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Hail to the Chief – Part Two

This is Mark Stevens, welcome back to the Podcast. I am talking today with Allan Colston.  He is the author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac“.

Mark:  So to continue our discussion Allan, what sort of changes do you think Trump will make when he becomes President?

Well Mark, we certainly won’t have to wait long to find out. All indications are that as soon as the inauguration ceremony is over Trump will dash back to the Oval Office where a series of bills will be waiting for him to sign. First among them will be the repeal of all of Obama’s previous executive orders.

In fact the guiding principle throughout his time in office will be to obliterate Obama’s legacy. So whatever Obama was in favour of, Trump will be against – everything from the repeal of Obamacare, the revival of the coal industry, drilling for oil in the Arctic and withdrawing from the Paris Accord on climate change.

One of the first obvious signs of change under the new administration will be his dealings with the Press.

It was evident from his campaign that Trump has no interest in developing a relationship with the Press, and certainly not a Press that is likely to challenge his opinions or question the validity of his actions. He is not about to subject himself to penetrating interrogations.

Also, for the past fifty years or more, the President has always been accompanied by a covey of press men and women who have witnessed everything that has happened around him, and then used their positions of proximity as platforms from which to broadcast their opinions to the world.

Expect all that to change under President Trump. For starters, there will be no more news conferences by Trump in the West Wing of the White House, nor will a phalanx of press personnel accompany him on his journeys aboard Air Force One, either on his local or his foreign trips.

When Donald Trump wishes to communicate with the American people, he will use his favoured form of communication which is Twitter, as well as staged announcements uploaded to YouTube. The only TV interviews he is likely to grant will be with the sycophantic cable network Fox News.

And whenever he feels the need for a captive audience to boost his morale and convey his self-congratulatory messages, he will arrange public rallies in staunchly Republican states where he can be surrounded by adoring audiences.

Now Mark, these changes may not seem like a big deal to many, but they go to the very heart of the American democratic system. For without the free flow of information between the public and the White House, there can be no check on the activities and intentions of the President. But it gets worse.

Mark:  What do you mean by that Allan?

Well Mark, during the election campaign Donald Trump not only stopped giving press conferences, but he actually banned certain newsmen and women from attending his rallies. And the main targets of his wrath naturally, were his most vocal critics.

Two newspapers in particular were the focus of his scorn. They were The New York Times and The Washington Post. This is hardly surprising, since people in these two cities simply do not like the man. Only 10% of New Yorkers voted for Trump, and only 6% of voters in Washington D.C.

But Trump has made it clear via various threats throughout his campaign that if he were to be elected President, that he would change the laws regarding libel so that people like himself who did not like what they read in print could sue these organizations in court.

This would be nothing less than a frontal attack on the first Amendment of the United States Constitution, which was adopted in 1791, and which reads as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

And Trump has indicated that he also plans to challenge another fundamental right that is guaranteed by the first Amendment, and that is the “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

On the day of his inauguration, Trump is likely to face one of the greatest peacetime demonstrations in American history, as opponents from every part of the country gather in front of the Capitol Building to voice their disapproval of his new administration.

But as Trump explained in an interview to The New York Times in May of last year, “I am not running to be everyone’s favourite President”. In that interview he said that while he might face “significant and incessant protests”, they would not deter him from his goal of making “big changes“.

It is clear that those who wish to challenge Trump, either through the Media or through the Courts, will face a daunting task to preserve their constitutional rights. And once these pillars of democracy begin to crack, then the entire edifice will begin to crumble. America will be on the path to tyranny.

Mark:  So what do you think Trump will do with protestors?

Well this really is the key to the conundrum as to what sort of leader Trump will turn out to be. Will he be responsive to the opinions of his critics and tailor his policies accordingly, or will he ride roughshod over all those who are opposed to them?

As was made plain in the First Amendment I just quoted, the Founding Fathers realised that a free press was not only vital to the functioning of a healthy democracy, but that the right of freedom of speech was a necessary safety valve to express the will of the people.

Again, we need to emphasize the fact that Trump was not elected by a majority of voters. Although he ended up with some 66 million votes, 177 million registered voters either voted against him or chose not to vote at all. That means that three-quarters of the American people do not approve of him or his policies.

