South Dakota Top Blogs

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

The American lesion

  Prominent political observers have noted that the political divide in America could evolve into a civil war.  Anti-Trump Republicans, such as members of the Lincoln Project, have commented on the possibility in recent weeks.  The news media tends to treat the opposition to Donald Trump and his supporters as a matter of partisan politics, Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives.  That is a grave mistake.

The contempt for Trump and his kind is far deeper and more fundamental than the political preferences that exist within a democracy.  America was founded on principles of equality, liberty, and justice.  Its history is one of a struggle to instill those qualities into the life of all its citizens.  There have been failures, but it has progressed through a civil war, world wars, and a civil rights movement to move the country toward those ideals.  The presidency of Donald Trump brought that movement to a halt and reversed the trend.  Trump represents the odious aspects of mind and character that America was designed not to be.   

Trump is a despicable person.  He is a prodigious liar.  He is petty and mean-minded.   He is vengeful. His history of bankruptcies and business failures show him to be incompetent.    We ask what there is about him that his supporters like, but it is more to the point to ask what kind of people admire  him.  The answer provides the reason some observers see the potential for a civil war.  And the answer identifies the lesion that festers and mars the American political  body.

Business executives do not make good public officials in a democracy.  A few try  to practice the concepts of a democracy in their business practices, but business corporations and democracies have opposing purposes.  Businesses are organized on hierarchical lines with ascending ranks of authority.  Executives measure their success according to how many people work under them, not how many people they serve.  Corporations are feudal in nature, and America's founders were committed to overturn feudalism on America's land.  Slave-holding plantations were an extension of the feudal system, and the Civil War was a battle between democracy and feudalism.  Walt Whitman stated the American agenda:

The United States are destined either to surmount the gorgeous history of feudalism, or else prove the most tremendous failure of time.

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency signaled a failure of democracy among the American people, a return to feudalism.  While commentators keep stating that he has put democracy itself in danger, the public seems to regard those warnings as the usual partisan rhetoric.  They fail to recognize that there is a significant segment of fellow citizens who define liberty as a right to discriminate against other people.  The Trump mentality from which these people draw their inspiration is not one embraces human rights and equality.  It stands in direct opposition to government for, by, and of the people. As noted in a recent Washington Post story, America is in a state of decline and the rest of the world has noticed.

And Trump and his followers are leading the way.  They are a lesion on democracy.


Curt said...

Eloquent ... one more solid indictment of Trump and his ardent disciples.
Please offer us some hope. What can be done? We must do something - what?

Jerry K. Sweeney said...

Meantime, today (8 September 2022) all three members of the South Dakota Congressional delegation bravely affirmed that stolen property needs must be kept in a secure location. Our courageous governor has yet to comment on the actions of the man she avows would look good on Mount Rushmore.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States