America Needs The Presidential Propaganda Prohibition Act

Synopsis:

  • Repetitive, objectively false presidential declarations are a form of propaganda utilized globally by authoritarian regimes.
  • Donald Trump has demonstrated that this form of propaganda is effective in America.
  • As America’s systems of checks and balances have failed to mitigate this form of propaganda, we need to consider limitations on Presidential speech.
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America Needs The Presidential Propaganda Prohibition Act

President Donald Trump has made more than 20,000 objectively false statements and has demonstrated that if the President repeatedly states a lie as if it were a fact, eventually a significant fraction of the American public will believe the lie is an incontrovertible truth. This form of propaganda, known as the big lie, is having a pernicious influence on the health of Americans and our. democracy. …


“When people in a society lose faith or trust in their institutions and in each other, the nation collapses…” David Brooks writes in America Is Having a Moral Convulsion.

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U.S. Capital dome under contruction (1861 May 9, source: Library of Congress)

Distrust is rampant in America:

35% of Americans trust scientists

20% trust Congress

37% trust each other.

Expanding the House of Representatives from 435 to 8,300 members will reduce our distrust problem, political gerrymandering, political under-representation of minority ethnic groups and big money’s influence on the House.

Our Funding Fathers enacted the Great Compromise of 1787 which specified that the House of Representatives would be composed of one Representative for every 40,000 “inhabitants” with slaves counting as 3/5th of an inhabitant. …


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Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1

Erase “His” Name From Our Consciousness: Substitute “#HeWhoMustNotBeNamed” for “@realDonaldTrump” and “Donald Trump”

Our supersaturation of political news is primarily a result of Donald Trump’s psychopathology. The predicate for his existence is public adulation or at least public acknowledgment. For whatever reason, he believes it is essential that he be in the news every day, regardless of whether it is good news or bad news.

Assuming America votes President Trump out of office on November 3, 2020, and assuming President Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2021, Trump will, to a large measure, lose the public megaphone he has craved and incessantly used during his Presidential tenure.

Despite his loss of the bully-pulpit, ex-President Trump will not fade into the woodwork as former presidents have done. With a high degree of probability, ex-President Trump will (likely) attempt to take over Fox News and/or One America News Network (OAN) so he has a platform for on-going public exposure. This will allow him to control the future of the Republican Party while he lays the groundwork for a second occupancy of the White House by himself or his designated successor (his daughter, Ivanka) and monetizes his fame/infamy. …


A Physician’s Obligation to Discuss the Political Ramifications of Science with Patients

I walked into my exam room to see a patient I first met two decades ago. When we first met his medical problems included type 1 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a substance abuse disorder. Over the years our healthcare system has served him well as he has remained free of diabetic complications and now leads a productive life. Watching this transformation has been both professionally rewarding, personally enjoyable, and I look forward to our periodic interactions.

At this visit, he was sporting a MAGA hat. I was confused. How can my patient, who has so clearly benefited from America’s healthcare system, support a politician who has tried to abolish the Affordable Care Act, used the bully pulpit to undermine America’s public health experts, refused to implement healthcare policies which would mitigate COVID-19’s morbidity and mortality, and who minimizes the severity of the coronavirus pandemic every day. Why does he support a politician whose healthcare policies are an immediate threat to his health and longevity? …


Lock Him Up or Not

Yasha Mounk published a pair of essays on persuasion.community.com debating whether ex-President Donald Trump should be prosecuted for crimes he committed in his capacity as President or as a private citizen.

While the two essayists, Michael Walzer and Norm Ornstein agree that there is a long list of criminality surrounding Donald Trump and his associates, they disagree as to how America should respond.

In the first essay “Prosecuting Trump Will Make Peaceful Transitions of Power Less Likely in the Future,” Walzer argues against prosecuting Trump if it means sending him to prison. The basic tenant of his argument is that “prison should never be the consequence of losing a democratic election. Otherwise, we raise the stakes so high that it becomes very dangerous to lose. And who would, then, agree to accept defeat?” In his article, he acknowledges that failing to prosecute a former president for crimes which could result in jail time for any other citizen is morally problematic but “it is the price we pay for keeping the stakes in the democratic struggle for power at a level that does not threaten the survival of the democratic system.” …


America is incapable of implementing a national policy to address the coronavirus pandemic. One solution would be for the Governors of the Blue States to jointly create the office of Blue State Domestic Ambassador for the Coronavirus Pandemic and task this person to implement an action plan to address the coronavirus pandemic.

America’s national political structure is in tatters as a result of the Trump Administration and the devolution of America into separate red and blue political tribes, a process initiated by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in 1995.

Trump lit a flame to the fire created by Congressman Gingrich so as to advance his interests. In doing so, Trump has actively undermined scientists, experts, and America’s long history of using rational public dialog to best determine America’s course of action. As a result, Trump’s Executive Branch is manifestly incapable and unwilling to formulate a rational plan to deal with our three most extant crises: COVID-19, systemic racism/inequity, and our failed national economy. …


Hostage the U.S. Economy to End Racism in America

Donald Trump has lit America on fire. He has proudly aligned himself with white nationalists while failing to fulfill his sworn constitutional obligation to mitigate the harm that COVID-19 has wreaked on America’s health and her economy.

Today, on Twitter, he threatened to shoot people protesting the needless death of a handcuffed, African-American male, George Floyd, who was murdered by 4 Minneapolis police officers while Mr. Floyd begged “I can’t breathe, man.”

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Over the last four centuries, America has seen this racist story repeated in various permutations. …


COVID-19 NOW

The number of patient who have contracted COVID-19 and seek care at a New York City’s hospital has exceeded the capacity of the healthcare system in some communities and will shortly exceed the capacity of the healthcare system in many hospitals in NYC and across the US. In addition to immediately increasing bed capacity, acquiring more ventilators and personal protective equipment, hospitals will also need many more physicians to manage the surge of COVID-19 patients.

My hospital has asked its physician medical staff to consider volunteering to take care of the expected surge of hospitalized patients. …


Joe Biden will likely be the Democrat Party’s Presidential nominee. His success in dethroning Mr. Trump will largely depend on the Democrat Party’s ability to ensure that a substantial fraction of the various anti-Trump constituencies cast a ballot on November 3rd.

In this regard, there is reason for concern as some of Senator Sanders’ supporters believe that it is morally preferable to not vote for Mr. Biden, as manifest by the #NeverBiden hashtag and elsewhere.

Before the #NeverBiden voters become irrevocably committed to the “Bernie or bust” proposition, they should be reminded of what happened in the 2000 Presidential election when the candidates on the Florida ballot were Al Gore (Democrat), George W Bush (Republican) and Ralph Nader (Green Party). …


The COVID-19 pandemic threatens the viability of our healthcare system and will exacerbate our economic inequity problem by disproportionately impacting hourly wage workers, increasing rates of homelessness, malnutrition, social discord, depression, disease and/or family instability. These problems will make it even more difficult for them to abide by “social distancing” guidelines, thus lengthening the duration of the pandemic and reduce their ability to partake in a future economic recovery.

To minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable we must immediately institute policies to reduce this inequity. …

About

Hayward Zwerling

I am an endocrinologist with an interest in medicine, health technology, health care policy, woodworking, and politics. Blog: www.IHaveAnIdea.us

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