By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Reminded of more poisonous politics

A national outpouring of praise and memories this week extolled the extraordinary life of Colin Powell: professional soldier; chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; national security adviser; secretary of state; life-long example of strong, compassionate leadership in personal, professional and civic lives.

One comment hidden among those expressions of admiration was the official “Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States,” delivered by nationwide email and reprinted here in its entirety:

“Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”

Ever playing the martyr, Trump’s daily barrage of emails mostly still touts the so-called “Big Lie,” as with this statement from last week:

“The 2020 Election was filled with errors, irregularities, and scandal. The Radical Left knows it, the media knows it, and the Patriots of our Country know it, and now the U.S.A. is paying a big price — it is very sad … Now is your time, Friend. Your country needs you to step up to the front lines of this BATTLE to defend the integrity of our elections - are you ready?”

That message, and all of those daily emails, are part of a fund-raising campaign that reportedly has produced a political war chest in excess of $100 million.

Soon, those emails will be joined by Trump’s own social media platform, “Truth Social.” His Trump Media and Technology Group now has merged with Digital World Acquisition Corp., and with that announcement, shares of digital World Acquisition stock shot up from $9.95 to $19 on Thursday. Someone made a lot of money!
All of this – the emails, the new social platform, the pending videos on demand – help maintain Trump’s control of Republican politics after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube following the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol.

So, for me, what began as reaction to a rude and disrespectful statement about the-late Colin Powell evolved into deeper realization that we face more years of poison politics in America. Unfortunately, there’s little evidence that forces resisting Trump’s reascendancy to office are themselves equipped to provide moderate, problem-solving solutions to real American and world challenges.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

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