One nation under stress, racially divided with less liberty, justice for most

Crazy Faith Ministries

Since the 2016 presidential cycle, this nation has been a nation under stress, caused by the worse-than-usual political rhetoric spewed by the candidates, led by then-candidate Donald Trump.

Trump’s name-calling, his put-down of anyone and everyone who dared compete with him, his lies – all of it caused a fair amount of angst among Americans. The angst was exacerbated by a press that seemed to humor him and let him do and say pretty much what he said, not really challenging him or vetting his statements, and also by the fact that his supporters did not seem to care about what he said. Nothing could shake their support of this man, not even disparaging Senator John McCain or being caught on audio tape saying hideously crude things about women.

It seems that Hillary Clinton felt like she did not have to worry about winning the election, because surely Americans, in the end, would not elect such a crude and rude man. Surely Americans would not elect someone who said racist and sexist things, who drew rabid racists into his camp, who seemed to condone the violence at his rallies and who seemed to be an unapologetic ally of the Russians, inviting them to continue to hack into America’s cyber system.

We were America, after all. Candidates had been known to have been rejected by saying far less insulting and troubling things. Surely, Americans would rise to their reputation as being good, Christian people … or some such.

But we were all wrong. The people – not a majority but enough to put Trump over the top – rejected civility and chose rudeness, racism, sexism, Islamophobia. They cheered the awful language, the bragging, the put-downs and name-calling offered by the man who would be president and did just that – made him president.

To say that much of the nation was stunned is an understatement. Some of those who did not vote at all because they wanted Bernie Sanders and neither Clinton or Trump seemed as disconnected as they had been, but many who did not vote seemed surprised, and many who did vote fell into a depression fueled by anger which has not yet abated.

This man, surrounded by an avowed Leninist who has said he wants to disengage the “deep state,” Steve Bannon, and by others who seem to be sycophants, has in less than 100 days put the entire legacy and perhaps future of these United States in jeopardy. He has alienated allies, insulted world leaders and has signed a number of executive orders designed to undo much of what President Barack Obama did.

He has inspired and emboldened racists and created an atmosphere where immigrants, both legal and illegal, Muslims and others, are afraid to walk-in public or send their children to school. He has signed executive orders which will give corporations permission to use pesticides and chemicals which have been proven to poison our water and our soil.

In less than 100 days.

More than a few people are worried to the point of extreme stress. They worry, probably correctly that all of the gains made by Blacks, women, immigrants, environmentalists, members of the LGBTQ community, labor and other social justice activists, will be wiped out.

He had thrown the Congress into total disarray, he has made people unsure of just what to think or expect as concerns their health care and has openly indicated by his actions that all of the promises, or many of them, made to his base were pretty much hot air.

The nation is under stress.

This presidency has the world laughing at America. It has young, militant, hot-headed leaders like Kim Jung Un of North Korea, flexing their muscles and chomping at the bit as they see America falling apart at its very core, and this president being too busy writing angry, dishonest and inaccurate Tweets to handle the business of running the country.

Every day, Americans wake up to see what the next episode of the reality show called “The Trump Presidency” will bring.

The system of government put into place by the Founding Fathers has come off as being completely impotent. The Congress will not stop Trump; it will not insist that Jeff Sessions, who apparently lied during his confirmation hearing to be attorney general, resign; it will not demand that Devin Nunes recuse himself from the committee he heads that is charged with investigating possible collusion between the administration and the Russians because he took some information to the president before presenting it to the committee. This Congress is standing idly by, letting the president and his cronies do exactly what they want, and they, in violation of the Constitution, it might be added, are letting him have almost absolute power.

Yes, America is under stress. Author Timothy Snyder in his book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, notes that in all authoritarian regimes, the people elected the tyrant which took their democratic republic down. He notes that people gave tyrants permission to be tyrants, and once they realized what they had done, it was too late. He also notes that in all of the countries – Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia – none of the people thought a descent into tyranny was possible. They didn’t take the would-be tyrant seriously until the tyrant had the nation in his grip.

America is under stress, but she needs to take some sort of soul medicine to equalize her emotions and her awareness of what is going on. This man in office does not care that much of the nation is spiraling into despair. In fact, the more we give in to despair, the more room he has to do his bidding.

We ought not let that happen.

Rev. Dr. Susan K Smith is a communications consultant for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference. She can be reacjed at revsuekim@sbcglobal.net.

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