BY BOB BEARDEN
The problem with Trump is simple: he embodies all the qualities that FDR noted when he stated, “A conservative is an individual with two perfectly good legs who has never learned to walk forward!”
That’s pretty much the scope of who he is. He lives in the past and wants to take us back to a past that wasn’t ever great in so many ways. We should have learned our lessons about that, but it is obvious that we haven’t.
We can’t make America great again by going backward into the future. Trump has locked on to all the people in this nation who do not think with their minds, but with their fears and prejudices. He has tapped into their feelings of insecurity because he clearly understands insecurity of which he himself has in abundance.
He has worked hard to divide this nation from itself and in doing so he is attempting to take us back to a time in which prejudices ruled the day and we were two separate nations at war with each other.
He feeds on being divisive to the point that he comes to dislike the very people he taps to be a part of his administration, if ever they deign to disagree with him. And in doing so further divides this nation and its citizens.
He thrives on race-baiting and, taking a page from the old Joseph Goebbels playbook, attacks the very institutions that our founders envisioned to protect the rights of our citizens. Especially that of a free press.
Whenever he is criticized by the media he attacks their credibility. When they call him on his lies he cries “fake news.”
Sadly, many people cheer him on and one party deliberately refuses to call him out because they have their own agenda which causes them to collude [yep, there’s that word] with him. Instead of standing up and calling his lies what they are – lies – they either join with him in perpetuating them or they take the coward’s way out like Paul Ryan and say nothing.
Since his election he has made it a hallmark of his administration to debunk and destroy all the environmental protections that we as a nation have put in place to protect our planet and to undo the damage of climate change and global warming. He has played into the hatred and fears of a segment of our society that sees their power on the wane because of the fact that this nation is truly starting to live up to the founder’s insistence that all are created equal.
We are set to become in the near future a homogenous nation where the color or skin matters less than the content of our character and many in the white race [mostly white men] are endowed with the fear of now becoming the minority in this nation. And Trump feeds that fear with his lies and rants.
Going back to a time when women and people of color either had no rights or what rights they had were restricted by their gender or the color of their skin is not in any way shape or form going to make America great again.
What makes America great is acknowledging the missteps in our past and making our future shine by being inclusive and truly living up to what our founders had the foresight to place in our constitution:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Living up to that message is what will make this nation great. We have struggled over the years to find ways to make those words have meaning and we don’t need someone making a mockery of those words.
Going back into the past is not the way to make America great.
– Bob Bearden is a trustee of the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation and a member of Mayflower Congregational Church, UCC, in Oklahoma City