Reports Thursday night that President Trump actually tried to fire the special counsel investigating his misconduct last summer but backed off when the White House counsel warned that such action could deal a fatal blow to Trump’s presidency gave me a little of that “Christmas is just around the corner” feeling. I can’t express how ardently I long for someone to finally pull the man up by his corn-curl colored comb over and say, “The law applies to every one of us…and you’re done breaking it. Pack your stuff and get out of the people’s house.” Congress needs to get its shit together and be ready to act on what I expect to be a devastating set of substantiated allegations against Trump and his cronies. What a day that will be. Call him Mr. Mueller! And call DJT the loser he learned to be at his father’s knee. If you haven’t seen the NYT report, here’s the link:
Anyone familiar with the eternal cynic I’ve become after years of life as a journalist will be surprised at what I am about to say. We were heading east toward the farmer’s market in the center of the city this morning. Gusty wind fought to invert our umbrellas as persistent rain pelted us, soaking my sleeves. Behind us to the west and overhead, the sky was darkened by angry grey clouds. We picked up our pace as the raindrops grew larger, but it seemed we were doomed to a dreary, disheartening day that matched the despair in our hearts over the current state of political affairs.
We scurried into the market and sought comfort in a good cup of coffee and the company of a relative who runs a produce stand. As we emerged, the wind still grabbed the edges of our umbrellas, but the sky was a tad less dark. We walked quickly, needing to be home sooner than usual. Four blocks north, the sky grew brighter with each stride. By four blocks west, as we headed back toward our neighborhood, the sun tore a hole in the clouds overhead. Another five blocks south and the cloudiness had surrendered to blue sky and bright, energizing sunlight.
What meaning do I derive from this brief meteorological experience? A reminder (and this is the part no one ever expects to hear from a jaundiced, old reporter) that the worst of weather cannot persist. Blue sky and sunlight always return. Likewise, we persist. And the darkness of the present moment (which I consider quite dark) will surely brighten and, thanks to our persistence, goodness and decency and empathy and reciprocal altruism will be restored to us all.
As I observe our immoral and indecent (and likely deranged) president , and watch him give concrete form to hatred, bigotry, and white supremacy (most recently in ordering several hundred thousand Salvadorans out of our country for no other reason I can discern than the color of their skin), and when I watch religious leaders, the supposed keepers of the flame of goodness and love, lay hands on that president, bless his atrocious words and deeds, and proclaim it “Good,” and when I see in the halls of Congress dozens and dozens of elected officials who have snuffed out their sense of right and wrong so they can slipstream in the trail of greed and hate blazed by the man in the White House, I think of W.B. Yeats’s poem from 1919, “The Second Coming,” which lamented the state of post-World War I society, when the world of his day had, as I think ours is tending now, veered off the path of peace and justice and love and human rights.
Here’s how Yeats described it:
“Turning and turning in a widening gyre, The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”
Sound familiar? Yet, as good friends have reminded me in recent days, we must persist and resist. Surely light can overcome the darkness of these unnatural and unpleasant days.
I’m anxiously awaiting arrival of my copy of Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s new book about the Trump White House and the madness that rages there. Is any rational person the least bit surprised by what Wolff documents? If only elected officials could act on this information rather than suppressing and denying it to advance their own selfish goals.
In my last post, I seriously asked anyone who read it to give me one reason why we should keep fighting to end the madness of the Trump administration. For the record, I received 0 responses. So…
Can anyone give me one reason why we should pay attention to the atrocious actions of our political leaders? Why demonstrate, protest, oppose, resist and persist in the face of the greed and hate and total lack of empathy demonstrated by those who now control the levers of power and an increasing percentage of the material wealth of our nation? We are being led by an unbalanced, immoral person and the leaders of the most powerful political party in the country genuflect before him every morning and keep on keeping on the rip off of the poor and disadvantaged (not to mention more and more of what used to be the middle class) for their own advantage. I’d like someone to give me one good reason to keep fighting for decency and dignity and human rights. Just one. I promise to give it serious consideration.
Sensing that we’re actually making some progress in drawing evangelical Christians and other misguided individuals away from the dark side (read Donald J. Trump et al.) and back into the light of faith and values and human rights and decency, I addressed another plea to the voters of this deeply Republican community where I reside through our newspaper (the LNP):
Note: I had to wait until the nausea triggered by President Trump’s decision to back an alleged sexual predator in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race had subsided before writing this letter. I’m still a bit queasy, knowing the President chose political expediency over decency, but I want to point out that people of faith, who’ve been holding their noses and supporting President Trump because he opposes abortion can now abandon him. If they do, members of Congress, like Rep. Lloyd Smucker (my U.S. representative), who back Mr. Trump to keep voters happy, can resurrect their traditional values and join the call for removal—through impeachment or the 25th Amendment—of a President who is mentally unfit and morally degenerate and, through his impulsive, childish bullying, dragging the world toward cataclysmic, nuclear war. (Abortion would be safe in V.P. Pence’s hands.) Experts warn that stunted psychological development explains how a US President could say of North Korea’s nuclear-armed, provocative leader: “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’” As columnist Eugene Robinson wrote in LNP, “most sixth-graders would consider [Trump’s taunt] juvenile.” GOP Congressman Bob Corker (TN) warns that Trump’s instability may be leading us to nuclear war. Republican Senator Jeff Flake (AZ) told his colleagues “we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch [presumably Mr. Trump] are normal.” Flake called for an end to Trump’s “reckless, outrageous, and undignified” behavior and challenged Congress, including Rep. Smucker, to “risk our careers in favor of our principles.” Some in Washington now say war is inevitable. I pray to God that is not true. But it might be, if our leaders don’t abandon petty politics and deal with Mr. Trump.