The Erosion of Political Norms (Concluding Part 4 in a Series)

local scene More than one small town has struggled for years under the debilitating influence of political & economic conflicts of interest, misguided priorities, and dodgy or grandiose claims. These conditions where those that  That Which Paved the Way for Trumpism. Those locally who carried on this way made Trumpism more likely, the way a moderate illness might weaken one’s immunity and make a deadly illness more likely.

Trumpism’s national champions contended – falsely – that America in 2016 faced an existential crisis. On the contrary, America’s existential crisis began not with Hillary Clinton’s campaign but with Donald Trump’s minority-vote victory. One might have had conventional, normal politics with Clinton; there was never a possibility of that with Trump.

Trumpism didn’t then face and existential threat – it created an existential threat.

On their own, many of these local problems would have lessened, slowly but inevitably; those who created these problems would have faded, slowly but inevitably. There’s little energy left in the dwindling ranks of those carrying on this way. I was right – then and now – when I once wrote in reply to a prominent social & political figure in town, predicting that ‘not one of those practices will endure to this city’s next generation.’

And yet, Trump’s national success will probably embolden more than one local man or woman to carry on a bit longer than he or she might otherwise have. Their political end will come, nonetheless.

What to do about all this?

First, Trump and his ilk himself will have to go, through whatever lawful means is available.

Second, America will have to assure both full adult access to the ballot, and the integrity of elections against foreign interference (both as foreign propaganda on domestic media and as hacking). One would prefer few laws to many, but even we’ve now many states legislating against easy ballot access. Better a single standard assuring access. We’ll need a policy of automatic voter registration. No one should be required to vote; no one should have to struggle to register to vote.

Third, and the most difficult of all, we’ll have to carry out a long period of a third reconstruction (the first being after the Civil War, the second being during the civil rights era) to assure that we do not again find ourselves in the situation that now plagues us: forces domestic and foreign united to undermine the American constitutional order.  That’s a long project, and I’d imagine – or at least hope – that the Rev. Dr. Barber, and so many other men & women, will guide us through that new, necessary reconstruction.

Previously: The Erosion of Political Norms, Parts 123.

2 thoughts on “The Erosion of Political Norms (Concluding Part 4 in a Series)

  1. Donald Trump has truly sounded the depths of douchebaggery with his response to Hurricane Maria. He has solidified his position as the most corpulent festering boil on the ass of America, ever. It is difficult to overstate what a soul-less blob of semi-differentiated protoplasm exists where his brain ought to be. Sequencing his DNA would reveal cavernous gaps in the empathy gene area.

    The mayor of San Juan goes on TV and pleads for help. Trump’s response is to go golfing (for the 66th time since stealing the presidency) and tweet that she is a “nasty” woman and Puerto Rico just needs to do more to help themselves. He did tweet that he and Melania will drop in next week sometime to survey the situation. A 747 has a lot of room for belly cargo. I wonder if he might bring in a few cases of water or a power-pole or two, as long as he will be in the neighborhood.

    Trump did get around to dispatching a hospital ship to PR, which left yesterday from Norfolk, nine days after hurricane landfall, and two weeks after it was known with certainty that PR would be blasted. The Hildebeest was the one who goaded him into doing so. The ship will get there real soon now…

    Thanks Republicans, for dropping this yam-colored turd into the national punch bowl. You had a chance to head him off, but chose greed and racism instead. You are now reaping the spoils. He has blown your party into sub-atomic fragments that need a Large Hadron Collider to even see. You bought all of his vuvuzela-delivered white purity bullshit and thought he really would make America great again, just like it was in 1850. Howzit working out??

    The Republican party is now wholly owned by Trump, Bannon and Moore. It will never be the same. The current Republican party is a howling lynch-mob of feral white resentment. There is no capacity within the party to heal itself. 50 years of “alternative” facts have ingrained into the party a complete incapacity to govern, as is on display daily. Half a century of bullshit just got real.

    1. In New York, when Trump visits Trump Tower, his fellow New Yorkers (who know him better than anyone) line the streets to jeer him. One would guess that Puerto Ricans have burdens so great that jeering Trump is an afterthought. When he visits (as he now belatedly plans to do this Tuesday), he’ll likely stay far from ordinary people, far from groups not handpicked. He shied from ordinary people in Texas, too, when first visiting after damage there. Normal people who come to know Trump come to despise him.

      If every resident of Puerto Rico – citizens one and all – turned his or her back to Trump upon his visit, it wouldn’t be even a small portion of the rebuke he deserves.

      Of the forty-four presidents who’ve come before -some deeply flawed – not one was so disordered, so thoroughly unfit, as Trump.

      It seems unlikely that the GOP will recover from Trump; it seems certain that it doesn’t deserve to do so.

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