John Colson: A glimmer of hope in a dark sky
Hit & Run
I’m going to get a little hopeful about our political future here, something that has not happened often over the past three years, specifically since delusional voters put into the White House the most corrupt, inept and self-centered candidate ever to appear on a national ballot — Donald J. Trump.
First, a few central pillars supporting the structure of my thinking about Trump, to be followed by some reasoning behind my “hopeful” thinking about the future.
Among his transgressions since being elected has been what appears to be a determined effort to enable the expansionist, militaristic and anti-Democratic rulers of Russia, led by another corrupt politician, President Vladimir Putin, to begin a broad effort aimed at reconstituting the former empire of the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
That is what’s behind the current Ukrainian-oriented political scandal — or Ukraingate, as I like to call it — in which Trump is desperately trying to convince the world that it was Ukraine that meddled in the U.S. election in 2016, not Russia. Trump is doing this despite the fact that just about every intelligence organization in the world that has looked into the matter has concluded that it was Russia behind the hacking of our election.
The reason Trump wanted to put the spotlight on Ukraine is not clear, other than the assumption among many observers that Trump was doing Putin’s bidding for unknown reasons, though we may learn more if we ever get to see Trump’s tax returns from the past few decades.
What does seem clear, though, is Putin’s eagerness to subjugate Ukraine before it can achieve what Ukrainians have sought since they split from the USSR; closer ties to the West and membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, something that Putin fears deeply.
To accomplish his bait-and-switch goal, Trump had to get one person out of the way — the then-Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump clearly felt would get in the way of his plans.
In his calculated bid to muddy the waters regarding interference in our election, Trump and his allies mounted a disgustingly vicious smear campaign against Yovanovitch, a career and well-regarded diplomat, who was unceremoniously yanked from her post in May of this year.
Yovanovitch’s supporters have pointed to her record of actually fighting against endemic Ukrainian governmental corruption as evidence that Trump has been lying when he has claimed he wants to end corruption in the Ukraine. Instead, Trump seems to want Putin to have a clear field to reconquer Ukraine and once again put it under a new USSR umbrella.
There’s more to this background story, but my looming deadline and space limitations leave me no choice but to urge readers to do some research and make up your own minds.
Moving on, Trump also has declared war on two big sectors of our national population, including African Americans and people of color of any race or ethnicity, and women. His racism and misogyny are out there in plain sight for all to see, so I won’t go into details but will again urge readers to find out for yourselves.
Then there is Trump’s war on the national media, which he has labeled “the enemy of the people” even though everyone knows it is Trump’s peculiar mix of paranoia and egomania that are at the base of this accusation. That’s because a significant portion of “the media” has kept the spotlight hot and bright on him since he got into office, and he is scurrying like a cockroach to get out of the light and into his comfortably dark inner sanctum.
I should hasten to add here that I, a career journalist, have my own problems with the corporate media in this country, and would never want to paint the industry as a paragon of integrity and truth-telling in all things. But taken as a whole, our industry does the best it can to bring people the news they need to make decisions about government, elections and a whole range of issues and problems, and we are not the enemy.
All that said, I began this week with a heightened feeling of hope that our national Trumpian nightmare will be over by the end of the coming year, 2020.
There is more than one reason for this hope, but it started when the Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives recently opened up their impeachment inquiry into Ukraingate and, probably, other examples of presidential malfeasance under Trump.
That hopeful feeling was boosted recently when Democrats won political races in such historically Republican strongholds as Kentucky, Virginia and other locales, a sign that the Trumpian wall of lies and nastiness might be cracking under the weight of both his own actions and the revelations coming out of the impeachment inquiry.
I have long believed that Trump’s much-ballyhooed “base” is really a lot smaller than he and others would have you believe, and that voter apathy combined with Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics around the country to give Trump the needed Electoral College numbers to take the White House (remember, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by around 3 million).
Based on all that, I am feeling a little more optimistic about our nation’s immediate future than I have in a while, but only if all of you who feel similarly will do one simple thing about a year from now, and that is GET OUT THERE AND VOTE against the reigning cockroach in Washington.
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