President Dr. Frankenstein, a Wake-Up Call
A friend of mine recently predicted that Trump will become one of our greatest Presidents. Maybe so. But as far as we are concerned the 2016 election was more than a disappointment. It was a nightmare; an unmitigated disaster.
Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that a man who routinely tweets inanities at 3:00 am. in the morning, who habitually cheats people out of their money, hires illegal aliens, demeans everyone and everything in sight, hides his tax returns, has paid no federal income taxes for two decades, is being sued for sexually abusing a 13 year old and brags about getting away with sexually assaulting women, would ever become the President of the United States. Boy were we wrong.
Trump is not my President his election notwithstanding. But the election is not about Trump. Never has been. Nor is it about Obama or Clinton. It is instead a window into the souls of those who support him and the underlying fear, frustration and hostility upon which they feed.
Despite our professed love of inclusion, regardless our assertions of equal opportunity, notwithstanding the inscription on the Statute of Liberty, give my your poor huddled masses, yearning to breath free, ours is a resentful nation, composed of resentful people.
For over two hundred years, Presidential stalwarts like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy and arguably Reagan, were elected without the need for voter identification. Now the democracy is threatened without it. Where open boarders were once necessary to build a great nation, a wall is now necessary to preserve a great nation.
The reason for this inconsistency, this double standard is simple The wrong people are entering the country. The wrong people are now voting. The proposed solution is to erase the gains of the last eighty years. The desire is not to reshape the political landscape but to roll back the clock to the 1930’s when real Americans were dominate and others knew their place. The purpose is to preserve the social, economic and political status quo at all cost.
The determination of those who push this agenda is therefore inexhaustible, their resolve boundless and their indifference, their callousness to the legitimate concern of others without surcease. Beyond reason and expressing no shame, they don’t give a damn about any interest other than their own. They want what they want when they want it. Nothing else matters.
This explains why the nation was so willing to purchase snake oil; why we so easily succumbed to the President Dr. Frankenstein brand of politainment. Adroitly playing the race card, he channeled our angst and appealed to our prejudices making it acceptable to not only to hate but to act upon this hatred. His indecency and crudeness worked to his advantage because it reflected that of his most ardent supporters. And he won because he appealed to and exploited this malice.
It is not that we underestimated Trump. Rather, we overestimated the body politic. In hindsight, the President elect clinched the election the moment he called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists, the second he advocated walls, the instant he called for a religious ban. These are positions his supporters find comforting. These are biases with which they agree.
Perhaps we overact. The sun will rise regardless this election. Still, there is cause for great concern.
Already there has been negative consequences. In Wellsville, N.Y., a massive swastika was scrawled on a park wall: “Make America White Again.” In Maple Grove, Minn., messages in a high school bathroom included “#gobacktoafrica,” “#whitesonly” and “#whiteamerica” along with “Trump Train.” At the University of Vermont, students found a Donald Trump campaign sign painted with a swastika three doors down from the campus Hillel. Already there have been mass protest, many of which have turned violent. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/11/10/racist-graffiti-greets-trump-win-across-usa/93584210/. And we can expect that the Confederate Flag will once again adorn statehouse capitols.
More troubling, with reactionary forces now in control of all three branches of government, there is nothing to prevent them from doing whatever they damn well please. From new voter restrictions, ant-gay, anti immigration, anti Muslim and anti marriage equality legislation, abortion restraints, attacks on the Affordable Care Act, an end to Dodd-Frank and Citizens United on steroid, expect a myriad of initiatives designed to consolidate their power, a torrent of regressive legislation aimed at disenfranchising the already disenfranchised. You name it they will do it without qualm or hesitation.
In conclusion, on November 8, 2016, hate prevailed. Unfortunately, the election results will not change. Nor will the venom which contributed to this disaster.
Still, the election is a wake up call. It is a demand for us to get busy, to get our act together, to vote, educate ourselves, raise our children, give up the drugs, strengthen our communities, create wealth and above all, stop killing each other. We can expect help from no one and it will get a lot worse before it gets better.
Either we get the message or we don’t.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum