America’s Biggest Problem Isn’t Trump: It’s Trumpism – And That Can’t Be Impeached.
Blue Sunday: By Ballot or By Constitution, Trump Will Eventually Be an Ex-President. But the Factors That Fueled His Rise Aren’t Going Away
This was the week where Donald Trump finally surrendered. In the face of overwhelming criticism for his “zero tolerance” approach to immigration at our Southern Border, the president did something we haven’t seen him do since taking the oval office — or even since the start of his campaign — admit he was wrong.
No, he didn’t come right out and say he was wrong, and he sought credit for ending a heinous practice that he himself enacted, but with the stroke of a pen, he admitted defeat. The situation at the border is still inhumane in the most unconscionable way possible. And there are no simple and expedient ways to rectify the human rights crisis that his policy of child separation has caused. But Donald Trump himself stopped defending the practice. That in and of itself is proof that there are chinks in this nightmarish armor. He may be able to shoot in the middle of Fifth Avenue and get away with it, but the images and audio of screaming children being taken from their parents in a strange and unfamiliar surrounding was not something he was going to recover from.
Never before had the world moved so quickly and forcefully against Trump – or any American President. Not after the Access Hollywood tape. Not even after Charlottesville. Child detention centers, however, conjured up memories of some of history’s worst atrocities. He was called out by the United Nations Council on Human Rights. He was sharply rebuked by Pope Francis. And in a nation that feels like it’s reached its most polarizing point in over 150 years, a full 2/3 of the country disapproved of ripping children from their immigrant parents. I didn’t think you could get 66% of Americans to agree that Wednesday comes after Tuesday.
So while there is more work to be done at the border to rectify this stain on the soul of our nation, at the very least we know that there is only so much the Trump administration can get away with. And sooner or later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report will only enhance that knowledge.
You may have heard that there’s an election coming up in November. While Democrats should heed the lessons of 2016 and ignore all polling and assumptions, there is a better than even chance that the GOP will lose the majority after the midterms. Leading conservative thinkers are encouraging citizens to vote Democratic. A former chief strategist for 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain has registered as a Democrat for this specific purpose. Billionaires are emptying out their pockets to fund a potential “Blue Wave”. Both Republicans and Democrats openly admit there is a strong likelihood of impeaching Trump if the GOP loses the House.
And if he walks away from the Mueller report and House Impeachment (conviction in the Senate – at this point – seems highly unlikely), he will do so severely and almost irreparably damaged, limping into 2020 without having achieved his signature campaign promise – building a wall.
This was the week where the End of Trump began to come into focus. We may look back the demonstrators refusing to allow Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to (ironically) eat at a Mexican Restaraunt the way history reflects on attorney Joseph Welch’s query to Senator Joe McCarthy in 1954 when he asked the legislator “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
Will We Ever Free Ourselves from Trumpian Thought?
There is another side to that Quinnipiac poll that showed Americans soundly reject the idea of tearing immigrant families apart and jailing children. As noted above, a two-thirds consensus is impressive and certainly hard to achieve. But something sinister lies beneath the surface. What of the other third? What about forced family separation does not make you instantly recoil?
Well, 8% of respondents did not know if they supported it or not. That sounds preposterous, that one could literally be on the fence about what amounts to juvenile concentration camps, but at least they are not in full agreement with the barbaric practice.
What’s even sadder, however, is the 27% of those polled who do support the procedures. And most of them self-identify with the GOP. An actual majority of Republicans polled said they were in favor of family separation, an eye-opening 55% to be precise.
And that’s what puts the future of our Republic in severe jeopardy.
Think of all of the institutions that have kept the United States of America together throughout our nearly two and a half centuries as a nation. Donald Trump has attempted to undermine, undercut, or underfund all of them. He has declared the free and open press to be the “enemy of the people”. He has frequently criticized impartial judicial rulings that he personally disagreed with. Trump has called for the end of the filibuster, a Senatorial procedure used to protect the rights of the minority since 1837. He has defended the right to free speech and expression for Neo-Nazis while attacking it for African-American football players. The country’s top department of law enforcement is on the receiving end of his infantile twitter jabs on an almost daily basis. And forget about education. Simply appointing Betsy DeVos to run our nation’s schools equates to book burning without the disturbing imagery.
This is now what it means to be a Republican: to debase every cornerstone of American democracy.
And we only have two parties.
Liberals, moderates, intellectuals and political analysts can pontificate about the desire for a “reasonable” or “traditional” republican to take the reigns of the party. But who are those reasonable candidates? Where are the traditional Republicans? And even if they existed in droves, how would they survive a GOP Primary?
