Paul Andersen: Trump on steroids takes America over the edge
I understand the bleach cure. Donald Trump’s prescription for injecting bleach to treat COVID would make America whiter. How clever.
But treating Trump’s COVID with steroids?! Trump is already a looney tune. Making him more so will only add to his feverish delusions.
Scarier still, if steroids can prop up Trump, consider when virally infected, COVID-denying, mask-ignoring, liberal-hating, conspiracy-theorizing, climate- denouncing, gun-toting, right wing Republican conservatives also get pumped up on steroids — a recipe for malfeasance.
With Trump and Mike Pence cheerleading violent acts in accordance with God, whom they consider the ultimate Republican, a holy crusade could be launched to keep the talking hairpiece enshrined in the White House.
The only consolation is that the redneck base upon which Trump counts for his ego strokes and to which he routinely grandstands is too inept to pull off anything of consequence.
Misguided militias will be no match for FBI operatives and police SWAT teams, assuming these militarized public servants remain upholders of law and precedent and don’t get sucked into the Trump vortex. Hopefully, and soon, this virulent strain of national craziness will fade into the recesses of history.
As for history, Jill Lapore, author of “These Truths,” makes a well-reasoned argument for how we have arrived at a precarious tipping point of domestic turmoil.
“A nation born in revolution will forever struggle against chaos. A nation founded on universal rights will wrestle with the forces of particularism. A nation that toppled a hierarchy of birth only to erect a hierarchy of wealth will never know tranquility.”
America is ripe for recurring upheavals as Abraham Lincoln underscored during the Civil War when he offered a curative in 1862: “We must disenthrall ourselves; and then we may save our country.”
The thrall over America today is the thrall of hate, and hate gets in the way of essential civil dialogue as seen with Trump during his debate with Joe Biden.
Overarching all is the battle for truth, much of which is being written off as fake news and by the nutty, deep state paranoia of QAnon. Truth deniers seek to undermine long accepted truths that we hold to be self-evident, like the one in the preamble of the Constitution: “That all men are created equal … endowed with certain unalienable rights … life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
This foundational truth is routinely disavowed by malcontents who ignore American history, to wit: The North won the Civil War, not the South. The slaves were freed and accorded equal rights and opportunities under humane and universal law. The U.S., according to the Pledge, is “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Why are these truths still being disputed? Jill Lapore nails it: “A nation born in contradiction, liberty in a land of slavery, sovereignty in a land of conquest, will fight, forever over the meaning of its history.”
That fight is on today in a bare knuckle brawl of biting, kicking and spitting, and the contest is only to become more demeaning of democratic values that have no traction at a time of incivility, as demonstrated so perniciously by Trump and Co.
The British poet, Percy Shelley, presciently described a malevolent potentate 200 years before Trump adopted the caricature. In “Ozymandias,” Shelley offers a poetic metaphor for the myopia that torques power and ego into blind self-adoration.
“I met a traveler from an antique land who said: ‘Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.’
“And on the pedestal these words appear: ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty and despair!’ Nothing beside remains round the decay of that colossal wreck. Boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Assuming the moral arc of the universe trends toward justice, the sands of time will soon bury Trumpymandias and the ruins of his corrupted empire.
Paul Andersen’s column appears on Mondays. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.