Precedented: Mr. Trump Fits Perfectly into US History of Elitism, Nepotism, and Corruption.
We hear it over and over in reference to Mr. Trump – enough times that people are saying it’s the word of the year: unprecedented. But in fact, there’s nothing unique happening here when you think about it. Mr. Trump is accused of various wrongs: special interest politics, worrisome (if not treasonous) foreign connections, nepotism, mixing Church and State, racism, elitism, hypocrisy, and dishonesty.
US history is replete with examples of Presidents committing exactly such wrongs. Consider the slave-owning history of the Founding Fathers, not to mention the support provided by even modern Presidents to nations routinely committing grievous human rights abuses and genocide and employing slave labor practices. Think of the explicit racism, sexism, and elitism of the original US Constitution and how many Presidents upheld such intense discrimination over this nation’s nearly 241 year history. Remember, while you’re complaining of Mr. Trump’s connections with Mr. Putin and his extrajudicial killings of enemies of the People, that Thomas Jefferson maintained similarly controversial connections with France and its bloody revolution, as have several US Presidents who cooperated with and aided genocidal leaders of various nations whose interests aligned even temporarily with our own. Moreover, there’s nothing new about nepotism in the White House either, which blighted major appointments under Presidents Adams, Grant, Kennedy, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower.
And consider the fact that for decades the US Capitol Building, where Congress meets, was used as a Church on Sundays, and the podium of the Speaker of the House was used as the minister’s pulpit. Despite the fact that it violates the underpinnings and explicit language of our Constitution’s Establishment Clause, our Presidents have mixed Church and State since the beginning, not just since Mr. Trump’s “Muslim Ban”. The US Capitol, built by slaves, even has a fresco at the top of its famed dome depicting George Washington as a Jesus-like God seated with angels and Goddesses all around him, and it’s unapologetically named “The Apotheosis of Washington“. Ben Franklin even makes an appearance in this warped view of Heaven in a neighboring fresco dedicated to Science. Throughout our history, Presidents have vaunted their devout Christianity, so what’s so different about Mr. Trump laying claim to the Bible as his favorite book?
Let’s remember that Mr. Trump is precedented indeed. US Presidential and Constitutional history is a bloody continuum of elitism, racism, sexism, nepotism, hypocrisy, and deceit. By continuing to think otherwise, we are simply letting ourselves be fooled. It’s time to wake up to history and do something about it. The mid-term elections will take place in 2018, and the Trump administration is working hard to further defeat democratic values. We cannot let that happen. Presently, Mr. Trump is seeking to turn heels on his popular “America First” pre-election platform and throw us further into Middle Eastern conflict with Syrian regime change now on the table: a policy that may well lead to more ISIS-like groups filling the power void, more civilian deaths on top of the 1,000+ killed so far by the Trump Administration, and an even more massive Middle East refugee crisis.
With few tools at our disposal, we must use them maximally and wisely: Protest, resist, vote, and support businesses that reflect your politics. Most importantly, let’s not make Mr. Trump into some sort of lightning rod. The corruption and anti-democratic actions of US politics is a much bigger story than our current President. Our resistance efforts should be similarly multi-pronged.