Point of View Columns

A Shame and a Damn Shame

Much has been written, and will be written about what happened on 1.6.21. It is truly a day of infamy in American history that will be remembered in the same category as 12.7.41 (Pearl Harbor), 11.22.63 (the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy), 4.7.68 (the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.) and 9.11.01 (the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon).

Of course, 1.6.21 is that it was a historically unique event – it was the first time since the Civil War that armed Americans attacked the American government with the intent to overthrow the existing government. It was also unique because it was inspired and led by a sitting President of the United States.

That is why the report of the January 6th Committee has revealed the shame of 1.6.21 as well as the damn shame of what has happened since that fateful day. The fact that the Committee referred four charges against Donald Trump to the United States Department of Justice for criminal prosecution is without precedent in American history.

One hundred years from now, if there is a United States, Donald J. Trump will be a name of a president that remembered with shame along with the likes of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon. He will have a permanent place in the Presidential Rogues Gallery where his memory will always reside.

The fact that he is now reduced to selling NFT cards of himself along with renting out his faded Mar a Lago estate for Iranian weddings is only the beginning of his slipping down the slimy ladder of infamy. Even if he never is indicted or convicted of his many crimes, his name will be synonymous with shame and that is well-deserved.

We can be sure that he will be wailing and moaning about “witch hunts” and “lynch mobs” which will only energize his dwindling base, some of whom will follow him to the bitter end. And while we will probably never see him in an orange jumpsuit, we will see him diminished to the point of being a living synonym for words like “traitor”, “buffoon” and “failure”.

What is a damn shame is something far worse than Trump. What is a damn shame is the thousands upon thousands of Republicans who are following what they believe the successful Trump playbook, employing bombast and insult and total disregard for the Constitution, equal rights and the rule of law. One can make the argument that Trump is a morally diminished individual who cannot help but dive into the deep abyss of hate and immorality. But the likes of Ron DeSantis and Josh Hawley and Mike Pompeo would never drink the authoritarian and undemocratic Kool-Aid that they will gladly serve to the American public in a quest for power.

It is a damn shame that the Republicans in the House of Representatives who cowered in fear in the Capitol while the hordes unleashed by Trump warmed the building still support Trump and his message. They refuse to even censure him much less demand that justice be meted out the armed insurrectionist and quasi-fascist hordes that worship Trump to this very day.

It is a damn shame that the Republican Party will, in the wake of the Trump Tsunami, support Trump wannabe’s like Dr. Oz and Trump sock puppets like Herschel Walker, all in the name of “Making America Great Again” when in reality they really want a return to a mythical America where Christian white male supremacy was the American Way of Life.

And finally, it is a damn shame that this may be the new normal when the opportunity for progress and true equity could be so close to being real.

And that is why the aftermath of 1.6.21 is both a shame and a damn shame.

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Point of View Columns

A Failure of Imagination Can Be Dangerous

And now the nation will be subjected to more Trumpfoolery. From the man who brought you bankrupt casinos and Trump Steaks, we are now supposed to care if/when Trump will announce his candidacy for president in the 2024 election.

Of course, anyone with a shred of decency or shame – two items that are totally absent from the World According to Trump – would not subject this country to the madness and turmoil that will accompany another Trump campaign, much less a Trump presidency.

The fact that, after two impeachments and a failed coup attempt, there should be no way that this sad excuse for a human being could ever be a viable candidate for dogcatcher, much less president. But the sad truth is that he would be a viable candidate and a much stronger candidate than he ever was in 2016 or 2020.

And anyone who thinks that Trump cannot be elected in 2024 is either not paying attention or is suffering from a failure of imagination.

Consider that Trump endorsed candidates have won Republican primaries for Secretary of State, Governor, United States Senator, and Congressional Representative. There is a very real chance that a number of these men and women will be elected and will begin to lay the groundwork for the Restoration of Trump.

It is not hard to imagine Republican-led state legislatures making it even more difficult for people to vote. Certainly, Republican Secretaries of State will have no qualms about simply not counting ballots from majority-Democrat districts and we can expect that many of the vote tampering plots conjured up by John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani in 2020-2021 will just be the way electoral business will be conducted in 2023 and of course, in 2024 leading to the very real possibility that Trump will be re-elected despite losing the popular vote in three consecutive elections.

And for those people who think that the federal courts will reverse any wrongdoing, keep in mind that Trump has seeded the federal judiciary with hundreds of right-wing judges who are almost to a man or woman, Federalist Society acolytes. And, at the risk of pointing to the obvious, the 6-3 right-wing Supreme Court, which features three Trump appointees will not disappoint their benefactor if given the opportunity to grant him a second term.

And if the Republican wave tips the Senate and House into the hands of the likes of Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, we can be sure that there will be Senate and House investigations of everything from the “real truth” about Hunter Biden to dredged up accusations against Kamala Harris. And, we can be sure that Joe Biden will not be able to appoint a single federal judge – not one.

Imagine a Senate Committee chaired by Rick Scott or Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley or a House Committee chaired by Marjorie Taylor Green and it is clear that we will be staring to an abyss over the next two years.

And then, with the election of Donald Trump, it will only get worse.

And anyone who would argue that these scenarios are not possible is suffering from a true failure of imagination.

And in these days and times that can be very dangerous.

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