BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Since the election, I have bided my time and bitten my tongue about the ridiculous things president-elect Donald Trump has been saying and doing. It’s time to start pointing things out, especially since some of what he represents relates to Armenian concerns in subtle, not-very-obvious, ways.
No doubt you’ve read the news that a group of technology professionals has signed a pledge to not assist in any effort that would create a registry of Moslems in the U.S. They cited the U.S. internment of its Japanese citizens during WWII, the Holocaust, and the Armenian Genocide. All of these obscenities required lists, registers, logs, to be implemented. I would add, as proof of how fraught with risk of abuse lists can be, a recent example from Turkey. It turns out the names of the tens of thousands of government employees who were removed from their jobs after the July 2016 coup for being associated with the Gulen movement were identified by having their names appear on a server the government got hold of! We should be loudly denouncing any “Moslem registry” efforts. This doesn’t mean denying the grief we have endured through the abuse of Islam by Sultans in Ottoman days or ISIS/Daesh today. It does mean not sacrificing our humanity and legacy as Genocide survivors/descendants to blind fear mongering.
Trump’s shenanigans on the international scene are also constantly in the news. From China to Turkey and elsewhere, his “mouth” (often via Twitter) is creating diplomatic difficulties. This lecherous boor is being defended by his sycophants and adorers even when he says and does things that anyone else would be shunned and possibly even penalized for. Couple this with his potential for conflicts of interest based on his worldwide business empire. Of course it’s not a crime to have such financial success. But, basic common sense and a modicum of modesty would have kept any decent person from even running for president, precisely for this reason. However, decent Donald Trump is NOT, else he would not be mocking all those who supported him by appointing exactly the elitist destroyers of average people’s economic lives to his cabinet. Neither would some of those people be named to head departments whose very missions they oppose. Trump is making a mockery of the presidency and the departments he is supposed to use to lead the U.S.
A prime example of the conflicts of interest Trump will often find himself in is the Hanukkah party hosted by Azerbaijan at Trump Tower. Imagine! And it can only get worse since there is really no way to disentangle himself from his business interests. No one is buying the poppycock about his kids taking everything over. Really? Would you trust a guy who has repeatedly not paid his employees/contractors and declared bankruptcy?
Regarding trust, or more aptly mistrust, let’s talk recounts. Trump claimed that elections were rigged against him. Yet he won. Now that the Green Party’s Jill Stein has called for recount in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, he has spoken out against it! Why? What is he afraid of? What’s wrong with reconfirming the security, integrity, and accuracy of the voting systems and actual counts when so many questions have been raised about them? What is he trying to hide? Why the inconsistency?
Despite all this despicableness, Trump will be president for the next four years, at least. So, as Harut Sassounian wrote, we must develop ties, connections, and relations with the Trump administration, but that doesn’t mean staying silent about his egregious actions and utterances.
Finally, just to correct up an apparent misconception, let me clarify my position relative to the Clinton-Trump match-up. I write this because readers have posted comments to at least one of my pieces asserting that I supported Clinton over Trump. Incorrect! I have only contended that she is far more competent for the job in all sorts of ways and since one of the two was going to get the presidency, as a citizen, I’d rather see Clinton in that position.
Now, let’s all get busy navigating the maze that will be the next four years of pursuing the Armenian Cause in Washington, DC.