Local Commentary

Editorial: America’s Threat From Within

The abomination that currently occupies the White House is doing more than any other foreign agent to wreak havoc in the U.S. and destabilize some of the nation’s most historically stable institutions. The current federal government shutdown is solely his doing, an extension of his relentlessly hateful campaign to punish immigrants and any non-white person who seeks the benefits of the American system of justice and opportunity. The wall is not about border security, it is only being insisted upon by Trump to rev up his dwindling political base on the basis of the same kind of racist sentiment that fueled his campaign in the first place.

It is frustrating to see people attempting to deal with this man by taking seriously his disingenuous framing of the issues. He is not governed by issues, he’s governed by getting his way, on whatever issue, by appealing to a lowest common denominator in the public mind, to irrational fears and his own demagoguery. We fear that he will resort to an effective declaration of martial law to get his wall, and if that is not stopped in its tracks, then the nation will be further along toward a fascist dictatorship than at any point in its history.

Yes, there was a great blue wave in the November election that swept the Democrats into control of the House, largely fueled by opposition to Trump. But it is yet to be shown that elections can stop him, even the ones that he resoundingly loses. What is the solution, how can he be stopped now that he doesn’t require electoral majorities of any kind to carry out his madness?

He does require a thin layer of sycophants to reinforce and enable his impulses, and key Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell and soon to be a new Senate committee chair Lindsey Graham are foremost among those providing this. They may be among the last to “see the light,” but it is incumbent on anyone else who can speak out to do so loudly and very soon. If the world survives this current danger, history is going to regard the sycophants very poorly, indeed.

Perhaps the nation has been softened by too much of the old Roman Empire-style bread and circuses, lulled into taking too little of what is transpiring right now seriously enough. Every citizen will rue the day they failed to step up in these times when the impact of the current madness begins to hit them in their own lives more profoundly.

We are alarmed because we are not seeing the level of public outrage that may have to ask more of us than simply getting to the polls one day a year. The country needs to convulse in anger and horror over what is unfolding and to demand the kind of leadership and action that Congress, its Republicans in particular, needs to provide.