My guess is that he is not about to be intimidated by protestors no matter how many there are. And it is obvious from the people he has chosen to form his new cabinet that these are strongmen who will follow orders, and use whatever powers of government that are available to them to get their way.

During his campaign Trump insisted that he would be the champion of law and order, and his followers clearly understood the message that he intended to convey. He would be the one to lay down the law, and order all those who disagreed with him to obey or face the consequences.

So recent movements like the “Black Lives Matter” campaign to protest Police violence directed against the Black community will find little sympathy from the new administration. They will likely find that Black lives no longer matter, along with those of Native Indians, Mexicans, Migrants and Muslims.

As an example of this Trump will likely override the recent decision by President Obama to reroute the Dakota Access pipeline as a result of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, if for no other reason that because Obama was for it, then he will be against it.

Remember the leopard and his spots. And then there is the matter of the Supreme Court.

Mark:  How do you think will that enter into the equation?

Well Mark, as you know, the Supreme Court has a vacancy on the bench as a result of the death of Justice Scalia almost a year ago. But the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold confirmation hearings for his replacement, claiming that this was a matter for the incoming President to decide.

At the time that Scalia was on the bench, the nine members were generally split five to four in favour of the Republicans. But if Obama had chosen a Democratic-leaning justice to replace him, as he was constitutionally entitled to do, then this would have swayed the balance in favour of the Democrats.

But now that Trump gets to decide who the replacement will be, you can bet that he will nominate someone who can be counted on to uphold Republican principles, on everything from abortion to planned parenthood, gay marriage and others. Even the landmark case of Roe versus Wade will be subject to review.

All that would be necessary to start this process would be for a Republican state to pass a law opposing the current law. An appeal would necessarily follow, and it would then be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether this new law should stand, or be overridden by the existing law.

So the protections afforded by the Roe versus Wade decision, in granting abortions nation-wide up to the third trimester, will almost certainly be challenged by states dominated by the so-called Christian Right. And it will be up to the new Supreme Court to adjudicate on these challenges.

And the same goes for all the gay rights that have been approved under President Obama. Same-sex marriages that are now legal under Federal law could well be reversed as a result of similar challenges. And the result may be that these revert to a state by state basis.

So gay people who are now legally married under the law may then find that in certain states their marriage certificates are annulled, and that if they want to retain their marital status they will have to be remarried in a state where same-sex marriages are still permitted.

The same thing could occur with all the other LGBT rights that are currently protected by the law, especially if the Supreme Court should happen to rule against them under appeal. So there could be tough times ahead for the gay community throughout the nation.

In fact there seems every likelihood that Donald Trump will prove to be the most divisive President in American history. The entire country could easily become polarised into opposing factions that openly despise one another, pitting Republican and Democratic states into conflict with one another.

So heavily Democratic states like California and New York could then be in the forefront of resistance to Trump’s policies, particularly in the areas of health, environment and immigration, leading to a situation where they will simply refuse to co-operate with the Federal government on certain issues.

Mark:  Well Allan, if that is your assessment of the situation inside America, then what do you think is going to happen outside of America, especially in its dealings with other countries?

Well Mark, that is something that I will be focusing on a lot over the coming months, because the encroaching darkness that I spoke about at the beginning of this Podcast is steadily stealing across Europe and the Middle East, just as much as it is in America.

But to answer your question, in the interview that I referred to earlier between Donald Trump and Patrick Healy of The New York Times in May of last year, Trump had already made up his mind on what he would do first if he was elected President. This is what Healy reported at that time:

“On his first day in office, he said, he would meet with Homeland Security officials, generals, and others — he did not mention diplomats — to take steps to seal the southern border and assign more security agents along it.”

And there is little doubt that his first priority will be sealing the border so that no undesirables can enter the country. Of course his first target will be Mexico, especially since he has promised to build a wall separating the two countries. But I don’t think it will stop there.

I think that the Department of Homeland Security will be tasked with setting up a system for screening all people entering the United States. This will entail some sort of vetting system in advance, which for Mexicans, Muslims and other targeted groups will, in Trump’s own words, require “extreme vetting”.

