What follows is a primary example of the original purpose of this blog, Recording Editorial History, a collection for posterity of the differences in how people perceive the world. What is going on presently in the United States is something that will fill history books for a long time to come, told from varying perspectives, further debasing reality into the partisan screeds that pass for truth these days, trying to convince the future how they should believe things were back in the once upon a time. I will attempt to record just how urgently people disagree . . .
Where We Are
I have avoided this subject, preferring, rather, to merely discuss the selfishly transparent corruption of Donald Trump, his blind loyalists, and their mockery of patriotism, somehow transforming the most basic charters of the US Constitution into treason. But, as we have come to expect from the present tense, what was once broad satire has become terrifying reality. It is thus impossible to any longer avoid this.
Partisanship is a corrosive thing, an ideology every bit as sincere as the most fundamentalist religions. Political parties, in fact, as all of us certainly know, love to exploit ancient biblical fears and triumphs to justify their actions for their devotees.
I have done this numerous times before, but I believe that now is the perfect time to quote two of our most noble founding fathers:
We need to consider these words as the cunning political opportunists of today pretend that they are patriots, fighting for freedom; those who feign devotion to our constitution, and who even hold up these distant figures from the past as examples of what they are doing. For anyone claiming that their partisan heroes love the United States of America, just listen to the words of our first two presidents:
This was a warning from Washington’s farewell address, which I encourage all those concerned with the growing divide within so-called unions to read in full (https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/Washingtons_Farewell_Address.pdf)
Each of these warnings were made more than 200 years ago, by diligent men who fought for a way of life that has evolved so intensely that an entirely new species has emerged, one with a blood lust so deep that it wishes to eliminate all which came before, devour it, another tasty genus of the past driven to extinction. The threats of a coming civil war in the United States are not merely provocative, exaggerated sneers. The threat is very real. Take a look:
And so where are we today? How did we get here? Is there anything any longer we can do about this, to turn away from petty partisan bickering and come back to the hope of our founding fathers and the reconciliation the nation attempted following that first great divide?
Where We’ve Been
That is a quote from a man who not only led the US into World War I but, should we transport him to the changing morality of the times, needs to be condemned for saying
Wilson was a liberal of his time, a true progressive Democrat. And yet this certainly does not represent the liberals of today no matter how much modern conservatives wish to paint them as the true racists.
Of course in past times the Republicans were the less racist party, the party of Lincoln. They were the liberals of the time, fighting for a new way, a New World Order if we choose to conspiratorialize everything. But the parties shifted dramatically in values and ideology at the dawn of the civil rights movement.
President Eisenhower only wanted peace. He was mostly indifferent to race. He was perhaps the last decent man to hold the highest office in the land.
And yet, within a few short years, the party he was condemning, the Democrats, transformed into his own. There was a splinter movement at the time, the failing Democrats perhaps seeing the activity of young liberals fighting for equality in each and every way. Maybe they could take advantage of this, could exploit it to their own ends and achieve vast power once again. But there were still, of course, the old Democrats, those racist Southerners imposing not just segregation, but seeking a way to somehow restore slavery in everything but name. As the new movements attacked their ideas on how the world should be, the Ku Klux Klan arose once again, reaching their malicious peek as the liberals started fighting back.
In government, many of the old Democrats sought to re-establish their party, cynically shifting to the side with a new name: The States Rights Democratic Party, better known as ‘the Dixiecrats:’
And yet, in today’s arguments on which team is more racist, we get this:
Quotes from a far different context in history are used to justify purely partisan aims:
And yet the issue hasn’t been as complex since the days of the civil war:
This is the President of the United States of America. These things are okay to say from his high office, apparently. It’s not like he’s hanging out with his group of asshole friends, shouting at the TV and slinging whatever slur comes to mind on people that bother him. No, this is from a podium, before dignitaries and worldwide press. It is televised for all to see. And yet
How does this happen? Is there something in our collective past that has brought this nightmare forth, caused all those buried tensions, the anxiety and resentment to crack the sky open into this vindictive hurricane of violence and cruelty, and a basic fingers-in-the-ears, jumping-up-and-down, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah–I can’t hear you!–this in every corner of the world, hatred based less on race or gender or even religion, less on the usual suspects of prejudice, and seemingly all about some vague, generalized ideology that rivals like to paint as the worst of all evils? What did the founders have to say about this?
