Something’s wrong with our political system when the most unpopular and, in the opinion of most, morally dubious president ever will, via Supreme Court nominees, have one of the greatest influences on American life in coming decades.
No doubt Trump idolators are chortling at the irony.
Checks and balances? None of the three branches of government is functioning the way it must for a so-called democracy to be one in fact.
Since the ascendency of Trump, there’s been a lot of complaining, mostly on the part of his supporters, about the unpleasantly divisive or contentious quality of life these days, as if the incivility were just a style or fashion, a matter of bad manners. Why can’t liberals stop being such sore losers and stop their whining?
It served Trump well to respond to the violence in Charlottesville a year ago by tch-tching the incivility of both sides. Since his base includes white supremacists and white supremacist fellow-travelers, it suited him to stay neutral in this fight between white supremacist fascism and those protesting it.
Trump himself is, of course, an instinctive rabble-rouser, with no manners at all. He did not complain when when ill-mannered Senator McConnell decided not to honor the tradition of considering a sitting president’s nominee to the Supreme Court, the Republicans gained a seat on the court that will end up hurting many people over many years.
There are signs that any obligation the anti-Trump majority have felt to be civil is out the window, and given Trump’s rampage through vulnerable institutions, not a moment too soon.
The owner of the Red Hen restaurant asking the spokeswoman for Trump’s border p olicies to leave was a shocking act, given the usual expectations we have of restaurants. But these are n ot usual times and the act was courageously appropriate.
For many who have been confused about border issues the separation of kids from their parents brought sudden clarity . Outrage suddenly seems the only humane, civilized response.
Usually mild-mannered New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, apologizing for not taking his preferred nuanced approach, comes out in favor of any democrat who can defeat Trump before he does more damage.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprising win in the Democratic Bronx primary against a strong but establishment incumbent may suggest that Democrats/ liberals are tired of being what should in a democracy be an oxymoron, a loser majority. Tired of the Trump tail wagging the dog, they want a more effective weapon in the fight than the old democratic party has proven to be.
Forget civility, mutual respect, good manners: Americans are divided on fundamental, life-or-death issues. It’s time to revive the slogan from the old Pete Seeger song of the trade union movement: Which side are you on? Here are a few of the life-or-death issues now up for grabs.
When it comes to immigration, should our circle of sympathy include all humans? Or just those on this side of the border?
Is the President’s racism OK? After all, it was not many decades ago when a large percentage of us thought white supremacy was simply correct thinking.
Is marriage a human right or a privilege of the properly gendered?
Are democratic institutions important, or are we better off with a strong leader ( Putin, Duterte, Trump) acting in behalf of “the people”?
Is health care a human right or is it OK for some people to be deprived of it?
Is economic inequality good or bad? Should the very wealthy be allowed to use their money to influence elections? Does capitalism require governmental regulation?
No longer the rhetorical questions they would have seemed to most of us before Trump, these are issues about which we should not be “agreeing to disagree” over a nice dinner. They should, as they are doing, divide not only a restaurant from some patrons, but families, friends, communities.
The fellow American in the checkout line with you may well be your worst enemy.
Tough times ahead. Which side are you on?