Donald Trump now

The witch hunt has been destroyed. The lies of CNN, MSNBC, and the cohorts of the now fully discredited left-wing media are cascading down on them.

It all began when they did everything they could to get Clinton elected. But, when Donald Trump won, they were consumed by hate. They turned to the task of removing Trump from office.

Remember this about Hillary Clinton. She colluded with Russians. She obstructed justice.  The deep state embedded in many aspects of government—notably the intelligence community and the Justice Department—deliberately covered up her crimes. But they did not stop there.

In a breathtaking irony, they decided to pin her crimes on Donald Trump. Now it has all blown up in their face. I said it would. Two years ago, I said this, “Trump will not be impeached.  He will not even be censured. You don’t need to worry about Donald Trump.”

But is this cause for celebration? Quite the opposite. You need to see the shameful and criminal abuse of power by all of these people. This is a very dark day for America if we do not bring to justice all who broke the law, including Hillary Clinton.

For two years CNN and MSNBC fed the lie…not merely from hatred of Trump but to save their failing networks. It was all a lie. Not one thing they said about Trump was true.

533,074 articles about Russian collusion were written. Networks gave a whopping 2,284 minutes of air-time to the investigation. $25 million was spent and all the while they knew there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

What you have witnessed is the darkest abuse of power America has ever seen. People in great positions of power colluded in a way that makes the Watergate scandal look like jaywalking. There needs to be a national outrage that has not been seen since the Boston Tea Party.

The Republican Senate needs to declare war on this desecration of justice, due process, and the rule of law. Average Americans need to wake up to the great evil that has been done to them. For 2 years, Democrats have cared zero about jobs, national security, education, or our crumbling infrastructure—as they chased a fantasy fueled by hate. But why has all of this come to light?

Heaven is involved in this. When widespread evil is exposed, you know God is back of it. This was the answer to prayer for many intercessors.

Not once did I flinch in the face of this attack on Trump. I knew what God would do. And so, I am going to tell you what God will now do with Donald Trump.

To understand what God will do with Trump now, you must first recognize two miracles that brought us here:

-The first miracle was a grace that rested upon Trump and his family. No family and no man could have endured the vile tsunami of lies, insults, and threats, unless they were supernaturally sustained.

-The second, is that this witch hunt was destroyed. Look at who was against him: 400 newspapers. All the late-night talk show hosts. Every major network but Fox. The Moles in the FBI and CIA, the Democrat Party, and on and on it goes. How did they not get what they wanted? Why couldn’t the greatest cadre of power in history bring down one man?

Psalm 41:11 explains it: “By this I know that You are well pleased with me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.” The Mueller investigation was the great hope of the Left. It is why they spent 2 years pouring every last drop of their currency into it.

America came closer to losing freedom and morality than you can know. We were on the very brink of losing our Constitution and seeing the church driven underground. A spell has been broken.

Now Americans will ask: if the Russia Collusion thing was a hoax, what else is a hoax? Then the drowsy acceptance of foolishness is going to go away. Antifa protesters will look even stupider. Insane pronouncements by wacky politicians will now sound insane. Double standards will die.

 

In the next few months Donald Trump will behave like a general, uncovering more corruption, and turning the people of America away from the lies that have poisoned our institutions and campuses. You will see free speech return. It will once again be safe for opposing views to be shared.

Furthermore…Donald Trump has been steadily making it better for me and others to win lost souls. Since he signed the executive order enforcing free speech on campus, it opens the door for us to win students, like never before.

Now Trump will bulldoze the other lies and abuses of power that surround us. But what does that mean to you? It means that the church must seize this miracle. How will we explain it to God if we sit on the sidelines when doors are flying open?

It is silly to worry about what people will think if we stand with Trump. The evil spirit that fuels the Left will hate you and God, with or without Trump. At least with Trump, we have a firewall to let us preach the Gospel and hold on for another miracle.

We can’t be passive! We can’t fear supporting President Trump because things have gotten so heated. We also can’t sit back and abuse the miracle we have received.

The American church must build on the opportunity that Trump is now giving us. We must wake up to our task!  Our disunity is killing our cause. We must shake off the disastrous apathy and complacency that is dulling us to our duty.

There is great hope, because we have gotten a miracle. Miracles have power beyond what we understand. God allowed this blog to get into your hands so that you would pray, and obey. Don’t worry about others…just do the right thing. And rest assured: God will take care of the rest!

