Monday, October 17, 2016
I hardly even know what to say about this election any more. I start to write about something, the last debate for instance, and before I can compose my thoughts, they are overtaken by the latest round of events.
At this point, I simply think of Donald Trump as Agent Orange, a poisonous herbicide meant to defoliate vast sections of America's entire democracy. Our system of government only works if the great majority of citizens respect it's tenets - the will of the people, the honesty of our elections, the integrity of most of its leaders, the truth of our media, the honor of our scientists, the decency of our businesses - the superiority of our system depend on the strength of these foundation posts. One by one, Donald Trump is undermining all of them.
Are there charlatans and liars and cheaters among us? Of course, we can always find those few examples but are they a small minority of the whole? Yes, I truly believe they are. I think most Americans are good people, be they democrats or republicans. I think most of our politicians try to live up to their campaign promises. I think most journalists try to write the truth. I think most businesses try to give value to their customers. I don't think our elections are rigged.
Donald Trump didn't start this. It started with Obama....or maybe even Clinton. Somehow people on the other side came to believe that if they couldn't win by voting, it was their right to win by other means - impeachment or weakening a president who gave them no cause. Claiming he was not an American or not a Christian, accusing him of treason. It was more than simple disagreement - they fed on loathing and it grew and grew. At the same time, they decided their own government was evil.
It all came to a head with Trump. The ultimate weapon against what America had always been, spraying his enraged venom in all directions, infecting millions of his fellow citizens with the virus of hate.
And win or lose, what will the aftermath be? Land denuded by Agent Orange doesn't come back in a season. I don't think America will come back from the toxicity of Donald Trump for a long time.