By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
Whether or not people want to admit it, there is a demagogue in the house, the White House, to be exact, a man who believes that he can do whatever he wants, be it legal or illegal.
He is subverting our democratic institutions, or it might be more accurately said that he is dismantling them, piece by piece, and he is running roughshod over the United States Constitution, daring any of his Republican sycophants to go against him – and they are falling, lock-step, into line
He is attacking the freedoms Americans have held dear – including freedom of the press and of religion; even as he says he is a proponent of religious freedom. He gets his cues, apparently, from talking heads on Fox News and feels free to share classified information with dinner guests at Mar-a-Lago, according to The Washington Post.
He has abused his power as president but dares anyone to prove it and insists he has done nothing wrong. He has made alliances with other demagogues, whom he seems to admire, even as he has alienated American allies. His lies are as bold as they are dangerous; he ignores experts on foreign and domestic policy. He is threatening to end or seriously minimize programs that help millions of Americans, as noted by Forbes, and is still obsessed with ending the Affordable Care Act.
There is a demagogue in the House.
There have been demagogues in this country before. Sen. Joseph McCarthy is perhaps the most well-known, but there have been others, as reported by TheNation.com. But this experience with the current president is a little more troubling because the guardrails that have always been in place to thwart the progression of demagogic ideas and practices are not working.
This man has thoroughly sucked the GOP into his toxic straw.
He is not the first president to have abused is power. The beloved President Franklin D. Roosevelt took advantage of crises in this country to expand his power, Lyndon Johnson likewise abused his power as he escalated the war in Vietnam, and George W. Bush used the tragedy of 911 to augment his power. Men aspiring to the presidency, including George Wallace and Huey Long were as rancid in their racism as is the current president.
But there were guardrails in place to protect America’s democracy, guardrails which we see crumbling before our eyes.
The impeachment process is being turned into a “how can you treat this president so unfairly” debacle, even as evidence of his problematic moral and allegedly criminal behavior continues to mount. It is singularly astounding to watch the GOP defend his actions, regardless of how heinous they are and how dangerous they appear to be to the security of this country.
He is not acting alone. He is being shown the ropes – what to do and what not to do – in order to keep his hold on power. His supporters love him. That he stokes dangerous divisions along racial and religious lines is of no concern to them.
But he is not the first to have exhibited this behavior. The difference is that he is being enabled in his behavior, and it is troubling to see.
There is a demagogue in the House.
What will we do to save this country and the masses of people who stand to suffer if he is not stopped?
On this day of celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King holiday, we remember that he struggled with, and wondered about, how to make a community out of chaos.
We still do not have the answer.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. Her latest book, Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, is now available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She is available for speaking. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.