 

YOU ARE THE REAL TARGET

People love to call me an alarmist. But I know what I am talking about. The radical left has declared a very unusual kind of war on us—a war that Christian leaders will not admit and remain totally unprepared to fight.

The Trump victory has inflamed the left so much that two years later they are still totally rejecting the election and denying the rule of law.  Here is are the painful facts you must face:

Fake news: NBC poured 400 million dollars into Buzz Feed.  Buzz Feed released a tsunami of fake news that portrayed Trump as a pervert in Russia.  Only Trump was never there and we now know the entire incident was made up to destroy his reputation. Buzz Feed is only one of thousands of outlets that live to target you. The chilling part is that NBC, a gigantic company was willing to undermine America.

The California revolution: Behaving as if America had been taken over in a coup, California has declared itself a separate state for the resistance.  California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is once again moving for impeachment.   She began this impeachment crusade even before Trump took office! Again, Trump is not the real target.  California is a rogue state bent on changing your way of life.

What you must understand—the thing you must get—is, they are not just going after Trump—they are going after you.  I am talking about 80% of all Evangelicals and 63 million voters…especially young people who voted for Trump.   Young conservative Christians are in the cross hairs on campus for a reason. The media will now begin to attack Trump supporters as never before.

Get this! They are not just calling Trump a racist—they are calling you a racist.  They are not saying Trump hates Gays, Mexicans, and Muslim immigrants—they are saying you do.

According to them, supporting Trump makes you a despicable racist and hater who must have your rights revoked. They are trying to figure out a way to deny you employment and to deny your children an education.

Their election night 4-alarm leftist hissy fit is only the opening act.  Expect strikes, violent demonstrations, and a towering litany of acts of “civil disobedience.” As bad as it is now, just wait till the next election begins in earnest. You will witness a vileness and venom you never though possible in America.

Here is what I said on January 18th, 2017:  “Obama is not going away—He will lead the charge.  His true mission to undermine America will kick in now that he is no longer restrained by the presidency.  He will lead a confederation of movie stars, politicians, billionaires, Muslim leaders and minions in the United Nations. Trump legislation will be throttled at every turn.  The media will launch a withering nonstop assault on every word he says.” 

Not only did all of that happen, it is only now we are learning of the blind loyalty to him in the deep state and the crimes his toadies in the FBI were willing to perform at his behest. The Democrat Party is feverishly reconstructing America into a hostile land for conservatives and Christians. With Obama’s input they are imagining a post-Christian era. A nation without guns, without the protections of the constitution, and a single party.

As I said, they are not going after Trump they are going after you and me.  If this is true how then should we prepare?  Here are my heartfelt convictions of what we must do now.  

yes-they-are-going-after-you

  1. Don’t let them bully you, learn from history.  It is 1776 all over again.  An oppressive regime has illegitimately claimed power over us.  British rule then is very much like leftist rulers now.  Loyalists joined British forces in oppressing the colonists and told them that their elected officials were not valid.  Now they say Republicans are not valid.

The leftist elites are not British monarchs or red coats but they are telling us what we can and cannot believe.  They are seizing our rights.  T.V. Networks and billion dollar companies are working to overrule not just a free and fair election but a God fearing way of life.

The challenge of the church today is the same as it was in 1776.  Revolutionary war Christians understood that they could not be on the sidelines as their rights were being destroyed.   Their call was to stand for freedom.

kick-in

 

  1. We must fight with the weapons of God! Thank God, we are not waging physical war but we are fighting a spiritual war. To fight, we must pray and speak the Word of God.  We cannot afford to listen to those who say we should not speak out against Islam, immorality, or far left totalitarianism.

Some ask “won’t this make us look unloving and turn lost souls off to the Gospel?”  On the contrary, when we speak out with the power of the Holy Spirit it will shatter the strong delusion that is pervading our society. The demonic spell will be broken over them.

The early colonists knew they were building a nation that would be a lighthouse of the Gospel to the world.  Do we realize what they did? Do you see how the iron curtain that these celebrities and media tyrants are ringing down on us will silence the Gospel and leave Israel at the mercy of all her enemies.

  1. Build on prophecy: If you believe that Trump is a miracle that is a type of King Cyrus then act like it! Seize this divine opportunity to stand with policies that best reflect our values.  Don’t chicken out now that the heat is on.I can’t believe the Evangelical leaders who have their head in the sand. Just because this evil seems fantastic and unacceptable to your sensibilities does not make it any less real.

