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Let’s hope March 30, 2023 is the beginning of Trump’s downfall

Ex-president deserves everything the law can throw at him

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Former President Donald Trump (Photo by shganti777/Bigstock)

Donald Trump will have the distinction of going down in history as the first former president to be indicted. As I write this, the actual charges have not been disclosed, but it is rumored there will be more than two dozen counts.

In recent history, Richard Nixon resigned before charges were brought against him, and then Gerald Ford pardoned him. Bill Clinton testified for four hours in front of a grand jury and Kenneth Starr’s report led to his impeachment. But he was never charged or indicted. He did cut a deal on his last day in office agreeing to a fine and having his law license in Arkansas suspended for five years, in return for not seeing any charges or indictment after he left office in the Monica Lewinsky case. 

The Trump case is on a level of its own because Trump’s crimes are on a level not seen before. For 50 years he has been a criminal and skirted the law, like a mafia don, from the time he and his father signed a consent decree based on their racist practices in renting apartments, up through his acts as president and beyond. Those include trying to coerce officials in Georgia to steal the election, and instigating and planning the Jan. 6 riots. After leaving office he apparently intentionally took top-secret documents to Mar-a-Lago and refused to return them even when requested and subpoenaed by the National Archives and the Justice Department. Those acts are currently being investigated by grand juries at the state and federal level.

We know Trump is a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, pig. Unfortunately, those things on their own aren’t criminal. It is only when acted upon they can be. Over the years Trump has acted on many of them and until now gotten away with it. With the March 30 indictment by a grand jury in New York, and his upcoming rape trial, he is finally beginning to be called to account for his criminal actions. 

What is clear is Trump wants to be president again to avoid prosecution. He announced his reelection plans hoping as a candidate, he would be safe from prosecution. Yet each day his lawyers are losing case after case trying to keep those close to him from having to testify to various grand juries, figures like Mike Pence and Mark Meadows who know enough to bring him down. 

The former Republican Party, now the Party of Trump, is coming to his defense. We have heard the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy attack the legal system in support of Trump. Raw Story reported, “McCarthy in a statement he posted on Twitter alleged that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our presidential election.” McCarthy promised to hold Bragg “and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”

We hear one after another Republican office holder do the same, all clearly fearful of the 30% of the Republican Party who follow Trump blindly, like a cult leader. Those Trumpers put party office holders’ elections in jeopardy. We have seen what Trump can do to those who stand up to him. Of the 10 who voted to impeach him, only two remain in the House. 

Let’s hope Donald Trump will look back on Thursday, March 30, 2023, as the first day he found out what his future will look like.  Maybe free government housing, this time in a jail cell. The announcement of his indictment by the New York grand jury being only the beginning. 

I am convinced Donald Trump never wanted to be president. He ran to increase the value of his brand. But clearly, once he was the candidate, paying off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, seemed imperative to him. What he fears most is being branded a loser. He also understood, as president he could not be held accountable for his crimes. During his term, while many of his crimes were coming back to haunt him, he couldn’t be touched. He was being sued for rape by E. Jean Carroll and he and his company were being investigated for all kinds of financial crimes. Then he lost his reelection campaign and realized he could face reality and was willing to try to hang on to the presidency at all costs, even if it meant taking down the country. All to avoid responsibility for his crimes. Then he compounded his crimes exponentially, trying to stay in power. 

Clearly Trump felt announcing a new campaign would protect him. He announced his candidacy for reelection thinking that would allow him to continue to avoid prosecution. He makes the claim, and has Trumpers in Congress and around the country parrot it for him, “since he is a candidate, the law can’t go after him.” Thankfully he is wrong. Judges are telling all those around him they can no longer hide and forcing them to testify to various grand juries looking to indict him. Those indictments will, I hope, follow the one in New York.

Donald Trump sounds more and more like a charlatan. He is selling snake oil and he is the snake. He is a congenital liar. I first met Donald Trump back in my New York political years. He was a suave young man taken with himself. His mentors were his father, and one of the biggest closeted gays in New York, Roy Cohn, a total sleaze. Donald learned well at his knee. He learned to lie about everything. He lied about never taking money from the government after getting a 40-year tax abatement, from the city, the first ever granted to a commercial property, for the Grand Hyatt. It was a great hotel. I often stayed there and even brought back the first guy I ever picked up at a bar to my room (I’m still friends with him nearly 40 years later). 

