Chapter 118 – There Are No Heroes

       Every great leader in this country has been flawed. There have never been any perfect people in our society. From the very beginning of our history, for every contribution made by the great leaders of our nation, there have been actions or behavior that is less than honorable that history has come to frown upon. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were great visionaries and founders of our nation, yet they owned slaves. Franklin Roosevelt led our nation to victory in World War II and was the architect of the social safety net that resulted in the largest middle class in the history of humankind, yet he presided over the shameful internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the Civil Rights Act that atoned for the post Civil War injustices and atrocities committed on African Americans, yet he lied and deceived the American public into prosecuting a war that benefited only the military industrial complex and other corporate interests. Ronald Reagan is credited with lifting America out of a crippling recession and starting one of the greatest economic boons in our history, yet he defended the white South African apartheid and embraced the concept of white supremacy at every opportunity. I can give examples like that for every great leader in our history. Some showed great courage and conviction, but at the end of the day, they were just flawed men and women like all of the rest of us. Many of the great men who lead us were not some much great leaders as they were the right person for the time they lived in.

       In that regard, we give way to much credit to Donald Trump. He is not anything close to a great leader. There is a huge difference between a leader and an opportunist. Give Trump credit for seizing on a weak moment in our history where the white middle class was being decimated to the point that almost 50% of white Americans once considered securely middle class, slipped between $50,000 and $70,000 per year below the income needed to maintain a stable middle class life style. In the aftermath of that situation, it’s reported by credible news sources that in 2016 as many as 83% of Americans didn’t believe America’s government worked for the average American. Even though virtually all of the efforts by President Obama and Democrats in congress to address the concerns and needs of the American people, were thwarted by the Republicans gerrymandered into power as a result of the 2010 midterm elections, much of the public blamed the Democrats for government’s failures. Under those conditions, it was easy to inflame the passions of those frustrated by their current circumstances and to encourage them to scapegoat people of color as responsible for all of their problems. Trump didn’t lead us to the insanity we are experiencing as much as he provided an outlet for frustrated Americans to vent their hostility to the detriment of all of America. Ironically, his supporters are much worse off than they were in 2016, yet they have been so completely indoctrinated by the Internet and social media that they continue to blindly support a documented psychopath leading them to their doom. Even those who claim to be happy with the performance of their 401 Ks and securities investments know that the country is not producing anything the world truly needs, and their wealth is built on a foundation of sand. Never the less, they continue to support the madness rather than admit they may have been wrong and give the other side a fighting chance to solve the problems.

       Let’s consider what would have possibly happened if Trump supporters had their way and Donald Trump had won this past election. The nation would have officially become a fascist dictatorship and Trump’s desires would then be the law of the land, much like Putin in Russia. His first move would have been to consolidate his power by firing everyone in government who refused to bend to his will, especially in the military and intelligence community. All of the leadership jobs in government would go to his friends and cronies, where they would be free to commit as much corruption as they pleased as long as they rubber stamped Trump’s edicts as did many of his actual appointees during his administration. When government is corrupted to the extent America would be, the combination of that and America’s isolation from all of the western alliance and most people of color both at home and abroad would lead to an economy in which all of Trump’s cronies in government and industry would become wealthy beyond measure, while the average American would exist on a basic subsistence income that would support living in primarily multi-dwelling housing and just enough additional income to eat, have transportation to work and pay tribute to Trump’s government. There would be violence from insurgencies, resistance fighters and Trump’s fascist death squads that this country could never imagine. Constant acts of sabotage would render the safety of our food and water questionable at any given time and attacks on the power grid would render us susceptible to constant blackouts and computer crashes. Trump is giving us a preview of all of this by the things he is doing to resist the transfer of power, like plunging his own administration into utter chaos and refusing to cooperate with the Biden transition team, which makes our country extremely vulnerable to foreign adversaries.

       Even with Biden as president, the America I described above is the America we have to look forward to if we don’t cease this partisan rancor we continue to display. If we continue the obstructionist policies of the Republican congress and continue to drink the poison pouring out of the rightwing media, we will destroy this country that we all claim to love. If we fail to end our self-destructive behavior, you might as well say to Trump’s mentor, Mr. Vladimir Putin, “Well-played Mr. Putin. It would seem your man Trump and our own misguided media have exploited and manipulated America’s weaponized religion and largely uneducated and unskilled population to perfection. Unless at least our own media sounds a clear, unified wake up alarm, you will have succeeded in wounding us beyond repair”.

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