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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/4/21

America's Come to Jesus Moment?

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Message Herbert Calhoun
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A review of : "The reckoning," by Mary Trump

America's Come to Jesus Moment?

Here, the niece of our 45th President, tells us that it is not just trauma that we now suffer as a nation, but also shame, division, confusion and uncertainty about the meaning of our values for the future.

This is precisely the work that trauma does.

We have watched helplessly, as in four short years, our democracy, our alliances, and our economy have all been ripped to shreds through mean-spirited, race-based hatred and incompetence, with our last lifeline, our government turned against us.

Ms Trump tells us that America's trauma has been a slow quiet cumulative process, one in the making since its inception. She harnesses together for us enough facts to support a forensic analysis of our history. It is a trail of forgotten evils, that led directly to the election of her uncle.

Although we all know this history by heart, what we pretend not to know is that collective denial, selective forgetting, normatively imposed self-censorship, hypocrisy, and now with Donald, a willfully body of lies, have conspired to shield us, and blind us from taking responsibility for our own worse crimes. These behaviors make up the bubble in which our failed collective memory lives.

And here she does not just mean the genocide of Native Americans and the cruelty and debasement of millions of slaves, but also the history of continuously overlooking depraved, barbaric and inhuman behavior by our leaders and heroes everyday since the nation's inception, directly up to her uncle's tenure. And here she means: lynchings, convict leasing, Jim Crow, society-sanctioned police murders, pogroms, black codes, white supremest terror, American apartheid, and I might add to this list, the wanton slaughter of 60 million buffalos left to rot on the plains, in one decade, to facilitate finally starving out Native Americans.

Beginning with Thomas Jefferson and working forward, to Robert E. Lee, James Eastland, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, to her uncle, the author shows that no matter how much we protest to the contrary: To be American is to willfully remain in denial about a sordid history that individually and collectively has traumatized us.

Our sanitized version of history has air-brushed out crimes, that, to quote Frederick Douglass "would disgrace a nation of savages."

When the author has finished laying her facts end to end across our history, we can hear a faint cry in the distance saying, "But that is not who we are, we are exceptional?"

However, the only niece of our shamed loser president, says here that this is exactly who we are. And she brings forth a trajectory of facts that vector directly to her uncle and today's collective trauma, to prove it.

And how can we be so sure that her clinical analysis is spot on?

Because 74 million Americans voted to reelect her uncle to ensure we get four more years of the trauma he inflicted on the nation during his tenure: vulgarization of the office itself; the embarrassment of being "played" by both Vladimir Putin and Kim Jung Un on the global stage; the shredding of the Atlantic alliance; embarrassingly incompetent leadership across the board; debasement of American values; world-class nepotism and corruption, over 670,000 deaths from the corona virus and still counting, 30,000 lies and tweets, holding super-spreader events that led to his and his own family being infected, and a presidentially inspired insurrection that came as near toppling our democracy as has any other single event in its history. And still 53% of these voters believe that Donald is a greater president than Abraham Lincoln?

And while the author says that we did barely manage to "snatch democracy back from the jaws of autocracy," he still has a gun pointed at democracy's head, awaiting the 2024 election.

An insurrection, at the very least inspired by her uncle, now seems to be going the way of most crimes committed by our political class: unaccounted for and unpunished.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
 
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