It is a truism that when world events wander too far off the straight and narrow, politcal parties and the people they represent tend to show their true colors. Now is such a time, of course, as no sane person would characterize the election of The Boy Who Would Be King as even remotely ordinary. Now we witness what people are really made of.
On the true blue side of the aisle, we see renewed backbone and courage; widespread peaceful protest involving millions of people around the world; a tremendous upsurge in subscriptions to reliable news sources, and the essential resolve to continue to adhere to due process and the rule of law, no matter how tempting it may be to adopt authoritarian tactics. We see a strengthening undercurrent of conscientious insurrection against transparent attempts to roll back modernity, and a renewed commitment to equality under the law and in our culture for the disenfranchised, the dispossessed, the needy, and the underserved. For most of the American electorate — the 82% of the eligible voting population who did not vote for Donald Trump — this has been a wake up call, and they have responded in the finest democratic traditions of public collaboration, civic protest, and civil disobedience.
On the red scare side of the aisle, by contrast, we see massive political capitulation to the most unseemly extremities of American politics. We observe a stark and horrifying upswing in hate crimes and hate speech around the nation. We observe the eager willingness to short-circuit congressional processes that are designed to ensure that good laws result from ordinary political sausage-making. We witness the American institutionalization of fraudulent, kakistocratic incompetence across the power centers of the Federal Government—all in service to the anarchic ideology of small government and salt water privatization. We observe the rise of unapologetic mendacity as the currency of our national conversation, as hypernationalist, white-supremacist propaganda outlets are given primacy over mainstream journalism. We observe, yet again, that by virtue of his sheer lack of fitness for the job, it is not the President who is actually running the country. True to the labyrinthine standards of plausible deniability established by Ronald Reagan and reinforced by George W. Bush, someone else is pulling at the levers of Democracy — out of the direct line of authority, beyond of the disinfecting properties of sunlight, and with exclusive regard for evidence-free ideology, crony loyalty, and the zealous pursuit of personal power. In short, we observe the rise of modern facism in all it’s recognizable forms: dominance through fear, the suppression of science, the ridicule of genuine journalism, privatization of the essential functions of government, and the enthusiastic support of naked oligarchy.
Our nation is now governed by white men who are stupid, arrogant, and cruel. They practice in mendacity, bigotry, fear mongering, and golf. Thus far, they have practiced in nothing else. They grift cellophane support from broadcast media rubes who are vapid, clueless, heartless, and boorish. They are enabled by a political party that is now utterly devoid of integrity, and who has repeatedly demonstrated that it will eagerly sell it’s soul, and sell out it’s constituency, for another thirty pieces of silver.
It’s long past time to mince words. To the grey men and women in Congress who continue to support this administration, know this: we’re two months in now, and the evidence of fraud—and possibly treason—while thus far circumstantial, is undeniable. Somehow, inexplicably, and despite a mountain of accumulated campaign evidence, you and your voters have been had. If you still don’t see this, you desperately need to wake up and open your eyes. If you see it but don’t understand it, you need to educate yourself instead of mindlessly towing the party line. If you understand it but don’t care, then you are party to the corruption of the very essence of the American experiment which the Trump Administration embodies. You have become entitled and incurious—the nadir of healthy representation—and the American electorate will shortly innoculate itself with your silence and your absence following the civic corrective known as the midterm elections.
As for the rest of you who still disagree, and who persist in your uncritical support despite the onslaught of lies, tweets, and ruinous policy proposals, the inescapable conclusion is that like the administration you serve, you have become stupid, arrogant, and cruel. You govern as an extremist, a bigot, a xenophobe, a fool; devoid of the conscience and compassion and moral fiber that once defined the American character. You have helped to push this country so far from her founding principles and her highest ideals that she is no longer recognizable even to her own citizens. You are an enabler of the proto-fascist corruption against which the United States was once the premier moral authority and international bulwark. You have chosen to cede world leadership to the totalitarian regimes in China and Russia in favor of North-Korean-style geographic and economic retrenchment. You are literally supporting an authoritarian fascist, and can therefore reasonably be identified as one yourself. You no longer have cause to call yourself an American. You have forgotten what it means. Perhaps you never knew.
Donald Trump is not the problem; Mike Pence is not the problem; Steve Bannon is not the problem. These deplorable little men are merely symptoms of a long-simmering whitebread chauvinistic culture that has lost its way and wandered deep into the ugly landscape of pre-enlightenment antiquity. You, and the people who support you—the enablers—are the real problem.
Happily, the American people are nothing if not problem solvers, and solve the problem we will. For some, sadly, it is already too late. Mitch McConnell is beyond redemption. Paul Ryan is beyond redemption. Steve King and Mark Meadows are beyond redemption, and possibly the entire Freedom Caucus. For the rest of you, however, it is also true that the American people are nothing if not forgiving. Compassion is the once and future essence of the real American character. Hope springs eternal in the human breast.
The American experiment is resilient, but it is fragile. So wake up. Grow up. Exercise your brain. Resurrect your heart. Develop a conscience. Grow a spine. Use your ears instead of your mouth. Remember your better selves. Act again with the dignity and responsibility that your office demands, and that your constituency deserves. Impeach and remove this homunculus of a President. Dispatch his enablers and his half-baked tin-pot brain trust. Restore the credibility that they have so callously, and so rapidly destroyed. It’s up to you. Do it today. Do it now. For God’s sake.