In the quietest of moments, when boisterous voices fade into the background we have time to reflect. In a nation rarely seen more polarized since the civil war the political noise is shrill with contradiction. Yet what remains unambiguous today as it did when Donald Trump took the oath of office for president America’s reputation is defiled. That illustrious position of being a democracy as part of the American tapestry has been mottled with stains that are prominent for all to see. For those who live in this country and many more who live around the globe. A national appearance, to reassure its citizens of a competent government and an inspirational message of democratic values for those in authoritarian ruled countries is blotched by this president’s crude image of himself and how he vocalizes his intentions on behalf of the American people.
This administration and some in the media continue to try and normalize this presidency. Even as cover-ups of collusion with Russia are revealed to the American public. And unethical behavior about using the oval office as a “business” office to cut deals with foreign leaders allowing the Trump family to increase their fortune. Clearly, what cannot be hidden is this unflattering blemish Trump and his family have marred our national drapery.
The optics of nepotism, lack of transparency, and the vagaries Donald Trump employs as a way of governing are ignored by a defiant administration. They say they don’t need or want to be politically correct, but that phrase has taken on the added meaning by allowing unnecessary nastiness in spoken words and tweets to be the order of the day. No future consequence is ever given fore thought and no apology is ever required no matter how much the Trump administration prevaricates the truth.
From the beginning, there was a reason for consternation. Proclamations of “make America great again” pervaded campaign rhetoric. The underlying theme that America was at the abyss and that in no small immigrants were to blame. As Trump’s language became more hostile towards Muslims and Hispanics and anyone who dared to challenge him, a divided nation pulled even further apart. Compromise became a sign of weakness and pragmatic arguments for almost any issue were short circuited by flaming diatribes from candidate Trump. As the presidential election drew near, his vitriolic speeches took a life of their own and civility now a yesteryear tradition. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, at least that was the supposed consolation after Trump was elected. He will change when he takes office. He didn’t, but America did.
One hundred days since Donald Trump took the oath of office the United States has become a battleground. The legitimacy of this president in constant contention while evidence mounts of collusion between his campaign and Putin and his oligarchy. The keystone, our ability to hold untarnished elections suddenly in jeopardy. What remains troubling is Trump’s base seem to give little credence to an adversarial foreign power interfering with our electoral process. These denials manifest themselves, even further in believing that press criticism of Trump is fake news and his incoherent and ever changing positions on critical issues is to be believed as a strategy. Trump’s popularity, although historically low with most of the country holds strong with his ardent supporters. The forgiveness of ignorance and mendacity that Trump has continued to promote as president and tolerated by Trump voters has stained our national ethos.
This country has always taken pride in its transparent democracy. Americans were gratified that their president was a man of character and was worthy of their trust. The U. S. Would always be a trailblazer with high expectations. That started with a faultless democratic process and a capable president. However, President Trump has been a lightning rod of controversy and shown no desire to change his flammable approach to governing. He has kept this country on edge from 24 million possibly losing their health coverage to a possible nuclear confrontation with North Korea. This has not made America great but rather created an environment of distrust at home and abroad.
The fabric that holds our society together from our court systems to our welcoming of people from war torn countries is shredding. And Trump’s willingness to act impulsively has sent a message contrary to what really did make America great. The strength to use thoughtful consideration when shaping domestic and foreign policy. The founding fathers were men of deliberation who wished to create a society that honored truth and harvested facts from a ground planted in wisdom. This is the example they wished to set for the next generation and the generation to follow that one. The tapestry they began is not frozen in time nor is it impervious to those who wish to deface it.
The danger is always the normalization of a Trump presidency. That the leaders who choose to run for the highest office in the future will not rebuke Trump and his sliding scale ethics but embrace it. Moreover, the voters will learn to accept mediocrity and unscrupulousness as the norm in their president as the best we can do. For if that were to happen the stain of a Trump presidency becomes indelible. And the mottling of America becomes permanent.