If 55% of self-declared Republicans support the most egregious and gut-wrenching policy that we’ve seen a President impose since at least the end of the Second World War, how does a politician with compassion and decency overcome those numbers? Just look at how the modern Republican lambasts McCain, who is now battling terminal brain cancer. McCain criticized a supporter when she called his then-opponent, Barack Obama, “An Arab” (as if that was an insult). But John McCain has no place in the 2018 Republican Party. There is no widespread support for simply doing what a good and decent human would do.
This line of thinking that disregards basic humanity may only be represented by 25% of the country. But that 25% controls 50% of our political parties.
Donald Trump will be removed from office some day. He may be forced to resign like Richard Nixon. He may be impeached and removed by the House and Senate. He may lose reelection in 2020. And in the absolute worst case scenario (seriously, can you think of a more heartbreaking situation? I can’t), he will be term-limited come January 20, 2025.
But the wretched stink of Trumpism isn’t going anywhere. And it’s something that 2/3 of us are going to have to fight every day for the rest of our lives if we want to see this country approach the More Perfect Union that is our birthright and perennial responsibility.
NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT
•I personally don’t care that the crying girl on the cover of Time this week may not have been separated from her mother. Over 2,000 children were. If you’re going to allow this detail to minimize what’s happening at the border then you never cared about the children in the first place.
•Speaking of which, here’s a public service announcement for you. Do not go toe-to-toe with anyone willing to defend the atrocities at the child concentration camps because…
•You’re giving them a platform to spread complete falsehoods to hundreds of thousands of people.
•Their claims, both the humane (This has been happening since 1997) to the inhumane (breaking the law has consequences ergo this is deserved) have been widely debunked by those pesky annoyances called facts.
•Sunlight might be the best disinfectant, but oxygen allows a fire to burn. The fact that they’re 100% fine with kids being ripped from their families, likely to never see them again probably doesn’t surprise you. They’ve already been exposed. Don’t let their hatred spread.
•If it’s on your thread, you can delete their post. If you’re not comfortable doing that, give them a cursory vague response like “I’m not ok with this but I’m not surprised that you are.” Leave it at that. Let them piss in the wind, continue your discussion with the supermajority of Americans who are equally appalled.
•We can’t treat this like a debate over health care or taxes. There’s zero gray area here, by consistently debating it we give the appearance that there are two sides to the story. There aren’t.
There is one side: Crimes against humanity are indefensible.
•Nielsen can’t eat in peace. Sarah Huckabee Sanders can’t even get a table at a Northern Virginia restaurant. Millenials don’t want to fuck young Trump staffers, who are quarantined to one closet Trump bar and their own apartment parties.
I really don’t care, do u?
•You have one job, Americans. Read this. Share it. Quote it. Read it again and share it again. It’s the defining question of our time.
•If it wasn’t official before (just kidding, it was), it sure is now. The President is an awful human being.
During his controversial meeting with leaders of the G-7 less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump allegedly threw two pieces of Starburst candies on the table in front of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying “Here, Angela. Don’t say I never give you anything.”
Just as the Founding Fathers intended.
•This season’s ‘Billions’ was a reminder that the Golden Age of Television is not dead yet. And the season finale exceeded my already high expectations. The way secondary and even ancillary characters were developed this year is creative writing at its finest.
WHAT WON TWITTER THIS WEEK?
She’s not the only one!
5. I will follow back #resistance
— Tara Prestgard (@tararanic) June 21, 2018
"I will stop kidnapping babies" is the wierdest executive order ever. #ExecutiveOrder
— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) June 20, 2018
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 20, 2018
I’m a middle-class white guy and I approve this message…
It kills me that republicans want a 'white' country. I'm white and i detest these asshats! I know a lot of other 'white' people feel the same way. I want a country filled with loving, caring people, no matter what their color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
— phil h (@LCNM99) June 19, 2018
It’s a shame he’s ineligible to run for president…
Dear @realDonaldTrump: Like your grandfather, my parents infested America. As their son with yellow skin, I now get to vote against your harmful policies. And after you leave due to either losing reelection or impeachment, I will still be here reversing your shit.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 19, 2018
Songs Of Freedom
Building the ultimate #Resistance playlist, one week at a time. I’m always up for discovering new protest songs, if you have a recommendation, I’d love to hear it!
Reason #4,298 why I love Scotland: There is a campaign to make this track, which is almost 15 years old, to the top of all streaming charts in Scotland to coincide with Trump’s planned visit in July. William Wallace would be proud!
Our playlist so far…
Till next Sunday, my friends!
Questions, Concerns, Recommendations or Recipes? Shoot me an email at [email protected].
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons