In The End America Loses If We Don’t Do What is Morally Right To Strengthen and Save Our Democracy.Posted in America, Civility, Compassion, Democracy, Diversity, Leadership, Moral Courage
The racial animus and personal attacks by President Donald J. Trump “parlayed” against various members of the Democratic Party along with the deafening silence and refusal of some Republican cohorts and base supporters to publicly denounce such strident incrimination, painfully demonstrate how low we have sunk as a nation into the politics of resentment and dehumanization.
We’ve seen this “movie” before. Politics is blood sport and the president leaves no stone unturned in verbally flogging the black and brown members of Congress who have openly challenged his policies—Representatives Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, Rashida Tlaib, Elijah Cummings and even the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Furthermore, the president has misrepresented their love of America, questioned their genuine commitment to public service and revealed his ignorance of their countries of origin and citizenship.
All this, pundits say, is not because the president is racist but to galvanize support for the twenty-twenty presidential elections.
Others say that because Trump “called out” people who happen to be nonwhite does not mean that the president is racist.
What we find in unearthing some of the president’s statements and behaviors since taking office is that he has insulted and demeaned Mexicans by calling them rapists. At one of his campaign rallies he called for a black man to be cold-cocked by predominantly white attendees and then promised to pay the assailant’s attorney’s fees. After the attacks by members of the alt-right at Charlottesville, where a black man was beaten, others injured, and a white female activist run over and killed by a hate-filled motorist, his response was there are good and bad people on both sides.
Moreover, he has instituted policies which have ripped apart and virtually destroyed asylum-seeking immigrant families at our borders, called African, countries “s….hole” nations and referred to black athletes protesting police brutality in their communities as “SOB’s. His speeches and tweets have repeatedly insulted people of color, women and anyone who denounces his political policies and his dehumanizing racial and gender slurs. Members of his own Republican Party have implemented gerrymandering and voter suppression of blacks who tend to largely vote Democrat.
Others say that such public berating by the president makes some of his backers feel good for the moment and vicariously provides them palliative forms of racial catharsis. But his words could also embolden a segment of that cohort to become more brazen in their resentment, fury and rage toward the targeted, hated, scapegoated groups.
None of these regressive strategies will ever make America stronger or greater again.
In the end, such scorched earth incivility may not only cause Donald Trump to lose the next presidential election but may also ensure that America can “lose everything it has and everything it’s ever going to have” for such vitriolic strategies are ultimately doomed to fail.
Thoroughly bereft of decency, substance, and genuine attempts to foster a spirit of truth and reconciliation, the president’s political sorties do not alleviate or eradicate the longstanding racial conflicts and calamities still jading and plaguing our nation.
The problem is not only the vehemence of the attacks, which meretriciously call into question the character, commitment and integrity of these public servants, but the misinformation the president spreads to dehumanize and degrade their character and persons.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports hate groups are exponentially rising and that blatant violence and micro-aggression against minority groups by hate groups and individuals predisposed to hate have also dramatically increased since Trump took office.
Could Trump’s public diatribes against his political enemies, potentially, if not actually, already have stoked and precipitated, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, a culture of anxiety and fear which can easily lead to a more combustible political environment? Is he adding fuel to the fires when he caustically tweets such derogatory statements about his political opponents?
In reality such strategies only further putrefy and ulcerate our country by festering more wounds through false accusation and recrimination of the so-called “others” and potentially de-legitimizes their right to political office and may even jeopardize their right as free citizens of color to exist.
Such language can easily give a blank check, open license or excuse to any person with a “a racial axe to grind”to use physical violence to allay both his and the president’s pain to score political points.
“America may permit us the freedom to berate our political opponents and adversaries like dogs but does not permit us the freedom to treat, endanger and kill them like dogs because we loathe and despise them.”
These are dangerous times. Dog-whistling and bull-horning such incitements must end.
Willard Gaylin’s The Rage Within, says that “The despised object is not the cause of the bigot’s pain but rather a part of the solution. The person with the predispositions to hatred must create an object for his hatred. An object in which he can project his frustrations, his anger and impotence.”
Friends, in all my years of living, working and serving a plurality of people of virtually every hue, culture and creed in America, it is utterly astounding the numbers of people who still insist on racially polarizing America by making a calamity of every opportunity instead of extracting opportunities from every calamity by turning stumbling blocks of pain into stepping stones of healing.
A major part of America’s strength is diversity. The problem here is not just the vituperative nature of the racial divisions and fault-lines which have had a long and painful history in this country, but opening the door to the Trojan Horse Syndrome, which allows our adversaries to creep quietly inside and furtively dismantle democracy while the president demeans, degrades and demoralizes his own American people. The President of the United States should be the president and genuine leader of all the people and not just a select few.
