2020 The Year of Clarity

Okay, the holiday Truce is over. We have a new year to consider. Time to look forward to better times for this country.

With 2019 finished, let’s hope 2020 becomes the year of clarity for America.

We will remember the past year as one where a significant number of Americans lived in a self-imposed delusion. Delusions that began with Mr. Trump’s election.

They credit the mere invocation of the name Trump with stimulating complex economic growth as if that is all it takes to drive the American economy.

The hostile relationship with our allies titillates his supporters and they remain unconcerned with our President’s infatuation with dictators and totalitarian governments.

They rejoice in the reduction of foreign aid as if it was solely altruistic charity, failing to comprehend even a basic understanding of complex geopolitics and the benefit inured through our influence in other countries which promotes our own interests.

Non-plussed by the undeniable and ongoing interference by Russia in our elections, they bask in a tainted and tarnished “victory” with little concern for the political consequences.

They ignore the stain of Impeachment and the open and notorious jury tampering taking place in the Senate. All rationalized by the “unfairness” of the House proceedings. A Constitutional process well established under law.

Were this the 1950s-not that I wish to return to such a period in history, but if it were—Mr. Trump and his cohorts would find themselves before the House Committee on Un-American Activities as a suspected communist collaborators and sympathizers. I dare say it would be one of the few examples where the committee was on to something.

The latest version of the defense of Mr. Trump is that they knew what they were getting; a crude, carnal, misogynistic, morally (and in some case financially) bankrupt, egotistical, self-aggrandizing carnival barker. But he promised to “drain the swamp.”

And that made it okay. Like falling off a ladder and claiming you intended to do it all along.

Nothing he does, or says, or fails to do is too egregious for their purposes. Despite the rational concerns of many of their fellow Americans–and the lessons of history–they embraced the hyper-nationalism and questionable decision making from a man who can’t even be bothered to read the Presidential Daily Briefing.

Even a briefing reduced to a Presidential Briefing for Dummies version, written at barely literate comprehension level, and containing more pictures than words. As long as he colors between the lines and matches the right numbers, the briefing is considered a success.

A man who, as the leader of the free world, sends rapid-fire tweet messages like a rabbit on crack at the grammar level of a first-grader and his supporters are okay with that. (I apologize to most first-graders and crack-addicted rabbits, Mr. Trump would fall at the lower edge of the bell curve.)

I dare say Mr. Trump has set a first for a President in that English may not be his first language. What is remains in question.

The hero worship infatuation with Mr. Trump persists despite much of the economic trends (less impressive than he would have you believe and arguably begun by his predecessor under much more trying economic conditions) and our deteriorating global position as a world leader (which he would insist has improved under his guidance) all point to a dismal future absent a quick change.

And to offer some evidence to open our eyes to clarity in 2020, there is this gem. For those of you of the conservative Christian religious ilk, some of his most ardent and willfully ignorant supporters, who see Trump as a conservative godsend, the President would have you add this to your persistent myth.

The president doesn’t secretly hold a god-like opinion of himself. He believes he is an improvement over the original. In response to an editorial in Christianity Today, Mr. Trump had this to say;

“I mean, the name of the magazine is Christianity Today, and who is doing more for Christians today? Not Jesus. He disappeared; no one knows what happened to him. But I’m out there every day protecting churches from crazy liberals.”

While Trump admitted that Jesus did do some things for Christianity in the past, Trump said he was doing more now, and it was more substantial. “I’m appointing judges to help protect religious rights,” Trump stated. “How many judges has Jesus appointed? He says something about judging people in the future, but I ain’t seen it.”

Furthermore, Trump asserted that he “saved Christmas.” “Look what I’ve done,” he said. “You can say ‘Merry Christmas’ now. In fact, if you say ‘Happy Holidays and don’t immediately make it clear you’re referring to Christmas, you go to prison. What has Jesus ever done for Christmas? Be born? He wants credit for that? Come on.”

Let’s hope 2020 is the year we see Mr. Trump for what he is; another charlatan peddling snake-oil miracles for self-enrichment. Time to take the government out of this Ponzi scheme led by a fraud and a scam artist.

Mr. Trump’s antics are not “tweaking the nose” of those trying to hold onto the power of the mythical “deep state.” Nor is he draining the swamp. What he is doing is feeding the good people of this country to the alligators of hate and bigotry, fattening them up so he can use them to assert more control over our other equal branches of government and become a replica of his idol, Mr. Putin.  

At the very least let’s release all those prisoners we sent to jail for saying “Happy Holidays.” Jesus said “Forgive thine enemies.” Donald J. (we now know what the J stands for) Trump can go one further and “set the people free.” It would be the Christian Version II thing to do

P.S. Any moment now the usual responses will start, blaming everything bad on the Clintons or President Obama and all the nefarious things they did.

Using Mr. Trump’s logic (if such reasoning can be considered logical) the fact that so many of his associates have been indicted and convicted while virtually no indictments came from the Obama administration or from investigations into the Clintons must mean they are better at pulling off scams than he is. Perhaps it is simple jealousy driving Mr. Trump. He cannot stand being beaten at his own game.

Jesus Trump does have a certain ring to it, though. I can see a historian in the future, working on his doctoral dissertation, writing, “Jesus Trump, what were they thinking?”

The Poisoning of American Discourse

Perhaps we’ve something to learn from this poem by William Blake about the cost of anger.

While vigorous and enthusiastic discourse on differing ways to accomplish things in this country have always brought great benefit, the polarization of extremes does not bode well. We can, we must, always have disparate opinions and methods of accomplishing things yet we also need remember our common goal.

The President’s biggest failure, in my opinion, lies not in what he may be trying to accomplish, but in his methods and manner. Mocking, dismissing out of hand, or ignoring differing opinions from some very intelligent and accomplished Americans who have much to offer is his biggest failure, and the greatest risk to America.

Mr. Trump would be well served to step away from Twitter, put aside his skepticism of the value of others, and listen. His failure to do that is the single best argument against his re-election. The noise of impeachment will be silenced by the politics of the Senate majority who will ignore any evidence to ensure continuity of their power. Waste no more time trying to overturn an election (absent, of course, more evidence) and focus on the next election.

This country has succeeded because of our differences, not in spite of them. The anger engendered by President Trump and many of his most virulent supporters, as well as those who stand in obtuse opposition to him, are a cancer growing on the very heart of this country.

The result of that malignancy may be the destruction of the America we all love.

A Poison Tree

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe:
I told it not, my wrath did grow. 

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears:
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles

And it grew both day and night. 
Till it bore an apple bright. 
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine. 

And into my garden stole, 
When the night had veild the pole; 
In the morning glad I see; 
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

“People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.” G.K. Chesterton (Eugenics and other Evils)