With the very same breath that we call Satan a liar…we must call falsehood out!  Preachers all over America must ring the bell of liberty in their pulpits and call out the intellectual frauds who are destroying our freedom.

They are not harmless actors and singers, they agents of tyranny that are not coming after Trump they are coming after you…but remember, if God be for you who can be against you?

Let’s shed the artificial niceness. It is nothing more than cowardice. There is too much at stake to be fretting over “how we are perceived.”  We must understand that we have lost elections for all the wrong reasons. It is because we didn’t unify…it’s because too many preachers have hoodwinked us into apathetic acceptance of this takeover.

The awakened believer must link with other awakened believers. They must dump the religious culture of compromise and huddle with those willing to pay the price to let God use them to transform America back to one nation under God. There are millions of us!

Oh, how the enemy has lied to the American church. If we find our voice—if we don’t break ranks—this leftist lie will die an early death. Come on child of God, what are you waiting for.  Don’t say this isn’t your battle. How’s that even possible when you are the real target?

Burning down our house

I don’t mention any names in this blog.  I wanted you to see—if you get to see—how extreme things have gotten.  Censorship is no longer just about what you say, it is about what they think you are saying.  Soon they will censor what they think you are thinking.  Consider yourself fortunate if this information is not blocked—or if you got to it before it was. 
I am about to talk to you villains who are burning down our house.  They are using lies and bankrupt ideas to set their fires.  I will use another vehicle that is new to me: I am going to direct this blog directly to the guilty.  I am going to rebuke them.  You may think that is unloving…maybe even unchristian.  That hits on why we have lost so many moral battles. 
To win them—we were told—we must be nice.  We couldn’t have been nicer.  We didn’t win them.  In fact, our niceness made them hate us more.  Love sometimes delivers a “thanks I needed that” message.  Occasionally, the truth should hurt…especially when a nation is at stake.
Wicked people have torched the truth and it’s your children’s future that’s on fire.  It’s time you realized that something truly dark is looming on the horizon. 
Is there hope?  There is great hope.  In fact, it was at a low ebb of faith like this that the Jesus movement exploded.
–Mario Murillo

BURNING DOWN OUR HOUSE

You doused America with flammable lies.  Every room, every stairway, every doorway soaked in combustible falsehoods.  Then you struck the match.  Now the house is burning down.  A five-alarm fire.
Like crazed villagers, you scream “it is for the greater good” as you torch everything in your path.  History chases you pleading: “this has never worked, and it will never work.”  But do you listen?  Reason hunts you down and cries, “you will make the world worse than it was before.” But it doesn’t matter.

You’ll will enforce truth by lying?  You’ll conquer hate with what, new hate?
You’re attacking evil?  Please explain:  After you tell every lie, break every law—and evil not only survives but turns back on you—what truth or law will be left to protect you?  What love, justice, and mercy will be left to build that better world?
I hear some teens declare, “My parents are idiots so ban all the guns.”  Or, “if I can get an AR 15, what’s to stop me from getting a nuclear weapon?”  The entire military maybe?  All this money and attention is being thrown at you because you’re a pawn.  To them you’re no timeless warrior.  To them you’re the flavor of the month.  To them you’re 15 minutes are almost up.
Then there’s the older protesters. The revolution is going to usher in the better world?  Your claim to be “woke” feels more like a joke.  You are flush with hate.  Will you magically be fair—with justice for all—once you have the power?  Face it, you don’t want to end oppression.  You want to be the new oppressor.
You scream “by any means necessary!”  But do you know what is necessary?  Truth, justice, equality, and prosperity come from God—from honoring His Word.  We’ve reaffirmed it for thousands of years.  The only time it has ever gone right for America is when we’ve honored these self-evident truths.  But, does history matter to a mind high on mythical ideology or pot?
You claim science is on your side.  But it is science that refutes you. It is science that knows you falsified your research on gender, weather, and so many things in order to sell your agenda.
Insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a new result.  Hate is when you keep the same thing over and over again—even though you know it doesn’t work—because it hurts the right people.
You see nothing wrong with censorship.  You’re fine with rioters shutting down free speech.  You’re okay with sanitizing a religion of hate and twisting the golden words of the Carpenter of Nazareth into hate.
Then there are the sophisticated arsonists.  Governors, special counsels, media CEOs, late night comedians, Senators, all spouting the party line in robotic unison.  You spew the same mantras.  You claim the same sanctimonious ramparts.
“We must make America like California!”  Have you tried to educate a Christian child there?  Have you tried to run a small business there?  Have you tried to eat, sleep, breathe, or find shelter there?  Have you tried to get over the murder of your son, or daughter by someone who wasn’t supposed to be there?  Why would you wish California on the rest of America?