But this won’t just be limited to people crossing into the United States from Mexico. One of the biggest shocks to the part of the world where I live is that it will apply equally to Canadians as well. In fact I foresee massive disruptions at all border crossings when these restrictions are put into place.

And of course, if Trump can put the boot into anything that Obama has achieved, then that will be fine as well. So expect the recent entente established between Cuba and the United States to come to an end, with possible new punitive measures to be adopted against them.

Mark:  Donald Trump has spent a lot of his time talking about trade. What do you think he is going to do about that?

Well there is no doubt that trade is going to be the number one issue involving the new administration, especially as Trump has devoted so much  time to this topic during his campaign. And to understand why, it is worth noting how he thinks about world trade.

Being a businessman, he is of course aware of two things. One is that businesses need to buy things. And the second is that many of the things that businesses buy are not made in the United States. They come from other countries.

Of course, economically speaking, there is a sound reason why they do this. Countries trade with one another because it allows them to buy things from those countries who make what they need cheaper than they can. That way they can pass on these savings to their own citizens.

But the catch, from Donald’s point of view, is that large international companies that make things have been allowed to move their factories to other countries where the cost of labour is the cheapest. And since wages generally form the greatest part of the cost of any product, it is profitable for them to do so.

But in the process of transferring their factories away from those cities in which they were initially established, these companies have left their former employees without jobs, and this has led to a serious decline in many industries, as well as leaving many cities in financial crisis.

So as he toured the country, particularly in the so-called “rust belt” states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania, he was confronted by hundreds of thousands of unhappy people who had become unemployed as a result of factories that had closed and moved to other countries.

So it is easy to see why the solution proposed by Trump appealed to so many voters, when he said that he would impose severe sanctions on those offending companies and countries, and especially since he went on to promise that he would bring these jobs back to the United States.

Of course that may have sounded wonderful during the campaign. The problem was that Donald Trump had never really studied the complexities of modern international trade, and what was worse, was ignorant of the consequences of the type of actions that he was proposing.

Mark:  So what sort of consequences are we talking about?

Students of international economic history, just like physics, learn one thing Mark, and they learn it well. And that is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So countries that impose sanctions on imports from other countries, inevitably invite counter-measures by those countries.

And these counter-measures don’t just damage the countries directly involved. They also affect the climate under which international trade is conducted, especially in the interconnected world in which we live today. So actions can easily lead to dangerous and unwanted consequences.

Look before you leap.

So for example, Trump has indicated that he intends to impose excise tariffs on products imported into the United States from those countries which he considers responsible for the problem of unemployment. And the countries he has targeted are China, Mexico and Canada.

The rationale behind his plan is simple. By making the products imported from these countries more expensive, he hopes that Americans will decide to buy less of them and spend their money on products made in the United States instead. But this could easily backfire on America.

For if Trump does decide to go ahead with the strategy that he has outlined in his campaign, America could well find itself embroiled in a trade war with three different countries by the end of January. And if that happens, then there is no telling what the final outcome might be.

As I said earlier, countries that find themselves subject to trade barriers inevitably set up counter-measures of their own. And it was precisely because of such protectionist policies by countries in the 1930’s that led to the Great Depression. But Trump is clearly undeterred by the lessons of history.

Besides, what characterizes Trump as Trump is his trademark obsession with “winning”. In any situation where he feels that his own, or by extension American interests are threatened, he will not rest until he has established his own superiority. Or in other words, until his opponent learns to “respect him”.

And this is no doubt how he intends to conduct all future trade negotiations. He will not be concerned about finding a Win-Win solution that works for both parties, but rather an outcome in which he (or America) is clearly recognized to be the winner, while the other country is seen to be the loser.

But because he is not a student of history, he is content to blithely dismiss the lessons of the past and say, as he did recently to reporters, “the economy will do just fine”. I can almost hear the Founding Fathers looking down on him from above and saying:

“Nice going Donald. You start a trade war with your neighbours and a country that is a source of stability and is not a military threat, and you choose to align yourself with someone who is your enemy and who poses a direct threat to your entire way of life”.

Mark:  I guess that you are referring here to Trump’s fascination with Russia.

