon Putin to invade the Ukraine.

In 2016, Carter Page was named by the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser. Page spent years in Moscow, where he was “responsible for the opening of the Merrill Lynch office and was an adviser on key transactions for Gazprom, RAO UES and others,” according to his profile on the website of his company Global Energy Capital. Coincidentally in a press conference Wednesday January 4th Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said then president-elect had never met Page.

President Trump as recently as this week made very favorable comments about Putin and Russia. Most recently on Fox TV’s “The Factor” O’Riley asked President Trump whether he “respects” the former KGB agent, President Trump responded:

“I do respect him, but I respect a lot of people,” Trump said, “That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.”
Trump said he would appreciate any assistance from Russia in the fight against ISIS terrorists, adding that he would rather get along with the former Cold War-era foe than otherwise.
“But, [Putin] is a killer,” O’Reilly said.
“There are a lot of killers,” Trump responded, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”

Last Night National Security Adviser Michael Flynn stepped down after reports leaked to the Washington Post revealed that he did in fact discuss US sanctions the same day then President Obama expelled 35 Russian Diplomats and the White House counsel was made aware of these conversations in late January by acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Flynn admits to giving “incomplete” information to Vice President Pence and others.That brings us to the present situation, the National Security Adviser Mike Flynn has admitted to providing incomplete information to the President and Vice President.

It was strange that Russia didn’t respond in kind to the expulsion of diplomats and new sanctions but they as of this writing haven’t imposed a similar action on our Russian staff in Moscow.

House Oversight Committee Chairperson, Jacob Chaffetz has said his committee will not investigate the Flynn matter because of the sensitive nature of the situation. He said the House Intelligence Committee has that responsibility. The Chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes has said he doesn’t plan to launch an investigation into the Flynn matter. Both Chaffetz and Nunes are Republicans.

Add to that President Trump has refused to release his income taxes as other Presidents have done, and according to the House Ethics committee he has not divested himself from his business interests despite his claims that he has.

When we put the “Us” versus “Them” wedge before the security of America we all lose. It is time that both political parties quit using issues like this to foist partisan politics on something this important.

President Trump, his staff past need to disclose all of the information that’s being asked for to put an end to this matter. Daylight is the best disinfectant and we need lots of daylight.  There are many issues like the North Korean missile launch, ISIS and others that will require the President to speak to us the people and explain decisions he and others make on our behalf. It isn’t out of line to ask to know who and what are behind these decisions.