Next is the fire starter who got fired and decided to write a book.  It’s no revelation, it’s a pouty, whiny, rag filled with self-congratulation, half-truths and hate.  A thousand chimps on a thousand typewriters given eons of time could not create such a tower of self-pity and victimhood.
Then there’s you—the sore loser playing with matches.  The crashing bore who stayed at the party too long.  You would rather contaminate the narrative with your delusional entitlement, than let the nation move on.
Finally, there’s the arsonist who couldn’t leave power gracefully.  You were afforded the highest honor and you turned it into a tool to dismantle a nation.  You’re the angry tenant who trashes the apartment.  Only you go one better…you leave toadies in governmental sleeper cells to do your bidding.  You started all the fires you could to keep bringing down the nation.
To all of you comes a solemn warning.  America is not just a country.  There’s something deep in our soil. Something too deep for a Marxist to understand.  And if your hopes and dreams rest in bringing this nation down you just might end up fighting God Himself.  There are millions of people praying at this hour.  They don’t want your brand of country.  They don’t want angry values and hollow promises.  They want freedom.  They fear the Lord…and He watches over them.  You are trying to burn down our house just remember, its not just our house…it’s His.

WHAT WASHINGTON WILL DO SIGNALS A REBIRTH OF CHRISTIAN FAITH

Many of the most pivotal moments in history were not appreciated at the time.  We are at such a moment and we do not even realize it.  Something is taking place that seems routine.  It is actually monumental—an earthquake is shifting the spirit in Washington.

WHAT WASHINGTON WILL DO SIGNALS A REBIRTH OF CHRISTIAN FAITH

By Mario Murillo

Billy Graham will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda.  Mario, that is as it should be.  Billy Graham is a legendary American.  Of course he is, but are you forgetting what Washington is?
Barack Obama would never allow this tribute to Billy Graham.  Neither would Hillary Clinton—who ran on the progressive, anti-church platform of Obama.
Washington moved so far to the left under Obama that we are still weeding out the deep state sleeper cells in many government agencies—especially the FBI.  Under Obama, their hubris was as much against the church as it was Trump. (See this link to my blog on how Obama was the most biblically hostile president ever.)   https://wp.me/p1vrzp-3DQ
Did you know 9 presidents in a row welcomed Billy Graham to the White House?  Obama did not.
Obama made a token visit to Montreat N.C to visit Billy Graham.  But, when Graham endorsed Mitt Romney, Obama ordered the IRS to suspend the nonprofit status of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
The swamp people in D.C. are seething and boiling today.  Their dream of a Godless America has taken a massive hit.  A man of God will be honored in a highly visible way.  A spirit has been broken.  The unwritten code that Christian faith is not welcome in Washington has been shattered.

Where are the voices that stopped Manger scenes and insisted we have a holiday tree?  Where are the gas bags who screamed for separation of church and state, and sued every time they found an iota of faith expressed in a government setting?  Silenced and properly rebuked, they mutter in the crevices of Washington today.
Like everything else about Billy Graham’s life the timing of his death is divine.  He held out until some key things happened.  One of the most important was the election of Donald Trump.
Trump loved Billy Graham.  Our president is not a perfect man but he is under the influence of the Holy Spirit, and that influence grows because of the prayers of millions of believers.  Trump championed the cause of our faith in government.
Everything within me says this is just the beginning.  As Billy Graham lies in state, words of faith once banned, will be freely spoken—not only in by formal speakers but by the rank and file in restaurants, schools, and every hall of power.  The subject of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—Billy Graham’s passion—will be recounted by more in D.C. than if He was doing a crusade at the Washington Redskins football stadium.
The nation will stop and honor a man of God…but I believe, a rebirth of Christian faith in America will start.  Glory to God in the highest!

