A Legacy of Omnishambles and Ashes
By Jorge D.H. Prósperi, 2020
“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge – even wisdom. Like art.”Toni Morrison
The morphing of Republicanism into Trumpism is the new research craze. Most often connected to the legacy of Roger Ailes, Fox News, Carl Rove, CPAC, Conspiracy Theories, The Tea Party, Gerrymandering, Evangelicalism, State Rights, NRA, Supreme Court Decisions, White Nationalism, Domestic Terrorism . . . and I would add – overt, covert, aversive and institutional Racism, Sexism and Obstructionism – all of which continue to plague us as a nation.
The research points to the fact that Democracy, The Constitution, Bill of Rights, Citizenship and Rule of Law never gets a free pass because all are dynamic works in progress being pushed, pulled, at times obstructed and/or denied. Our young nation compared to others, is ever struggling to authenticate and actualize a quality life of worth for all citizens. Well-intended Republicans, Democrats and Independents are fully aware of our historical challenges, compromises and journey.
But something is different for Republicans since 2016. It is a continuous agitation – a troubled uneasiness, a lingering anxiety that won’t let go.
As a Republican colleague shared, “I just don’t recognize the Republican Party anymore. It no longer represents my values. There is a constant anxiety, stress, apprehension and it has become a challenge to my citizenship.” I did not respond as the comment seemed to be calling for personal introspection – ownership. At the same time, the comment beckoned critical questions and review.
Does the president and his administration reflect the beliefs, attitudes and norms of its supporters and do the supporters reflect the beliefs, attitudes and norms of the president and his administration?
So what does Trumpism stand for in 2020? What do the daunting diehard Trump supporters stand for? What about those who live in the shadows as Trump Wannabes*?
*A Trumpism Wannabe: (not willing to wear their MAG hat in public but willing to support Trumpism in the privacy of a voting booth.)
So what is the vision, mission and guiding principles represented by Trumpism? What is the blatant growing legacy after three years that are being scribed into the annals of history? History has a stubborn tendency to record raw truth based on facts, not adaptations or alterations.
To their credit as historians, authors, academicians and citizens, Michael Beschloss and Jon Meacham are not waiting to scribe what they are critically observing in real time.
Let’s speak truth to truth . . . and to power without the translucent orange powder fog, veils, cheap perfume, con games or makeovers.
What is the ethos of Trumpism? What is it leaving behind as its legacy?
What are the concepts, ideologies, talking points, actual words that are now, and will be, associated with Trumpism? Lest we forget . . .
Absolute Thinking, Administration of One, Altered Facts, Anti-Banking/Wall Street Regulations, Anti-Free Press, Anti-Gender Identity, Anti-Immigration, Anti-Same Gender-Sex Marriage, Anti-Intellectualism, Anti-Common Sense Gun Laws and Regulations, Anti-Equal Wages, Anti-Global Warming Science, Anti-Fact Finding and Research, Anti-Semitism, Anti-European Union, Anti-Government, Anti-United Nations, Anti-Separation of Church and State, Anti-Sexual Orientation, Anti Social Personality Disorder, Anti-Unions, Anti-Women’s Right to Choose, Authoritarian Personality, Demand Blind Loyalty, Build a Wall with Mexican Pesos, Disingenuousness, Charlatanism, Climate Change Denier, Cognitive Dissonance, Confirmation Bias (echo chambers and silos), Conspiracy Theories, Criminalizing Immigrants, Demonizes Opponents, Derivative Thinking, Deutsche Bank Scandal, Dog Whistler, Draft Dogger, Ego-Entwined Demagoguery, Emoluments, Fake News, Fear Mongering, Gerrymandering, Governing Through Tweets, Historical Revisionism, Homophobia, Ignorance as a Defense, Impeachment, Intimidator, Islamophobia, Jingoism, Kleptocracy, Lauding Corrupt and Unscrupulous Russian-Saudi-Arabian-Turkish Despots and Oligarchs, Low Information Voters, Malfeasance, Mar-a-Lago White House, Mendacity, Low Information Voters, Narcissism, Nepotism (institutional incest), Leadership via Photo-Ops with (Farmers-First Responders-Miners-Veterans-Victims of gun violence and Natural Disasters), Misogynist, Moronic Inarticulate Incoherent Tweets, Mueller Report Cherry Picking, Porn-Star(s) Payoff(s), Muslimophobia, Never apologize (never show remorse or admit wrongdoing), Obama Idée Fixe, Obstructs Bills and Policies generated by Congress (250 bills passed by Congress as of 02/17/2020 waiting to be signed by Senate and President), Obstruct and Impede Justice, Pathological Liar, Pedophile Comrade, Privatization of (Public Schooling, Veterans Administration, U.S. Postal Administration, Prisons and Immigrant Encampments), Project Personal Flaws Onto Others, Racism (overt, covert, aversive, institutional), Revenge-Vengeance-Vindictiveness Towards Critiques, Tax Returns Dodging, Tribalism, Separátocide (separation of children from parent(s) and the caging of children), Sexism, Shamelessness, Sharpie Theories, Short Term Economic Opportunism, Suppressing Voting Rights, Swamps turned Cesspools, Trump University Fraud, White Entitlement, White Loss, White Privilege, White Nationalism (Nationalsozialismus), Womanizer, Xenophobia . . .
Quite a resumé for an ideology in the 21st Century!
Here is the more critical question . . . Who would vote for anyone running for office with such a deplorable documented history?
