Perhaps we should begin to rethink a little the significance and potential consequences of Trump’s ongoing denialism about the election, not so much from the fact that he’s a madman and sociopath, but from the standpoint that he can still bring about a lot of harm to the American body politic by his ongoing lunacy.
Of course, there’s no way he’s going to alter the outcome of the presidential election or present Joe Biden from taking office next month.
But it is becoming worrying that so much of the Republican establishment continues to cling to his delusions. It may be that it’s not so much a case of kookery as it is a calculated if desperate move to actually render the U.S. ungovernable by unleashing so much pure mayhem as Biden attempts to restore sanity and reason.
This, of course, would go along with the original thesis that Trump is a tool of Putin, and his behavior since the Nov. 3 election surely seems to amplify that. He’s done nothing but disassemble the democratic process in every way he can, and what he’s doing on the way out as a leader is even more telling that this is all part of a coup-like process of bringing down America.
Indeed, we should truly think about why there is so little attention being paid by the media and the opposition party to what Trump is up to now. Yes, he is raising hundreds of millions of dollars by continuing to insist on the outlandish claim that he won the November election.
Some pundits consider that his primary motive. I’m not so sure, and the reason is that so much of the leadership of the GOP continues to go along with his zaniness and won’t concede the election, either.
They must be thinking that there is a lot of political capital to be gained from two important facts: 1. He was president for four years and, 2. Over 70 million people voted for him this time. This is no time to be casting him adrift, for heaven sake. He’s still got a lot going for him that can be deployed to make the next four years under Biden a living hell.
Now, this is being underplayed for the usual political reasons. The GOP wants to play it close to the chest for the time being and the Democrats want to downplay the potential of this because they want to keep their base in a feel-good mode in hopes they can grab those last two Senate seats in Georgia next month.
But the reality is that the entire GOP apparatus is hanging in there behind Trump, even his line now becomes crazier and crazier. This is worrisome, and if it plays out, with Limbaugh remaining in place and key crazy Republicans in Congress echoing Trump’s worst claims, then we could begin to see the Trump phenomenon escalate into a lot of violence and social chaos.
Nobody seems to have an answer to this problem, and I can’t say there’s an easy one out there that I can see.
But here’s the reality: At the grassroots, sane citizens have to get and remain far more engaged in the future of our democracy.
No one should be allowed to get away with displaying a Confederate or Nazi flag, for example, without being roundly confronted as an enemy of the U.S., a traitor plain and simple.
This means that for millions of us, we really do need to brush up on our American history, and recognize more clearly who’s been on our side and who’s been against us down through the years.
We have to study the Federalist Papers and other key founding documents, the speeches and legislative initiatives of Lincoln and FDR, the two greatest leaders of the nation in times of crisis in our history.
The Hamilton musical was a good start. But the essential parameters of democracy need to be taught with greater clarity and held tightly the way our forebears did in the trenches where our freedoms were fought out against degenerates defending racism and white supremacy.
A genuine national revival of democratic values awaits our enlistment.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]