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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/26/19

Donald Trump is Not the Problem. It's the Sycophants. And They Will Pay a Steep Price for Complicity and Silence

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The sycophants have succumbed to the conviction that Donald Trump is their intravenous (IV) life support connection. Attaching themselves to him allows them to remain in the power circle which fuels their belief that it guarantees their re-elections. Today that belief is unshakable. That's why they will help him conceal and cover-up possible criminal acts. We have seen their endorsements or silence every time Trump lowers the bar. They are on Trump-enabled life support that they will protect unconditionally. That explains why they are unable to envision life after the Trump presidency and unable to imagine how history will record their actions.

First, they must understand that the Fourth Reich will end. And, therefore, the sycophants should be thinking hard about life without Trump life support. That's why it's important to confront them and demand their responses to every Trump reprehensible action while reminding them that evasion, refusing to respond, or giving convoluted equivocal answers will be on record as part of their dossiers when the Trump administration's ugly chapter ends.

They should also be reminded that Donald Trump is likely to be a pariah after leaving office. He and members of his family may well face indictments from federal and state prosecutions, rendering him an outcast. Since he will not have the power to help anyone get elected--and may be a detriment toward that end--the sycophants will find themselves standing stark naked with their hypocrisy fully exposed facing an outraged public. Some will distance themselves from Trump, trying to maintain the fiction that their support was intended to control him. That strategy is unlikely to work. Their hypocrisy is too well documented. They have been too good at playing sycophants.

And yes, in usual fashion other Republicans will try spin to make Trump's ugly chapter go away. But the damage that Trump has wrought: undermining the constitution and our democracy, weakening the separation of powers, perversion of the Attorney General's office, the alienation of our allies- and more horrific, the cruel separation of children from their parents, internment of them in cages, denying them medical treatment, and now a ruling that will enable holding these migrant children for five years if not longer are tragedies not likely to be forgotten with an amnesic return to business as usual. And you cannot reflect on these monstrous acts without noting the complicity of the sycophants.

Scholars and mental health experts will try to understand the psychology of the sycophants. They will surely be the subject of study in textbooks in a variety of fields such as law, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and economics. They will be a rich source for exposition, expose, and ridicule for novelists, playwrights, filmmakers, and comedians. And they may be shocked to find that rather than adulation they will achieve fame by inclusion in the historical gallery of figures such as Caligula, Nero, mad King George, Benedict Arnold--and worse.

Can Democrats and the media awaken the sycophants with warnings about their likely fate? Can they convince these Trump supporters that there is still time to redeem themselves by restoring the priorities of country, democracy, and the Constitution over party and the lust for power? Will the sycophants recognize that the window of opportunity for redemption is rapidly closing?

There may be some defections and not just from retiring Republicans and these could encourage more defections. This strategy may be a long shot but worth a try since it's probably the only possibility for defeating Trump other than voting him out of office.

On Aug. 6, 1974, two days before President Richard Nixon announced his resignation, Senator Barry Goldwater, the icon of Republican conservatism, raged at a Senate Republican Conference lunch: "There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House -- today!"

Now that's a real patriot! Any others? Please stand up.

(Article changed on August 27, 2019 at 02:29)

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist and Professor Emeritus at CUNY, Brooklyn College. He is a past president of The Brooklyn Psychological Association and past president of The Association for Spirituality and Psychotherapy. At Brooklyn (more...)

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