To the best of their abilities Aldous Huxley and George Orwell warned us about the tragedy of braiding money, religion, natural resources and power. But now, it seems, through long neglect, we have earned the punishment to live their worst nightmares.
One hundred and two days into Trump’s term, let’s take stock:
We have a president who lies for political power that he then uses to brand all who expose him as liars.
We have a president who creates public and national policy on Twitter who then does whatever enriches himself.
We have a president who prefers cuddly conversations with tyrants and tyrants-in-the-making over those with proven allies.
We have a president whose distaste for his predecessor pales next to his shameless desire for a shred of that man’s integrity, popularity and sheer joy.
We have a president who cannot grasp that governing is a consensual act or endure the gears of government not turning swiftly to his fickle commands.
And as a result we have a president—one sworn to protect and defend the US Constitution—who on Fox News Sunday April 30th, 2017, said of our constitutional system of checks and balances, “It’s a very rough system. It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.” In office only 102 days, this president wants to destroy the charter of the country whose presidency he so coveted.
Those that have actually looked at Trump objectively in the last decades are not surprised by any of this. He has thrived by breaking whatever object his narcissism encounters. He ran his businesses that way. He ran his multiple escapades in court that way. He ran for president that way.
Few deny that he thrashed the last vestiges of decency his party might have aspired to. He broke his opponents. He broke detractors. He broke protocols. He broke precedent. And he lied about all of it. To top it off, he called those who reported on him liars. “Horrible people.” He still calls the media liars on a daily basis.
Blame whom you will for how we got here. But to avoid calamity on a national scale we must now acknowledge that we have arrived at the sloppy gates of Brave New World.
The only antidote for lies is truth—well told, oft-told and retold. And without the full-throated participation of the party that created the ground for and nurtured this repugnant man, our long experiment of culture runs the risk of becoming ruined.
“That will be great,” say many extremists on the Right. They believe ruination will be a good start for their ascendency. Their lost interpretation of their religion encourages them to disbelieve history and ignore science. Like Mr. Trump, their self-absorption finds the lessons of mistakes too harsh to review. For the rest of us, however, the costs are great.
Whereas the lives of all creatures are being and will be deeply hurt by this arrogance, wisdom and truth still remain wise and true, in the same way that the world does not become flat by thinking it is or wishing it were.