Back When America Was Great

With Donald Trump as President life has been a whirlwind of news, tweets and late night television. So much so, you almost can’t remember what happened this week. Not a whole lot of it of any substance as far as average Americans go, and not much for the folks who elected him, but a pretense of doing something. I have to give credit to him for enhancing the progressive economy he was handed, that unfortunately, has been overshadowed time and again by his destructive antics and self-indulgence.

I have been going to write so many times on the daily poor behavior of this administration, hoping to help others to really see what is going on, but frankly couldn’t keep up and now it appears we are going to get a replay of some of the more dubious actions as he morphs back into his real self. People have finally begun to focus on the President and what he does, not what he says he does. Perhaps too, they are writing Congressmen and Senators regarding his level of vitriol, deception and changing stories. Barr and McConnell are certainly not wanting to play the game of pin the blame on Obama, but they have sure covered for Trump in other ways. They are not willing to tackle Obama up front and I am betting even Bush, were he to somehow utter a word of disapproval. However, the President is free to continually bash Obama and others at will, albeit misplaced according to investigations already done.

A friend of mine, a woman I have great admiration for, asked me in 2015 why I felt Trump was so dangerous. I replied that my observations found him mouthing his intentions for stripping down democracy by the things he said at his campaign stops. Judges, law enforcement, laws themselves, and of course the media that keeps public figures honest were in the cross hairs. He declared he would do away with libel laws, which, of course affect him. In a sense he has followed through on that promise by pulling clean water restrictions and other industry related safeguards. An astute voter only had to hear what he was saying long before he was elected. Back when America really was great and people could think for themselves instead of letting Facebook do it for them, not much went by the public in that regard.

In Donald Trump’s rallies he spoke of knowing more than the generals, yet he dodged the draft with four bought and paid for doctors’ notes for bone spurs. He attempted to cut John McCain’s influence by going after his war time service in Vietnam where he was a POW for FIVE years. That pissed me off not only for the shear irony of the whole thing, but I really liked John McCain and lost friends myself in Vietnam while Trump hustled women, declaring his Vietnam was gonorrhea. Then the audacity of, at first, not allowing the flag to be flown at half-staff for McCain’s passing; a sitting Senator. Fortunately for him an aide or two explained to him that vindictiveness in that situation was at best childish. When America was great we honored our war heroes and our Senators were honorable. War crimes were punished by the military who tries to hold high the standards for combat behavior in and of itself, much less the Geneva Convention  They were not over ridden by a sitting President, back when America was great.

The biggest tenets of our Republic and guaranteed by our Constitution is a free press, a fair judicial, law and separation of powers. Unbeknownst to all of us more trusting souls, our Democracy/Republic is held together with honor as much as anything. At this juncture it took someone with none, to show us how tenuous our forefathers idea turns out to be when trusting some elected officials. We have been through 44 Presidential terms prior to Trump’s, all of them had problems, questionable behavior and were queried by the press; that is job of journalism, left or right. Back when America was great we didn’t have but one President that whined regularly and that was Nixon, a brother in impeachment.

“Making America Great Again” as it is billed, on the made in China red caps is not possible, America has never been like this before, how could it go back to that “again”? It can’t unless he means slavery and witch burning. There isn’t one of our Presidents who willfully misled the American people every single day of his Presidency. Not one of them, nor legislators. There have been Presidents of similar behavior in certain areas, but never, ever to this degree of blanket immorality day in and day out. Trump isn’t, as some had hoped, “draining the swamp”, he is filling one. He has people in his cabinet from the China wealthy to vultures of Wall Street and everyone in between. He has some good folks left who unfortunately have been bent in fear of the bully pulpit or they are long gone.

Maybe I am confused, which of course is part of the game that he is playing, but do we really want to hate our family and friends? I do not. Do we really want a guy as President who goes off on conspiracy theories instead of facts? One who uses television talk shows for gathering talking points? Is it great to go from the leading country of the world to being hated by some countries, and not trusted by any. Are we great when we allow a President to violate many of the articles of the Constitution? Bush and Obama both pushed the envelope when it came to the Constitution, but were slapped down by the courts, America is not great when the gander runs free.

What is a huge concern to me is the confusion of truth and fiction. You can pick a day, any day in the 3.4 years, and record misinformation, half-truths or flat out lies. People will either throw up their hands in disgust or follow the pied piper over a cliff; both are not good for a people’s Democracy. Another worry is the next party in office will have a blanket license to do what they want; Trump has shown them how. Do folks want that? It only takes one court decision to set a precedence. Or small guidelines altered. Just today Trump has signed an executive order that takes liability protection away from social media. It will likely backfire on him, but so it seems to go for him. It does not make America Great to destroy competition or quell criticism.

The President’s adopted party has deep rooted philosophy in letting business be and basically heal thyself were you to be wounded financially or otherwise. Survival of the fittest and buyer beware. They have never been about whining and likely won’t start now. The problem isn’t Twitter, it is it’s user who does not know when to stop. Many Republicans are asking him to stop. I have asked him to stop in a formal letter. It might impress some, but by and large it does not. There is nothing strong about being a bully, and indeed, bullies are always insecure beings. America is not great when a President has to buy or bully loyalty, rather than work to gain cooperation from those around him.

For me personally, instead of watching this President mock a crippled journalist, make up stories about JFK’s killers or disparage our allies, I want to take Donald on the Journey with the “ghost of Christmas Past” as happened with the charachter Scrooge in the 19th century book “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens. Show Donald how lucky he is and tell him it is okay to just be the boy that is trapped inside. I want to show him compassion, so that he might learn to seek it out as an alternative to contempt. I would choose to save his soul which many around him ought to be doing instead of selling theirs. Compassion, forthrightness and honesty; that is what makes America great.

I want to introduce Donald to ‘The Ghost of Christmas Past’ from the 19th century book by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Story”. I would wish for the ghost to show Donald lucky he is and tell him it is okay to just be the boy that is trapped inside. I want to show him compassion, so that he might learn to seek it out as an alternative to contempt. I would choose to save his soul which many around him ought to be doing instead of selling theirs. Compassion, forthrightness and honesty; that is what makes America great.


Leave a Reply