America’s Decline……personified

before 2016, no one could have conjured up President Donald Trump as anything but a joke — and yet in some sense, all too imaginable. Think of it this way: the president who launched his candidacy by descending a Trump Tower escalator to denounceMexican “rapists” and hype the “great, great wall” he would build, the man who, in his election campaign, promised to put a “big, fat, beautiful wall” across our southern border to keep out immigrants (“invaders!”) — my grandpa, by the way, was just such an invader — has, after nearly three and a half years, succeeded only in getting a grotesquely small wall built around the White House; in other words, he’s turned the “people’s house” into a micro-Green Zone in a Washington that, as it filled with National Guard troops and unidentified but militarized police types, was transformed into a Trumpian version of occupied Baghdad. Then he locked himself inside (except for that one block walk to a church through streets forcibly emptied of protesters). All in all, a single redolent phrase from our recent past comes to mind: mission accomplished!”

Medicynical note: America’s decline as a democracy is obvious. Instead of rejoicing in the participation of everyone, politicos scheme to manipulate and disenfranchise. Our civil discourse is punctuated by the staccato bursts from weapons that some think symbolic of being “free” rather than the reality of being tools of intimidation, suppression and violence.

The symbols that differentiated our culture and frankly made it seem great are being eroded. Our businesses say they want fair competition, but most strive, often by scamming, for monopoly status.

Unlimited money in politics is used to openly bribe for favors and buy elections. Public education is being subverted. Scammers are setting the rules for government agencies. Conflicts of interest are fed and nurtured rather than controlled.

Racism, homophobia and white supremacy are on the rise. Our president uses them as wedges to create hatred and loathing. We fear immigrants. A little ironic in that all of us, except native Americans, have immigration stories in our family history.

Separation of church from state is now thought by some a negative when in reality it previously protected us from false divisions and magical thinking. We disregard science and only consider short term profit rather than long term ramifications. Religion is being subverted, or perhaps was always a mechanism of fostering divisions based on differing beliefs. We can’t seem to get past mine is better than yours.

You get the idea. We are in denial of what once made us a dynamic great society……….but the stark reality is that we are not who we thought we were.

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