Meanwhile as we argue and feud with each other over these important “family” matters, which will never cease and desist until real co-intentional solutions are purposefully attained for people dispossessed, and while our political foes have instigated and benefited from the divisions, we will continue to sink into the cesspools of diversion and distraction if we keep directing our attention from other urgent issues facing our nation and don’t stop these “civil” wars. We must continue to fight for what is morally right for the betterment of all Americans on the inside and hold a united front to prevent those from tearing America down from the outside and within.
When all is said and done we have more in common than we do differences. Many of our advancements as a nation have come from people willing to unite across racial, political, religious and cultural lines to do what is morally right for America.
Hatred and division only spawn more hatred and division unless intentionally counteracted by strategies which positively develop racial, class and cultural competencies, through love, truth, justice, peace and what writer Ruell Howe calls in his book with the same title; The Miracle of Dialogue, a genuine listening ear, which values, respects, builds and works for the common good of all in our country.
Again, I am speaking of the American Presidency and American Power Politics, which have had their share of great and well meaning states-persons and leaders in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Jimmy Carter, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Eleanor Roosevelt and even TR who have toiled and given their all to make this nation better as opposed to those who have degraded and weakened it by abrogating their moral duties by not carefully and responsibly leading our nation through its multiplying and amplifying moral storms and crises.
A primary goal of any moral leader is to resolve conflict and to broker genuine peace among citizens, leaders and the world community and not belligerently instigate conflict and wreak havoc in his own country at every turn and tweet.
As Americans we are called not to forfeit, abolish and desecrate our freedoms and the progress that we have made as a nation, but proudly build and consecrate that heritage by caring for all and by working to “perfect” this great experiment in democracy for which many Americans have lived, bled, and died to preserve and protect.
What we may have here is more than “a failure to communicate,” but a subtle if not blatant call for more racial nastiness, violence, resentment, and political reprisals whose Pyrrhic results evidence not faith but fear, not gain but loss, not victory but defeat, not inclusion but exclusion, not strength but weakness, not moral and physical courage but political dehumanization and revilement which wastes our time, sacks our talents, wounds and offends us and permanently jettisons our nation onto the perilous paths of inglorious doom.
Such behavior and strategies will not work in the end but will only continue to Koo-koofy, stupefy and retard our nation further if we don’t learn to grow up, work together, respect each other and “all get along.”
Needed is more unity across, racial, cultural, class, gender, ethnic, religious and even economic and political lines and more outcry from politicians, the American people and leaders who will resist the rising hydras of tyranny seeking to engulf and ultimately destroy America as ” free striding people with a free swinging stride” to paraphrase the great Adlai Stevenson.
Silence in response to the debilitating, demoralizing and denigrating forces bent on destroying our nation is not required and gives tacit approval to this insidious path of politically terminal destruction.
Have our successes become our excesses?
What ultimately wins in America are not the avaricious forms of tribalism and partisanship, political skulduggery or quasi street thuggery, but a unity “which cements what unites us and surmounts what destructively divides us.”
We need more leaders and everyday people with moral backbone, conscience and compassion who will resist all urges to use race, gender, political party or any other prop to be deviously weaponized to make American Democracy sicker, weaker, dumber and denuded of the necessary moral rectitude and courage which will guide and protect its future.
We must avoid all temptations to succumb to the spells of silence and fear which squeeze the life from us and cause us to ignore or dismiss those whose ultimate aims is alienate, derail and divide us.
Will we participate or co-sign the willful and debilitating destruction of our country by permitting such incendiary rage and antagonism to consume us until there is nothing good left of us or our country? I think not.
Failure to support those willing to stand for what is right in America is not right.
Don’t punish people who want to serve and save America who speak up against this terrible behemoth seeking to devour us. Honor them as faithful acolytes and adherents of the great American traditions of freedom, liberty, compassion and justice for all.
One of my best professors in school said one day after a heated discussion in class on the meaning and reasons for preserving American Democracy, “Carlyle it is important to remember to not put your assets where your ass sets, for you, your family and your country. Do everything you can to add value in what you do not only for you but also for others who need you.” The truth is that we need each other and we are much stronger as a nation when we work together.
In the present climate and on the current course, we must look at ourselves and honestly assess what we are doing to ourselves.
God bless those leaders and people willing to work to save America without fear rather than those who utilize Orwellian double speak, crime stop and other Ministry of Truth tactics and strategies to attack the American people and undermine the vaulted institutions of American Democracy. We must not silently watch our nation descend and perish into a fool’s paradise.
In the end America will certainly not win by taking this perilous path. They are failed, tenuous strategies that ultimately bring no ultimate good for America. We must correct course.We must not bury our heads in the sand. Too much is at stake.
God give us stronger leaders and people who will stand and speak and do what is morally right to save our country from imminent peril in face of those mounting plagues of dissolution and division which can easily precipitate our needless demise.
God bless America!
God strengthen America!
God save America!