Emil Guillermo: Trumputin, rescission, and internment--Asian Americans know the feeling of a President's betrayal
July 17, 2018 1:06 PM
I was watching that Hell-stinky summit of Trump and Putin, where Trump did nothing more than solidify his bully status.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
I should have figured. You see, bullies don't punch back. Bullies are weak. Bullies are cowards.
Bullies, when they're president, betray the American people.
The way you beat a bully is merely to stand up to him. Even when you're shorter with less hair like Putin. The Russian president never had to take off his shirt. He never flinched. He knew exactly how to play a trump hand.
Putin stood his ground at that monstrous event we might as well call the birthing of some new two-headed world monster. Because there they were--the two leaders, one supposedly of the free world and the other of the less free.
And there they were both speaking as one.
How could that be? Putin--the man behind the taking of Crimea, the unrest in the Ukraine, innumerable human rights violations, the suppressor of free speech and a free press--he and the president of the free world were one?
At this presser, they were.
Especially on the subject of Russian interference in our 2016 elections.
Putin boldly said (in translation) that Russia "never interfered" in the U.S. election. He referred to it all as the "so-called interference," conveniently dismissing the indictments issued by the Mueller probe against 12 Russian military hackers.
Instead of a forceful rebuke, or a well-timed diplomatic tongue lash in return, the U.S. president responded meekly. Trump didn't hold Russia accountable for anything. In a typical Trump move, he went Charlottesville, where he didn't have the heart to blame white supremacists despite compelling visual evidence. Remember the many "fine people of both sides" line?
In this case, Trump would only say that "we have both made mistakes," and how both countries were to blame for the current state of U.S./Russia relations.
That's despite being armed with all the intel by U.S. officials that have resulted in indictment after indictment in the Mueller/Russia probe.
Trump was merely doing a typical bully move. He had a chance to take a swing. Even sucker punch Putin.
But you don't throw a sucker punch when you're the sucker.
Besides, bullies don't punch. When the moment comes, and it's swing or be swung upon, they speak softer. Blame both sides and try to be friends with their enemy.
It may work in business when a CEO sells out his workers to save his butt in a failing negotiation. But in a democracy, your allegiance is to the American people.
We're left betrayed by a leader who doesn't stand up and defend our interests or democratic values as forcefully and unequivocally as possible.
Mark it historically.
It was there for all to see: Trump's public betrayal of America.
ASIAN AMERICANS KNOW THAT FEELING
Asian Americans know how it feels when a president betrays them.
Filipino veterans of World War II went to fight for the U.S. in the Philippines during WWII. They were promised citizenship and full pay and benefits for their efforts if they answered President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's order. And they signed up in droves. Filipinos were the bulk of the prisoners of war in the Bataan Death March.
For their efforts they got the Rescission Act of 1946, signed by President Truman, which essentially negated the promise of Roosevelt.
Many of these veterans ultimately became American citizens in other ways. So these Filipinos weren't just denied all the rights they were promised. Thousands of them continued to fight
for their back pay and benefits as Americans.
It took more than 55 years for them to be made whole.
Roosevelt made the promise, but Truman was the bad guy who rescinded the promise in 1946.
Roosevelt is mostly remembered for his classic betrayal of another group of Asian Americans with Executive Order 9066
, which led to the incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans.
We know how it feels to be let down by a president. It cost Asian Americans a lot more than people will ever realize when your leader abandons you.
And now everyone else knows how it feels too.
FROM CHICAGO WITH MY FRIEND, A TRUMPER
My twitter response was immediate.
And there was the New York Daily News cover with the phrase "Open Treason."
I'll stick with "betrayal" for now.
But I did encounter my friend, a Trump supporter.
I was staying in Chicago at his home while attending a Filipino American National Historical Society convention.
While he may not be an unabashed Trump supporter, he's definitely in the "give Trump a chance" camp.
The morning after the summit, my Trumpy friend greeted me this way: "It looks like he's unifying the country---against him."
My friend is results-oriented. He believes if you give Trump enough rope he'll hang himself, and voters will oust him if he doesn't deliver. My friend is a smart, successful, well-educated Mexican American immigrant who runs a thriving small business with his immigrant wife from Russia. They're not pro-Putin. They chose America and are USA all the way.
But my friend wants to give Trump a break and see if he can live up to campaign promises about improving the economy. He believes all Trump did at the summit was "insult" the U.S. intelligence community that works for the president.
The spies should buck up.
But Trump did much more than insult the intelligence community.
He threw the whole country under the bus.
And Putin is driving.
It makes you yearn for the days Reagan supporters called liberals "communist sympathizers" or worse, "commie pinkos."
The summit proves Trumputin shouldn't be anyone's idea of some new world order.
But we are in a new phase in the Trump era of U.S. democracy. Time for all good patriots on all sides to speak up and defend America--from its president.
* * *Emil Guillermo is an independent journalist/commentator.
Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, and like his Facebook page.The views expressed in his blog do not necessarily represent AALDEF's views or policies.
Leave a comment