Okay. It’s Official. Donald Trump and his Banana Republicans have rhetorically incited their base to outright hate their Democratic opponents. Whether he acknowledges it or not, his preposterous radical lies are strategically intended to demonize his political rivals and to “stir up his base.” Now some of them are a serious threat to the heart of Democracy in America.
Trump may or may not have specifically intended to prod one or more of his “base” to terrorize the nation via package bombs addressed to his detractors, but in reality that is exactly what he did. Like the leaders of Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc., he refuses to accept that he has any responsiblity for his actions, in this case his irresponsible acid rhetoric. It is very important to point out that well into the second day of this continuing saga, his condemnation of these heinous acts has been perfunctory at best. His immediate instincts are not to bring folks together under the banner of Democracy, but to find a way to be able to blame someone else. Not at all surprisingly, if it’s not his fault (it never is), the “media” must be to blame.
His strategy is reprehensible, but not new. History tends to repeat itself.
“Baby Boomers” like me, were fathered by American soldiers after they returned from their triumphs over Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II. Those with first-hand memories of that war and what America and our Allies fought for, are mostly gone by now. Those who remain are few in number, long in years, and honored, but have little voice left.
We Baby Boomers by default have become the most heavily invested keepers of the lessons taught by those who survived the effort to put down the aggression of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany and Italy. It’s up to us to remember what was learned in the single largest global event in the lives of our parents. Their generation paid a heavy price to defeat narcissistic, autocratic bullies, drunk with power and ideas that their supposed superiority gave them a mandate, not to govern, but to rule. (Sound familiar?) It now falls to us and our progeny to preserve American Democracy’s dedication to the ideals of truth, mutual respect, civil discourse, and to the notion that we are a nation of diverse people who share in equal rights to life, freedom and opportunities for happiness and prosperity.
Unfortunately, that is a very tall order in the context of the polarized politics in America today. The middle ground between the two major parties is now a wide no-man’s land in the middle of an intensely hateful battleground. Personalities and personal agendas now “trump” fundamental Democratic Ideals of respect for contrary opinions, empathy, and (God forbid) compromise.
In less than two years since taking office, a blustering, malignantly egomaniacal, pathological liar of the highest order has driven a stake into nearly all that Democracy stands for, and opened a huge chasm in American politics. He clearly incites “his base” to deeply hate Americans who oppose him. He lies prolifically all the while charging professional journalists, who take great pains to verify all that they report, with creating fake news. He occasionally admits his lies (Surprise, he finally fessed-up that Middle Eastern terrorists are NOT among the Hondurans’ caravan of would-be immigrants in Mexico. April fools. Note, however, he has not yet conceded that his ridiculous claim that the caravan was funded by a wealthy Democratic fundraiser was another lie, just a part his harmless little “game.” No harm, no foul. So what.. the fundraiser was sent a pipe bomb.. big deal.
And can you believe it, two weeks before the mid-term election he announces he’s about to roll out an additional 10% tax break for middle class Americans. Seriously now, can you believe it?
Yeah.. yeah.. a middle class tax break.. that’s the ticket!
Evidently, no one in Congress or any other corner of the government is aware of this beneficent plan. His own party, (having further bloated the national debt by enriching corporations and the financial elite with this year’s tax reform) is in the midst of fleecing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to pay for the emoluments they made to their masters. And now Trump is dangling another tax break instead.
But they’re not really worried. We and they know the whole middle class tax cut idea will whither away after the Mid-Term elections are done. Bring on the April fools again.
Trump figuratively slaps the nation across the face when he boldly justifies his lies by saying, “hey, they worked” (e.g., fooled you suckers again). When anything goes seriously wrong in his administration, which is most of the time, he always, without fail, finds someone else, preferably an enemy, to blame. He calls this “counter-punching.” I call it the automatic reaction of a bully when he’s caught out.
The “unbelievable,” has become the norm. Even when he admits his lies to his base, they love him for it and ask for more.
The snake is selling snake oil and the swamp has fast become a cesspool.
Mockery, mimicry and parody, being the most offensive types of personal bully humor, are top among Trump’s favorite tools in the stand up comedy shows he calls “political rallies.” Trump rallies are where his base comes to re-confirm their baseness. Members of his own party who he demeaned with derogatory nicknames and relentless ridicule have figuratively crawled on their knees to surrender all semblances of their pride, honor and patriotism before Trump’s Throne. This is what he thrives on. He wants blind loyalty far more than real integrity from his sycophants.
Wow, what a leader: heartless, cruel, arrogant, degrading, disgraceful, lecherous, amoral and uncivilized. Is this what defines American Democracy at its best? Or is this what my father’s generation went to war to defeat?
This last full week of October 2018, in an ugly turn of events, America heard the news that a terrorist or terrorists sent bombs to prominent leaders of the Democratic Party. Coincidentally, all of the bombs’ targets had been specifically named by Trump as his enemies at his hate rallies. In that event at least one sicko crossed a line that may shift our president from despicable to fatally dangerous. The escalation of the animosity encouraged by Trump was only a matter of time. A bunch of lies, innuendo, and grade-school comedy was bound to light a fuse like this.
The survival of our Democracy from enemies from within has been laid on the table.
A certifiably deranged egotist is in the White House. Now that John McCain is no longer with us, who among Mitch McConnell’s merry band of spineless racists in the Banana Republican Party will step up for Democracy, real Democracy? Don’t count on many Repugnican legislators, administrators, or judicial officials to step out of line and fight for the rights of all.
Apparently, true Democracy is just not in their DNA.
James C, Ash – October 26, 2018