We are eight months in to Donald Trump’s presidency.
Can anyone dispute the fact that it has been, at best, a tumultuous eight months? Or do people really feel that his actions as a president is leading our nation in the right direction?
I don’t feel that President Trump is a president for all people…I firmly believe that he is a president for a select few: White, corporate businessmen that viewed the last eight years of President Barak Obama as a threat to their bottom line. Those that support the right blame, unjustly, that President Obama is to blame for the position they are currently in.
Fact of the matter is, you lost your job because those white, corporate businessmen aren’t in the business of your well-being, they are in the business of keeping Wall Street happy. And if that means that a few million people will lose their jobs to foreign countries, so be it. The investors get richer and the rest of the country be damned.
Now before the left and right start throwing the usual rhetoric, shut the hell up. Both sides are so angry and scared that neither can see the forest for the trees.
Leonard J. Pitts, Jr., one of my favorite opinion writers, had a great column that was posted in the Seattle Times on August 16, 2017. That column, “Sadly, clearly we are not ‘better than this’” points out just how meaningless that President Trump’s “Make America Great Again!” really is.
In this article, he talks about people’s reaction to acts of violence and hatred and racism which is a collective of “This is not America.”
How many of us have heard that as well a “we are better than this,” only to find out that we really aren’t. And let’s not delude ourselves into thinking this is just a current phenomenon. I’m not exactly sure any of us really knows what America is.
Republican Washington State Governor Dan Edwards, who served from 1965 to 1977, would be labeled today as a liberal Republican because of his liberal policies on environmental protection, strong supporter of higher education and supported a state income tax for the state of Washington.
In 1965, Governor Edwards told the Republican State Convention that “the Republican Party did not achieve greatness nor will it regain greatness by being the party of radicalism or of the lunatic fringe. Extremist of neither the right or left contribute to the strength of America or her political institutions. Both feed on fear, frustration, hate and hopelessness. Both have lost faith in themselves and in the American dream.”
If you look at the current situation today, can anyone deny that these words more than apply? I sure don’t. And damn us all for continually feeding into either side.
Evans had developed a criteria for any group that the Republican Party would embrace. I think it’s time the Republican Party asks these questions of the Trump administration and look inward to see if they meet the criteria:
- Does it operate publicly or secretly? So far, the Trump administration is operated in secret with President Trump being as vague as possible on anything you ask him or his administration. He rarely gives any speeches to outline his plan and those serving in his administration have to be frustrated when they release a crafted message and then he tweets the opposite. He thrives on conflict and relishes pitting people that work for him against each other.
- Is it motivated by faith and hope or by fear? No question that the Trump administration is motivated by fear. His attacks on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and most recently, John McCain puts him in the light of being a bully. I don’t know about you, but him messing around with North Korea and basically daring Kim Jong-un to fire nuclear weapons at us borders on lunacy. And what does that make the rest of the country feel? Afraid, very afraid.
- Does it use the tools of truth or lies? Well now, that is a pretty loaded question for the Trump administration, isn’t it? How many times has President Trump been caught not quite telling the truth about things? Take for example his response to the Barcelona attacks. His latest referral to how General John J. Pershing and the tactics he used in the Philippines executing Muslim insurgents by dipping bullets in pig’s blood before killing them is just a small example of how he gleams to only certain parts of statements to suit his needs. The fact of the matter is, that never happened. And Mr. Trump, might I point out that just because you say something is true or is fake, doesn’t make it so. You have told so many lies in your lifetime, you couldn’t recognize any truth if it hit you in the face!
- Does it teach trust in our established political institutions or does it teach distrust? Without a doubt, Donald Trump trusts no one but himself. His chief-of-staff, General John F. Kelly, is frustrated and dismayed at attempting to contain Trump who is a bull in a China shop. Kelly’s attempts to keep President Trump on a crafted message regarding Charlottesville went out the window as Trump showed in an impromptu and combative news conference. He compared the actions of white supremacists with the counter-protesters who opposed them. Kelly’s frustration underscores the challenges in instilling a sense of order around Trump, whose first instinct is to lash out at those who disagree with him. Many of his own aids and confidants were appalled at what he said and much of it led to the dissolution of his business advisory councils as those chief executives are distancing themselves from Trump.
