The collective pulse of the nation is redlining. Our blood pressure is at dangerous levels. Stress has pervaded the normal course of action in our daily lives. Since the advent of the Trump regime attention to the seemingly hourly swings of the political pendulum has been a boon for cable television but has left a nation and a world afflicted by high anxiety.
The first two weeks of the Trump Era have been filled with missteps, miscues, and miscommunication. The avalanche of executive orders spewing forth from this unguided death star are dispensed with little or no communication from those who have knowledge about the nuances and complexity of public policy. Our peripatetic cheerleader-in-chief swings wildly at pitches both inside and outside the strike zone and cannot distinguish between a fastball and a knuckler. So far he is missing far more than connecting and sooner or later his rookie wildness will have serous consequences.
I stand guilty of engaging in the constant commentary that is flooding the internet and watching much too much television. Having spent a lifetime in politics I should be given at least some dispensation from the disbelief that I experience on a regular basis these days, but that is still no excuse. It is apparent, however, that many people have been energized to action that have either never done so or not done so in a long, long time. Just witness the large scale demonstrations that have captured media attention over the past several weeks. What is also apparent is that many who rarely engaged in debate or in some instances verbal combat over policy and politics have joined the fray. The tenor and volume of vitriol is palpable and many who might normally simply end a debate with a witty comment and lol are now turning to unfriending or blocking further communications.
I certainly understand and appreciate an energized electorate but what is happening is scary. The level of frustration is not dissipating but deepening. More and more folks are genuinely worrying about things they used to not pay attention to. The stakes are enormous and mostly people are worried more so for their kids than themselves. But there is a widespread and prevalent sense of public fear that is taking its toll on our national psyche. Gone is any shred of optimism. Gone is any sense of American exceptionalism. Our President is equating Soviet discipline (read state sanctioned murder) with the killers within our own country. One can only imagine what the public reaction would have been had our most recent President asserted such.
Already Trump has accumulated a lengthy list of questionable, illegal, or unconstitutional actions. His administration has introduced us to alternative facts, a Muslim ban that is not a ban, a massacre that did not exist, a tortuous defense of crowd estimates done simply in his own head, voter fraud that once again does not exist other than in his own warped mind, incomprehension of the terms diplomacy and respect for friends and foes alike, and several attacks on the very foundation of a tripartite government.
It remains to be seen how long it will take for adults in his own party to tire of constantly pushing a very dangerous envelope and start acting in the interests of the nation and the world at large. But surely that day will come and hopefully before it is too late. In the meantime it is important for all of us to do what we can to draw attention to the dangers around us. At the same time we must not allow the deviousness and deception that is a hallmark of the President’s temperament and behavior to drive us to self-destructive actions.
Keep the debate civil, keep the protests peaceful, and work within the system to effectuate real and meaningful change. Otherwise we fall into the same trap that Trump’s irrationality will render: namely, feeding the opposition with ammunition with which to use against us. Make no mistake, these are dangerous times. Remain vigilant but resolute in the belief that we are better than how we currently appear to many. To resurrect an axiom from the Sixties, keep the faith!