Not since King George III has what we now call the United States faced a tyrant like Donald J. Trump. Yes, America has faced Hitler, Tojo and Stalin and various points along the way. But the current president is apparently, essentially, ruling by decree.
Congress is Vichy. In real terms, this means there simply isn’t the political willpower on the part of Republicans in either House to actively oppose Trump. Meanwhile, the Democrats are callowed and being left behind by their base. As such, it is time for people who oppose Trump to reach across the political isle and open their fist. They need to co-op and reclaim the concept of “the patriot.”
For too long, people on the Right have have cornered the market on what it means to be a patriot. If we’re going to effectively push back on a president abusing the system and ruling by decree, we need an ideology that we can use as a rhetorical bludgeon against the forces of Trumpism.
One thing that makes addressing Trumpism head on so difficult is that there are some pretty self-evident problems with Trumpism that his devotees simply refuse to acknowledge. So, we need to know we believe in first. What are we fighting for? We know what we’re against, but what are we for?
This era as peculiar as it is unprecedented. I am a student of history, and really the only other time great events have happened with such quick succession in our history was when we were at war. If Trump keeps this up, 2017 will be spoken of in the same breath as 2001, 1989, 1974, 1968, 1945,1941 1865, 1861 and 1776. We’re talking about some truly momentous events are in the making.
It seems as though Trump and Bannon are itching to push us so far that we grow disgusted with the political process and accept a “managed democracy” like they have in Russia. I don’t know about you, but I’m an American, not Russian. Americans are exceptional. A city on the hill. I have hope that if we appeal to each other’s patriotism that something amazing can happen.
We have to stop pointing fingers. The time for tears and regret is over. The time for action is now. And as I said, the base of any action would be the establishment of an ideology. Only through having something that we all commonly agree upon can we defeat Trumpism.
Once Trump is run out of town, then we can go back to pointing fingers and having partisan disagreements. I will note that Trump is setting himself up for something we’ve not seen since Reconstruction. If the Democratic establishment doesn’t respond to what the base is feeling, we may see the development of, for want of a better term, I would call Radical Democrats. As you may know, it was in large part because of the Radical Republicans that we got the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments after the American Civil War. If Trump continues to rile people up, we may see some pretty dramatic political events in the coming days.
The closest historical approximation to what may be about to occur on the domestic front is, in fact, Reconstruction. If we manage to have free and fair elections in 2018, Congress could be so out for blood that they not only impeach Trump, they make life for Mike Pence hell.
As an aside, I would suggest that if the Democratic Party establishment refuses to act, that we may need to take things to the next level and start a new party. I would suggest the name UPP. The Union Patriot Party. I use Union in the name because I want to stress that we have to keep states like California in the Union and it harkens back to the National Union party of 1864. Additionally, the word Patriot signals that we need to go back to basics on a political front.
Anyway, all I can hope for us is people will take this situation seriously sooner rather than later. We have reached the point where protesting is not enough. We need to take things, in an ideological context, to the next level.