 

Success will not tame this blog

When I began this blog, I could not see how it could succeed.  Now readership is in the millions.  Success will not tame it.   We will provoke the church in the Trump era…

Success will not tame this blog

By Mario Murillo

My nerves were frazzled the first time I sat down to write something called a blog.  I argued with God.  I could not see how it would succeed. I knew there would be a firestorm over the things I was compelled to say.  I was right about the firestorm.

Now millions have read the blog in virtually every nation of the world.  Every day we are amazed at the impact of this little blog.

Check out this excerpt from the first time we spoke out:

“The America we once knew has been taken away.  It happened overnight.   Because America has changed ministries must change the way that they relate to this new nation.

Government has become our national God.   This new God is waging an incremental war on the Constitution.  The New York Times just called the U.S. Constitution an evil document that we should give up on.

Obamacare targets freedom of worship.  It forces Christian Institutions to violate their religious convictions.  Cardinal Dolan the spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of New York calls it “an unwarranted, unprecedented radical intrusion.”

The White House met with Cardinal Dolan and several Bishops met with the White House to talk.   He said he was told to “shut up and accept the mandate.”

charade

It is time for the people of God to speak out on the danger of gun control.

Mass shootings have become the excuse to take away our guns.    Obama wants absolute power.

Mahatma Gandhi the great pacifist said, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.”

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison believed that the greatest threat to liberty was not foreign invasion or domestic unrest but rather a standing army and a militarized police force that had no fear of inflicting tyranny upon the people.

If Government is our new God, Celebrities are our new pastors.

Ben Stein asked, “Where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God?  There are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.”

Hollywood is the most powerful propaganda machine in history and it has declared war on our faith. 

Ministries must change how they relate to America.  1 Samuel 10: 6 Says, “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you.

Here is what I believe the occasion demands:

The Holy Spirit is saying we can publicly oppose government tyranny while still maintaining a loving witness.  Acts 16: 37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”  Paul had just led a jailor and several prisoners to Christ and now he turns around and exposes politicians who have broken the Roman Bill of Rights.

We must accept the fact that there is a new generation that has no Christian orientation. “And also all that generation was gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, who knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10

We must lay a new foundation of faith in America.  We must preach the central doctrines of our faith. The Bible needs to set fire to our sermons.”

bible fire

The big question now is what does the church do now that Trump is president?  In the next few blogs I will open my heart to you about the radical steps the church must take to seize this greatest soul winning opportunity in our lifetime.  Once again we must change the way we relate to government.

I know we need fresh fire.  Prayer, repentance and waiting for new orders are the keys for the American church this Christmas.

One thing is certain…success will not tame this blog.  It will continue to keep its edge.  It will continue to provoke, stretch and force minds to think and hearts to examine themselves.

THE KING CYRUS CRISIS: IF WE BLOW THIS IT WILL BE DISASTER

Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer.  Trump is a foot in the door—a stay of execution.  He is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life.

The King Cyrus Crisis: If we blow this…disaster will strike

By Mario Murillo

Something worse than Obama looms.  Something indescribably bad can take over for the agony we have just left.  It will be more hellish than Hillary.  You can already see the evil forming.

Meanwhile, American Christians claim Trump is a miracle like King Cyrus.  In 536 B.C. God moved King Cyrus to fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah who said that after 70 years the Jews would be sent home from bondage in Babylon.  Cyrus even provided resources to help rebuild Israel.

If history is repeating itself, we had better remember what happened next.  The restoration of Israel faced multiple warheads:

Pagan tribes:  The pagan tribes who settled in Israel set a sophisticated trap for the returning Jews.  At first, they acted like they wanted to help.  Instead, they hampered the work.  When that failed, they launched terror attacks.

Political backlash:  After Cyrus, the enemies of Israel lied to King Artaxerxes, accusing Israel of preparing for war, so the king stopped the work.

Morally corrupted Jews:  Many Jews wanted to stay in Babylon.  Some who came back to Israel were half-hearted in their mission to restore the nation.  Those who were left behind during the 70 years became pagans.  They knew nothing about Scripture or the laws of God.

If not for the astonishing endurance of a handful of priests, prophets, and one notable cupbearer, Israel would have remained in ruins.  (Read Ezra, Nehemiah and Haggai).  It took nearly 80 years after the king’s decree before the Temple and the wall were finished.

Let me let you in on a secret: we can’t wait 80 years—we don’t have 80 years.  Unlike Israel, this is our last chance.  If we do not learn from history—America will never be restored.  If we blow this…expect disaster.

