Welcome to the
The following is the Chairman's statements before the first of the UNITE: An Educational Speaker Series, held on March 28, 2017, and featuring Thomas Moylan Keck, The Michael O. Sawyer chair of constitutional law and politics at the Maxwell School:
"Thanks to President Trump for bringing us together – to protect our constitution from him. Together to demand that the integrity of our electoral process be reaffirmed after the shameful subversion of that process in 2016.
"Above all we are here for the truth which is the beating heart of democracy. I want to speak to you for five minutes about the truth and about the big lies which undermine a free society; about money, patriotism, and religion (I always try to avoid the controversial subjects).
"Our people are now engaged in a struggle for the soul of America. The outcome will determine which path our beloved nation will take. Will we be the free, inclusive, progressive society that we are meant to be? Or will we descend into the oligarchic, despotic, Putin-loving, dog-eat-dog hell that the Trumps, McConnells, and the Ryans are planning for us? The emergence of Mr. Trump has alerted people to just how vulnerable our freedom and prosperity can be. But Donald Trump, as strange as he is, is not an anomaly. He is the very incarnation of 60 years of right wing propaganda – highly organized, highly financed misinformation aimed at undermining government’s role in protecting the economic and social interests of the 99%. Propaganda aimed at promoting and pandering to the endless needs of the multi-national corporations and the super-rich.
"Mr. Trump is just the most blatant embodiment of alt right politics: racial discord, contempt for the democratic government, hatred of the honest press, economic elitism disguised as populism and alt right policies:
Destruction of social security and Medicare
Dismantling of public education
Corporate control and rape of our environment
"In short, the ruination of middle class economic independence and of social mobility for all Americans.
"None of this bodes well for the millions of working people who identify with the right and who voted for Trump. How do the Republicans sell their anti-people program to people who are working hard to make ends meet? The Big Lie 24/7 on Fox News, on hate radio, on the Internet, and in the halls of congress. And it worked. By fear mongering, scapegoating, misdirection, and by the cynical and hypocritical manipulation of the peoples sincere patriotic and religious feelings. After decades of this, the extremist pundits and politicians feel free to claim the authority to define who is patriotic and who is not. Don’t worry, we are fixing to change that. The American flag is our flag.
"In their profound arrogance they even claim to know and represent the will of God – the will of God according to the Koch brothers and their servants the media and government usually includes taxing the middle class, tax exempting the rich, and generally screwing over the poor. Well friends, I’ve had 16 years of religions education – a few with the Jesuits – I can tell you that this smug superiority, this ill-concealed contempt for the poor, this false piety, this idolatry of wealth, is not religion. It is blasphemy, worse, it is God Damn blasphemy. And we are going to hold this mendacity and hypocrisy up to the light of truth. We are going to dispel the smoke screen and reveal the true program and the true constituency of the right.
The real program is to continue the disgraceful transfer of America’s wealth from hard working people, like us, to the not-so-hard working 1%. The real program is to create an American oligarchy of wealth (maybe like the one in Russia that the president seems so fond of).
"Brothers and sisters, the multi-nationals and the super-rich don’t need any more tax cuts, tax shelters, allowances, or incentives. They’re okay. We don’t have to worry about them. They can take care of themselves. But all this concentration of wealth is bad. Bad for the economy, bad for democracy, bad for people. And now the right wing controls the Republican Party, which controls the federal government, and they are close to implementing their reactionary plans, but they need Mr. Trump to do that. So they are willing to play fast and loose with the constitution, the free press, the independent judiciary. They are so anxious to enforce their foolish programs that they are willing to look the other way while a foreign tyrant subverts our government.
"Does anyone here believe that we can rely on this congress to get to the bottom of this disgusting Putin business? Damn straight. Not without a lot of help and encouragement from the free, patriotic American citizens gathered here tonight. Join us. Defend our freedom. Defend our people. Defend the truth. That is the democratic interpretation of God’s will. And we believe that we are on God’s side – and America’s side – when we look out for each other."