Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/23/17

Donald Trump's Holiday Gift to America: A Fundamental Crisis

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 90177
Message David Corn
Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
Deck the halls with an assault on the principles, norms, and purpose of democratic governance.

President Donald Trump In Tree Lighting Ceremony
President Donald Trump In Tree Lighting Ceremony
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Michael McIntee)
  Details   DMCA

In a commencement speech years ago, author David Foster Wallace told this story: Two young fish are swimming along, and they pass an older fish swimming the other way. The older fish says, "Morning, boys, how's the water?" The two young fish swim on for a while. Then one looks at the other and says, "What the hell is water?" Wallace noted the point of the story was that "the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about." And that may describe American politics at the moment. President Donald Trump has brought about a profound crisis that is undermining the nation's democratic system, and it is so pervasive and encompassing that it is not being fully acknowledged. It is the water.

The crisis is not rooted in Trump's advocacy of conservative policies -- the Muslim ban, tax breaks for the wealthy, hollowing out the State Department, killing climate change action. Nor is it triggered by his rude and classless behavior, as he spends long hours watching cable news, consuming Diet Coke, and rushing to Twitter to attend to petty grievances, instead of working diligently to advance the interests of the citizenry. The country can survive bad policies and an immature and erratic commander in chief (unless, of course, his recklessness leads to nuclear war). What the United States faces this holiday season is an unparalleled, widespread, Trump-inspired assault on the principles, norms, and purpose of democratic governance.

Creeping authoritarianism, creeping autocracy, creeping kleptocracy -- call it what you want. But the creep has turned into a sprint. The offenses to good government and fundamental values are happening each day, often several times a day -- and in such a fusillade that there is often not enough time to ponder the horrendous implications of each one. And not enough space to consider the fundamental deterioration under way. Another aquatic metaphor: We are too busy being slammed by what's coming out of the fire hose to see the water damage that is being done.

In recent days -- like any set of recent days -- the outrages have been many. During a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Trump, according to a White House "readout," thanked the Russian leader "for acknowledging America's strong economic performance in his annual press conference." And they discussed working together to "resolve the very dangerous situation in North Korea." Apparently they spoke not a word about Russia's attack on the United States during the 2016 campaign. Which seems to be the pattern. Since Trump took office, there has not been a single sign he has pressed Putin regarding Moscow's operation to subvert American democracy. And as a much-noticed Washington Post piece pointed out, Trump has throughout the last year adamantly refused to accept the intelligence community's assessment that Russia engaged in information warfare to help him win the presidency--and has taken no measures to prevent a rerun. So here we have an American president abdicating -- out of pique -- his most fundamental obligation: to protect the nation from foreign attack. And his party colleagues barely bat an eye at Trump's negligence.

Go to Mother Jones to read the rest of this article.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

David Corn Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

David Corn is  Mother Jones ' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories,  click here . He's also  on  Twitter  and  FacebookRSS  |    David is (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why the Bombshell Trump Letter Could Be a Big Problem for Donald Trump Jr.

Can Obama Disrupt the Shutdown Narrative?

Note to Robert Mueller: Hope Hicks Was Part of the Cover-Up

House Dems Already Have Their List of Trump Scandals to Investigate. Here It Is.

Here's the Real Trump-Russia Hoax

Why the Scooter Libby Case -- and Trump's Pardon -- Really, Really Matter