The Christians who want to make America morally great again face significant headwinds and don’t realize it. Here are the threats:

-The left is staging a massive retaliation. A nefarious coalition of universities, billionaires and tech companies are ramping up their rhetoric, paying agitators and plotting against the church.

task

-The media doesn’t care that people know they are lying.  They are stepping up their lies. They learned nothing from Trump’s victory. The crocodile tears we saw from some media outlets meant nothing.  Their blatant falsehoods are back with a vengeance.

-Most Christians don’t know what to do because they don’t understand the miracle.  They thought Trump would save us.  They are not preparing for the work that we need to do right now.  They are already disappointed in Trump because they don’t get it.

Trump is not a pastor or a moral reformer.  He will not be a social conservative who will fight for family values.  If you look to him for that, you will be disappointed.  Worse still, it will distract you and you will miss your assignment in this miracle.

If you ever listened to anything I ever said, I beg you, listen now!  Trump is a foot in the door—a stay of execution.  He is an act of God to buy the church time to repent and return to her rightful role in American life.

Trump broke the political correctness that threatened to swallow us whole.  The revival is our job, not his.

-Morally corrupt Christians and lukewarm pastors don’t appreciate the miracle.   Why would we expect a generation of believers raised on Pablum to know what to do with this miracle?  They don’t read the Bible or pray.  They have never truly repented.  They have no concept of sacrifice.  There is no way they will stand in the heat of battle.

-We are not seizing the moment to repent because we do not appreciate God’s mercy.  The Jews did not appreciate the miracle of Cyrus’ decree.  It did not provoke them to repent.  Ezra the priest said, “And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, 14 should we again break Your commandments…” -Ezra 9:13,14.   This is a chilling warning to us.

muster

-We want Trump to do things for us that we must do ourselves.   Winning the lost is up to us, not Trump.  Trump may not be a big help to the church.  The Jews thought they could keep going back and complaining to the King about the same thing.  They vainly tried to communicate with the King and found that it was a waste of time.

The American church must build on the opportunity that Trump gave us. We must wake up to our task!  Our disunity is killing our cause.  Petty differences have never looked so petty!  We must shake off the disastrous apathy and complacency that is dulling us to our duty.   Churches must come together in citywide prayer and soul winning.  Pastors must push back on the lies being perpetrated against orthodox Christianity—they must roar from their pulpits.

We must muster all our strength and stand strong.  Seize this miracle for what it is. Remember the words of the man who God told to make Israel great again and build the wall, “And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.’” -Nehemiah 4:14

Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.

Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.  Liberals liked executive authority as long as Obama wielded it. Now they’ve set a precedent.

Glenn Greenwald: Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them.

November 11
Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of the Intercept, led the NSA reporting that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for the Guardian.

Liberals are understandably panicked about what Donald Trump can carry out. “We have a president-elect with authoritarian tendencies assuming a presidency that has never been more powerful,” Franklin Foer wrote this past week in Slate. Trump will command not only a massive nuclear arsenal and the most robust military in history, but also the ability to wage numerous wars in secret and without congressional authorization; a ubiquitous system of electronic surveillance that can reach most forms of human communication and activity; and countless methods for shielding himself from judicial accountability, congressional oversight and the rule of law — exactly what the Constitution was created to prevent. Trump assumes the presidency “at the peak of its imperial powers,” as Foer put it.

Sen. Barack Obama certainly saw it that way when he first ran for president in 2008. Limiting executive-power abuses and protecting civil liberties were central themes of his campaign. The former law professor repeatedly railed against the Bush-Cheney template of vesting the president with unchecked authorities in the name of fighting terrorism or achieving other policy objectives. “This administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we provide,” he said in 2007. Listing an array of controversial Bush-Cheney policies, from warrantless domestic surveillance to due-process-free investigations and imprisonment, he vowed: “We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers.”

Yet, beginning in his first month in office and continuing through today, Obama not only continued many of the most extreme executive-power policies he once condemned, but in many cases strengthened and extended them. His administration detained terrorism suspects without due process, proposed new frameworks to keep them locked up without trial, targeted thousands of individuals (including a U.S. citizen) for execution by drone, invoked secrecy doctrines to shield torture and eavesdropping programs from judicial review, and covertly expanded the nation’s mass electronic surveillance.

