There is a lone, consistent glory of the United States of America, and that is the peaceful transfer of power. Through the wars, the racism, the wholesale slaughter of native peoples, the unrestrained enslavement of foreign peoples and the consistent, historic denial of free speech for many in direct contradiction to its sacred Constitutional guarantee, I submit that the peaceful, bloodless transfer of power remains America’s one quintessentially glorious bequest to the world.
So what is Donald Trump’s response when asked if he will accept the results of the 2020 election? “I’ll have to see.” Where is Republican outrage?
A woman, Ghislaine Maxwell, is, with compelling physical and eyewitness evidence, credibly accused of grooming underage girls to be raped by Jeffrey Epstein. In the words of Audrey Strauss, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, “Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, and then delivered them into the trap that she and Jeffrey Epstein had set. She pretended to be a woman they could trust. All the while, she was setting them up to be abused sexually by Epstein and, in some cases, Maxwell herself.” Maxwell is considered so dangerous and so likely a flight risk by the U.S. attorney that she has been detained without bail awaiting trial.
The response of the president of the United States? “I just wish her well, frankly. I’ve met her numerous times over the years.” Where is Republican outrage?
Since Ruby Ridge and Waco, two ordinary parts of the American landscape now made so familiar as battle cries, the American Right has cautioned against a federal Gestapo state. Some of their draconian counter-measures included the brutal murder of 168 men, women and children at Oklahoma City by their most radical exponent, Timothy McVeigh. Their paranoid hyper-vigilance was used as a pretext to hide their racism and justify their hatred of Barack Obama, charging him without evidence and finding him guilty without trial of taking away their precious guns, a thing he didn’t intend to do and, in fact, never did.
Their greatest fear was a lawless federal police force that could arbitrarily, brutally and without warrant abduct at will any American citizen exercising their Constitutionally-protected free speech and removing them to undisclosed locations for unspecified periods of time without habeas corpus. Now it’s happening in Portland, Oregon, and is set to happen in other cities and states across America. What is the response of the American President? It was his idea. Where is Republican outrage?
Donald Trump consistently underplayed the threat of coronavirus to the American people, alternately referring to it as a hoax and “fake news” invented by “the Democrats.” As I write this more than four million Americans have contracted coronavirus and almost 150,000 have died of COVID-19. Six months on Donald Trump still — STILL! — has no single consistent federal program for nationwide containment of this deadly disease. He has instead dared to go on television without medical experts and, as a pretext to give a press conference on the administration’s progress against the disease, used it as a political commercial to get himself re-elected.
When he’s not playing golf Trump spends inordinate amounts of off-camera time making hate-tweets about his political rivals and stirring up enmity against Black Lives Matter protesters. He appears to do little or nothing about coronavirus apart from the fact that he now occasionally wears a mask. Again, where is Republican outrage?
I am opposed to Donald Trump, not because he’s a Republican, not because he is an advocate of the American Religious Right, not because of his alleged conservative antecedents, no, I am opposed to him because he is evil and inimical to the people of the country of my birth. He is a menace, a disgrace, a daily reminder to the rest of the world that America is in steep decline, and a shocking number of her citizens are willing to permit this decline for the sake of the ego of this raging buffoon.
There does not exist and has never existed a man or woman I would follow into this abyss, no matter how much I may have previously admired them. Had Barack Obama behaved as Trump behaves I would have turned against him. I would have been disappointed, to be sure. There would have been many regrets, but no doubts.
Next time he’s on your computer or television screen, pluck up your courage and take a good look at the face of Donald Trump. That is just another face of evil. It doesn’t have to be suave or intelligent. It can be an orange buffoon. All that is needed is an unconscious association of that face with certain symbols to complete the trap. Trump has surrounded himself with these symbols of Stars and Stripes and statues and Confederate flags, of opposition to fictions they label “Antifa” and “socialism” and “cancel culture” and “never Trumpers,” until there is no more language, only evocative symbols of hate. Against such symbols the weak lose their voice and the loud and petulant find strength.
So where is Republican outrage? Nowhere. It doesn’t exist. It’s fake outrage, and fake outrage is counterfeited only when it’s required. It raises its shrill, hectoring tones when it demands to see the whistleblower, when it demands an explanation why an impeachment proceeding is conducted in a basement, when it invokes the dreaded name of “Antifa” with photos from another decade taken in another country. It’s all a lie. Republicans have spent decades cultivating a false image. They have hijacked the ideal of the lone maverick of courage and true patriotism. But again, it has always been a lie.
Republicans use manufactured fear to cling to power, and will even enlist a lawless president to their cause — a thing very much to be feared — without quibble or criticism. And yet the final irony is that Republicans are defined by fear: homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia. They are not the courageous, they are the fearful who need guns to go to Walmart and rocket launchers to buy a sandwich at Subway. They are not patriots. They have become, at last, the enemy of the people.
In November let’s send them all back to the obscurity whence they came and never, ever permit them to return. Let’s unite as one voice and once people and forever eradicate this cancer that is killing the United States of America. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.