"Fore score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure". Abraham Lincoln November 19, 1863
These words are as relevant today as they were when spoken by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg address in 1863. President Lincoln spoke these words with such courage, clarity, and spiritual conviction that any human being with a heart and a connection to souI knew that he was speaking a universal moral truth. Ironically, Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was a member of the Republican party. One hundred and fifty three years later, the Republican Party is a shallow remnant of the party it was under Abraham Lincoln.
The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying example of how group think and lack of individual dedication to moral principles and spiritual truth can lead a group in a direction that is the antithesis of everything this country stands for. To watch leaders within the Republican Party, some who appeared to have a working moral compass in the past, throw their considerable political weight behind someone so bereft of moral conscience, integrity, compassion, and human decency is shocking. Donald Trump, like all who bully, seeks to usurp power through denigrating others, verbal and emotional abuse, stomping on the opinions of others, lying, attacking vulnerability, and inflaming others to join him in his fear, hatred and anger. The Republican Party has nominated the middle school bully of our nightmares to run as their representative and candidate for the highest office in this country and most powerful office in the world. It is indeed a nightmare. This is no longer the party of Lincoln.
Lies, deception, fear, divisiveness, manipulation and hatred are the tools of bullies and tyrants everywhere. These tools are how they gain control and maintain power over others. Abraham Lincoln wisely noted, "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character give him power." Donald Trump operates in the world of business and in the world in general as an overinflated bully--that is how he gains power--power without integrity.
To observe presumably intelligent people line up behind the Pied Piper of fear, bigotry, hatred, and cowardice is to watch the worst that human beings are capable of take over. Like lemmings headed for the cliff without apparent awareness that they are leaping to their doom is to watch the reptilian brain take charge. Trump speaks from his reptilian brain to the reptilian brain of others and effectively plays people for the fools he believes they are. He alone can save us, he alone is great enough, arrogant enough, grandiose enough to fix this nation. His self aggrandizing and Messianic rants should have us all deeply concerned if not horrified. The reptilian brain hijacks moral reason, consciousness, and conscience and with those human decency. It is a breeding ground for tyranny and the fact that Mr. Trump knows how to manipulate from that place is terrifying.
America is already great--it has always been great both conceptually and in reality--conceived in liberty and dedicated to the idea that all people are created equal and have inalienable human rights. Great does not mean perfect--rather the United States of America was a great idea--a grand and evolving experiment in democracy, inclusion and freedom. To watch the Republican Party in its current state of blindness and cowardice threaten the democracy we all cherish should be alarming to all Americans of all races, all religions, all cultures and all political affiliations. We should be horrified and afraid--not of the ever present "Them" but of the moral erosion from within that the nomination of a Donald Trump symbolizes.
"Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure". The words of a great man, a great and courageous President--as relevant today as they were when Lincoln spoke them.