*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Nobody likes a bully. It doubtless is why so many Americans don’t like Donald Trump because he is nothing if not a colossal bully. Oh, it is true he is a liar and a fascist, but those delightful qualities are the result of being permitted to be a bully; first by his parents, then by his immediate family, and now by establishment Republicans. However, there is one thing savvy Americans and playground kids know about a bully; the best way to handle them is not being intimidated by their threats and being willing and able to hit them where it hurts; with valid and painful threats. California Governor Jerry Brown is not one to be bullied by any Republican, but especially a Republican bully named Donald J. Trump; regardless he gets to live in a place he has no right even visiting, much less occupying.
Since Trump does get to reside in the people’s house, he thinks it’s his right to bully refugees if they subscribe to the wrong religion to worship the biblical god Jehovah and unconstitutionally deny them due process guaranteed under the document Trump doesn’t believe applies to him. It wasn’t enough to bully refugees and visitors who aren’t Christians, or happen to come from majority-Muslim nations that Trump doesn’t profit from, so he decided to bully and threaten states and cities that offer sanctuary to the people the fascist and his acolytes are bullying, punishing, and singling out for the most typical kind of Republican discrimination – hate.
Many states and cities are resisting the Trump’s un-Christian action against the “needy,” but one state, California, is standing up to the Trump and leveling its own threat against him; and in this case California is just big enough, humanitarian enough, and has the means to carry out its threat and hurt Trump. They can also inflict some serious damage on red-state bigots supporting the Trump and his unconstitutional assault on the people Jesus Christ ordered his followers to assist. It was one thing for Trump to threaten immigrants and refugees, but he never should have threatened to withhold federal funding from cities and states that are loyal to the Constitution and that one uniquely American quality that made it exceptional: giving refuge to anyone in need no matter their point of origin or religious preference.
Shortly after the Trump threatened to cut federal funding for sanctuary cities, Governor Jerry Brown responded with his own threat by warning that if Trump cuts federal funding, California will stop paying federal taxes. Now, this is no idle threat and not a meaningless warning. California is what is known as a “donor state” which means it sends significantly more in federal tax payments than it gets back in federal aid. California receives about 78 cents for every dollar it sends to the feds; what a so-called business mind like Trump would call a really bad investment deal. Still, since Californians are not savages toward other human beings, it faithfully invests at a loss to itself to help pay the poor red state residents’ federal aid and assistance bills.
First, a sanctuary city is one that will accept the people Trump intends to oppress including immigrants, Muslims, members of the LGBT community, and anyone the fascist regime designates as its enemies. Trump’s threat to cut funding for sanctuary cities is, according to constitutional scholars, patently unconstitutional.
Specifically, it is a violation of the Tenth Amendment since it “is an attempt to commandeer state and local officials;” something not included in the Constitution or the Tenth Amendment. In fact, there is no clause or section in the entire Constitution that even addresses sanctuary cities or any mention of authority of the White House occupant to withhold funds from them; no individual has that authority. Like everything Trump has done thus far, his threat is founded on “the law of the man” who doesn’t believe settled law or the Constitution applies to him.
Since California is ranked as the 46th most dependent state on the federal government, it is used to taking a substantial investment hit from the federal government and loses 22-cents on every dollar California sends to help poor Republican state residents who are only poor because they live in Republican states. Those “Trump-supporting” states will cry foul when their “federal funding” takes a hit because California is not going to be bullied by a fascist barbarian. And they will take a significant funding hit because Trump-supporting states are the “most reliant on federal funds.” Each and every one of those Republican states are “welfare states” because the “takers” receive significantly more in federal aid than they contribute with their tax dollars.
It is true that California’s largest sanctuary cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, will be negatively affected if the Trump follows through on his threat and withholds federal funding, but Governor Brown and the Democratically-controlled legislature is already exploring the various avenues a rich state like California can take to pick up the slack. Remember, in the past two elections California voters not only approved, by a wide margin, tax hikes on the rich, they also approved very substantial bonds to expand healthcare, education and various social programs specifically to aid the least fortunate among us; including immigrants and those seeking refuge from the religious extremists and bigoted savages supporting the Trump.
California’s Democratic leaders are not issuing an idle threat to Trump and if he doesn’t believe it he had better come to grips with that fact sooner than later. In fact, a highly-respected former speaker of the state assembly, Willie Brown Jr. told KPIX 5 news on Sunday that, “California could very well become an organized non-payer. They could recommend non-compliance with the federal tax code.”
What that means is that individual taxpayers could join Governor Brown and stop paying federal income tax and hurt Trump even more. And this author can attest that there are a very significant number of people who are ready and willing to withhold personal tax payments as a form of resistance and protest to America’s brand new fascist regime and its tyrannical dictator.
Like nearly every real “decent” American, Californians are appalled at the vile actions of this nasty regime and they are taking action to protect their fellow citizens. California’s vast University system is advising its professors, employees, and students against going out of country because they understand the risk that they may not be allowed back into America. Remember, Trump officials are already scouring incoming travelers’ social media looking for any reason to keep them out, including not idolizing Donald J. Trump. There are even reports that border agents were interrogating those attempting to enter America to determine if they support Trump or not.
California’s governor and legislature are taking the right steps to “resist” the Trump and his unconstitutional and illegal fascist overreach targeting Muslims from countries he doesn’t profit from; it is a step other states should emulate. It is true the massive protests might have some impact on some Republicans in Congress, but the Trump is not enthralled. However, a state like California withholding payments to the feds will have an impressive impact on the nation and particularly the Republican states supporting that fascist who thinks that just because he lives in a place he has no right residing he is a law unto himself. If enough Americans stand up to the bully, it is possible that Republicans in Congress will get a clue that no-one likes a bully no matter where he lives, no matter what political office he holds, or no matter that his name is Trump and he too is a Republican.
*The above commentary is the sole opinion of its author*
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.