I went back and reviewed prior posts on politics that I had published on this blog to sort of look back and see how thing had changed. My most recent post concerned President Obama’s re-election, and a perusal back through my history revealed what seems now to have been a much simpler time – simply advocating for equality for LGBT, lamenting the ideological makeup of the SCOTUS, and commenting on the general state of the Congress.
You know, back when America was great.
The bombastic current occupant of the White House has been described as
- a misogynist
- a white supremacist
- a narcissist
- petty and vengeful
- unfit for the office
And I can’t say that I disagree with any of these observations.
There has been much discussion as to how and why Hilary Rodham Clinton lost the 2016 election. She, herself, identifies a number of reasons, but without actually taking blame herself. She came into this with significant baggage and controversy, and I think she and many of her supporters underestimate how that may have hurt her.
However, as Bret Stephens recently opined, she would have been a survivable [outcome].
The current administration has removed all sense of decorum or respect from the office of POTUS, and seems obsessed with undoing anything and everything accomplished by President Obama or during his tenure. The country is being ruled as much as possible as if it were a dictatorship, with the administration most recently advocating the firing of a sports analyst who spoke against the current occupant of the White House, which, by the way, is against US federal law, should any prosecutor have the spine to bring charges.
The Republicans are only now realizing that their agenda is not the agenda of the administration, and they are completely confused as to how to cope.
But the damage has already begun. The cabinet is comprised of individuals with no interest in serving the people or the nation, but in dismantling many of the protections and regulations that level the playing field. And much, much worse, the Republicans stole a SCOTUS nomination from President Obama in order to provide it to his successor, who in turn nominated Neil Gorsuch. Justice Gorsuch has already had an influence on the court, and it is something we may only be able to remedy after decades of abuse to the population, if ever. Added to this, the Majority Leader in the US Senate had to change the rules to disallow a filibuster in order to achieve that confirmation.
I wrote recently that during the GW Bush era, my frequent mantra was that I did not vote for him, and I did not support X policy. I was traveling internationally quite often at the time, and was frequently asked about President Bush and why the US elected him. The world was stupefied, but I addressed the questions and conversations as best I could. However, I never felt the same level of revulsion as I do for the current regime. I believed, wrongly or rightly, that President Bush was truly doing what he thought best for the country, even if his policies and lieutenants were wrong-headed about just about everything.
In my view, the current administration came to power as a result of the Electoral College, which in turn, did not do its job in allowing this presidency to happen. It feels as though it happened on a technicality, like a violent criminal avoiding conviction for not being properly Mirandized. And now the country is being dismantled.
Here is short list of what I see happening.
- Culturally, there is no penalty for being openly misogynist. Openly racist statements are tolerated on a hit or miss basis.
- The current occupant of the White House accused his predecessor of being on vacation too much, yet plays golf every weekend. The US Secret Service has run out of money protecting him and his family.
- The occupant and his family are using the office of the POTUS and its influence to make money.
- We, as a country, are heavily reliant upon other leaders in the Cabinet, the Armed Forces, and others to keep the Executive in check. Even the US Senate recently passed a bill requiring approval by the Senate for any changes in sanction policy as it related to Russia. I cannot imagine such an action with any prior President.
- There is growing evidence that the campaign to elect the current White House occupant colluded and/or cooperated with Russia to impact the 2016 election, yet it is not clear that the Republican-led houses of Congress will do anything about it.
- There has been a concerted effort to antagonize foreign leaders wherever and whenever possible, with one notable exception.
Each time a Democrat has been elected to the US Presidency in my adult lifetime, we have spent much of that President’s term cleaning up the mess made by a previous Republican administration, and this has only worsened dramatically since 2000.
President Obama inherited a financial collapse and managed to stabilize the country, yet his opponents in the Republican electorate – who never forgave President Obama for the audacity of being black – somehow managed to blame him for the crisis.
I have no idea what the next President will inherit. Bret Stephens, a Republican at the time of the 2016 election, voted for Secretary Clinton, because he did not feel that the current White House occupant was “survivable” for the country. If he’s right, I don’t know what we will have left in 2020.
It is important that Democrats, Independents, and patriotic Republicans mobilize for the 2018 mid-term elections, so we can continue to provide strong resistance. It is up to us to educate ourselves and people who voted this vile administration into office. We also need to examine ways of ensuring that this kind of situation does not occur again, where so much hard work has been undone and our country has been regressed back to a darker time in our history. The corruption and collusion investigations need to continue so we can purge the government of these influences.
The slogan of Make America Great Again, stolen from President Reagan, clearly refers to a time when the country was significantly more racist, significantly more sexist, and significantly more intolerant of anyone not white, heterosexual, Christian and male. The instability at the top due to lack of qualifications and character only worsen this problem.