This is not who we are rings across the land in the wake of Wednesday’s banana-republic-like insurrection. The entire world watched in awe and disbelief as a mob rampaged about the country’s capital, breaching and creating chaos in our sacred Capitol building. We witnessed an attack on Democracy, on the Constitution, on the ability of government to establish Justice and insure domestic Tranquility.
Unfortunately, too many Americans have become the unruly mob, extremists eagerly eating up conspiracy theories and anti-everyone-but-us propaganda expounded on websites such as Q-anon, encouraged by a highly skilled salesman con artist with no concern for anyone or anything but himself and his own power. A control freak demanding total obedience and loyalty, he inhabits a bubble of his own creation. His collaborators, highly-paid faux news pundits bent on fostering controversy that drives ad revenue and ratings, and politicians more interested in their own careers than their country, have no interest in encouraging anything as neutral and boring as the facts.
The Trump Years – a period where corruption was a no-brainer, lies part of the governing mantra, incompetence ingrained, intolerance accepted, even applauded.
From the time of his election in 2016, I feared what might happen during Trump’s Presidency, but hoped for no serious episodes, hoped the country could survive four years minimally scathed.
How much damage could he cause?
Unfortunately the sad inevitability of four years of a flawed presidency driven by the angst and whims and nihilism of a grifter and liar came crashing down.
Thousands of Americans are sick and dying of a disease DJT initially downplayed, ignored, played a 19th century quack peddling phony potions.
Then an election with an outcome DJT could not control.
As much as he tried, Trump could no longer gloss over, avoid, disrupt, shove onto the back pages of newspapers, and ensure his admirers ignore social media that broadcasts a pointless archaic concept – the truth. Trump tried his decades-long practice of creating his own scenario, but at 74 years old his life of promoting fictions caught up to him.
Unfortunately too many fans failed to get the message. Why couldn’t his followers and sycophants see that any one enveloped in the mantle of Trump eventually gets burned?
The result: America the Beautiful trashed by mad minions.
The nightmare is not over. The long-term future of our country as a stable democracy remains a question mark. American optimism may be on hiatus, American optimists now reluctant realists. It could happen here. I don’t want to believe it. Not in my country, not in the United States, not in the country of the Statue of Liberty. But history tells us the downfall of countries begins within, not beyond its borders. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Only Americans can hurt America.”
I close with the following quote by Abraham Lincoln: I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.