By, Jason Taylor
This election should discredit once and for all the notion that the process of historical change favors progress. America could have chosen a candidate who, for all her flaws, champions the inclusiveness and respect for democratic values that represent this country at its best. Instead, the electoral college (although not the popular vote) has anointed as president a man whose personal and professional life models the worse instincts and prejudices that define America at its worst. Those groups that despise the cultural and ethnic diversity of an immigrant nation have now received permission to crawl out into the sunlight and spread the poison of their racism and homophobia.
It would not be helpful for any to misunderstand what has transacted. Although ironic in the extreme that Trump is their vehicle, hard right Christian fundamentalists and white supremacists have rolled that Trojan horse into the power structure and they are now unpacking themselves from his belly. If you are not a white, male, Christian, and straight you very clearly have a target on your back.
Not to mention, endless inquisitions. It appears at least part of the FBI is political. Jeffrey Toobin seems certain they will prosecute Hillary Clinton now. What’s to prevent Trump and his secret police from going after anyone of us? Trump supporters are gleeful at the hacking of the DNC and the endless miseries inflicted upon Hillary Clinton. Apparently, they do not realize that such abuses of power, including Comey’s unconscionable behavior, can afflict any citizen.
The expressed hope of some that Trump will now surround himself with responsible advisers who will rein in his worst instincts defies everything we have learned about this man over the last 17 months. Sudden transformations of character occur only in the worst pulp fiction, and, in any case, Trump’s success immunizes him against any desire to change.
The election screams for the need for educating the American public. In a land that has way too much stuff knowing American history philosophy and literature seems to be cause for embarrassment. The tragedy of November 8th would never have happened if Americans knew as much about Samuel Johnson as they know about Samuel Adams. They would have at least know what a conservative is and they would know the second amendment wasn’t about guns. They might know that Thomas Jefferson was a Biblical Scholar and an Islamophile. They might know that America’s greatest writer Mark Twain had the same fear for America over one hundred years ago that many of us feel today.
Was Clinton the best candidate? Far from it. Her own shortcomings and flaws show early in the campaign. However, does this presuppose that we had to pick the least prepared, the most dangerous candidate in modern American history?
Trump will be a one term President. Those who voted for him will become angrier and disillusioned as his promises to them are not kept, their standard of living declines, and our standing in the world falls. May our Constitution with its checks and balances survive and may we return to civility, cooperation and respect for one another and the truth. This is a sad day indeed. But we have survived less than stellar Presidents, World Wars, slavery, Jim Crow, internment of Japanese-Americans, The Great Depression. We have yet to come to terms with the decline of public education and the explosion of information without adequate factual assessment. It is time to take stock of ourselves, listen to one another, and heal our wounds.
One of the bizarre twists of this election is the assemblage of sycophants and wanna be’s around Trump. Chief among them is former Mayor Guiliani and of course Gov. Christie. Both are failed aspirants for the presidency but are anxious to cash in, and I do mean CASH in. Giuliani is a textbook version of what unconscious racism looks like. But with him, it’s barely unconscious. If he were to become Attorney General he will unleash a police state that will take us back to the days of CoinTelPro. We would also have as our chief legal officer someone who has little respect for the law.
We only need recall how he violated state law by revealing sealed information about Patrick Dorismond, the victim of a police shooting in NY. Giuliani triumphantly declared that “he was no choir boy.” In reality, he was and served at the same Catholic High school that Giuliani attended. With Christie, you have someone who is a fellow bully, who lies like a rug and throws his staff under the bus to avoid his own culpability in Bridge Gate. He should be indicted, not appointed. In his nearly eight years as governor, he’s accomplished little to nothing.
Gingrich has been mentioned as well. Seems like misogyny has become a prime trait for the new administration. Setting aside my obvious political differences with this crowd, they are simply a sleazy bunch without an ethical bone in their body.
Is this the level we have sunk to?