Friday, September 1, 2017
James Baker and Andrew Young Make Plea For Unity - But It Won't Happen Until We Are Rid Of Trump
Donald the dog whistler -in -chief: Until we rid ourselves of this glorified toad, there will be no impetus to national unity or civility - you can make book on it.
James A. Baker and Andrew Young, in a WSJ piece yesterday ('Identity Politics Are Tearing America Apart', p. A17) made an impassioned plea for all of us to come together. They deplored yet another "critical point in U.S. history" when "political, social and economic upheavals have left too many Americans battling each other rather than working together to build a better country"
"The country faces a stark choice; Its citizens can continue screaming at each other, sometimes over largely symbolic issues. Or they can again do what citizens of this country have done in the past - work together on the real problems that confront everyone".
But the pair are forgetting one essential ingredient present in those earlier times but not present now: A President with a vision for the nation, and who refrained from the sordid ploy of the 'dog whistle" to assemble his followers against the majority of the populace. Because in no prior presidency have we had a certifiable lunatic and egomaniac narcissist like Donald Trump whose vision stops at the tip of his nose. The man's very incivility and uncouth behavior sends resonant chords echoing among the white supremacists, Nazis and other knuckle draggers - which then perpetuates the internecine warfare among citizens - such as we beheld at Charlottesville.
Hell, the man couldn't even bring himself to attend the memorial for Heather Heyer, choosing instead to do a presser in which he conflated the Nazis and other racists with counter protesters who DID have a permit. And make no mistake here: neither her death nor the protests against torch -bearing Nazis were "merely symbolic". As Prof. Cornell West was quoted after Charlottesville: "Were it not for Antifa, we'd have been squashed like roaches by the fascists."
The sad fact then is that so long as Trump fouls the highest office there can neither civility or unity. It is like asking homeowners to go ahead and remodel -paint their homes while black mold (stachybotrys) spreads in their basements. Is this mere pessimism? If you believe so then ask yourself what you make of a nation - at this point in time - in which The Daily Stormer gets 1,000 times the daily hits as the National Institute for Civil Discourse.
WHAT does that tell you and what should it tell Messrs. Baker and Young? It ought to shout that the dog whistle of identity politics boasts vastly more volume than civility, thanks to Donald J. Trump. And it is the voice of those like Trump who encourage such division and dog whistling that keeps the country rent asunder. No surprise then that a recent FOX News poll found that 56 percent believed Trump is "tearing the nation apart'. Their belief is based on observation and fact, because he is tearing it apart. The man couldn't even summon minimal human decency and compassion to unite people in the wake of Harvey's assault on Houston. It was beneath him to go to actual devastated areas and comfort the afflicted. He used it instead as a crass marketing opportunity to sell ball caps with "USA" emblazoned on the front. All posturing, no true leadership. As one Trump voter put it in a focus group meeting, "He isn't even professional, far less presidential".
"Professional" meaning we have a certain level of expectation of how a person - whether CEO or President - behaves, how he conducts himself. Trump, alas, meets no professional standards or markers. He is lost in his own self and world, everything is about him and all measures are subjective - twisted into the miasma of his own deranged mind.
If the leader of our nation can't see fit to condemn Nazis and white supremacists outright or evoke even basic sympathy for the devastated in the nation's 4th largest city then how the hell is a united or civil society even remotely possible? It isn't. It is frankly bordering on the incredible that Messrs. Baker and Young couldn't see that before churning out their op-ed.
Some pundits (like John Oliver) have insisted that people, citizens need to find civility or sanity outside of Trump World- but this is poppycock. HOW can anyone do that when he occupies the seat of power, including control of the nuclear codes? Besides, so long as he is inciting his stable of troglodytes - who foment their own detestable deeds, like slaying Heather Heyer, no peace is possible.
Let us agree then that one of the roles of a President is to project decorum and respect for this office, and from this office to the world - and to his fellow citizens It is also his duty to unite rather than divide citizens. But what did Trump do in his recent press conference regarding the carnage at Charlottesville? Well, he refused to even single out the vermin who did the deed, opting instead to make no distinctions between the Nazis and those who protested them. Is that leading, or showing vision?
Even before that Trump was demanding the destruction of Obamacare and the health care of millions. The point is that when you threaten a citizen's basic welfare and health care access he is not going to just take it lying down, not if he or she is sentient. No, he will protest and do so loudly and regularly at town hall meets. (And no, he doesn't need to be paid to do so!)
Trump besmirches and decimates any potential for unity by the mere fact he lies as automatically as he breathes. These lies are then gobbled up by his gullible fake news peanut gallery who then invoke them to turn their bile on the rest of us. It should not take more than common sense to get any objective observer to appreciate that if a third or more of the nation believes Trump's lies and the rest do not - there can be no measure of tolerance, or kumbaya.
The very act of lying and his efforts to destroy truth (by attacking the press) means there can be NO accommodation, not even in the name of some phony peace or civility. To do so would be to grant an insane narcissist authoritarian buffoon vastly more power than he ever deserves. Let us wait for his inevitable downfall, THEN talk about coming together as a nation.
One cannot build a solid home on a foundation of mold and rot. Neither can our nation build unity and civility on the pestilence of a presidency that is Donald Trump's. Once we evict this deplorable POS then all things might be possible, not before. (And even then we may have to have psychological help ready for his aggrieved followers, before they can join the rest of us as Baker and Young propose.)