Monday, October 16, 2017

Republican Neros

Damon Linker, writing for The Week:

The nation is led by an ignorant, impetuous, tantrum-prone, pathologically insecure, narcissistically deformed man with the emotional maturity of a spoiled preschooler.

Many disparate factors conflated to result in this disastrous situation.  An unappealing field of Republican challengers during the primaries and a widely despised Democratic opponent in the general election.  The archaic and inherently undemocratic Electoral College system.  The emergence of “fake news,” and the Russians expertly wielding our own tools (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to perform the epitome of social engineering.  (This excellent article by Alexis Madrigal, writing for The Atlantic, details both.)

As much as the factors outlined above came together to form a “perfect storm” of sorts, and as much as Trump’s candidacy and election have measurably emboldened racists, anti-semites, white supremacists and others of that ilk, all of that would not have been enough to get a horrid man like Trump elected and kept in office were it not for what I consider the true tragedies of the 2016 election and its aftermath:

  1. The sheer number of Americans that felt disenfranchised enough to buy into Trump’s false populism.

  1. The naïveté of so many other voters who believed Trump was just putting on an act; that he would magically change from the person he had been for seventy years into someone completely different upon becoming president.  (I put the “lesser of two evils” voters, those who voted for Trump thinking that as bad as he would be, we would be better off with him than with Hillary Clinton, firmly in this camp, since there is no way that anyone could possibly believe Trump was the lesser of the evils unless they thought he would somehow “turn presidential” when elected.)

  1. The astonishing irresponsibility of the establishment Republicans, both during the election and the Trump presidency so far.  I don’t think there is one single Republican in congress that sincerely believes that Donald Trump is fit to be President of the United States, yet they all seem disconnected from the reality that they are the only ones that, as a group, can actually do something about it. Instead, they play the Nero of popular legend (if not necessarily fact), and stand idly by while everything that makes us proud to be Americans is under attack.

Larry Flynt, of all people, is offering $10 million for information leading to Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.  However, Messrs. Ryan and McConnell, you don’t really need that.  Conor Friedersdorf, again writing for The Atlantic, makes a pretty good case right here.  His conclusion:

Wherefore, Donald John Trump, through flagrant violations of the oath he took before God, country, and flag, warrants impeachment, trial, removal, and public disgrace.