What would these people think of the man who refers to himself as “The Greatest President Ever?” How would his followers, those who feel the same way about Donald Trump
paint the people who founded the nation they claim to love? Imagine John Adams, who was unquestionably conservative, in this current political climate. The campaign of 1800 was especially brutal, the Thomas Jefferson camp (led mostly by Alexander Hamilton), declaring Adams a transvestite, a homosexual, part black, a stooge of Great Britain, and a traitor in numerous other ways. This was from Jefferson, for all the modern condemnation of the man due to his numerous, quite profound personal misdeeds, he was still a man who understood the idea of freedom. John Adams wouldn’t even get an opposition party nomination today, leaving the primary pretty early after not just Trump, perhaps fearing Adams’ eminence, calls into question everything the man stood for, but his own party rivals would feast upon his corpse like the carrion birds all of them are.
Our America today is not the America we were designed to be on paper. We have not so-much evolved as shaken off the mantle of the idea of national unity and freedom, and become more like post-apocalyptic survivors, terrified of the world and clutching our guns for protection against all those outsiders we have convinced ourselves are coming to get us and take all we care for away. We can even build ourselves back up, put on a macho stance because that gun now resembles the idea of freedom. “I have rights,” we say as we unload on whoever dares knock upon our door. We place all freedom in the idea that we can kill whomever we feel threatens us, whether physically, socially, emotionally, or ideologically. And this is where we were. This is what we have come to today. Listen to these voices:
Notice how negative the tone of everything is, how debasing of anyone different from those who believe as they do? This is the evolution of our culture. Despite the very serious animus of the past (which sometimes came to blows, to assassinations, even to full scale war), there was always a lingering acknowledgment of one another’s humanity. Were we to visit Dwight Eisenhower again we might even recognize the quiet need for compromise for the better of society, keeping the partisans at arms length, perhaps all equally disappointed and sincere in their recognizably humane desire for change.
So where does all this senseless factionalism leave us? What is to become of the United States (not so united anymore, are they?) Could this possibly be
Donald Trump’s impeachment is likely a sure thing. Trump, a lifelong gambler
and a profoundly dishonest man
is going to be impeached. Now what that means, and whether it has any effect upon the United States whatsoever remains to be seen. It is, of course, very possible that many of the Republicans in the Senate whom the President insulted over the years might strike back at this moment and have their revenge (Romney, Cruz, Graham, those still loyal to McCain and those who have been smart enough to simply keep their mouths shut), and if this happens then yet another ‘unprecedented’ event will occur under the administration of Donald Trump, in many ways something else the ego-crazed loon would likely be proud of and somehow turn to his personal and financial advantage.
We should, however, consider the things that people claim:
Trump’s threat of a civil war, in fact, might not be that far off the mark. With the provocateurs on social media parading obvious lies as truth,
quoting leaders of their opposition with things they have never said,
and then gaining a following among all those disillusioned people of a like mind, willing to believe anything so long as it justifies their questionable desires and beliefs, we are in a world of doubt and confusion. The idea of right and left-wing ‘bubbles’ becomes a growing, transparent fact–perhaps the last thing all of us believe to be true (at least of the other side). We chime in with propaganda condemning the other side’s propaganda as propaganda, and the slight truths sometimes shuffled through the muck get buried as ‘just another opinion.’
When people have already made up their mind, when they refuse to listen or doubt anything, regardless of its validity, simply because it does not align with the narrow way in which they wish to see the world, doom cannot be far behind.
I mean listen–listen–to what people say to justify the misdeeds of their idols. For example, when you point out an obvious lie that Donald Trump has told, or a clearly criminal act he has undertaken, his supporters reply with either “everyone lies,” or “fake news,” denying even the suggestion of wrongdoing. And as for the first, how does this in any way justify the fact that a lie is still a lie, a crime a crime? And the whataboutism–on every side–the sidestep on the right pointing to the crimes of a previous administration, sometimes even truthfully, again as though this somehow makes the present crime suddenly more legitimate. And on the left, the tired chorus of, “Can you imagine if a Democrat has done this, what the Republicans would do?” Yes. Yes I can. They would do exactly what you are doing. And even making this statement–“imagine if Obama did this,”–he didn’t. How about that? He actually didn’t. It sounds to me like maybe you wish he had been more corrupt. Like the Republicans defending Trump for his crimes–if they can get away with it, I should be able to too.
I want to write the word ‘sigh’ now. It is a collapse of Democracy and it is everywhere across the world. In the UK Brexit is not really a Democratic movement, regardless of the small percentage majority vote that said “let’s do this!”, more than a third of whom have since changed their minds. And yet now both sides scream about mutual corruption, about the traitorous ideologies of each other, and they shout and scream and blame and blame and blame and declare that everything is falling apart. And do you know why it is? Because of them. Because of you. Because of each and every one of us.
I hope . . . I hope that you can remember one thing before I end this first part on the Impeachment drama. Obviously this is not an actual quote from the man often considered our greatest president. But the statement is valid anyway and I cannot think of a better person to smear these words across to make the point: