LA Progressive

Lock Him Up!

As the walls close in tighter and tighter on the Trump team, or what is left of it, desperation and despair are taking shape as the only response mechanisms left to an empire in shambles. There is so much chaos permeating the White House at this point that it is indistinguishable from a barroom brawl, the kind where no one avoids being battered and bruised. Yet amongst the litter of broken bones and shattered dreams it is becoming more and more apparent that the severity of the dysfunction and the gross cynicism that has driven the bandits to plunder our representative democracy are only now exposing the catastrophic damage left in its wake.

Cynicism is the greatest threat to democratic self-governance. It rots the core of sound public policy and good intentions. The degree to which it has guided the Trump administration and their co-conspirators in the Congressional leadership will leave a very dark stain on our nation and its citizens. We are still awaiting the verdict of the Special Counsel report but the ominous signs point to a level of collusion and corruption that will require massive rehabilitation in the form of impeachment, resignation, and leadership changes.

I am old enough to have lived through the treacherous perils of the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, the aborted cultural revolution that was the 1960’s, race riots in American cities including my hometown of Philadelphia, Iran-Contra, Watergate, the attack on the World Trade Center, the invasion of Iraq and the occupation of Afghanistan, the near dissolution of the middle class, and the end of the Soviet Union. I was in New York City the morning of September 11 and Moscow as the hammer and sickle was lowered for the last time. In retrospect it has been a difficult and trying time for all governmental systems. Yet the apparent coupling of Russian influence in our political system may represent the ultimate test as to whether or not we resolutely have confidence in this democratic experiment.

Having devoted nearly 40 years of my life to the advancement of progressive public policies that protect the most vulnerable in our society and strive to lessen injustice and economic inequality, improve race relations, and promote enhanced opportunities for all it is heartbreaking to see what is happening to our nation and consequently to a world without our leadership. No we do not need to entertain notions of a President for life, no we do not have to disregard common sense through a perverted and felonious adherence to the fantasies of the National Rifle Association, no we do not need to bully our way through the fragile ecosystem of international diplomacy, and no we do not need to “grow” our workforce by returning to an economy that gives free license to environmental destruction.

Self-serving greed, narcissistic petulance, ignorance incapable of mastering or even understanding complexity, and sheer mean-spiritedness are the hallmarks of decay and the Trump administration is laying waste to all that is constructive and good in a society that is not without flaws but constructed upon a foundation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Either from the thirst for wealth and power or fear from the embarrassment of a severely compromised set of moral, ethical, sexual, or other inadequacies, or maybe a combination of the two, our President is willing to sell out the American dream for his personal aggrandizement.

The incredible foresight embedded in our Constitution by the founding fathers is being shredded before our very eyes. It is fairly easy to see that for whatever reason, either the thirst for wealth and power or fear from the embarrassment of a severely compromised set of moral, ethical, sexual, or other inadequacies, or maybe a combination of the two, our President is willing to sell out the American dream for his personal aggrandizement. It is fairly easy to see that he is willing to sell his soul and our nation to the highest bidder.

Vladimir Putin is a criminal, a murderous thug, and Trump has hitched his wagon to this former Soviet KGB hoodlum. Trump’s lust for dictatorial power is surpassed only by his overwhelming insecurity. In what will go down as the greatest heist in the history of mankind he is willing to make his mark as the most sinister huckster the nation has ever seen. He must be stopped before he plunges the world into tribal warfare.

I know this sounds dire, because it is. I originally sought to characterize our contemporary miasma as a momentary lapse in judgment, however as the noose tightens around his neck he is striking back with no regard whatsoever for the potential consequences. Truth be told Donald Trump has no conception of the consequences, intended or otherwise. There is no strategy here, it is all just fly by the seat of your pants, as though that is where his brain is located.

Over the weekend I watched the Nixon/Frost interview and was struck by the degree to which Nixon, as treacherous and ruthless as he was, at least had some degree of historical perspective and a strange appreciation for the institutional framework of government. He was also a very intelligent man, but a criminal nonetheless. Trump possesses not one wit of historical perspective, knowledge of, or familiarity with government or governing. He is hopelessly dazed and confused by the extent to which unintended consequences borne of intellectual or political considerations accompany momentous decisions. He is quite simply lost, alone, and unprepared or even capable of handling the decisions required of the position he holds.

It is becoming readily apparent that he was the recipient of much needed help from those who have the most to gain from our failure. That Faustian bargain may help him and his family in the short-run but will take the country down. Congressional Republicans are complicit in enabling this behavior and a complete revamping of the Legislative branch must take place at the ballot box this November. Watergate nearly precipitated a constitutional crisis, but at least we had dedicated public servants like Republican Senators Howard Baker and Lowell Weicker who were dedicated to the truth and the perpetuation of our form of government, as flawed as it may be. They backed this up with action.

Today we get a few floor speeches that are hailed as profiles in courage that are just that, words, and they are not backed up by actions.

We are on the verge of a complete collapse. Lock him up!

Lance Simmens