Trump the narcissist, craving his drug of the adulation of the crowd, headed off for Melbourne, Florida for a rally. Not surprisingly, the rally was kicked off with a prayer - "The Lord's Prayer" in fact. Three strange things here. One, I get the giving of a prayer though there is a major red flag for me at this treating of a political rally as a religious event, and I wonder if this is now typical of Republican political rallies and events. Two, was that it was not Donald Trump praying, but Melania. Three, The Lord's Prayer? Really? This seems oddly off key for the event which was to follow.
The other thing that was oddly off key was the collection of folks behind Trump on the dais waving "Blacks for Trump 2020.c0m" signs. There seemed to be 5 - 8 of them popping up back there. I thought is was a craven attempt to show the "diversity" of those supporting Trump, and at the same time providing a connection point for the campaign. Campaign? He has just been in office a month (let us pray).
Thank goodness for Joy Reid. She jumped right on the oddity and got to the bottom, or top, of the display, but that raised even more questions - still unanswered.
So this group is a violent, conspiracy driven black group who seems to be enthusiastically cheering for Donald Trump? The group, if there is a group, seems to be headed by "Michael the Black Man" (aka Maurice Woodside), " fringe political figure in Florida, he is known as “Michael the Black Man”, an anti-gay and anti-liberal preacher" (Chloe Farand, The Independent). Farand continues:
"He is former member of the murderous Yahweh ben Yahweh cult, which means “The Lord Son of the Lords” in Hebrew and was led by the preacher Hulon Mitchell Jr.
In 1990, Michael, along with 15 other Yahweh ben Yahweh followers, was accused of conspiring in two murders. His brother also told the court Michael had stabbed a man in the eye with a sharp stick but the jury found him innocent.
He has since been charged with four other felonies but has never been sentenced and he started his own religious enterprise, the Miami newspaper reported.
In the 1990s, Mr Mitchell, leader of the black separatist sect, who adopted the name of Yahweh and declared himself the Messiah, was accused of three counts of federal racketeering and extortion charges, including 14 killings, two attempted killings, extortion and arson."
Quite the rap sheet. Is it really a good idea to have not one, but at least five, members of this group less than 10 feet away from the president and first lady?
Here is what I suspect happened (which is scary enough). The rally coordinators saw these 5 black men with signs (and printed T-shirts) and and they jumped on an "opportunity." They approached and said "Hey, would you like to be on the dais with the President? We can give you the best seats in the house?" Who would turn down such an "opportunity?" Apparently not Michael the Black Man (for hire) and crew. It was a win-win situation.
Of course, this lack of vetting (not a Trump administration strong point) could easily be used to create a very dangerous situation for the leader of the United States.
This kind of a slip is too odd to make any sense. Where is the Secret Service in the protection of the first family? Has it been supplanted by Trump's private security? It would appear so because I cannot imagine the Secret Service being such rookies, nor security being so lax. It is reported that Trump is still using his personal cell phone. This would clearly not be the case if the Secret Service was being allowed to do their job.
This type of incompetence in an area so fundamental to the operations of Presidential safety points to what may very well be going on inside the Administration. It is clear that the first criterion for a position in the Administration is not competency, but that one passes the Trump sniff test. Trump appears to be surrounding himself with people who will fluff his ego and not inconvenience him. Of course, a Michael Flynn learned, it is critical that you reflect well on Trump for "his people" are simply extensions of himself.
One has to ask whether Donald Trump will be able to admit that he needs people with some expertise, and who know the channels that are critical for him to operate legally and within the boundaries of the Constitution. While there may be those who voted for him because he would bust up the status quo in Washington, I seriously doubt that they were voting for him to burn the Constitution in the process. Unfortunately, Trump seems to know so little about how our government works that he cannot differentiate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. Since he seems to refuse to admit there is anything he does not know, he is placing himself, the country, and tens of millions beyond our borders at imminent risk.
Photo: Screen capture of USA Today video of Trump rally in Melbourne, Fl. Feb. 19, 2017