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Friday, June 5, 2020

When... it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another

The death of George Floyd, the ravages of Covid-19, and the betrayal of American ideals  through the election of Donald Trump are evidence that the USA has failed.  Protests and riots have been building since the day Trump was elected president.  A man who has not one redeeming quality of character has assumed the leadership of the nation, and even some dedicated conservatives are speaking out against him.  World leaders are openly disparaging him and letting the world know they don't want to be in the same room with him.  The focus on Trump's human vileness and the revulsion with which he is perceived, however, diverts attention from the real problem, of which Trump is a symptom.

If Trump is removed from office, as he should be, those who elected and enabled him will still be here to be dealt with.  The causes of America's abject failures will still be here to fester and burgeon into another huge malignancy that leeches away what  health the nation has.  

Trump is justifiably berated for making no effort to bring a sense of unity to the nation.  Instead, he sends out his juvenile tweets with accusations, insults, and abuse that exacerbates the divisions within the nation.  He threatens to sic the troops on the protesters and looters.  Like most Americans, he has no clue as to what the trashing and looting is all about.

We've been here before.  In 1991, a video was circulated of the Los Angeles police beating Rodney King after a traffic chase with their batons.  Four officers were charged and tried, but were acquitted.  After the acquittal, the black community of Watts erupted with riots and was set afire.  Whites bemoaned the violence and constantly asked why people would loot their merchants and burn down their own neighborhood.   That question is  endemic to America.  It occurs when the brain pan takes up permanent residence in the lower colon.  It can be fatal to the country.

When a nation betrays and fails its citizens, it has become dysfunctional.   It is like a house that is infested with vermin and fallen into disrepair.  The house is best burned down and the land under it restored for rebuilding or put to some other use. The question of why people demolish their communities is an incredibly stupid one.  They do it because their country oppresses them and is in a failed state.  It is better to have no country than to live in one which oppresses and kills them.  

The Declaration of Independence grew out of such a circumstance and, therefore, anticipates that it can occur again.  The ultra-right is expressing fears that the looting actually is a cover for breaking into gun stores to arm a revolutionary force.  Even if that were so, the number of weapons obtained would be trivial.  But the fact that the contention is circulating shows the mindless hysteria of the alt-right at the thought of liberal resistance to the malice their leader,  Trump, exudes with each tweet.

There is much imploring for people to reconcile and unite, but   what people of decency really want to have anything to do with the obscene belligerence of the Trump base?  Does his base even possess a benign element which makes any rational communication possible?   At the time the Declaration of Independence was being framed, Thomas Paine noted those who spurned the intellectual fundaments of a democracy: "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."  And we face that kind with Trump and his followers.

The Declaration of Independence not only lays out the principles of action for its time, but supplies the rationale for meeting future crises.  The American nation is based upon the principles that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  
And, "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."  Donald Trump and the events of our time has revealed what a massive intellectual and moral failure America has been in supplying those rights for a large portion of its citizens.

The Declaration eschews talk of compromising with oppressors.  It states, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."  The list of unarmed black men killed by representatives of the government is an irrefutable statement that the government is destructive of those ends.

Those dead people make the case:  "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."

George Floyd died from a policeman cutting off his air with knee pressing down on his neck.  That act supplied the image of what conditions black people have lived under in America for 400 years.  When Barrack Obama became our first black president, we assumed that racial oppression was at last on the wane.  But he was supplanted by Trump, who defiles every American ideal of equality and decency.  Oppression and nefariousness is evident not only in the death roster of the black people killed.  It is evident in the way politics is conducted.  The most blatant violation of democratic principle was when Mitch McConnell refused to let the Senate vote on Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court.  But the Republicans hustled Trump's nominees through, and we must assume that they are partners in his degenerate whims of governance.

Joe Biden, in contrast, has established a record of decency, although some people will find fault with some of his political decisions.   If elected president, he might hold the Trump predators at bay for a time, but they have tasted power and will be circling like a pack of hyenas to prey on America whenever they find a chance.

At this writing, protests have been going on for eleven days.  But one must wonder if peaceable protests are effective against people who have no interest in peace or equal rights.  If protesters persist, they might succeed in altering our government to genuinely serve all the nation's people.  However, if it can't be changed, it might well be time to abolish it.  And start over.

Whatever happens, the people who put Trump in office are out there.  And trying to negotiate with them is like administering medicine to a dead person.  People who believe in the liberal freedoms of democracy are not such fools.  


Angela said...

Thank you, always, for your clarity and courage.

Blaine Foss said...

I've given this matter considerable thought for some time now. I see the same societal cancer you do - who could not? What perplexes me is just how we would go about dividing up this country. The time for a Constitutional Convention may have long passed. Possibly Abraham Lincoln made a grave mistake. The Mason-Dixon Line would have been a simple demarcation. Now we are compromised by allowing infiltration of these neanderthal (thought?) processes throughout the States. My word, what do we do?

Jason said...

Joe Biden wrote the Crime Bill that caused mass incarceration. Biden is a big part of the problem. Pretending otherwise is irrational and a recipe for more of the same. We need to work outside the two parties to change our society. Expecting lifetime white liberals like Pelosi and Schumer to change the system is a waste of time and energy. We need to get into the streets and stay in the streets to bring about the change that we need .

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States