Right on Mark. There is something very strange about the whole romance that has been going on between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. And the latest revelations about how the Kremlin has interfered in the recent U.S. election have merely added to this mystery.

Putin clearly wanted Trump to win, and we can now see why. But because Trump has so far refused to release his income tax returns, we have no idea what his business interests in Russia may be, or to what extent, if at all, his business may be indebted to any Russian banks.

In any event, we are unlikely to find answers to these questions once he becomes President. But the key point about all this Mark, is that right from the beginning of his campaign Trump was saying things like “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were friends with Russia”?

What made this such a weird statement was that, as Trump should have been aware, America WAS friends with Russia not that long ago. In fact Russia was part of the G8 group of leading industrial nations up until two years ago, when Russia’s membership was suspended.

And the reason why was because Russia broke international law by invading Crimea and annexing it as part of Russia. And as a consequence of this illegal act, the other members threw them out of the G8, and imposed a series of economic sanctions which are still in place today.

So the idea that America should somehow feel the need to “make friends” with Russia defies all international opinion. But Trump has continued to extol the virtues of Vladimir Putin, and says he looks forward to “doing a deal” with him once he takes office.

The very idea of Trump being in cahoots with Putin should fill every American with alarm, for Putin has shown by his actions in the Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere that he is certainly no friend of the West. In fact he is doing everything he can to create chaos wherever he can.

Furthermore, the evidence of Russian tampering in the last U.S. election should make it clear that Putin’s underlying goal is to foment distrust in democratic institutions around the world, and to destabilize the West in any way that he can.

But clearly that doesn’t seem to bother Trump, since he continues to reject any idea that Russia is to blame for any of the revelations of interference that have emerged over the last few months. And the reason he does so seems to rest on a bizarre strategy that Trump appears to be pursuing.

Having already decided in his mind that China is the biggest threat that America faces, both economically and militarily, he seems to feel that if he can curry favour with Putin, that that will be able to drive a wedge between the alliance of Russia and China.

But the price that he might end up paying for such a risky strategy could be devastating, because Putin might end up by convincing Trump to allow him to retake control of the rest of the Ukraine, as well as the Russian-speaking Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

And what would Trump ask for in return? Probably the assurance that Russia would take care of the ISIS problem for him. That would then allow Russia to gain control of the whole of the Middle East, in collaboration with their client states of Turkey and Iran, which is exactly what the Bible predicted would happen.

Mark:  Very interesting Allan. And that brings us back to what we discussed at the beginning of this Podcast, which is how do you think that the Trump presidency fits in with Bible prophecy?

Well Mark, based on my own interpretation of end-time events, I think that  Donald Trump is very likely to be the last President of the United States, and that his actions will be the direct cause of the destruction of America and the beginning of the period which the Bible calls the Great Tribulation.

The test will be whether Trump follows through with his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from its present location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And although Congress passed a bill permitting such a move in 1995, subsequent administrations have chosen not to do this for fear of antagonizing Arabic and Muslim opinion.

If he does so, I have no doubt that this would lead to a firestorm of opposition throughout the Arab and Islamic world that would be directed at Israel and America. And that could in turn lead to a unified movement determined to wipe out the nation of Israel once and for all.

And although Donald Trump has assured the Israeli people that he would be their “staunchest ally ever”, if their country ever did find itself faced by a coalition of armies as the prophet Ezekiel predicted, Trump might decide that it would be in America’s interest to abandon them in their hour of need, and leave Israel to its fate.

So what this means Mark, is that we could very well be living in the days leading up to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, and the final seven years that will mark the end of this cycle of civilization – the age that the Bible predicts will end with the battle of Armageddon.

The Middle East is the place to watch Mark. As I have written in my book, the Middle East is the place that will provide the spark that will light the fires of tribulation. So now we wait. We wait for the signs in the heavens and the arrival of the red star of the Hopi Indians – the star they call the “destroyer”.

Well Allan this has certainly been a revealing look at what is happening in the world today, and especially in America. And as you say, I guess all we can do now is wait and see how it all turns out.

You have been listening to Allan Colston, author of the book “The Last Days of Tolemac” Do join us for our next Podcast, which will be another in the series titled “Signs of the Times”.

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Allan, Signs of the Times, January 6, 2017, 2:09 pm

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