Trump’s Excesses Exhaust, but Those That Made Us Feel Complacent Have Proven Far Worse
We need to Always be Vigilant
Donald Trump has been President for three years now, and I so want a new one. I am certainly not alone, and the multitudes can list the reasons ad infinitum. I’m with them. But I have one very selfish reason that elevates above all others. I’m exhausted and need a break.
First and foremost, he’s a racist. As such, his early campaign claim to not know who David Duke should have eliminated him from consideration. Apparently not in America, and “good people on both sides,” the decent among us had our first wave of exhaustion.
Oh yeah, well how’s this for a quote. “There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white,” Richard Nixon once told an aide on Watergate Tapes.
Fortunately, Nixon had a filter, and we could rest easy in our ignorance. So easy, we were not awakened enough to the Southern Strategy to head off 50 years of manufactured racial hate, and the War on Drugs that went with it.
Save the voodoo economics, Ronald Reagan seemed kindly enough and would never take the racially coded semantics of the Nixon administration to begin mass incarceration on a racially disproportionate level.
He did, the beginnings got passed us, and Bill Clinton really hit the snooze button. A multigenerational atrocity took place right under our noses as Clinton, "got tough on crime," and the prison population exploded on our communities of color
But Clinton played the sax, and he was our first (so-called) black President. How cool were we.
But no, Donald Trump has to come along, get all in our face and completely unsettle our sensibilities. Mexicans are rapists, let’s build a wall and kids love cages. On the latter, John Oliver let us know just how much on a 2018 episode of This Week Tonight. (Fast Forward to 15:34)
What an absolute monster Trump is - the outrage is blinding. Either that or our cognitive dissonance lets us see only what we want to see. Under the Obama administration, total ICE deportations were above 385,000 each year in fiscal years 2009-2011, and hit a high of 409,849 in fiscal 2012. The numbers dropped to below 250,000 in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.
Under Trump, ICE deportations fell to 226,119 in fiscal 2017, then ticked up to over 250,000 in fiscal 2018 and hit a Trump administration high of 282,242 this fiscal year (as of June).
So the excess of movement under Obama, it’s not hard to imagine that abuse occurred - just ask the ACLU. But Obama in the tan suit and exuding cool and eloquence, how could we possibly help ourselves, and calm is the only expected outcome.
Conversely, Donald Trump’s fat suit, combover and desecration of the English language makes us teeter unendingly on the brink. God help me, I am so tired.
The Kurds, on the other hand, are actually on the receiving end. “I don’t want to be in Syria forever, it’s sand and it’s death,” Trump doled out the foreign policy wisdom of a toddler.
So in this, Trump abandoned an ally that has backed us in two wars and sustained 11,000 casualties fighting ISIS. All done in reactive haste, Trump showed how completely oblivious he is to any sort of reasoned logic. “Sometimes you have to let them fight, it’s like kids on a playground, you got to let him fight," the bully President assured us.
200,000 displaced, there’s now a trio of strong man in Turkey, Russia and Syria primed to fill the void, and in the process, all Trump’s advisors were hung out to dry in their reservations.
Robert McNamara must be weeping from beyond at the slight. So must the Dean Rusk’s and McGeorge Bundy’s who encompassed Presidential giants like Truman, Eisenhower, JFK and Johnson with learned advice.
But back then, I’m sure we knew, those guys knew. That is until we didn’t, and before it was too late, three Million Vietnamese deaths were tallied and almost 60,000 of our own.
Hey, wait a minute. What if we had a Donald Trump to roust of us out of our complacence on a more consistent basis? Could we have averted a wide swath of sorrow, death and destruction over the years?
Hmmm….Four more years?
Ok, I’m going to be serious. Trump is a petty, vindictive, impetuous child. His undeserved arrogance makes him believe he knows all, and encompassed in so many troubling descriptive adjectives, the 45th President poses the potential for national and global catastrophe like no other. It would be nice if his supporters could see what is so obvious. This despite the upsides as they see them.
I know, that would be hoping too much for one oped. But in keeping, if we really want the long arc of history to bend faster toward justice, we must not rely on a Donald Trump to achieve the necessary vigilance.
So don’t tell me you’re tired and be awake when the less obtrusive take the reins again. Or maybe it will be you who suffers the consequences of falling asleep at the wheel and not all those others who have already fallen.
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