National Commentary

The Turkey a Year Later

How’s that turkey looking to you this year, compared to last? The reference being to Thanksgiving, not the White House per se, still it goes to our national appetite and love of living, or not, after the last 12 months of Trump.

To many, the shock effect of this past year may leave a gaping inability to appreciate just how much has changed in our perception of reality and national purpose since this day in 2016.

The shocks have been in a wide number of areas, and starting with the positive, it was first reflected in the incredible women’s marches all across the U.S. the weekend after Trump’s inaugural. Those demonstrations affirming American core values against racism and sexism confirmed to us all that no matter how an aberration like Trump might throw us off, it will not prevail.

No other case of fascist coup in history has been met with this kind of reaction. We as a nation proved immediately that we’re far too used to our freedoms, freedoms rooted in an internalized sense of self-respect and dignity, to tolerate what Trump tried to pull off his very first day in the White House. Recall that unbelievable attempt to cram an alternative reality down our mental throats by means of an “official” pronouncement that the Inaugural fiasco was something other than what we could all see it was with our own eyes?

Historians will someday point to that episode starring the forgettable Sean Spicer as one of the most outrageous ever.
The year has been a tug of war since between a delusional, worst-ever-by-far president and a healthy American majority (that cast three million more votes than Trump backers did) who’ve fought against Trump and his shameless, morally bankrupt supporters in Congress and among the nation’s financial elites.

It culminated in the mini-revolt that was this November’s election results in Virginia and in local elections across the U.S. The Trump Front was obliterated and it is only a foretaste of what’s to come in the more significant mid-term elections a year from now.

If there was anything to put a bounce back in the step and light up taste buds for that Thanksgiving turkey it was the watching the results of this month’s elections pouring in. Results in Virginia were so profound that newspaper copy editors were erroneously changing commentaries that announced “the biggest gains for Democrats since 1899” to 1999.

Democrats, and their new allies including every anti-Trump current in the land, are suddenly asking themselves, “What do we have to do to keep Trump in office next year?” Based on how it’s been going, they see him as the key to their prospects for sweeping into the driver’s seats in Congress and state legislatures all across America.

In this context, it’s hard to believe how downright stupid Republicans are who are marching lockstep into the teeth of this impending onslaught.

Their resolve to do the bidding of their masters among the financial elites to pass an impossible tax reform into law is only the latest example. They failed on repealing Obamacare and they will fail on this tax reform gift to the rich. Every time they keep insisting on this, they dig themselves deeper into a hole from which they will not recover.

The same goes for their stubborn resistance to any gun control.

So what stands out amidst all this? The stupidity of the Republicans, I’d say, their inability to break from a lemming-like stampede to self-destruction.

But what stands out even more is the crass nihilism and moral bankruptcy that has become evident defining their personal and political lives. It extends to the so-called “religious right,” as well. The fundamentalist so-called Christians who’ve been carrying Trump’s water this past year are not aware yet how badly they’ve self-destructed in the minds of any reasonable Americans.

While their core constituency may not care, they’ve survived by persuading enough in the mainstream that, at least, they’re sincere. That game is now over.

All this without even mentioning the Russians interference, and the long-overdue “draining of the swamp” of predatory male chauvinist abuses, something which is relentlessly advancing toward the White House.

Nicholas Benton may be emailed at