The reason I haven’t written much political commentary over the last few years is for the simple reason that it made me feel unclean.
Writing about the Trump presidency [small “p” is intentional] felt like scraping the underside of a septic tank lid with my bare hands. When I finished writing my last non-fiction book, Why Angels Weep: America and Donald Trump [Amazon.com], I felt that I had to keep taking showers to wash the stench away.
The lies, the corruption, the hate speeches, the personal attacks, the psychopathy on parade … Donald Trump and his disgusting gits [children] just violated every sense of decency anyone ever had in any level of leadership.
As James Comey so accurately stated about his visits with Trump: Right up to the end of the sewer pipe that was Trump’s administration, he and his family truly behaved like a mob boss and his goons. Mario Puzo, if he was alive, would have pounded the table wishing he’d written this story.
Did you see the pardons list? Steve Bannon, the personification of sedition, was pardoned in the last gasp out of the commode from Hell. It was a criminal’s holiday. Oh, and wasn’t it interesting that the scum of the hangers-on actually tried to grift those begging for pardons? Oh yes. There’s nothing but grift from the Trump family and friends.
Read Michael Cohen’s book, Disloyal. It is the sewer rat’s guide through the mind and “organization” of Donald Trump and the fetid spores that are his children. After reading that book, I felt I could almost write the news headlines every day. He is that uncomplicated, our last criminal president. He is nothing more than an in-your-face bully and crook. Add it all up and you have a non-violent psychopath. You can look it up.
Then, inauguration day happened. January 20, 2021 was a day of redemption from the years of the United States being an open, weeping sore on our body politic, an infection that didn’t start healing until now.
My Canadian and British friends sympathized and graciously accepted my apologies and assurances that we Americans were not at all like the orange crap stain on the undershorts of our experiment with being the planet’s largest third-world country. Thursday, my U.K. Publisher shared hers and her country’s joy and relief that we finally put a real human being back into our government’s leadership chair.
By signing the executive orders to return to the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, President [capital “P” intended] Biden opened the box of Band-Aids needed to stanch the wounds of our nation. It’s as if someone had been rolling around in barbed wire for four years, but Biden has a big box of Band-Aids and sutures to bind up our wounds and those we’ve inflicted on other nations.
Before the inauguration happened, 10,000 of the worst of us tried to destroy our government, kill our legislators and create as much discord as possible. They performed this seditious act at the behest of the president whose weak mind couldn’t accept that he lost an election.
His pathology was transferred to the white people with few thoughts, even fewer skills at rational analysis and a lustful willingness to believe lies and distortions.
Those lies and distortions were, of course, well-crafted – not that it was all that difficult – by the Grifter-in-Chief, promoted by the most ridiculous lawyers this country has every produced and abetted nightly by right-wing media and the Republican Party. That media performed their seditious conspiracy duties under the misguided interpretations of the First and Second Amendments.
Trump and his enablers in the media, the Republicans in Congress and in the evangelical Christian churches – who clearly haven’t read the book of Matthew – told the mob what to do. And they did it willfully, eagerly.
What is especially sad for me and my fellow educators is that we saw these people when they were in high school. Irrespective of lousy parenting, low opportunities for success and a culture of hate, bigotry and overt racism in which they had to live in, they took great pride in defying any learning whatsoever.
They especially avoid critical thinking lessons. “Why do I have to learn that? Why don’t you just give it to me?” Or, “My parents didn’t like school and hate teachers. What are you going to do about it?”
The willful resistance to learning the skills for success as an adult became the internal driving force behind creating the cult of Trump.
It should also be noted how quickly the Republican Party shed its own codes and political tenets that allowed Trump to became their nominee. It also showed us all how short the bench of Republican candidates was who opposed him.
Oh, there were a couple dozen candidates competing for the GOP nomination, but the cult defeated them all. Why? Because they recognized these fools as the corrupt, gutless wretches they are. Now, they’re in the Senate, the House of Representatives, state houses across the country and governors of states where wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID is seen as being wimpy.
Those lacking the life skills necessary to be prideful of their own success and those who embraced the cult leader who fed their intellectual sloth with bigotry, hate and fear, took over the Republican Party before the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland, my home town.
Trump’s snarling, arrogance culminated in the statement, “I alone can fix it.” It was the growling rant of a demagogue and a dictator in waiting. And the next four years became the disaster that anyone not breathing helium or believing Republican lies could see from miles away.
Then, Lady Gaga sang the second best version of the Star-Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard. Only the late Whitney Houston’s Super Bowl performance was better musically. But Wednesday’s singing was the most important one, especially when one considers the venue and the event.
President Biden’s swearing in was dignified, beautifully organized and artfully done. And among the many highlights of that ceremony, was the brightest light of all: Amanda Gorman. Her dramatic reading of her poem The Hill We Climb sent goose bumps up and down my spine. It was majestic and poignant and captivating and … unforgettable. Look it up on YouTube if you missed it.
The newly sworn president and vice-president – our first non-white, non-male vice-president – went to work. No big parades. No inaugural balls. Vice-President Harris swore in three new U.S. senators. President Biden signed 17 executive orders that reversed some of the idiocy of the previous resident of the White House.
Not a bad day’s work for the first seven hours of a new presidency.
The televised evening celebration was a virtual event showing various entertainers singing and playing across the country. Un-famous people spoke to the rest of us. Nurses, teachers, caregivers, grocery delivery people, meat packers, police, fire and other real Americans were honored. The spectacle ended with a massive fireworks display behind the towering Washington Monument.
The inaugural committees involved performed spectacularly, too. You just don’t know who they are. But they are us. The un-famous are us. The famous who reject demagoguery are us. Those who vote for the greater good are us.
We were cleansed of the stink of evil, ignorance and hate Wednesday. My soul feels as if it just took a long, hot shower and is fresh, once again, to put forth the energy and purpose to return our national spirit for the world to see.
We are back, world, and our president is working to return us to being a member of the world of decency and positive thinking. We have been cleansed, but we are not yet clean.
We have to sweep out the trash and the filth left by right-wing extremist evildoers, their media abusers of free speech and send them back into the sewers from which they sprang.
This evil didn’t come upon us overnight, and we will not purge it overnight either.
Inauguration Day was the first of many soul-cleansing episodes to come.