As we head toward the inauguration of our nation’s 45th president, despite the troubling questions that surround him, there are those who question that despite our many, many doubts about him and his “vision” for America, shouldn’t we all just put all of that to the side, and just “unite” behind him, working together for a “better” future?
Well, I know it’s a bad habit of many of us, but there are times I see tremendous value in answering a question with an even more pertinent question, because doing so reminds us of the context in which we really live, and what we really face together.
Permit me here to state something controversial, but true. Both the Russians and the Republicans (and by extension the incoming Trump Administration) have something very much in common – they both are very adept at bending and shading the truth in order to conceal their true intent, that is until they actually do what they’ve intended the whole time.
The Russians see nothing wrong with taking over surrounding sovereign states like Crimea, saying they have the “right” to do so.
The Republicans say they have to suppress the African-American vote, in the words of the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, with “surgical precession,” and redraw voting districts that pack the majority of black voters into a handful of districts in order to reduce their voting influence, again because Republicans believe being in the electoral majority gives them the “right” to.
Ask Russians why they have a clear documented record of attempting to influence elections in other countries, including this one, and they deny it.
Ask Republicans why they have a clear documented history of supporting old Southern relics like Sen. Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, a man with a clear record of opposing civil rights, for important positions like US attorney general, and they deny there’s anything wrong with Sessions, or Robert Bork, or former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
I mean, I could go on, But you get the picture. Both the Russians and the Republicans are good at dancing up a storm when they’re up to something, and both groups are always up to something.
So back to my answering a question with a question. Actually with several questions, if you don’t mind.
Why weren’t you who are asking about “unifying” behind Donald Trump, just as concerned about “unifying” behind President Obama when Trump and other miscreants raised disturbing and erroneous questions about Obama’s citizenship and fitness for office? What was “unifying” about that behavior, except whatever unity it brought to those who vowed they’d always oppose the nation’s first black president?
I could go on about the disgraceful and demeaning way Pres. Obama was treated for eight years, but allow me to ask more.
When it became very clear that the Russians indeed took measures to influence our 2016 presidential elections, why were Republicans so overwhelmingly silent? Where was the American unity then, which would have shown that no matter what our partisan preferences, we, as a people and a nation would not tolerate even the thought of a foreign power interjecting itself into our precious electoral process? Where was the statesmanship from Trump and others on the right strongly denouncing what Wikileaks was doing with Hillary Clinton’s emails, knowing darn well that the shoe could be on the other foot next time (as Sen. Marco Rubio, the only Republican to do so, said?)
What has Trump and company shown us to make us believe that “unity” is not only welcomed, but needed?
Attacking Congressman John Lewis for saying flat out that he has no reason to trust Trump, or trust the way he was elected, by attacking the black community, is not an example of unity–proving Rep. Lewis’ point that Pres. Trump is a divider and not a uniter. And what amazes me is that Trump had a special meeting with entertainer Steve Harvey last Friday, pledging to work with the “Family Feud” man to help rebuild the inner cities, only to then publicly belittle those areas in his backhanded response to Congressman Lewis the next day by tweet, calling them “crime-infested.”
FACTS – not all black communities are in the inner city, and not all inner cities are “crime-infested.”
Finally, the popular quip in defense of Trump is that Democrats haven’t “gotten over” losing the election to him. That may indeed be true, but it’s not so simple. With the exception of Election Night, when Hillary Clinton displayed grace and leadership by calling him to concede (plus she and Pres. Clinton will be at his inauguration on Friday), followed by Pres. Obama’s subsequent grace and leadership in being as cooperative in the peaceful transition of power as possible with the incoming Trump Administration, Trump has never shown what can be considered genuine grace about his victory. Everything has either been an unvarnished brag at one of his phony “thank you” tour rallies, or one of his blistering, infantile tweets that take the art of stretching the truth to a new art form.
So my final question to you Trumpites (or is it Trumpets, I don’t know), is how long do you hope the rest of us will play dumb just to satisfy your thirst for power? If this is what you call “making America great again,” I prefer to stay on the job to make America good.
You see, leaders can be “great” and still evil. But leaders who are evil, are never good.