It is hard to ignore the elephant in the room. In two months America will be on a new adventure reversing what was mostly a forward journey into the future. While the ship of state would sometimes shudder and lurch from side to side, the trend was generally forward. We especially sputtered during Republican administrations. Even then tough the path would at least be forward.
Now who knows where the hell we are headed? We are looking at a leader who lies for expedience at every turn. Now he is in a position where every word he utters will be glommed onto and dissected to infinity. Yet he may not even know what he said or care. Much of what he said during the campaign he claimed he didn’t say, even though it was recorded.
Beyond that in a first for the American presidency, it looks like he plans to devote only a portion of his time to being president. The rest of his time will be devoted to amassing his fortune. Make no doubt that these two enterprises will intersect often. During the course of being president there will be ample opportunity to use that office to help amass his fortune. This will go on until someone with enough guts and power stands up and says stop.
We come to this juncture as a result of a protest vote for the most part. Media had so ginned up hate for Democrats that the public would have voted for any Republican, even if it was Satan himself. We have come close to that spot.
Think back to Thanksgiving 2008. America was bleeding jobs at a rate of nearly a million a month. Bush’s adventures in letting banking interests and Wall Street run policy resulted leading the country to the precipice of the worst worldwide depression ever. The Bush administration had all but given up trying to run the country. They simply quit while in office.
Two months before he was even inaugurated America put all its hopes on a young incredibly intelligent man who spoke with measured tones knowing full well that he could cause great problems with so much as a wrong word here or there. While Barack Obama went about the monumental task of saving America, internal enemies met clandestinely to stop any progress he might make.
Eight years ago this Thanksgiving, Americans were fearful they would lose everything. The elderly were watching their life savings disappear, workers watching their jobs disappear or their wages and benefits get cut drastically. More than anything America hoped that Obama could work a miracle.
Eight years later with employment at record highs, wages rising and most Americans having access to adequate health care for the first time America says they want to replace the stability of Obama with an out of control man with a child’s temperament. We forgot the lessons from only eight years back that having a president with less than average intelligence but a big name does not make for a good presidency.
With the fifty-third anniversary of the death of President Kennedy it is hard not to think of his presidency and his death during this weekend. Like so many near my age I can remember exactly where I was when the news of Kennedy’s death was announced. Also like so many I remember how Kennedy’s presidency inspired America. We were not just moving forward but also upward to conquer space.
Kennedy inspired this nation to challenge itself on all fronts from moving scientific achievement forward to moving toward real equality for all. It was a time when America tried to really fulfill its promises made in the Declaration of Independence and the constitution. Obama did the same in his presidency. Both presidencies were a time when dreamers could see America advancing to meet its promises.
During both presidencies the forces of hate and repression fought hard against progress. In Obama’s case it was an organized opposition of the Republican Party and corporate media using incessant lies and propaganda to create an atmosphere of hate, along with the exploitation of racial, ethnic an religious differences.
Against that background we step into today. Parts of America look to the new president with an anticipation that he will revenge what they perceive as a government that has not treated them as well as other groups. These folks used their votes to protest the Obama’s presidency that they perceived to be only concerned about “others.”
For the majority of Americans, we stare into an abyss called the future with fear what damage a man of limited intelligence, a quick temper, a penchant for revenge and a desire to profit on the most powerful office in the world can do. We may also note that his judgment of people has always been quite suspect having been known to do business with mobsters and questionable associates. Not only do we fear what he can do, but also what his poor choices to run agencies will do.
Even after the horrors of November 22, 1963 the country looked to be on much better footing than it is now. We had a fear then, but faith that the government that had been refined over nearly two centuries would pull us through. In 2008 we had great fears, but we had faith in a young leader and a government forged well over two centuries could meet the tasks.
Now, thanks to a decades long campaign to delegitimize that government and the worst president elect in history, America has lots of fears and not a lot of hope that it has enough resilience to withstand the assault she is about to take.