By Jorge Dante Hernandez Prosperi
Choices: We make them every second of our lives. Some result in the benevolent fruition of their intent to be validated and celebrated. Others result in regrets and dire consequences. We live with those that can’t be rebooted, edited nor denied. Choices leading to regrets transforming into life-altering consequences.
Political leaders have the constant burden and responsibility to make good choices on behalf of the greater whole and good. Each choice they make impacts our citizenship and our Democracy. Each choice is a signal of intent to the American people that can motivate, mobilize, instigate and even lead to terrorism. The choice politicians make carries the power of influence on each citizen. The language, tone, nuance are all part and parcel of the choice. This is why each choice is critical and crucial.
Imagine if Donald Trump had made different choices on November 4, 2020. Imagine if after the election, after affirming the counts in each state, after believing Republican Governors, Republican Mayors, Republican Attorney Generals, state Republican Legislators, Donald Trump would have gone on national Cable News Stations, National Radio Networks and local TV stations and said the following:
“My fellow Americans, the presidential election is over and the American people have spoken. I want to congratulate Joe Biden and Kámala Harris.
I want to thank all of you who voted for me. I am honored and grateful for your loyal support.
But also I want to recognize all Americans who took the time and made the effort to vote in person or by mail. Our individual vote continues to be our most precious right and democratic value. I also thank all the postal workers and local election volunteers who dedicated countless hours to the democratic process.
What we just experienced as candidates and citizens is our united victory that must continue to be affirmed and valued by each of us.
It is time now to come together as Americans and continue to make our Republic – our Democracy a more perfect union.
Congratulations to all of the Republican, Democrat and Independent legislators who will soon become part of local, state and federal government representing constituencies across our country.
I call on each of you as legislators to respect and honor the results of this election and the responsibility that each of you must live up to on behalf of the Constitution.
I will be, in the coming weeks, working diligently with President Elect Joe Biden, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris facilitating the transition in the spirit of collaboration and good will.
Most important, this transition must be more focused than any other in our history as all Americans face one of the deadliest health crises of our times. My sincerest condolescences and prayers to every American – to every family that has lost a loved one.
Now that the election is over, it is imperative that we unite on behalf of every American who is suffering due to the pandemic. I ask all of my supporters, Republican legislators, governors, mayors – each of you who voted for me to demonstrate the same vigor, the same loyalty, the same patriotism in reaching out to fellow citizens, regardless of their political ideology, in order to create a united front to fight the COVID-19.
This is now the sole national priority that each of us must face with united determination and courage. May God bless America and may God bless the President Elect and Vice President Elect as they now continue the work of governing on our behalf.”
One of the key question upon making choices is what occurs after choices are made? This is the second part when dealing with Choices – that is – examining the steps that led to the choices. What was the motivation – the intent?
Did the results of the choices demonstrate a concern and focus on the greater good and ethical principles? Was the choice made demonstrate intelligence, reason, integrity, dignity, morality, veracity, humility, compassion, empathy, honorability and selfless citizenship?
Arn’t such concepts and traits affirmation of character – what we expect our leaders to model and live in order to provide us with a sense of citizenship, community, credibility and trust?
Arn’t such concepts not only words but the essence of civility – humanity – the ethos of humanness that we are ever trying to enhance, make better – pass on to future generations? Don’t we try to live these concepts so that our words become our actions and choices by which we live?
We know that Donald Trump did not make such a speech. He echoed the same words in 2016 – that he would not accept the election if he lost. He would declare the election rigged, unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional. For once, he kept his word.
But in 2021, instead of making a different choice, his Tweets went psycho – ballistic asking Republican Governors, Mayors, Attorney Generals, the Supreme Court, Congress, and Senate to overturn the election. He was denied each time as repeated lies and conspiracy theories did not constitute evidence and facts – at least outside of Trump Fox News.
In Tweets and rallies he continuously told lies to his followers adding suspicion to election results. That was a blatant unequivocal villian choice. This choice created the foundation by which his followers would make their choices as to what to believe and more dreadful, what they could, should and would do.
Donald Trump made a nightmarish choice to take America on a 64 days torturous journey stoking doubt, anger, hate, anxiety, stress, chaos and lies, resulting in 5 lives regrettably and needlessly lost on January 6, 2021.
So many days of the Trump administration will live in infamy in history books due to bad choices resulting in regrets and consequences due to incompetence, immorality and lack of veracity.
The only more regrettable consequence regarding bad choices is when bad choices are doubled down by more bad choices.
Each of those 64 days in November, December and January caused America to become more divided, more partisan, more suspicious, fearful and hateful towards their fellow citizens – all the while record number of the COVID-19 virus infected and killed – regardless of election results.
Like a dragon bent on destruction, the COVID-19 pandemic scourged rural, urban and suburban citizens without noting political affiliations and ideology.
Donald Trump had a choice – as he did each day as a president over the past four years. He made choices with each tweet, each lie, each insult, each time he fueled anger, hate and division.
Did his choices over the past four years make us come together, provide hope, believe in each other? Did his choices ever consider the children whose lives depend on the choices of our leaders? How often did he Tweet about the youngest and the eldest – those whose family members had lost lives due to the pandemic?
These are not only choices that were made by Donald Trump but those who put him in office, those who voted for him a second time and those who now continue to double down on fallacies, the delusion of entitled white supremacy underscored by a host of social -isms and phobias.
Trumpism is a misanthropic ideology – anti human – racist – fascist – built on horrific choices, bitter regrets and deadly consequences.
Each of us who believes in Democracy – that each human being is equal under God and law – must summon our power of influence and make choices of courage confronting the inhumanity of Trumpism founded on Racism.
As James Baldwin would remind, “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”