Trump deserves everything the law can throw at him. His legacy is allowing homophobes, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and others of that ilk to spout their hate in the public square. His followers are legalizing hate against the LGBTQ community, with a particular focus on the transgender community, and women, in state legislatures across the nation. His right-wing justices, including his appointees to the Supreme Court, are taking away the rights of women to control their own healthcare and body. His political party, the Party of Trump, is systematically destroying our democracy, betraying what our country has always stood for. 

The question remains, once he is indicted by more than one grand jury, will the remnants of the old Republican Party stick with him? We will find out how many Republicans still have a sense of decency or have they all succumbed to Trump? Some may want to take courage by looking at my friend Marvin Roffman to see it is possible to win against Trump. But only if you are willing to stand up to the despot.

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Fathers should speak to kids about drugs, alcohol

Highlight dangers of illicit substances, how to manage peer pressure

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What does it take to be a good father? While there are many answers, it generally involves showing up daily, playing an essential role in their life, being there for them, and loving them unconditionally. 

Fathers are there to provide abundant love and support. Most fathers know the sacrifice it takes to ensure their children are loved and cared for. A father is always there for their kids, offering guidance, support, and education. The greatest joy for any father is seeing their children thrive, do well in life, and be healthy. 

However, things can get derailed in life, and teens and young adults take risks, such as experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Fathers have a responsibility to speak to their kids about drugs and alcohol and help them understand the risks and consequences. 

Data has shown that more than half of LGBTQ youth used alcohol in the last year, and more than one in three LGBTQ youth used marijuana in the previous year. Approximately 11% of LGBTQ youth reported regular use (defined as daily or weekly use) of both alcohol and marijuana.

Illegal drugs today are more readily available than ever before. According to the DEA, drug traffickers have turned smartphones into a one-stop shop to market, sell, buy, and deliver deadly fake prescription pills and other drugs. Amid this ever-changing age of social media influence, kids, teens, and young adults are easily influenced.  

Drug traffickers advertise on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The posts are promptly posted and removed with code words and emojis used to market and sell illicit drugs. Unfortunately, digital media provides an increased opportunity for both marketing and social transmission of risk products and behaviors. 

Fathers are responsible for protecting and preparing our children for the world. Drug education is essential. Take the time to speak to your kids about the dangers of illicit substances, how to avoid and manage peer pressure, and what to look for. Be prepared to share personal experiences and help them understand that some choices have consequences. 

However, it can be challenging to see our kids struggle with things in life, and as fathers, we can also face our own difficulties, making it more difficult to help our children. The responsibility of raising children can be a lot; there are many challenges along the way, and the pressure of being a good influence can get the best of us. 

All of this makes it vital not to ignore our mental health; children, especially younger kids, mimic what they see. How we cope with frustration, anger, sadness, or isolation impacts our children in several ways. 

Our actions have consequences. Children see how we handle every situation, and while no father is perfect, we must be conscious of the fact they are impressionable when they are young. They look up to us, mimic our actions, and see when we are doing well in life mentally.   

The key for fathers caring for children is to take the time to care for themselves. However, if you are struggling, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Taking care of your mental health is the same as taking care of your physical health; it is an integral part of your well-being and contributes to you being the best father you can be.

Nickolaus Hayes is a healthcare professional in the field of substance use and addiction recovery and is part of the editorial team at DRS. His primary focus is spreading awareness by educating individuals on the topics surrounding substance use.

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In debate, Biden must stay on offense

President needs more lines like ‘I am running against a 6-year-old’

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President Joe Biden (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

On June 27, President Joe Biden will debate the man he has called a six-year-old. A great line, and he needs a few more like that. Unless there is a clear stumble by either candidate, we know what they will say. Trump will call Biden ‘sleepy Joe,’ among other names. But the reality is, people are used to it. They are not as used to Biden returning the favor. And Biden, aside from referring to Trump as a convicted felon, needs some lines that will make headlines the next day. Something with a little humor in it, but still making a strong point. 

Trump is scary. The recent column in the Washington Post on how Russ Vought, the former president’s budget director, is laying the groundwork for a broad expansion of presidential powers, is truly frightening. Now if it were me, I would be able to use my usual litany of words when referring to Trump: racist, sexist, misogynist, homophobic pig, found liable for sexual assault, and convicted felon. I may even go as far as suggesting society replace the word felon with “Trump.” People at trials could be convicted of 34 “Trumps.” But Biden can’t really use that. Maybe Biden can do something like look him in the eye and say, “You can’t really believe all the BS you keep spouting!” Then add, “The world is a complicated place, and even most six-year-olds seem to have a better understanding and grasp of it than you do.” 

