A colleague of mine asked me:
Do you think Trump is the beginning of the end of the America liberals and progressives were fighting for these last 50+ years?
After I laughed out loud, I conjured up this response.
Short version? Kind of.
Long version? Continue reading (Thanks!)
No, it's the reverse actually. The demise of the United States of America is responsible for Donald Trump, or as I refer to him "#45." Simply put: this man is a reflection of the American people–like it or not. Americans want simplistic solutions to complex problems.
For instance, save American jobs by building a wall to keep the Mexicans out...Protect ourselves from terrorism by banning Muslims from entering the country...Reopen the coal mines even if natural gas is cheaper and more plentiful...Climate change won't happen as long as we ignore it...Repeal and replace Obamacare (by magic!).
For critically-thinking people, each one of these plans would come with a laugh track. The American people decided that a supposedly successful businessman (which we don't even know is true since he won't release tax returns to the public) can run the Federal Government. Trump hasn't been able to push one piece of major legislation through Congress. He just called the healthcare bill passed by the House of Representatives “mean” thus throwing every Republican congressman who voted for it under the bus. Paul Ryan said that the man you elected President is “new at this.” That would be fine if the kid at the drive thru forgot my fries. This is the leader of the free world we're talking about.
Trump has taken an oath promising to “preserve, protect and defend” the Constitution of the US, but ran for president on a platform overriding just about every provision of the Bill of Rights. This includes freedom of the press and of religion, protection from cruel and unusual punishment, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, right to counsel, equal protection, birthright citizenship and voting rights.
Journalists most important role is to act as a check on the power of government. So it should be clear to all why #45 has, for all intents and purposes, declared war on the news media with his "fake news" smear campaign. Tyrants don’t allow open questioning and they absolutely detest the free press like you wouldn't believe (then again so would I were I dictator, so it makes total sense). He and his sycophant administration want total control, which is why he continues the anti-media rant he began in his campaign, calling journalists liars, biased, disgusting and scum. Even going as far as threatening to sue them and to end freedom of the press, and planning on throwing out the White House press corps. He intimidates and silences dissenters, which is what authoritarian regimes do. All of us have the right to express dissent or criticism of the Trump administration. This is not North Korea.
Trump has no belief in tolerance and nondiscrimination for Americans of all faiths, creeds, and origins, which acts to protect the country from destructive politics. He has purposely fanned the flames of intergroup hatred and xenophobia. As community cohesion weakens, moral norms change. What has once been considered unacceptable behavior has now become tolerable. Read "The Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy (The American Republic was long safeguarded by settled norms, now shattered by the rise of Donald Trump)."
Fifty ex-national security officials released a statement saying:
"We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he [Trump] would be the most reckless President in American history.”
In a joint statement, twenty Nuclear Launch Officers wrote:
"[Trump] has shown himself time and again to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs — including, most especially, nuclear weapons… Donald Trump should not be the nation’s commander-in-chief. He should not be entrusted with the nuclear launch codes. He should not have his finger on the button.”
As tyrants took control of democracies in the past, they have done the following things:
- Claimed massive voter fraud
- Called anyone who opposed them “enemies”
- Turned the public against journalists or media outlets that criticized them
- Preferred to communicate through mass rallies and unfiltered statements (think Twitter)
- Blamed economic problems on immigrants and minorities, and created bias against them
- Threatened mass deportations and registries
- Eliminated other centers of power, such as labor unions and opposition parties
- Used their own security force, instead of one accountable to the public
- Appointed generals to top civilian posts;
- Created personal alliances with foreign dictators
- And, of course, profited from their public office
If that weren't enough, the personalities he surrounds himself with is unsettling, to say the least. Steve Bannon, Steven Miller, public support from the Ku Klux Klan (as well as other white supremacy/neo-Nazi groups) and the Alt-Right, who—let's not forget—hailed him as a leader for basically, and I'm paraphrasing, "taking America from the liberal crybabies and women and giving it back to the real Americans!"
When you consider the national news media's constant, blitzkrieg-like coverage of the Trump-Russian Collusion scandal and the GOP's ineptitude or refusal to create a universal healthcare bill inclusive of ALL Americans...it is quite shocking that Trump has survived this far—up to well over 100 days—in his still young, but increasingly fleeting presidency.
So let me go back to the question, which was will Trump be the downfall of the US? ...Yes & No.
Yes, because he is not a politician, and doesn't know the rules to the game he demanded to play.
"He is new at this," said Paul Ryan so eloquently several weeks ago...the gall of that guy, I swear. Moving on...I think of the GOP as Dr. Frankenstein, who created a monster to destroy its "whiny, liberal Democratic elitist rival." Problem is, though, the GOP doesn't know how to control its own creation and soon that creation will turn on its maker.
Now for the "no" part...
The reason I say no as well is that ordinary and everyday people overfed the GOP's monster with applause and cheers when he vocalized support for coal-miners or advocated the grabbing of female genitalia.
Although the GOP "created" presidential candidate Trump and gave him a leaderless party to take over...a platform big enough for the oldest of voters to see...and a forgotten Republican (fan) base looking for their next "great white hope," it was still the unrelenting work of average and everyday Americans (of all colors, genders, and whatever other delineations) that overfed Trump the "political sustenance" he needed to thrive. And that is exactly what would have to happen again if Trump is to have any hope of surviving the ongoing siege against him, his family, and his administration by the liberal media and center-left politicians.
But, of course, as the saying goes, "only time will tell."