Terror Campaign Targeting Trump Critics is Threat to Democracy

UPDATED, 12:21 pm EDT—In the last two days, packages reportedly containing explosive devices have been sent to the home of pro-democracy philanthropist George Soros, the home of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and to the office of former President Barack Obama.

Also today, CNN’s New York offices were evacuated after an explosive device was found. That package was allegedly addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan. The Secret Service reports having intercepted the packages sent to the Clintons and to the office of Mr. Obama, all of them protectees of the Secret Service. The Secret Service also has reported that rumors of a package sent to Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, DC, are false.

It is clear there is a mounting campaign of violent terror being waged against people and institutions seen as a counter-weight to President Trump. The inclusion of Mr. Brennan specifically—a vocal critic of President Trump—suggests the campaign is not just anti-liberal, but also of the particular ideological perversion that views progressive politics and the federal government with suspicion and which has ties to President Trump’s base of support.

These coordinated bombing attempts are a clear sign that the campaign of hate fomented by “alt-right” extremist leaders—often seconded or promoted by the Trump White House—is turning to terrorism.

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A Time for Wild Mercy

Hope, good will, and fairness are participatory. Without active, committed, forward-thinking collaboration and attentive participation, they are just words. Whatever political system we live in, it is a universal longing that leaders show deep loyalty to the graces that would allow their leadership to liberate people as they move through the everyday.

  • We must remember that cynicism is a destabilizing temptation, an emotional and spiritual vice that hinders clear thinking and pulls talented people off the road to constructive action.
  • Wantonness is not freedom; bearing its ravages is not a necessary condition of living among free people.
  • We owe it to our own humanity to rise above the toxic infusion of wantonness and degradation that comes with spending our sacred attention on those agents of toxicity who thrive on that wantonness and degradation.

To achieve this, we must seek, expect, embody and expand the more faithful intention to do the generous work we see too little done.

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Five Habits to Heal the Heart of Democracy

by Parker Palmer

American Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart. The experiment is endless unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so, also, is the heart’s alchemy that can turn suffering into compassion, conflict into community, and tension into energy for creativity amid democracy’s demands.

Today we are in the middle of another election cycle. Once again, false claims, half-truths, hateful rhetoric, fear-mongering and demonization of the opposition dominate our civic space, driving out the genuine issue-oriented debate a democracy needs to survive and thrive. We need citizens with chutzpah and humility to occupy our civic space and call American democracy back to health. There is no reason, at least no good reason, why our number cannot be legion.

Read the full essay here…

The Struggle for Our Future

An expanded space for human liberty—free from persecution and degradation—is the measure of whether we, as organized society, are succeeding.

Some take the view that this means no constraint on any person’s liberty can be allowed. The result of this thinking is a strange hybrid radicalism, combining an aversion to all centralizing institutions with a permissive attitude toward powerful private interests that generate harm and cost for more vulnerable people.

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John McCain’s farewell letter

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

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Journalists are Not the Enemy

From the Boston Globe:

A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.

Read the full editorial, and follow links to hundreds more, here

Trump Betrayed His Country to Serve its Attacker

Newspapers across the world today echo the determination of the former CIA director John Brennan that US President Donald Trump betrayed his country when he sided with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and defamed his own intelligence community, military, and Department of Justice. Stranger still, Trump blamed the United States for tensions with Russia, ignoring a long history of anti-democracy violence and human rights abuses, forty years of Cold War, and ongoing attacks against the US and the UK.

The US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats responded by reiterating that the evidence shows an ongoing, “pervasive” effort by Russia to attack and manipulate American democratic processes.

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