Friday, January 20, 2017

Our National Catastrophe -- And The Fight Ahead

At noon on this appropriately gloomy and rainy day in Washington, the national catastrophe many of us have been dreading since the election will begin. During whatever time the Trump mis- administration exercises its power it will use that power to corrode America's democratic institutions and whatever moral purpose we share as a nation. We have sown the wind, and now we'll reap the whirlwind.

Here are the reflections of others on this day of national humiliation and shame (a.k.a., "Mourning in America"). As always, please go to the links for the entire articles (our emphasis throughout).

Michael Tomasky on the slog ahead and the hope he has:
... [T]here will be the daily, weekly, monthly slog of feeling the man drag us all down, as he already has. How much worse are we as a people than we were 17 months ago? It’s impossible to measure precisely. But we know that we’ve gone from being shocked at the idea of having a presidential candidate shout about building a wall to debating whether Congress would appropriate the funds for it; from being scandalized at the very idea of a Muslim registry to wondering how such a thing could be implemented; from being aghast that a sexual predator could sit in the Oval Office to not even mentioning it anymore. All that happened without him even being president. To what will we be sensitized with him holding the office? 
We survived the crooks and liars and incompetents and alcoholics. I think we’ll survive Trump too. But it will require people on the left and the right to guard our institutions, and to say to him no, you just can’t do that. I was struck Thursday by words written by Eliot A. Cohen, a conservative, writing in The American Interest: “nothing will teach him gravitas, magnanimity, or wisdom.” 
No, nothing will. But I still hold out the hope that we the people can punish him for his lack of those qualities, his lack of any belief system. He didn’t win a majority of our votes. He doesn’t today have a majority of our support. And time will show that gravitas, magnanimity, and wisdom, especially wisdom, still matter.
Ryan Cooper tells us to brace ourselves for what's coming (spoiler alert: an Era of Epic Corruption):
On the day of his presidential inauguration, it's already clear how Donald Trump will govern. We've seen his Cabinet appointees, and watched some of their confirmation hearings. Now we've got a first glimpse of his budget ideas. 
Brace yourself, America: The Trump administration is going to be an epic disaster — an orgy of looting, corruption, and austerity. 
David Cay Johnson, who's been observing Trump for decades, warns:
This Friday America enters a perilous era when a man who trusts Vladimir Putin more than Americans in Congress, the military or our intelligence services takes the oath of office. Whether our republic endures Donald J. Trump’s clearly divided loyalties may well depend on how smartly Americans respond to our new president, with his insatiable lust for money, power, and public adoration.
Johnson then outlines what he thinks Trump's actions will be in the days ahead (worth keeping track of), and concludes:
Anyone who thinks that our Constitution will save us from Trump’s instincts does not understand that it is a piece of paper that can be ignored by a president determined to emulate Vladimir Putin’s autocratic style. 
Be wary. Be watchful. But most of all don't be dumb and play into Trump’s hands.
That last admonition especially applies to our broken corporate media, for whom (with minor exceptions) we hold out no hope.

Kevin Fallon on the concert last night that kicked off the "celebrations" and the tone it set:
Thursday's inauguration weekend welcome concert did its job, in that it accurately and compellingly set the tone for the new administration and the new America. It didn’t run properly, didn’t reflect your tastes or interests, and you wouldn’t want to purchase a ticket to it—let alone desire to be present to witness the disaster. 
Yet here we are. 3 Doors Down is here, too.
Infidel 753 sounds the clarion:
Never listen to those who tell us everything is already lost (and yes, I admit that for a brief time I was among them).  Don't read that link, read this one, my response to a bout of despair on our side in early 2010 when the original passage of Obamacare seemed doomed.  As I pointed out at the time, progressives of generations past -- Dr. King, Frederick Douglass, César Chávez, Harvey Milk, the suffragettes and union organizers of a century ago -- faced daunting circumstances, but they kept fighting and ultimately won.  If we keep fighting, we still might lose.  If we don't, we will definitely lose.
So, here we all are, with a strong sense of the disaster that's about to unfold.  We can despair, or we can resolve to fight back, in the knowledge that our fight is not only just but imperative.

We say fight. Beginning now.

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