Some thoughts on 2019.
A cold hard fact of modern American politics is the Republicans are so complicit, so Vichy in their support for the possibly treasonous administration of Donald Trump that we’re stuck with Trump for a solid two years, if not longer.
The conditions that have brought us to this point are so complex that they probably would require a few fairly long books to fully detail. The United States is so politically polarized — and the Right so well organized when it comes to a culture of faux victimization — that even if it’s proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Trump personally colluded with the Russians, he just ain’t getting impeached anytime soon.
And I am not one who believes there is any assurance that there will be a “Blue Wave” in 2018. It could be that there will be a lot talk but for various reasons nothing will happen. That two, four, six years from now we’ll still be talking about how if only this or that thing happened Trump will be impeached.
What’s more, remember that even if Trump was impeached by the House, it doesn’t mean he would be convicted by the Senate. That’s something that’s never happened in our nation’s history and since Trump will never resign, his conviction would be the only way to get rid of him.
We’re entering a surreal time in our nation’s political history where we’re so polarized that while about half the nation is openly talking about collusion, treason and impeachment then conviction, the other half think it’s just an evil plot by unpatriotic loser liberals who are looking for a reason to explain their unexpected Electoral College loss.
It’s all enough to leave you bewildered.
Even worse from my point of view, there’s no reason to believe Trump won’t right his personal ship of state and not only survive, but prosper. He may very well serve out his term and manage to use his weirdly adroit political skill to get Mike Pence elected as his successor.
A lot of my worry about this possible scenario comes from the division and weakness of The Resistance. The Democratic Party is split between the liberal Hillary Clinton wing and the social democratic Bernie Sanders wing and it’s easy to imagine that rift opening up to such an extent that a major center-Left independent candidate would run in 2020 and we’d really be fucked.
History rarely goes in a straight line, so there are any number of different ways things might play out. An unexpected strong candidate out of left field like Jon Stewart might throw a lot of my personal assumptions out the window.
But my main concern is that the United States isn’t a liberal democracy anymore. That we’ve entered a new epoch in our history where the only thing that prevents us from being a semi-imperial autocracy is the fact that there’s an assured open presidential seat every eight years. When the final political history of the United States is written that quirk of our Constitutional system may be seen as the thing that made it more difficult for us to realize that we had finally evolved out of our traditional republican roots.
The really scary thing about the Trump Administration is there is a real risk that it will do irrevocable harm to the country in ways that may take generations to fix. Our decades old reputation as the moral leader of the free world may be gone for good. It might require some exceptional leadership on the part of future presidents to bring that back and the system we have now is so corrupt that it’s unlikely that is going to happen anytime soon.
If it weren’t for that particular aspect, the Trump Administration wouldn’t be so scary. The thing about Trump is it’s too easy to fall into the trap of falloning him when he tweets something like covfefe to such an extent that we totally lose sight of him leaving the Paris Accords or appointing psychopathic Federal judges or whatever. The amount of damage Trump can inflict on the republic is so wide and deep that it is breathtaking.
What’s even more disheartening is there is really no recourse other than being politically engaged. As I have begun to say at every opportunity: Don’t rage, engage. Do your civic duty on an individual level to help, even in a small way, the continuance of our civil society. Don’t assume that just because someone disagrees with you that they are trolling you. Vote. Protest. Speak out when given the opportunity. Call your Representative and Senator on a regular basis.
The strength of American civil society is pretty much all we got at this point. It may take generations for the full impact of the Trump Administration to be fully understood. But don’t have any regrets. Don’t look back and realize you didn’t do your part to prevent a dystopia from being not just the thing of fanciful dreams, but a very cold, hard reality.
Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He may be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.