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Viewpoint: Where No One’s Gone Before

By Dennis Edwards
Editorial Page Columnist
New Journal and Guide

As a nation we are already deep in uncharted territory. Boldly going where no one in American history has gone before. Never has an incoming U.S. President been shrouded in this kind of seriously disturbing controversy. In every facet of decision making, President-Elect Donald Trump is raising the worst kinds of ethical, national security, conflict of interest and behavioral red flags.

The intelligence evidence can’t be ignored. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge its validity is perhaps the most disturbing development of all. To blow off clear and dependable intelligence that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized Internet hacking to manipulate the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election is understandable. But unwise.

Trump realizes any acceptance of the obvious throws his election and agenda in question. What he may not realize is there are limits as to how long he can ride the wave of anger in his constituency. Aging Baby Boomers, though frustrated, still remember the Cold War, the difference between Democracy and Communism and the difference between Patriotism and Treason.

His decision to dismiss the findings of the CIA and FBI are evidence of a deeper and perhaps abiding naivety or maybe something more dangerous. Could it be he actually believes he is larger than the office he’s about to hold? Could it be this reckless kind of confidence comes from something straight out of a novel?

There’s no way to tell yet. But the similarities are worth our attention. Could a better measure of Trump’s end game be hidden in the Manchurian Candidate like patterns present in his actions, appointments and practices? Back in the late 50’s Richard Condon wrote a book called the “Manchurian Candidate.” Two movies have been based on this fictional account of the son of a prominent U.S. political family brainwashed into being an unwitting assassin for a Communist conspiracy. But what if the same idea were broadened and used in a real conspiracy to assassinate Democracy as we know it?

To be sure, I am fully aware of how extreme this trend of thought might be perceived . But these are extreme times, filled with true believers who want to “take back the country” by what appear to be “any means necessary.” What if those means actually involve the slow disassembly of a the world’s greatest Democracy? A system whose demographics are changing. Where the majority is slowly becoming the minority. What if those fears are leading some to seek help from those who look like them but don’t think like they do or for the same reasons?

Trump’s Nominee for National Security Advisor Lt. General Mike Flynn openly believes the U.S. “should work with Russia to prop up several dictatorships in the Middle East including Assad of Syria.” Rex Tillerson, his nominee for Secretary of State, is the CEO of Exxon who’s close enough to Putin to be awarded the “Russian Order of Friendship,” an honor for foreigners who reportedly say and do things the Russian Government finds good or useful. Multiple news organizations report that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former Campaign Manager, has done hundreds of millions of dollars worth of political consulting for Russian interests.

Since we never got President-Elect Trump’s tax returns we don’t know to whom he and his business interests owe money. We do know Wall Street stopped lending him money when his projects started misusing bankruptcy laws. Seems they’ve stiffed almost as many banks as people who did work for him. Exactly how much did he turn to Russian banks for financing and on how many projects?

Something is beyond not right here. Something is very wrong! Why the rush on cabinet confirmations without full vetting and background checks?
It all makes you wonder whether the next President of the United States has more in common with a fictional character in a 1950’s novel who boldly went where no had gone before, until now.

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Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award Winning Investigative Television Journalist who’s worked in Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Richmond and as a Freelance Correspondent for CNN. He’s a graduate of Virginia Union University and its Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology.

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