Trump attacks others, from the Pope to Gold Star families, on a routine basis, often based on no evidence, exaggerated claims, and he claims trends based on cherry-picked cases that are in fact anomalous. Some of his attacks flow from his hypocritical assumption that he, a rich boy who inherited a fortune, gets to have pretty much everything. If he can’t earn it honestly, he uses dishonesty because, in his mind, the ends justify the means. Other times he just needs to redirect our attention.
I keep wondering when the adult supervision will appear. Congress is dominated by the lesser versions of the hyper-entitled Trump, with a few fine members like Barbara Lee, John Lewis, Earl Blumenauer, and Cory Booker in the minority. Turns out the only real powerful check on the abuse doled out daily by Trump is you. You and your friends. You, your friends, and me. Civil society.
We are the last hope because we failed to be the first hope. We did not pay close enough attention to the endless obligatory need to self-educate, to help our communities learn what they need to know, to empower each other from the bottom-up, and to keep the “deciders” from making poor decisions. We tend to think in terms of outsourcing—it’s our logical hope, after all, that since we are good people who pay attention to the details that make our businesses and service institutions work well for people, that we should be able to count on those we hire by our votes.
Turns out we cannot count on them. We will either ramp-up our civil society’s ongoing involvement in monitoring our elected officials or we will continue down this descending spiral toward autocracy, hate, violence, and revenge. It will cost us everything, literally.
Congress is a den of thieves. We see rich white men serving each other’s agendas far too often, with only a slight bit of meaningful oversight from civil society.
Now comes a President Spoiled Brat. He is not a self-made person; at least one study showed that if Trump had simply invested his inheritance in a decent mutual fund he would have several billion dollars more than he currently has in his net worth. Even among that class of people born on third base who thinks they hit a triple he is scorn-worthy. When anyone is outclassed by George W. Bush it says volumes, and Trump is.
How can we fix this? I’m hoping we can start impeaching and not stop until we get to someone worthy of the job. Get Trump testifying to the Senate, to joint committees, to special prosecutors—I guarantee he will lie and can then be impeached. But beyond that, we really need to do much more collaborative thinking, dialog, and action from the grassroots to reconcile, to serve everyone’s need and no one’s greed, and to take far more responsibility than a simple ballot every election cycle. If democracy isn’t participatory it isn’t decent democracy.
Tom H. Hastings is Founding Director of PeaceVoice.