Then there is the focus on the very serious part of the debate. The discussion of issues including the economy, abortion, contraception, and foreign policy. Reminding people, it was Trump who killed the immigration bill in Congress, telling energy billionaires if they raise him a billion dollars, in essence bribe him, they can “drill baby drill.” The president needs to speak to African Americans, Latinos, women, and the young. He needs to tell each of those groups what will happen if the six-year-old he is running against, were to become president again. 

Then he needs to look directly into the camera and say to the audience at home, “It isn’t only Trump you need to fear, it is the people he will surround himself with. His sycophants and cult, who will let him get revenge on anyone who says a word against him.” You can count on the fact it will be much worse than the last time around when he tried to stage a coup, because no decent person will work for him.

The first debate will take place 18 weeks before the Nov. 5 election. So much can change between then and the election. Remember when we talked about an October surprise? In today’s world there could be July, August, and September surprises as well. Between now and election day we will be treated to an overload of polling, most of it wrong. We will read hundreds of headlines, many of them clickbait. If you watch TV you will get to listen to hundreds of talking heads, many knowing no more than you. The difference being, they are being paid to spout off on the election, giving not facts, but their opinions. 

It seems every four years we hear this could be the most important, the most crucial, election of our lifetime. Well, this time those who say it just may be telling the truth. One candidate, convicted of 34 “Trumps,” is telling you he will be a dictator, and using Hitler’s words. He has the likes of Russ Voight advising him, and openly says he will seek revenge. Nothing could be more frightening. He is telling the young he doesn’t care about climate change, and telling the poor their programs will be cut because he will cut taxes for the rich.  

He calls our soldiers, those who sacrificed their lives and died in wars, “suckers and losers.” He called John McCain “a war hero because he was captured,” saying, “I like people who weren’t captured.” This frightening, sick man, with the world view of a warped six-year-old, will lead the United States if we aren’t willing to stand up to him, and his MAGA cult. Yes, I am afraid! And you should be too! If you are a woman, a minority, a member of the LGBTQ community, or just poor, be scared, be very afraid! If Trump and his cult win, you will lose what little you think you now have.

Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ rights and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.

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Why you should celebrate pride with a musical about GenderCannibalism?

Rose: You Are What You Eat, through June 23 at Woolly Mammoth.

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Photo courtesy of Woolly Mammoth.

Because when I came out as trans my aunt told me it was because I ate my twin in the womb…and that’s what the show is about

Because…remember that time when you decided to dress like exactly like your older sister; or you stole your mothers’ makeup or your brother’s tie; or you decided to dress up like Katherine Hepburn for halloween when you were (i dunno) 10; or you started to look eerily like your lover…..that’s all gender cannibalism

Because because because because because….” because if you know that song this was made for you…and if you don’t…it’s okay, we’ll work on it

Because you can probably find a cute date at the show irl instead of just swiping in your phone…think of theater as an in person dating app without as much drunkenness as the bar

Because maybe that cute date is me

Because you can sing along to music written by a bunch of queers from Philly and D.C. 

Because we are all so hungry and so so thirsty 

Because I guarantee you will leave feeling fed

Because cannibalism puns are tasty

Because it’s a comedy

Because there are pay-what-you-can tickets

Because it plays all of June

Because we are consuming gender all the time but rarely watching what and how we eat it 

Because it’s an anti-assimilationist endeavor: the corporations can’t co-opt “gender cannibalism” for pride month (but there is merchandise available at the show…)

Because it’s only 75 minutes

Because I dance around in tighty whities with socks on my hands

Because there is a free clothing swap and treats in the gallery next to the show

Because why not?

Because you will be cast as my Mother, and that’s the role of a lifetime (or at least my lifetime)

Because you won’t know what will happen; you can’t pause or rewind the show; you will be taking a risk; you will find it’s more than just entertainment; you will feel me talking right to you

Because I’ve been writing this show for 34 years and am finally ready to share it with you

Because I’ll be in the lobby afterwards to say hi, and receive hugs, stories, and phone numbers 

Because I made this piece for you, my dear deviants, trans folx, genderful ones and for the people that care for us. It is a good laugh and a good cry and meant as a gift, a way to end your day feeling loved, nourished and worthy

Because don’t you want to be nourished and reminded that you are loved and worthy? 

And frankly because art needs you to survive and you need art to thrive

Because I took the time to write this letter to you and you took the time to read it, and neither you nor I want to waste that investment

Because you won’t want to miss it

Get tickets to Rose: You Are What You Eat, playing through June 23rd.

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