Oh but there is more!? The following link is an example of the constant turmoil, chaos, dysfunction as to “Who has left Trump’s administration and orbit?”
The investigative reporting was done by Jan Diehm, Sam Petulla and Zachary B. Wolf of CNN Politics. The report as of Monday, October 21, 2019 is alarming and keeps growing. The list is challenging to update as it is ever growing . . .
No, not done yet . . . there is more! Let’s not leave out the 34 convicted and sentenced criminals associated with Trumpism. David Nather, Lauren Meier, Haley Britzky, Lazaro Gamio, Andrew Witherspoon and Maria Fernandez of Axios provide yet more evidence of Trumpism connections with corruption. Convicted Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Alex van der Zwaan, George Ppapadapoulos, Richard Pinedo, 13 Russian Nationals/3 entities, 12 Russian military intel officers, Constantin Kilminik, Roger Stone. Not to mention the off-shore banks that are being scrutinized for money laundering.
WOW! Wonder what is left to share with our children as parent(s) and teachers. Where would we begin?
Let’s hope that there are enough adults taking citizenship seriously who are not married to Pavlovian distractions ofs Super Bowl, March Madness, Reality TV, Facebook, Twitter, consumerism . . . too busy to notice the socio-cultural-political insidiousness taking place . . . as it once did in the 1930s in Europe. A time when well educated, intelligent, culturally sophisticated citizens thought with conviction, “This too will pass.” It didn’t and millions suffered needlessly.
There is a segment of Republicans that go back and forth between Republicanism and Trumpism. They are known as, “Selective Smörgåsbord Republicans.” They don’t only live in Washington in the Senate and Congress, but are our rural, suburban and urban neighbors – fellow citizens . . . even family members.
These wannabes don’t like some aspects of Trumpism but are willing to hold their noses. They get in line to go through the SS line (“Selective Smörgåsbord”) choosing yummy dishes from the menu of choices – such as the conservative judges soup . . . gun-rights meatloaf . . . anti-abortion stew . . . obstruction cold cuts – and the favorite – the winter white salad with white dressing.
But they quickly move on from dishes that reek of over-ripe malfeasance, corruption, oppression and inhumanity – seemingly too much heartburn at stake. Regardless, they feast with others . . . while caged children remain out of sight . . . out of mind.
Selective Smörgåsbord Republicans have every right to think, believe and proclaim what they feel is in their best interest – and vote accordingly,
But there are also components of cowardice, hypocrisy that need to be owned when deciding to be in the Trumpian buffet line.
Selective Smörgåsbord Republicans . . . Please, PLEASE stop using such terms as Conservative or Egalitarian. Please dress in the right clothes. Be proud of the new identity and walk proudly with your naked emperor.
Please, PLEASE stop quoting the founding fathers, Lincoln – even Ronald Raegan. You left them in the dust long, long ago. Own and quote your new heroes with pride: Limbaugh, Hannity, Carlson, Pirro, Ingraham, Baier, Kilmeade Earhardt, Doocy, Dobbs, Bolling . . . to name a few.
They echo “confirmation bias” 24/7/365 affirming and making Trumpism palatable – fruit juice masking the castor oil. Quote them at will and without hesitation, but own the fear and the anger that spews unto others.
Please, PLEASE stop using the term “evangelical” as if it represents and defines all of Christianity as a monolithic collective noun.
Please, PLEASE stop asking, “What would Jesus do?” Please, PLEASE don’t sully the name of a holy prophet.
Please, PLEASE ask what you really want to ask, “What would Trump do?”
Please, PLEASE stop the charade advocating sanctimonious hypocrisy, self righteousness and immoral freak shows. Stand up, as Rick Perry said, for the “Chosen One.” Step up to the altar with your children in hand and light a candle to your new deity . . . the one you want your children to emulate – the new contemporary White Hope.
Please, PLEASE stop trying to stop time. Don’t you see, trying to stop diversity and inclusivity is like trying to empty the oceans with a pitchfork. I would posit the same is true trying to stop JUSTICE. Mother time will patiently wait for the masquerade to end.
In time the pendulum will swing once again because no political party – not even a despot owns time. The scale of justice will once again find balance.
New Federal judges and Supreme Court Judges will be nominated authenticating and amplifying the constitution and justice . . . women will continue to independently determine and own their choices . . . ‘#MeToo’ and ‘Times Up’ will continue to provide voice, teach and caution . . . same-sex marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity will continue on its journey to self empowerment . . . immigration-migrations will be validated through counterstories and new pathways . . . dreamer’s dreams will be validated and honored . . . global climate shifts will eventually lead to but one choice . . . inclusivity will continue to grow exponentially as America’s pathology with the construct of race dissolves within its own delusional walls. The real invisible wall will one day come down . . . and yes . . . America will learn and change – by pro-active choice – and move beyond tolerance.
America! . . . this will be . . . like it or not, believe it or not . . . vote for it or not.
Do not lose hope. History reminds us that even during times of chaos and cataclysmic trauma the human spirit does not relent to oppression. We proved it by surviving a civil war, affirming civil right laws and in 2008 and 2012 by electing an intelligent, moral and decent president worthy of authentic respect and whose legacy will speak of honorability.
Time will continue to prove the worth of our Democracy and Citizenship – but without guarantees. What is the cost to our society – the world – our children when power for power’s sake is unleashed against the common good . . . against human civility and decency . . . against our better angels? Each of us must find our power of influence to answer such a question.
“So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.”Barack Obama
End of Part I – Go to Part II