From Smirking Chimp
That's more than just the title of a suddenly highly relevant Sinclair Lewis novel about the rise of an American dictator, written in 1935 -- another era when despots were on people's minds, for some weird reason. No, "it can't happen here" long been the national motto of a United States of America that has long thought itself immune to the slings and arrows of everyone else's world history.
An authoritarian president with nothing but contempt for 242 years of democratic norms, a free press, and a judicial system untainted by political interference? It can't happen here, the American exceptionalists all told us. An unqualified narcissist gaining the Oval Office with the help of crimes committed by a foreign adversary? Of course it can't happen here!
And there's a flip side to all of this denial. The notion that the will of the people can regain control of the plot narrative -- that also could never happen here, not in America. Remember what just happened in South Korea in late 2016 and early 2017 (coincidentally, the same months that America was electing and inaugurating Donald Trump) -- the so-called Candlelight Revolution in which as many as two million people, fed up with their corrupt president, Park Geun-Hye, took to the streets of Seoul? Those protests continued until Park was impeached and removed from office and a new president (who's conducted a Nobel Prize-worthy campaign for peace on the Korean Peninsula, by the way) replaced him.
MY PREDICTION: the Trump thing is going to come to a loggerhead, and the US will have to step up like South Korea did in 2016, flooding Seoul 1.5mil strong for weeks of peaceful protests to demand the ouster of their corrupt president. https://t.co/bLBCG0EGg0 ---- siobhan vivian (@siobhanvivian) February 1, 2018
That could never happen here, right?
Why the hell not?
In many ways, July 16, 2018, will be another day that will live in infamy in American history. So much has been written and said about President Trump's performance in Helsinki as he stood next to Russia's Vladimir Putin, a ruthless autocrat who makes a mockery out of elections and murders investigative reporters and political opponents with impunity, which apparently makes him a role model for America's 45th president. Before the two rulers had even walked away from their podiums, CNN's Anderson Cooper said, "You have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader certainly that I've ever seen."
Harsh but right on the money. The Donald Trump who on Monday said he believed Putin more than he believed either American intelligence agencies or the prosecutors who've indicted more than two dozen Russian operatives working to tip the 2016 election to Trump with illegal hacking, "fake news" and even infiltrating the NRA, and who responded to this assault on U.S. democracy by spouting insane Fox-fried scandals about finding "servers" and Hillary Clinton's emails, was -- to paraphrase the famous words of Minnesota Vikings coach Dennis Green -- exactly who we thought he was.
Caring more about saving himself than about saving the integrity of the United States.
Weak, impotent and obsequious in front of a savvy and amoral adversary.
More willing to believe either a Russian dictator or the half-baked conspiracies of a quasi-state-TV-network called Fox News than to believe the powerful government that he is supposed to lead.
Seemingly deep in debt -- for reasons speculated upon but as yet not fully known -- to the foreign power that worked to install him as leader of 320 million Americans, an adversary that is now reaping the benefits of inevitable chaos.
A man who is uniquely and totally unfit to serve as president of the United States.