It’s not going to get better any time soon and, yes, this is how democracies die, and, no, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will not save us from ourselves and, make no mistake, all of us created this current appalling moment in our country’s history.
The political battlefield of the republic is now strewn with the gaping craters of democracy’s destruction: Donald Trump’s bizarre, declining mental state, his daily barrage of lies, a corrupt presidential regime beholden to a powerful, hostile foreign government laser focused on our country’s demise, the sellout to the growing power of the plutocrats and oligarchs by the latest GOP scam of historic, massive tax cuts and breaks on obscene wealth, the lack of a coherent national opposition political party in the age of Trump and a destabilized mainstream media still trapped by their own rhetoric of false equivalencies in which lies become arguments and truths become relative.
Can we, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, long endure?
This is a moment we’ve created with both intent and apathy, and now we can’t stop it. It’s a downward trajectory, a depressing spiral that can’t be stopped. We have exactly the corrupt government and inane culture we so deserve. We’ve allowed a small group of immoral rich and powerful people to control the state to reap their obscene financial windfalls as we’ve been diverted foolishly by devices that steal our attention away from the type of critical inquiry that remains crucial in a functioning democracy.
When it comes to democracy’s demise, no, the nation is not divided at all. We’ve all bought into stupid at some level. We didn’t get here because of partisan rancor. We got here for just the opposite reason. We didn’t care enough. We don’t have enough rancor.
We live in a country that legally sanctions the stealing of money from teachers, students, the elderly and the sick to give even more money to the richest people in the world, a country led by a seriously mentally ill president, a pernicious man who lies repeatedly and publicly without one iota of repercussion on any real level. It will get worse. We fool ourselves into believing we have media watchdogs when, in fact, the wealthy and powerful control the news outlets that shape our realities. The well-known leftist pundits decry our misery in their columns, and their words are shared by thousands on Twitter and Facebook, but they still cash the paychecks that always limit their expression. On the right, a major news organization operates as a state-run propaganda arm, advancing ludicrous conspiracy theories to feed the unruly mob it has created and unleashed on the world.
Gradually, the loss of democracy in our republic will become even more apparent, as it did last week in a particularly disjointed and dispirited manner, and we’ll have to adjust our mindsets, but the center will not hold, it can’t, and eventually we will splinter into autonomous groups and unpredictable forms of chaos will erupt across the land. This could take many years or not, but the devolving pace of the destruction of democratic norms under the corrupt Trump regime remains disconcerting. Our government institutions will not save us. The planet itself, under attack by the same oligarchs who control the institutions, is dying and not only can’t save us but will also take its revenge through disaster after disaster related to climate change. The immoral oligarchy has destroyed its own rigged capitalistic system through hubris and extremism and now live in a make-believe world not unlike Trump their benefactor, and, as their adored leader would put it, “believe me” they will most certainly not save us.
The streets still remain calm in these unprecedented times, a testament to the defeat of souls and hope. Yet the human quest to survive will endure. Who among us really knows what might emerge from the ashes of yet another period of human folly?