No county is better than the quality of its sustained leadership. In even our distressed democracy (or “sleazeocracy” per Michael Gerson), legitimacy and command must be earned in the messy, electoral trenches—voicing we hope dominant aspirations. Sure, money, status and leverage matter, abusively tipping the scales at times. But America started by opposing un-elected, unaccountable, self-entitled aristocracies. Except when corruption reigns (as when last year a ruthless, inept schemer tried a farcical coup), the people choose “lawmakers” after hard-edge electioneering.
Good news: The visibility of post-election Trump corruption awards the majority insights into the worst of white right fright (WRF). If Trumpers did not sufficiently disqualify themselves after four sinister years, atrocities since November have only headlined that grievance married to contrivance confirms unfitness to rule. In battering democracy, criminal insurgents (and mob inciters) also forego whatever legitimacy they once had the privilege of boasting.
In fact, Trumper hysteria about losing “their country” to a majority of “outsiders” has justified tossing every bad faith deplorable on the garbage dump of history. Trump the great blunderer has committed so many fouls against good governance that only an ineducable country ignores the referees. A fool, or a fool’s fool, who wars against fair elections invites a career suspension from public affairs. Just as felons, rule breakers and asylum crazies forfeit the right to vote, the anti-democratic Trump brigade that hates the American grain has managed to redefine “disqualification.”
The worst and the dimmest?
What question remains that Trump and Trumpers prove the immense, death-dealing downsides for rejecting knowledge, expertise, courts, science, history, law, tolerance and Constitutional government? What country presuming to prominence thrives by elevating its worst and its dimmest? Because an obsolete Electoral College tapped a minority winner (never to win 50% support), this entire mishap undermined democracy from Day One: Here’s minority blowhard pushing the most backward fundamentalists, the most gun- and violence- prone pack of anti-democrats.
Was not January 6 the logical, if mad end of Trumpian manias: only know-nothing zealots intuit by gut instinct what is right and who thus deserve to run the show? What could be simpler? Terrified of losing its control, white right fright thus originally colluded with enough reactionary billionaires to gain governance replete with bad faith, incompetence and chronic failures. The more arrogant the minority, the more they deserve banishment to never-land.
In retrospect, are we greatly shocked that the worst of Trumpism ended up a lynch mob that stormed the capitol and threatened dutiful legislators had their goofy rebellion worked? All subsequent felons should aptly be barred from voting, even further mayhem. White fright thus made war against the United States—and the latest Trumpian “Lost Cause” lies, whitewashing traitors into martyred heroes—only confirms the gang’s epic unfitness. If this latest, big lie transpires, sleazeocracy looms again.
Missing the elephant
Obviously, the right white fright blindly ignored the 2020 election message: a sane, veteran moderate trumps an unstable, extremist incumbent—even that moral character (at least without explicit criminality) and a commitment to relative truth are values worthy of redemption. The new GOP, or Grievance Outrage Party, proves how no restraints inhibit its colossal self-entitlement and self-regard. Though rebels, they parallel born-again aristocrats of old, however lacking the education, planning skills, and experience of command.
This barrage of lawlessness provides other insights, however ironic or paradoxical. By attacking the Capitol, criminal insurrectionists in their own way verified the election followed the law—all now so allegedly twisted they had no choice but street rebellion. Rebuffed by every court, this mob took the law into its own hands, thus bombing the electoral integrity that mocked their outrage. This final eruption epitomizes Trumpism (and Palinism): hold voting and law in contempt, never retreat, reload and up the ante. Further, when a hijacked Republican party failed to exile its worst elements, now equally glorifying treason, does that not equally affirm its unfitness for national leadership?
Often, lessons from history are overly complex or hard to unravel. Not for the last months as the message couldn’t be clearer: zealotry aligned with proto-fascist violence defines Trumpism, the true enemy of the people. Thus does reality offer two paths: elect politicians who abide by law, custom, and the Constitution—or reverse whatever progress America claims by allowing a radical minority to own the law on its way to domination. Tough pick, eh?
Death from self-sabotage
Everything since November reinforces Rick Wilson’s title, “Whatever Trump Touches Dies.” Trumpism is death to fair elections, legitimate challenges (displaced by manipulative claims), and the judicial system that identified every crude, illegal attempt to game the system (without even knowing of worse connivance behind the scenes). Moreover, because Trump refuses to “do Biden any favors” and encourage vaccination, more Americans will suffer and die. Trumper fraud about vaccine safety exactly matches unconscionable election fraud. This “merchant of lying and deceit” shares another legacy: “merchant of disease and death.” A dreadful replay will truly exile us from even the chance for a better, let alone more perfect union.
Overall, on full display is nothing less than the greatest self-sabotage in memory. No one but Trump caused this latest slew of moral “bankruptcies”—and as before, all his backfires are self-made. Perhaps Trump constancy will enlighten America, that despicable leaders with profoundly mediocre minds nevertheless claim they can “alone fix everything.” The next malignant narcissist who thus anoints himself a miracle-working, “stable genius” should be instantly driven from the stage.
Trumpism is thus a fatal social disease, like COVID, a contagion that spreads to the falsely aggrieved if not identified and blocked. Self-aggrandizement, laced with amateur delusions of grandeur, is guaranteed never to Make America Great Again. In fact, empowered personality disorders cause the ultimate in social disruption. Solving tough problems demands rational adults who understand public service, the necessity of tested knowledge, and full consciousness that truth-telling is distinguishable from congenital lying. Someone has to do it — or face the consequences of harder tasks to come.