- Within its own organization, does it follow democratic procedures or militant authorization? Is this a trick question? Trump, in his many years as a business executive, was militant and dictatorial. And he is attempting to run this country the same way. He believes that he has total and absolute power but thankfully, the Constitution prevents him from being able to act as he truly wants to. The founding fathers knew they needed three branches of government so that neither one party nor one person could rule. The checks and balances they put in place 230 years ago is the only thing that is currently holding this country together…by a thread.
- Do its people understand the art of political compromise or do they deal in unrelenting absolutism? This goes straight to the Republican Party as well as the Trump administration. They are hell-bent to erase the eight-year presidency of Barack Obama, starting with the Affordable Care Act. Twice they have attempted to repeal the ACA and replace it with a plan that will give tax cuts to the upper class and leave nearly 20 million people without health-care. Instead of looking to the Democrats, who have admitted the ACA isn’t perfect, they chose to start over…and after failing two times, they are only now reaching across the aisle to take another look at the ACA and fix what’s wrong with it…which they should have done in the first place.
We the people need to stop being afraid. Diversity is what will make this country great again, not any one race or culture. White supremacists (and any race that calls themselves superior is certainly inferior) are afraid of being displaced by minorities.
I say, so what?! Go anywhere in the world, and there are four facts that cannot be disputed:
- Every person in the world, regardless of race, has one heart, two lungs and red blood. Put any person in the world in an x-ray machine and I dare you to tell me what the color of their skin is.
- Every person in the world, regardless of race, is taught how to hate. It’s learned behavior. There are people that I don’t like but it’s not based on the color of their skin. It’s based on their stupidity of how they treat people. And I am trying, desperately trying not to hate these people because for the most part, they were taught how to treat people. And a lot of those teachings are handed down from one generation to the next.
- Every single person in the world, regardless of race, falls under one species: Homo sapiens. All of us have roots extending 200,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa and back more than 6 million years to the earliest human species in Africa.
- Every single person in the world, regardless of race, need food, water and shelter to survive. Which is why America has been considered so great because anyone who chose to live here could have the opportunity to have just that. Unfortunately, when those cannot make it, most of America turns their back on them. I can only hope that one day, we start getting better at lending a helping hand to those that need it instead of treating them like failures. I can’t imagine anyone being in that position actually wants to be there.
America, not just the Republicans or just the Democrats, needs to start the healing process. President Trump isn’t the man to lead us in that direction and I don’t know who would be able to…and perhaps it isn’t a man, perhaps it’s a woman who leads us there.
But whomever that person is, he or she cannot be in the pockets of any interest group. He or she cannot be controlled by Wall Street, the NRA or Big Pharma. He or she must have the strength to lead all of America and not just a portion of it.
And sad to say, if that person is out there, I don’t think he or she is electable because unless he or she has the support of business, not the general population as everyone is led to believe, there is no way he or she could win a presidential election.
So what’s the answer? First thing, we the people need to start treating each other better. And it doesn’t need to be complicated. A simple hello to another person goes a long way.
Secondly, we the people need to hold our elected officials accountable to make sure they truly represent us. We need to make sure they know they work for us, not that we work for them nor do they work for any special interest groups that manipulate messages to get them elected.
Thirdly, we need to become way more tolerant and accepting of each other. I’m not saying that we need have a Kumbaya movement since that isn’t ideal either. However, to be able to live and work together without profiling each other is a huge first step. And let’s not kid ourselves, we all profile each other and it’s got to stop.
Small steps can lead to great things…I’m willing to take that first step with everyone in this country, are you?