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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Is the election of Donald Trump inexcusable? Unforgivable? Will there be resistance? An uprising?

The contrast between the treatment of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is mind-shattering. Hilary was reviled in the most despicable terms.   Her opponents constantly called her a liar.  Benghazi and her e-mail server were always brought up in connection with her.

But Donald Trump whose lies are a matter of broadcast and twitter record is seldom called a liar, and no  one calls hims a shyster even though he has defrauded businesses that have done work for him,  declared numerous bankruptcies,  and whose biographers have denounced his sociopathic tactics.  

Republicans were in a fury that in Clinton's role as Secretary of State she might have influenced donations to the Clinton Foundation,  but Trump's potential conflicts of interest regarding the Trump Organization,  which seem unavoidable if he does not divest, raise nary a concern among Republicans.

Meanwhile,  Trump chatters and tweets away and some Democratic officials join in about bridging the divide and unifying the country.  People I encounter are more in the "you've got to be kidding?"  mode.  

What I hear most often from people around me is "Trump can never be MY president" and "these people I know who voted for him are not my friends."  There are tales of families forbidding political discussion over Thanksgiving tables.  But there are also tales of Thanksgiving meals eaten in an atmosphere of cold hostility.  Over the weekend I attended a bereavement dinner at which a person felt compelled to castigate Obama and liberals to the person sitting next to him when he found out she had been a staff member for prominent Democratic officials.  Aside from the outburst being inappropriate and discordant for the occasion,  it underscored the kind of mentality that has propelled Trump into office.  There are people who think the election  of Trump gives them a free pass to act out their malevolent impulses.  And those impulses are contrary to the fundamental principles on which the U.S. was founded.  

Trump held a year-and-a-half audition which clearly and irrefutably showed the world what kind of person he is.  He is all the things the right wing accused Hillary Clinton of in an exponential magnitude, and then some.  He

  • slanders people with false accusations of criminal activity and incompetence.
  • lies more than he tells the truth,  with 70 percent of his statements proven false.
  • refuses to pay people who have completed work for him.
  • has a history of philandering.
  • has accusations of sexual assault by several women.
  • has filed for four business bankruptcies.
  • uses Twitter and rallies to make false, juvenile, and vindictive statements against people who criticize or disagree with him.
  • is a full-fledged one-percenter in his actions and in the people he surrounds himself with.
  • paid $25 million to settle a fraud law suit over the fake Trump University,  which included a $1 million  penalty for violating the New York state statute for fraud.
Everything he says and does is contrary to the objective stated in the preamble to the Constitution to "a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

His pronouncements and actions are more in line with the circumstances outlined in the Declaration of Independence for a people to revolt:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness} it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. 

Despite his comments about unifying the country,  everything Trump said in his 18-month campaign and every action he has taken and many of his threats are not a call for unity,  but a signal for resistance from those who believe in the principles that formed the nation's founding and guided the way it has progressed to realize those principles.  

The popular vote has been downplayed by the press for the most part.  But the 2.6 million votes and more than 2 percent margin now held by Clinton is unprecedented and astounding.  It shows clearly that a large margin of people do not want Trump to be president over those who voted for him. 

And the responses of those who supported Hillary Clinton,  particularly those who supported Bernie Sanders and those active in the Occupy Wall Street movement,  receives scant mention.   They do not think Trump represents America or, on a more basic  level,  the standards of decency, respect, and thought that form the common grounds of American character.  

To those people,  what divides them is not differences on political issues.  It is the fact that Trump supporters in choosing him have condoned and subscribed to the very behaviors that  Americans have fought wars over and given their lives to prevent in our  country.  To those generations that have grown up learning the lessons of World War II,  the election of Donald Trump is much like the betrayal of Anne Frank.  Their friends and neighbors have given America over to the forces of deceit, dishonesty, inequality, and injustice.  They cannot reconcile with those friends and neighbors because they can never trust them again.  

It is recognized that Trump voters are largely brain-washed.  They have been so besieged by the disorientation of talk radio, cable news, and the fake news sites on the Internet,  that they have voted out of a conditioned response instilled in them,  not out of beliefs arrived at by critical intelligence.  They cannot be engaged with facts and reason because they cannot distinguish between facts and the illusions created to dupe them in the virtual worlds they live in,  and the laws of reason have been repealed as far as they are concerned.  

There is a mass of voters out there who did not choose the candidate of personal insult, abuse,  denigration, mendacity, and menace.  They outnumber the Trump supporters by 2.6 million people.  They can prevail by denying that there is anyway that Trump represents them.  They can resist. They can follow the principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence under the knowledge that "it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government."

Gargoyles of human ugliness are reminders of the evil in the world.

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States