The United(?) States of America
Today I think I’ll start my blog. I plan on blogging every week at least, and that will be challenging given my schedule. Today is Wednesday, November 18, 2020. We’re two weeks past a presidential election that the results took a few extra days to confirm, but it has been confirmed that Donald Trump, the incumbent, lost to Joe Biden. Now, we’ve had presidential elections every 4 years for 230 plus years. Somebody won, somebody lost, the winner was announced, and took office a couple of months later. Ten times in the past the incumbent has lost but there has never been a time when a defeated incumbent even hinted he might not lawfully and peacefully leave the office. That is, until now.
Now, America has never been perfect. If you’ve followed me at all you’ve heard me talk about the American lies written in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, on the Statue of Liberty, that said that we were a country of, for and by the people, said that all men were created equal and had the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We know that was not true of America then and that isn’t true of America now. Even though America branded itself as welcoming to all, a melting pot, a land of opportunity, equal opportunity, we know that wasn’t true either. These past several years, the years that ushered in a Trump presidency, have shown America’s true colors like never before.
Let me hasten to point out the fact that I’m talking about the United States of America. That clarity is necessary for two reasons in my mind. First, I don’t want to paint all of the Americas with this broad brush, so my use of the word America refers to the United States. Secondly, these states that make up this country are anything but united. We even refer to states as either red or blue, a reference which fuels partisanship and helps us divide ourselves. Are there two countries here, a red one and a blue one? Two governments? The United States tried that before and it led to a civil war.
This divisiveness, this discord, this lack of unity has made us weaker and on the brink of becoming less of a democracy and more of an autocracy moving toward becoming a kleptocracy. Listen to some of our current elected officials who are saying out loud that keeping people from voting is their goal. They are also saying and that having a democracy where the majority rules perhaps aren’t best for us now. THAT’S DANGEROUS TALK!!!!
I know my concerns are well-founded and shared by many others. The fact that the United States of America elected Donald Trump, a man of questionable character, a dubious past, and an obvious desire to divide our people is a signal. Not only did he win an election in 2016, but he also influenced Republican elected officials, well some might say he threatened them, so they went along with him, no matter how “un-American” his policies and decisions. So even as he instituted Muslim bans, separated babies from their parents at the southern border, called neo Nazi’s good people, had a dozen of his close colleagues indicted, some jailed, tried to bribe a foreign leader, he is still revered (and in some aspects feared) by republicans and their followers. Unbelievable, unless we’re teetering on not being a democracy where honesty, integrity, and patriotism matter more that party. That’s why I and others are worried that, as I’ve heard some elected officials say on television, we could lose our democracy. The United States of America, not a democracy, heaven forbid!
So, even as Biden has won both the popular and electoral vote, Trump and his acolytes are threatening to overturn the will of the people, litigate the results of the election, and refuse to leave the office.
There was a time when we used the term “only in America” when we thought of some phenomenal positive occurrence. Well, now it seems that the United States of America is joining a dwindling group of nations that operate in ways in which we fought against. So, autocracy, fascism, kleptocracy, forms of government we’ve fought wars to upend is well on their way to this country, ushered in by the Trump administration which needs so badly to be ushered out.
It’s dangerous, sad, and disgusting and it’s unfortunate that Republican leaders have not stepped up and stood up for the United States of America against the demagoguery of Donald Trump. Public confidence in our elections is a bedrock of this democracy.
One of the things that have become vividly obvious is that holding on to a political office is more important than personal integrity and honesty. Republicans behind the scenes are fed up with Trump and some of them are congratulating Biden. The problem is they’re doing this in private, silently, anonymously. So, let’s acknowledge that the men and women sent to serve in the congress were elected to represent the best interests of their constituents. They were elected because the electorate trusted them to make good decisions and take positions on policies and other issues that were good for the country and the people they represent. For so many of them to go mute rather than speaking out against what is perhaps the biggest threat to democracy ever is ludicrous. So, I ask, is getting elected, or re-elected worth your dignity, worth your integrity, worth your soul?
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