Although there’s no excuse for hyperbole . . . well, outright lying . . . in a politically mature democracy, we’ve come to expect candidacies of all persuasions to be fraught with it. But there are degrees of dishonor and we hit bottom with Donald Trump. After his winning the election, it became rapidly obvious that Trump’s childish, ill-informed campaign behavior would continue as a childish, ill-informed presidency. Further, it became obvious that those around him became infected with his paranoia and his disregard for truth. As management guru Peter Drucker warned us years ago, it is impossible to work for an unprincipled boss without becoming unprincipled oneself.
So Trump’s indecency spread further, to close-by aides and then to other elected officials. They had political power to minimize his damage to the country, but increasingly forgot the meaning of “checks and balances,” along with their related Constitutional responsibilities. Republicans—the majority party in both houses—have not only stood aside as Trump sought to weaken critical institutions, but became minions to help with his lies and autocratic leanings. With few exceptions, they thus became complicit in all his endeavors, including his disregard for 2016’s foreign assault on voting and more recent appalling treatment of children at our southern border.
(Public outrage about treatment of underage undocumented immigrants has been so great that it is likely to stimulate some lagging Republican conscience in Congress. That may be resolved, but what will be left unchanged are lies Trump made up about “the Democrats’ law”—we got 2 lies in one claim on that one!—and his unfathomably malicious use of children as bargaining chip. In the Age of Trump, Republicans have misplaced whatever backbones and honor they previously had.)
Our republic has weathered many storms, foreign and domestic. How and whether the United States will survive Trump unscathed depends a great deal on senators and representatives who, faced with a proto-despot in the White House, have shown greater allegiance to party than to country. As a group, they are accountable for their behavior, that is, as a Senate or House. As individuals, each is accountable for his or her personal role in standing up to a dangerous threat to crucial institutions.
That accountability begins with each citizen and from there stretches upward to the highest levels. This accountability establishes a rigorous linkage. In addition to the president, accountable to me (and to you) are individual senators, individual representatives, and the House and Senate leaders those officials choose. These persons are linked to you and to me by a chain of votes.
The personal nature of these links is important, lest the intimate reality of citizens’ connection with their government be lost. Introducing a nowhere-to-hide structure of accountability with a forceful phrase, perhaps I can explain the severity I mean with regard to governmental mistreatment of undocumented children and the lies manufactured to disguise their accountabilities thusly:
- J’accuse President Donald Trump personally; Senator David Perdue personally; Senator Johnny Isakson personally; Representative Paul Ryan personally; and Senator Mitch McConnell personally.
There was enough lying going on during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election to spread around any accusations of lying to cover both political campaigns. Mrs. Clinton was by far the cleverest liar of the two candidates, disguising her lies with half-truths that revealed she was a far more expert and experienced liar. This was no doubt due to her long and relentless quest for political power. For example, while running the State Department, she insisted she never sent or received any e-mails on her (unauthorized) private server marked “Classified”. While technically true, she was counting on the ignorance of the media and the average, clueless voter to not know that classified information is not “marked” classified. Rather, classified information is marked “Confidential”, “Secret” or “Top Secret”. A higher classification called “Top Secret Crypto” is reserved for those handling coded information, possibly awarded to Dr. Carver himself [ . . . ] during the Cold War.
So Mrs.Clinton was confident she could not be nailed for perjury, because she was telling the truth (sort of), while at the same time sending and receiving classified information that has subsequently been discovered to have been secret or top secret. Moreover, it was found that her e-mail server had been hacked by individuals or groups in Russia. She was so sure she would become President and would therefore be immune from criminal charges for mishandling classified information. One has to wonder if Senator Gowdy had not discovered her private server if she would have continued to use it as President.
As for bleeding hearts (Peter Fonda, et al) that are wringing their hands over babies being “ripped” from their illegal immigrant mothers’ arms down on the U.S./Mexican border, why is it they have no problem with the over half million innocent babies that are “ripped” from their mothers’ wombs each and every year in the United States, some just days before their birth? After all, the number of aborted babies that would have eventually voted for Democrats would be far greater than the number of illegal immigrants that will eventually vote for Democrats. And whether one believes that separating babies from their mothers temporarily and keeping them in a safe place is more inhumane, barbaric, and reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps than killing them before they are even born depends on which political agenda one supports.
Trickle-down (or up) accountability works both ways, does it not? Angry liberals and the angry liberal media’s hysterical hate for Trump may well be working against the Democrats’ chances of winning the House and Senate in the mid-term elections, as voters are getting sick and tired of this nasty civil war between the two political parties. Calling Trump supporters Nazis is not going to work any better than calling them deplorables did. I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m betting that the “USA!, USA!” chant will resonate more positively with voters in the mid-term elections than “FUCK TRUMP!”, “FUCK TRUMP!” So who should we hold “accountable” if the Democrats’ “Fuck Trump” strategy fails and causes Democrats to lose seats in both the House and Senate? But who will be held accountable? You guessed it………. those Nazi Trump supporters.
Topics I’m passionate enough to blog about are often important enough to stimulate others’ opposition. While I might take issue with some of the foregoing comment, I choose instead to let its point of view be expressed without counter-comment. [The section edited out, indicated by ellipses within brackets, consisted of nine words that do not alter the commenter’s meaning.]
Another good post, John. I agree, I think you have hit bottom with Trump (at least I certainly hope there are no worse people elected to such high office)!