VIEWPOINT: None dare call it treason

by John C. Forney, president, Democratic Club of Claremont

In the 1960s, during the time of Barry Goldwater’s campaign, John Stormer authored a book, None Dare Call it Treason, which became something of a cult classic among the right.

It was so widely distributed in bulk at Goldwater campaign events that many of Barry’s fans thought that he himself had actually written it. The theme of the book was the nefarious infiltration of communist values into American society. Schools, churches, the government—all were infected by a pernicious “red” disease. Our elites were selling us down the river.

In fact there was no massive commie infiltration of American society. The only thing going on was that the spirit of Woodstock had taken hold of the youth of America. “Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll” had captured the imagination of our young and not-so-young.

But beyond the marijuana haze in Golden Gate Park, something far more momentous was insinuating itself into American society. Blacks were voting. Women were demanding equality in the workplace and at home. Students were questioning authority. Young and old were in the streets marching against the Vietnam War. And those in power were apoplectic.

We are now at another turning point in society. No, it’s not about free spirits romping in scanty clothing through the park or the distorted blaring of guitars of a punk rock band to the hypnotic pulse of strobe lights in a smoke-filled auditorium.

We now have a president—and a government—dangerously out of control. It’s about corruption at the pinnacle of political power. It’s about the possible connivance of our president and those around him with a hostile, foreign power to undermine our democratic tradition of free and fair elections.

Paul Manafort, on the payroll of a Russian kleptocrat, was paid some $10 million a year, working as an unregistered stealth lobbyist behind the scenes at the highest levels inside the Trump Administration. His aim was to advance the commercial and political interests of the Putin government. 

Mr. Trump’s Russian business dealings tie him in with some very unsavory characters laundering dark money through the Bank of Cyprus. Until we have Mr. Trump’s tax returns, his murky business dealings will continue to cloud everything this administration says and does. How many tainted millions continue to fuel the Trump empire? Exactly what interests does Donald Trump represent? The public deserves to know. 

Numerous others besides General Michael Flynn have been caught up in a web of conversations with Russian agents by our intelligence agencies during the election. One objective of the Russians has been to undermine US economic sanctions to punish their aggression and then annexation of Crimea. Valdimir Putin was surely pleased when the plank condemning Russian aggression in the Ukraine was removed from the Republican campaign platform at the express demand of Mr. Trump. 

We now know to a certainty that Russians were actively working against Hillary Clinton by the selective leaking through WikiLeaks of Democratic National Committee emails. Was there evidence of collusion on the part of the Trump campaign? As of Wednesday, March 22, Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, thinks so. None dare call it treason?

This corruption is worse than Watergate. At least  Richard Nixon wasn’t selling the country out to a foreign adversary.

It is time for all who value our nation’s heritage and institutions to insist on a special prosecutor and an independent panel to launch a thorough, nonpartisan investigation. It’s time for millions of postcards and emails to hit our representatives’ in-boxes demanding such. 

These are serious matters rife with grave consequences for our nation. They warrant more than a non-answer and the dismissive wave of the hand from our president. We need truthful answers before this rot consumes all we hold dear.

None dare call it treason? I’m not so sure any more. At this point none of us can be.


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