Blinded by the belief that Obama was too benevolent and benign to abuse his office, and drowning in partisan loyalties at the expense of political principles, Democrats consecrated this framework with their acquiescence and, often, their explicit approval. This is the unrestrained set of powers Trump will inherit. The president-elect frightens them, so they are now alarmed. But if they want to know whom to blame, they should look in the mirror.

Obama’s approach to executive power flipped so quickly and diametrically that it is impossible to say if he ever believed his campaign-era professions of restraint. As early as May 2009, Jack Goldsmith, a Justice Department official under George W. Bush, celebrated Obama’s abandonment of his promises to rein in these authorities, writing that “the new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit.” He added that the “Obama practices will be much closer to late Bush practices than almost anyone expected in January 2009.”

By putting a prettier liberal face on these policies, and transforming them from a symbol of GOP radicalism into one of bipartisan security consensus, the president entrenched them as permanent fixtures of the American presidency. As Goldsmith put it, Obama’s actions were “designed to fortify the bulk of the Bush program for the long-run.”

Liberals vehemently denounced these abuses during the Bush presidency. From 2001 through 2008, Democrats called them the embodiment of tyranny, an existential threat to democracy, a menacing expression of right-wing radicalism. “America’s Constitution is in grave danger,” Al Gore warned in a widely praised 2006 speech on civil liberties. Bush had become “the central threat that the founders sought to nullify in the Constitution, an all-powerful executive, too reminiscent of the king from whom they had broken free.” In one 2007 poll, 57 percent of Democrats said they wanted the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to be closed.

But after Obama took office, many liberals often tolerated — and even praised — his aggressive assertions of executive authority. It is hard to overstate how complete the Democrats’ about-face on these questions was once their own leader controlled the levers of power. According to a 2012 Washington Post-ABC News poll, 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats and 67 percent of moderate or conservative ones now supported keeping Guantanamo Bay open. After just three years of the Obama presidency, liberals sanctioned a system that allowed the president to imprison people without any trial or an ounce of due process.

In fact, a new Democratic Party orthodoxy took hold under Obama: the right of a president to detain people, or even assassinate them, without charges or a whiff of judicial oversight. This included even American citizens. “We do not believe that [Anwar] al-Aulaqi’s U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action” by the military or the CIA, a Justice Department memo proclaimed in 2010.

Democrats (who had bitterly complained in 2005 about mere eavesdropping without court approval) not only failed to contest this assassination program but ultimately expressed their support for it. “Fully 77 percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones,” according to the write-up of that 2012 Post-ABC poll. Support drops “only somewhat when respondents are asked specifically about targeting American citizens living overseas, as was the case with Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni American killed in September in a drone strike in northern Yemen.”

And of course, Obama aggressively expanded the system of mass surveillance, including on U.S. soil, that had been secretly implemented by the National Security Agency after 9/11. Once Edward Snowden showed the world what had been created, many Democrats became the leaders in protecting this spying system from meaningful limits, reform or oversight. When, in the immediate aftermath of the Snowden revelations, a bipartisan coalition of House members headed by Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) sought to impose serious limits on the NSA’s domestic spying, the White House turned to then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead the successful effort to stop them.

Civil liberties advocates and proponents of limited executive authority tried everything they could think of to persuade and cajole Democrats to rediscover their concerns about these abuses and once again become allies in the battle to constrain government power. But those efforts were largely futile. Partisan loyalties easily subordinated any commitment to the principles that they had purported, in the Bush years, to support.

The problem such advocates encountered was the same one they’d faced during the Bush presidency when trying (and failing) to persuade putatively small-government conservatives to oppose these expansions of presidential power: namely, many people are perfectly content to have such authority vested in leaders they trust, and fear them only when a politician from the opposing party wields them.

As such, the tactic of last resort to induce Democrats and liberals to oppose such policies was to ask them to think about how, one day, these powers could be in the hands of someone other than a benevolent, kind-hearted, trustworthy progressive like Barack Obama. Instead, Democrats were urged, imagine that a right-wing authoritarian, or a lawless demagogue, or a petty, vindictive tyrant won the presidency and inherited the framework of unrestrained, unchecked powers that Republicans implemented and Democrats expanded.

That day has arrived. With Trump looming, there is much talk of uniting across ideological and partisan lines to impose meaningful limits on executive authority, and those efforts are justified. But, as progressives were repeatedly warned, a matrix of power that has been defended and legitimized for 15 years by both parties will be very difficult to uproot.