The fabric of the U.S. has been
irreparably damaged and much of it has been destroyed by the antics
of a very sick individual that we have called the president of the
country, by the quirk of the Electoral College, a leftover idea from
the 18th Century.
Donald Trump has left in his wake is a nation in tatters, just pieces
of institutions that might have been headed in the right direction of
democracy and freedom, but he ruined all that by ruling as if he were
a monarch and not just an elected politician.
DuBois (William Edward Burghardt DuBois) was an American sociologist,
socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author,
writer and editor, and in the “forethought” of his
classic book, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), he wrote:
lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the
strange meaning of being black here at the dawning of the Twentieth
Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader;
for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color
line. I pray you, then, receive my little book in all charity,
studying my words with me, forgiving mistake and foible for sake of
the faith and passion that is in me, and seeking the grain of truth
words were an explanation and a warning. The problem of the Twentieth
Century is “the problem of the color line,” which at that
time was pretty well visible to all. Having been born a few years
after the Civil War ended, and even though he had been born in Great
Barrington, Mass., he had seen the treatment and abuse of people of
color in the four decades since the Emancipation Proclamation.
color line was rather stark then, but some progress had been made in
the middle part of the 20th Century, with civil rights movements and
great civil rights leaders, the Black Power movement, along with
untold numbers of white Americans who did heed the words of DuBois
and sought change along with their brothers and sisters of color.
years ago, along came a presidential candidate with not an hour of
government experience or any success in legitimate business dealings,
Donald J. Trump. His poisonous, narcissistic personality and mental
health problems, along with his con-man modus operandi, were
something that had not been seen in American politics before. As we
wrote here in the week after the 2016 election, a large part of the
voting populace wanted to throw a monkey wrench into the political
and governmental works and the monkey wrench was named Donald Trump.
He did what his voters wanted and immediately started to halt the
works of government and to begin the destruction of the nation’s
institutions, even those which provided a promise of human progress.
None of that mattered to a president who believed he was elected
king, and that’s the way he ruled his administration and rode
roughshod over the other two branches of government, the legislative
and judicial. In that effort, he was aided by his boy in Congress,
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who acted as Trump’s
gofer, rather than the leader of a third of the federal government.
And, that was supported by most of the Republicans in power.
has been a chaotic administration for four years, with people leaving
and being fired and replaced, especially those who did not display
enough blind loyalty to the would-be monarch. No one could stop his
head-long plunge into the abyss of his incompetence and malfeasance.
His temper tantrums and self-pity were legend and the country
suffered, but all the while, his base never wavered in its support.
there had been some success in erasing some of the American color
line, Trump’s racism, xenophobia, and hatred of “the
other” brought back that color line of which DuBois spoke with
a vengeance. That line is now darker and wider than it has been and
Trump’s statements and actions lured the haters and bigots out
from under their rocks around the country. Like the genie, those
sentiments and actions won’t easily be put back into the
bottle. It will be a struggle not seen before for those who seek
tolerance, understanding, kindness, and cooperation, to bring a
semblance of peace to a very disturbed nation.
brokenness is a big part of Trump’s legacy and the hatred he
has stirred up will be with us for a long time, no matter what tricks
he tries to play after he is ejected from the White House. That he
has committed crimes and misdemeanors while in office matters little
to his base and the Republicans who have allowed him to run rampant
over the rights of citizens and others. The moral bankruptcy of
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Senator Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), and
scores of other Republicans has been on full display for much of
Trump’s tenancy in the White House. Trump held these same
people in utter contempt, before the nation, during the presidential
primary debates, calling them names and degrading them. Yet, they all
came to heel after Trump was elected and threatened to use the power
of the presidency to break them down even further if they strayed
from his line of twisted thinking.
this week, he committed what is probably the greatest specific crime
of his presidency, when he spent an hour on the phone with Georgia
officials trying to cajole, beg, and threaten them into “finding”
enough votes to make him the winner in that state. He was gently
assured repeatedly that Georgia’s numbers were correct and that
he was, indeed, the loser, as he has been in scores of other failed
court cases that his lapdog lawyers filed on his behalf around the
country. They were all tossed out of court, because he was the loser
and is a loser who will not face the reality of his loss. In a few
days, he will no longer be president and the protection of that
office from most criminal charges will disappear and he will be
subject to the investigations of crimes, civil and criminal, in his
former home state of New York.
did we even get a creature such as Donald Trump as president? Robert
Freeman, writing in CommonDreams.org, on Nov. 24, has one credible
the irretrievably racist, the criminally credulous, the willfully
ignorant, the perennially aggrieved, and the pathologically na´ve
that make up the core of Trump’s base will be enraged. But they
will be enraged no matter what, and they are unpropitiable. Cowering
before their threatened ire is to capitulate to the bully, the
charlatan, the haters, those who can only destroy. It will sanctify
might makes right and surrender our principles, our ideals, our
self-respect, and our dignity. It WILL be the end of the country.
of the surest failures that gave rise to Trump was the refusal of the
Obama administration to bring to justice those bankers who had
wrecked the economy in the runup to the Great Recession and profited
so handsomely from its destruction. While more than 10 million
working and middle class people lost their homes to foreclosure,
Obama transferred $16 trillion to the same wealthy bankers who had
caused the collapse. It was the truest testament possible to his
neo-liberal loyalty to the wealthy at the expense of the people.
People remembered that and they voted against the party that had done
it. That is a good part of the reason we have Trump in office today.
Violations of the law—especially assaults on the government
itself—must be held accountable. Trump’s depredations
against the republic are far more insidious and consequential than
were Obama’s because they go to heart of whether we are going
to even have a republic. And they threaten to loom, menacingly, into
the future, to ensure that no effort to heal the country can succeed.
must be denounced and defrocked through the fair, transparent means
that are given us to deal with such crimes, means that lie at the
very heart of our collective existence. If we refuse to utilize them,
then we decline to own them. That is the only way the country can be
Biden, as he takes the reins of power as president of the U.S., is
inheriting a nation divided, as it hasn’t been divided since
the Civil War. That is Trump’s legacy. But it is not just the
nation that is divided, Trump’s toxic pall over the nation has
divided families, as well. That is the magnitude of the divisions
that he is leaving for a new president to clean up and renew. Biden
can’t do it by himself. He will need the support of millions of
Americans who can overlook the stranglehold in which Trump has held
their fellow citizens, mind and body, and reach out in peace to those
unfortunates. Nothing less than a full-press peace effort will do to
save the remains of the once great nation.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, John
Funiciello, is a former newspaper reporter and labor organizer, who
lives in the Mohawk Valley of New York State. In addition to labor
work, he is organizing family farmers as they struggle to stay on the
land under enormous pressure from factory food producers and land
developers. Contact Mr. Funiciello and BC.