When 48% of the American voters translated into a majority of the Electoral College and placed Donald J. Trump into office as the 45th president of the United States of America, one thought flashed in my brain:
We are rightly and truly screwed.
I’ve been raped, robbed, run over, shot at, smacked around, and presumptively doomed. Though I’ve never been an undocumented immigrant crossing the border in the dead of night or the child of a crack addict left on the doorstep of a dingy police station, I’m no innocent. I understand politics. I know that a president’s term only lasts four years. Winds shift. Sands drift. We survived Bush 2.0. Surely we can survive this, too?
One of the few Republicans of my acquaintance who spoke to me about the election results said that he intended to give Trump a chance. I rolled my eyes as I read that e-mail and calculated the likelihood that our friendship would survive the first 100 days. I haven’t heard from him since early February.
You know the country faces serious issues when a former member of the president’s cabinet turns out to have been on the undisclosed payroll of a fascist government halfway round the world. Backtrack in that sentence to note that we just passed the sixty-day mark in this new administration and we already experienced the forced resignation of a senior cabinet member who now faces Congressional investigation. He asked for immunity. The Senate Intelligence Committee rejected his request.
Over in the House of Representatives, the fox seems to have gotten cozy among the hens. Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee now conducting an investigation into dealings of the Trump administration with Russia, already denies a conflict of interest when the smallest child in the dimmest classroom would say otherwise. His cloak-and-dagger duck-and-run involved an Uber car and an unidentified White House staff member slipping Nunes onto the House grounds, supposedly without the knowledge of the West Wing. HIs committee appears befuddled and outraged but ineffectual. They cry, “Foul!” but he’s the chair and won’t recuse himself. The White House shrugs and the Democrats wail.
In the White House itself, some mighty big grinning seems to be the order of the day. Trump’s son has reneged on his promise not to keep Daddy advised of their collective accumulation of wealth. Ivanka moves into a federal employee position after vowing to be just “Daughter dearest”. Melania has not yet moved into the presidential quarters; #45 still incurs more for his weekend golf jaunts than the social services benefits his budget would ax; and Sean Spicer scolds members of the press for their mild rebukes of his lame protests and evasive answers. Film at 11, oohhh ahhhh ahhh.
Meanwhile, the efforts of the last eight years to protect Earth’s climate from the deleterious effects of human activity face certain reversal. The rights of the LGBT community seem to be on shaky grounds. Even school lunches face the chopping block.
Not that I ever believed that Donald Trump could impact America’s greatness, but I have to ask: How could anyone think that what we see happening in Washington translates to #MAGA? I don’t ask this question rhetorically. I troll the internet trying to find a sane defense of the current administration’s behavior. My search finds decidedly mixed reviews, like this one from Rich Lowry. The best that one could say for #45 is that he’s good material for the late-night comedians.
I worry about America. It will take a lot of beating and keep its head high. The nation has endured two world wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights revolution, a Great Depression, a Great Recession, and the assassination of two of its greatest sons, John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. We’ve survived the Dust Bowl, the Japanese-American internment camps, inflation, Black Friday, and the collapse of the housing market.
But we have never had a presidential administration which seems so determined to sacrifice our nation on the horns of its ego. When rich, powerful people play Let’s Make a Deal with the American dream, it’s difficult not to panic.
I’m holding out for a hero. Or a heroine. Or both. Illuminate the Bat signal and call for Wonder Woman. It’s show time.