Sunday, August 16, 2020

This morning I find myself pondering what's happened here in the U.S. over the last four years. The presidency of Donald Trump is not the thing I find most disturbing (and when I say "disturbing" I really mean "horrifying"); he is an anomaly; a political and sociological and statistical quirk; a polyp in the long intestine of history.

Sure Trump is an awful person, stunted in empathy, morality and intellect, but he would have remained a ne'er do well reality television personality if not for the people who enabled him. And this is the part that truly horrifies me: that politicians and bureaucrats promoted him and swore fealty to him, and carried out his toxic policies, and defended his indefensible actions; that federal law enforcement agents--average men and women--put children in cages, and tried to turn back people arriving on flights from countries that Trump had suddenly and capriciously banned with the stroke of a pen, and brutally attacked U.S. citizens peacefully protesting in U.S. cities (even violently clearing the streets of the U.S. capital so that Trump could have a photo opportunity in front of a church he doesn't attend holding a bible he doesn't understand).

When Trump is gone, his appointees that can be sacked will be sacked, his policies gradually reversed, his behavior scrutinized under legal microscopes for years to come so that he will spend the remainder of his life fighting to stay out of prison. Trust will slowly be rebuilt with our allies around the world. Loopholes will be closed and new laws will be enacted to prevent in future some of the most egregious acts perpetrated by Trump and his administration. His former cronies and sycophants and enablers will write books attempting to exonerate themselves, or become Fox News hosts, or fade into quiet obscurity.

But what will remain will be neighbors and friends and family members who accepted Trump's rank racism and misogyny and xenophobia and corruption. The revelation won't soon fade that an expedient moral equivalency lurked under the skin; a willingness to turn a blind eye to egregious acts and rhetoric and attitudes; a pharisaical moral brittleness that missed the teachings of Jesus by miles; a tribal willingness to welcome authoritarian violence.

Those are the things that are going to haunt me for a long time.


Blogger Unknown said...

Well said. Thank you.

11:59 AM  

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